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post #61 of 97 Old 01-15-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
Because not all of their features are externally controllable. Just like not all of the features of the CI products are externally controllable.
huh?
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post #62 of 97 Old 01-15-2019, 02:25 PM
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I'm sorry if you don't see the landscape changing. I'll leave you with these rhetorical questions... Are these more DIY-oriented companies growing or shrinking? Is the market for DIY-oriented products growing or shrinking? Are customers getting more saavy and more-interested in DIY or less?



And Google/Amazon/Hubs have extra features over the CI platforms. Until we talk specifics, we can't really start talking about the differences. Not going to go down that road though as that's a longer and probably never-ending conversation.
As a CI dealer (Control 4) I provide solutions to problems clients have, not hardware or software. I can integrate Google and Alexa into any C4 system (have Alexa in my own home) and those products can enhance what I can do with Control 4, but they can't come close to replacing what I can do with Control 4. Maybe they eventually will, but as it stands now, they can't.

Don't over think the novelty of speaking to a device. Sure, it has it's handy in some applications, but there will still always be a need for a physical interaction of some sort. You also need to take into account urban/rural settings and access to internet. In my area for example, many people are stuck with very poor internet speeds, so cloud based systems are a HORRIBLE idea for them, but a centralize home system with a single remote access (like Control 4 and their 4Sight app) works wonderfully.

Finally, a large number people out there purchasing DIY products are returning them to stores or spending hours on customer support lines. One statistic I saw this past fall was a quarter of all DIY products get returned because users can't figure them out. So while there is a DIY market place, there is still a need for professionals who can assist the average user with those products.
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post #63 of 97 Old 01-15-2019, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mntneer View Post
As a CI dealer (Control 4) I provide solutions to problems clients have, not hardware or software. I can integrate Google and Alexa into any C4 system (have Alexa in my own home) and those products can enhance what I can do with Control 4, but they can't come close to replacing what I can do with Control 4. Maybe they eventually will, but as it stands now, they can't.

Don't over think the novelty of speaking to a device. Sure, it has it's handy in some applications, but there will still always be a need for a physical interaction of some sort. You also need to take into account urban/rural settings and access to internet. In my area for example, many people are stuck with very poor internet speeds, so cloud based systems are a HORRIBLE idea for them, but a centralize home system with a single remote access (like Control 4 and their 4Sight app) works wonderfully.
Hence, DIY hubs.

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Finally, a large number people out there purchasing DIY products are returning them to stores or spending hours on customer support lines. One statistic I saw this past fall was a quarter of all DIY products get returned because users can't figure them out. So while there is a DIY market place, there is still a need for professionals who can assist the average user with those products.
Totally agree, there will always be a need for CI. Yeah, I'd be curious to see these statistics too. The total volume would be an interesting statistic, as would the be the category of products being returned.
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post #64 of 97 Old 01-15-2019, 03:45 PM
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I'm finding this whole discussion fascinating. I'm not much into the HA side of things myself, but I love the technology and am really into the AV side of things.

The first thing that comes to mind is how the buildings are going to be shaping the tech. The vast majority of houses in the US are old. Many suburbs were built from the 1950's through the 1990's. Many high value customers are now living in apartments and condos in denser, more urban areas. What I am getting at is that most houses don't have a lot of wiring to work with. Most don't even have home run CAT-5 to do networking with. If the buyers are lucky, they'll get a cable jack in every room and a few phone jacks around the house. Phone jacks at this point are useless unless they are home run CAT-5 that can be converted to Ethernet, so basically they have a few cable jacks. The technology is catering to this market, and that's why everything is moving to wireless. Wireless, while not as reliable as hardwired Ethernet, and not scalable to ginormous houses, is "good enough" for most people most of the time.

So given that wireless is taking over, we have now reached a point where the only hardwired RF that you really need in most houses is the cable line coming into the modem/router for internet. With people cutting the cord, cable isn't even needed for TV anymore, but even if people have Triple Play, they need cable for a couple of cable boxes. Data is entirely wireless now, with wireless mesh systems providing much better coverage and speeds than before, and if people still have landline service through a bundle, they've got a cordless phone that covers the whole house easily. Moving forward, with cord cutting, people can put a TV anywhere. With mesh wireless and streaming devices that can get DirecTV NOW or YouTube TV in addition to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc, all you need is a power outlet to place a TV, audio system, or any other consumer electronics.

Most people, even, or possibly especially, high end customers are not going to have holes drilled in their walls to pull the miles of cable required for a traditional HA system with wired audio, wired networking, much less central A/V distribution when they can get wireless stuff at Best Buy that does mostly the same thing, or at least the things that most people want them to. There is also less of a need for a centralized HA system. Like others have mentioned, we no longer have CD changers and scarce DVD players. Gone are the days of $500-$1000 satellite DVRs that didn't have any whole-home functionality. The use cases for centralized A/V distribution are rapidly disappearing. Even if you have a bunch of in-ceiling speakers that you want to synchronize with TV audio, you can do that over a network with Sonos or Denon's HEOS without spending a whole lot, involving a CI, or having a centralized distribution closet with giant racks full of equipment. Heck, I'll be able to do that with two Denon AVRs for an additional cost of $0, since I was buying the Denon AVRs anyway, and they came with HEOS built in. Add in a second zone or two here or there, and all of the sudden I can set up much of the advantage of a $10k or $20k central audio distribution system for a few hundred dollars of additional investment.

Next, the custom HA and A/V systems are outdated almost as soon as you get them. The pace of change in technology has been rapidly increasing. We went from SD to HD over component to HDMI to HDMI 2.0 with 4k and now we're talking about HDMI 2.1 with 8k. With a custom system, you've got to have the CI come back and replace stuff on every iteration. Further, compatibility is becoming more and more of an issue. Centralized video switching systems made some sense when everything was analog component with separate sound. Now that we're dealing with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, half the time it doesn't even work with a device, and AVR, and a TV, much less a centralized matrix system that is yet another point of failure in the system. Looping back to the use case, when people were buying $1000 satellite DVRs with no whole home functionality, yeah, centralized distribution made a lot of sense. Now that people are streaming on $100 Rokus, just buy a Roku or Chromecast for every TV. On the audio side, get Sonos or HEOS and call it a day.

Custom HA and A/V systems are also fighting an uphill battle at this point. Yes, a lot of devices work with C4 and Crestron, but as you get new devices, you have to have a CI add them to the system, which takes time, while Amazon or Google will have it working in 5 minutes with almost no effort, with the user driving the upgrades and changes to the system. 15 years ago when a centralized system would stay fairly static for several years, the CI model made a lot more sense than today when a larger household could have many devices added to the system every year, and a lot of devices are iterating at a breakneck pace. Why pay more to be stuck with outdated technology?

Looking at the HA side of things, we also have to look at the use cases here, and what people actually want. Alarm systems and security items (outdoor lights, cameras, etc) are popular, and have gained some traction in the HA market, and they are actually fulfilling a genuine desire for home security and monitoring. These technologies have the opportunity to either completely disrupt, or to grow the business of traditional security companies, i.e. ADT. What I'm not convinced will gain traction is a lot of the indoor lighting and appliance control. People have enough tech issues, and when they mostly don't want their devices to be internet connected. People expect lights to come on when they flip the light switch, and they don't need an app to do it. They don't want their refrigerator on the internet, they want it to make their food cold using the minimum amount of electricity and making the minimum amount of noise possible. I could see washing machines and dryers with Wi-Fi becoming a thing, as a lot of people, especially in older houses, have laundry in some corner of the basement, so a notification when the wash is done is legitimately useful. Thermostats are also legitimately useful, especially in warmer climates so that you can turn the AC on before you home so that it's not 95 degrees when you walk in the door on a hot, sticky summer day. Most other applications seem like a solution looking for a problem, although they do have the side benefit of greatly helping people with limited mobility. Applications like talking to Alexa to turn a lamp on, which is utterly idiotic for an able-bodied individual, could be hugely beneficial and provide independence and control for someone who has limited mobility.

Further, there is a big security headwind on all of this. If you look at the various security issues that have come up, they are going to scare people away from connected tech, and cause them to retreat to not using some things, especially when you get into cameras and other security devices. The recent Ring video sharing debacle is an example of this type of problem. If people don't trust the technology, they just won't use it.

The future is wireless. Right now, it is entirely practical to have a single RF cable coming into the house going to a modem/router, and have everything else wireless from there to the devices consuming the content, with analog speaker wire, HDMI, etc locally at each TV/HT setup. In the future, with 5G, even that single RF cable will disappear, and things will go entirely wireless with a 5G gateway feeding a Wi-Fi 6 mesh network.

For the Chromecast Audio in particular, they are amazing devices, and unfortunately, Google discontinued them recently. I have an order for two more in from CDW, and one of mine can be reclaimed, as my ChromeCast Ultra can serve my AVR via HDMI, and I can let the AVR function as the DAC. Over the years, I've been trying to simplify my setup and eliminate devices, not add more. Denon doesn't support Google Cast, which it should, but it does support Spotify Connect as well as Bluetooth, so I don't need a separate Bluetooth receiver, and I will get rid of the Chromecast Audio next time I set it up (reclaim it for another location), now that the ChromeCast Ultra supports the audio groups. However, I have no clue why people are suggesting to hardwire a CCA. There is no good reason to hardwire them. I've had them crammed in all sorts of weird places, and they work fine on Wi-Fi. They just don't need that much bandwidth. I hardwired my ChromeCast Ultra just because it had an Ethernet port. My rule is that if it has Ethernet, I'll hardwire it, if it doesn't, I won't, but next time around I might consider going wireless with more streaming devices, or at least my gaming consoles as the mess of Ethernet cables is getting ridiculous. OTOH, I do like having things hardwired if they have Ethernet available, or have lousy Wi-Fi (like the Wii U which only supports 2.4ghz).

I will say that Google Cast is MUCH more useful on Android than on iOS. Some apps support it on iOS, but the big hole in the whole system is Audible, since they refuse to work with Google Cast (stupid Amazon fighting with Google). On Android, I just mirror the device to either a CC, CCA, or Cast-enabled speaker, and I get Audible on that speaker. The downside is that it uses a LOT more battery power than the normal cast protocol, as it is re-encoding everything and sending it back over the network, and you lose the "OK Google" control over the Audiobook like you'd have with a podcast. Still, it's a fair trade-off for me to avoid having to use Bluetooth or cables when I'm listening to an audiobook around the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
any data about the growing DIY space is inflated. yes its growing, but if your 70 year old grandma gets an Alexa because she wants to talk to her grandkids or something by stats she has a "connected" home. She is not controlling dozens of lights, security cameras, audio/video, pool control, garage doors, etc. oh and btw - based on the very few pure play CI companies that are publicly traded, they are all growing too. so go figure.
And that's 100% true. Even young people are getting Echos like crazy, and most don't have anything connected to them. They just talk to Alexa and make it do goofy stuff, set timers, or ask Alexa what the weather is going to be like the day after tomorrow and that's the extent of it. Most people don't have want or need to control lights or security cameras or anything else, and the ones that do probably have a couple of devices that they use with Alexa, and they're happy with that level of HA. The idea of voice control sounds all cool and futuristic until you actually use it, and it kind of sucks compared to just button mashing. This is partly generational too, baby boomers probably love talking to their remote or phone or whatever since they're often terrible at typing or button mashing, whereas a teenager can do the same thing in half the time with a touchscreen or buttons. The one application that makes a lot of sense is in the kitchen, since your hands are greasy and covered with food.

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Originally Posted by Paul DiFrank View Post
the rest of my RCA inputs should be here Wed. and I'll be able to get everything hooked up. Though I may need to buy the ethernet adapters for these. I'm running a ubiquity network with three of the LR Access points, but with 13 casts, I don't want to overload one of them. We'll see how the performance is when we get them all hooked up.
If your Wi-Fi can't handle 13 Chromecasts, then that's a Wi-Fi problem. I don't think you'll have any issue with it.

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Originally Posted by Mntneer View Post
Don't over think the novelty of speaking to a device. Sure, it has it's handy in some applications, but there will still always be a need for a physical interaction of some sort. You also need to take into account urban/rural settings and access to internet. In my area for example, many people are stuck with very poor internet speeds, so cloud based systems are a HORRIBLE idea for them, but a centralize home system with a single remote access (like Control 4 and their 4Sight app) works wonderfully.
And who is living in the middle of nowhere where they can't get decent internet connectivity and simultaneously sinking a ton of money into HA? Those are two mutually exclusive markets.
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post #65 of 97 Old 01-16-2019, 05:35 AM
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I'm finding this whole discussion fascinating. I'm not much into the HA side of things myself, but I love the technology and am really into the AV side of things.

The first thing that comes to mind is how the buildings are going to be shaping the tech. The vast majority of houses in the US are old. Many suburbs were built from the 1950's through the 1990's. Many high value customers are now living in apartments and condos in denser, more urban areas. What I am getting at is that most houses don't have a lot of wiring to work with. Most don't even have home run CAT-5 to do networking with. If the buyers are lucky, they'll get a cable jack in every room and a few phone jacks around the house. Phone jacks at this point are useless unless they are home run CAT-5 that can be converted to Ethernet, so basically they have a few cable jacks. The technology is catering to this market, and that's why everything is moving to wireless. Wireless, while not as reliable as hardwired Ethernet, and not scalable to ginormous houses, is "good enough" for most people most of the time.

So given that wireless is taking over, we have now reached a point where the only hardwired RF that you really need in most houses is the cable line coming into the modem/router for internet. With people cutting the cord, cable isn't even needed for TV anymore, but even if people have Triple Play, they need cable for a couple of cable boxes. Data is entirely wireless now, with wireless mesh systems providing much better coverage and speeds than before, and if people still have landline service through a bundle, they've got a cordless phone that covers the whole house easily. Moving forward, with cord cutting, people can put a TV anywhere. With mesh wireless and streaming devices that can get DirecTV NOW or YouTube TV in addition to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc, all you need is a power outlet to place a TV, audio system, or any other consumer electronics.

Most people, even, or possibly especially, high end customers are not going to have holes drilled in their walls to pull the miles of cable required for a traditional HA system with wired audio, wired networking, much less central A/V distribution when they can get wireless stuff at Best Buy that does mostly the same thing, or at least the things that most people want them to. There is also less of a need for a centralized HA system. Like others have mentioned, we no longer have CD changers and scarce DVD players. Gone are the days of $500-$1000 satellite DVRs that didn't have any whole-home functionality. The use cases for centralized A/V distribution are rapidly disappearing. Even if you have a bunch of in-ceiling speakers that you want to synchronize with TV audio, you can do that over a network with Sonos or Denon's HEOS without spending a whole lot, involving a CI, or having a centralized distribution closet with giant racks full of equipment. Heck, I'll be able to do that with two Denon AVRs for an additional cost of $0, since I was buying the Denon AVRs anyway, and they came with HEOS built in. Add in a second zone or two here or there, and all of the sudden I can set up much of the advantage of a $10k or $20k central audio distribution system for a few hundred dollars of additional investment.

Next, the custom HA and A/V systems are outdated almost as soon as you get them. The pace of change in technology has been rapidly increasing. We went from SD to HD over component to HDMI to HDMI 2.0 with 4k and now we're talking about HDMI 2.1 with 8k. With a custom system, you've got to have the CI come back and replace stuff on every iteration. Further, compatibility is becoming more and more of an issue. Centralized video switching systems made some sense when everything was analog component with separate sound. Now that we're dealing with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, half the time it doesn't even work with a device, and AVR, and a TV, much less a centralized matrix system that is yet another point of failure in the system. Looping back to the use case, when people were buying $1000 satellite DVRs with no whole home functionality, yeah, centralized distribution made a lot of sense. Now that people are streaming on $100 Rokus, just buy a Roku or Chromecast for every TV. On the audio side, get Sonos or HEOS and call it a day.

Custom HA and A/V systems are also fighting an uphill battle at this point. Yes, a lot of devices work with C4 and Crestron, but as you get new devices, you have to have a CI add them to the system, which takes time, while Amazon or Google will have it working in 5 minutes with almost no effort, with the user driving the upgrades and changes to the system. 15 years ago when a centralized system would stay fairly static for several years, the CI model made a lot more sense than today when a larger household could have many devices added to the system every year, and a lot of devices are iterating at a breakneck pace. Why pay more to be stuck with outdated technology?

Looking at the HA side of things, we also have to look at the use cases here, and what people actually want. Alarm systems and security items (outdoor lights, cameras, etc) are popular, and have gained some traction in the HA market, and they are actually fulfilling a genuine desire for home security and monitoring. These technologies have the opportunity to either completely disrupt, or to grow the business of traditional security companies, i.e. ADT. What I'm not convinced will gain traction is a lot of the indoor lighting and appliance control. People have enough tech issues, and when they mostly don't want their devices to be internet connected. People expect lights to come on when they flip the light switch, and they don't need an app to do it. They don't want their refrigerator on the internet, they want it to make their food cold using the minimum amount of electricity and making the minimum amount of noise possible. I could see washing machines and dryers with Wi-Fi becoming a thing, as a lot of people, especially in older houses, have laundry in some corner of the basement, so a notification when the wash is done is legitimately useful. Thermostats are also legitimately useful, especially in warmer climates so that you can turn the AC on before you home so that it's not 95 degrees when you walk in the door on a hot, sticky summer day. Most other applications seem like a solution looking for a problem, although they do have the side benefit of greatly helping people with limited mobility. Applications like talking to Alexa to turn a lamp on, which is utterly idiotic for an able-bodied individual, could be hugely beneficial and provide independence and control for someone who has limited mobility.

Further, there is a big security headwind on all of this. If you look at the various security issues that have come up, they are going to scare people away from connected tech, and cause them to retreat to not using some things, especially when you get into cameras and other security devices. The recent Ring video sharing debacle is an example of this type of problem. If people don't trust the technology, they just won't use it.

The future is wireless. Right now, it is entirely practical to have a single RF cable coming into the house going to a modem/router, and have everything else wireless from there to the devices consuming the content, with analog speaker wire, HDMI, etc locally at each TV/HT setup. In the future, with 5G, even that single RF cable will disappear, and things will go entirely wireless with a 5G gateway feeding a Wi-Fi 6 mesh network.

For the Chromecast Audio in particular, they are amazing devices, and unfortunately, Google discontinued them recently. I have an order for two more in from CDW, and one of mine can be reclaimed, as my ChromeCast Ultra can serve my AVR via HDMI, and I can let the AVR function as the DAC. Over the years, I've been trying to simplify my setup and eliminate devices, not add more. Denon doesn't support Google Cast, which it should, but it does support Spotify Connect as well as Bluetooth, so I don't need a separate Bluetooth receiver, and I will get rid of the Chromecast Audio next time I set it up (reclaim it for another location), now that the ChromeCast Ultra supports the audio groups. However, I have no clue why people are suggesting to hardwire a CCA. There is no good reason to hardwire them. I've had them crammed in all sorts of weird places, and they work fine on Wi-Fi. They just don't need that much bandwidth. I hardwired my ChromeCast Ultra just because it had an Ethernet port. My rule is that if it has Ethernet, I'll hardwire it, if it doesn't, I won't, but next time around I might consider going wireless with more streaming devices, or at least my gaming consoles as the mess of Ethernet cables is getting ridiculous. OTOH, I do like having things hardwired if they have Ethernet available, or have lousy Wi-Fi (like the Wii U which only supports 2.4ghz).

I will say that Google Cast is MUCH more useful on Android than on iOS. Some apps support it on iOS, but the big hole in the whole system is Audible, since they refuse to work with Google Cast (stupid Amazon fighting with Google). On Android, I just mirror the device to either a CC, CCA, or Cast-enabled speaker, and I get Audible on that speaker. The downside is that it uses a LOT more battery power than the normal cast protocol, as it is re-encoding everything and sending it back over the network, and you lose the "OK Google" control over the Audiobook like you'd have with a podcast. Still, it's a fair trade-off for me to avoid having to use Bluetooth or cables when I'm listening to an audiobook around the house.



And that's 100% true. Even young people are getting Echos like crazy, and most don't have anything connected to them. They just talk to Alexa and make it do goofy stuff, set timers, or ask Alexa what the weather is going to be like the day after tomorrow and that's the extent of it. Most people don't have want or need to control lights or security cameras or anything else, and the ones that do probably have a couple of devices that they use with Alexa, and they're happy with that level of HA. The idea of voice control sounds all cool and futuristic until you actually use it, and it kind of sucks compared to just button mashing. This is partly generational too, baby boomers probably love talking to their remote or phone or whatever since they're often terrible at typing or button mashing, whereas a teenager can do the same thing in half the time with a touchscreen or buttons. The one application that makes a lot of sense is in the kitchen, since your hands are greasy and covered with food.



If your Wi-Fi can't handle 13 Chromecasts, then that's a Wi-Fi problem. I don't think you'll have any issue with it.



And who is living in the middle of nowhere where they can't get decent internet connectivity and simultaneously sinking a ton of money into HA? Those are two mutually exclusive markets.
Everyone has their own facts - I can speak to my experience:
I am just completing a 7 month renovation on a house built in the 70s. when I moved in ~5 years I ran a lot of ethernet to various rooms. During this round of construction I wanted to add about 30 more lines for cameras, access points, a new office we built, a few new TV areas, etc. I could not find a single outfit who had the free time to do the work. 1-2 places would only touch my project if I had 50+ wires to run, others were too busy and blew off appointments. After a lot of hassle I got my electrician to pull the wires and it was on me to test, terminate and plug in all devices. So I dont know, at least in my neck of the woods, low voltage/AV guys are in demand. Furthermore, being my family and friends know of my hobby and career (not in residential but I work for an IT consulting firm) a wealthy family friend who recently purchased a new build (yes 100% complete new build) property for well into the 8 digit range asked me to review a quote because they were shocked there was nothing hard wired - no ethernet, no access points, no alarms, etc. So I reviewed a quote to get their place wired properly - all post construction/purchase. And these are older adults too, not young millennial types but they questioned why nothing had any wiring - and they are not super tech literate either but their common sense said wireless isnt the best/secure/stable route - even for simple things like alarm contacts. So to say people are moving away from hardwire to me is a fallacy, at least not what I am seeing in my neck of the woods. My brother in law is a GC who did my project and he admitted he cannot find a reliable LV/AV outfit because they are in such high demand in our area. So go figure. I guess our experiences differ.

I agree with cutting the cord, but I only purchase streaming sticks with hardwire ability because I've seen the stutter/delays with trying to wirelessly stream HD content let alone 4k content. I have a fairly robust network, I am a former Network Admin, and I am working a Tik router, Cisco switches and Unifi APs, so this is a better than average home network by design from the ground up.

And you mention 8k? Serious 8k? Where is highly available 4k content to the masses; then we can talk 4k!? Most cable operators and even an overwhelming majority of streaming content is 1080p or less - yes less - most cable companies are doing 720p or 1080i. 8k is out there because every tech company has to be the first - I am waiting for 4k to actually mean something on a daily basis to TV viewers.

How does Sonos handle 7.2 surround sound with distributed audio through the entire house? At a minimum you need an AVR for processing, not just Sonos boxes. Then if you want it in sync, well an AVR will not be in sync with a room next to it without an AVR or even if it had an AVR it likely will not be in sync. put two tvs on in your house in close proximity and you'll hear the delay.

Centralized switches - people have moved to a new tech called Video over IP. Its modular, you buy hardware as you grow and as tech changes. You can keep the lower res hardware on your older TVs and only replace the hardware for the newer TVs or sources. its way cheaper to maintain and upgrade as you move forward. no more fixed AxB matrix - yes those are going away. But technology is keeping up to make updates/upgrade path much clearer and easier. If all you do is Roku/Chromecast and you want to rely on your phone for casting or use several apps for content, your examples are fine. but when you need to change 10 passwords on 10 roku's for 10 tvs, or make other changes, or update apps or whatever, yes it becomes a headache for the person in the house that has to manage it all. some people want to sit and watch TV at night, not manage their home network.

I paid more for C4 than Amazon - but how is it outdated? I can control anything Amazon can control and about 10,000 more items to boot. And as mentioned by me and upstream by others, Amazon works within C4, so I have the best of both worlds.

You mention security - well that is where CI can shine, because its local, not on the cloud. grant it I've extended my HA to include cloud services but you can have a complete localized CI experience without the cloud, and all of your data is yours on your own controller in your own house behind your own security.

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Everyone has their own facts - I can speak to my experience:
Facts are facts. However, they aren't necessarily entirely clear in a situation like this, since we don't have the hard data to determine what people are actually doing.

Quote:
I am just completing a 7 month renovation on a house built in the 70s. when I moved in ~5 years I ran a lot of ethernet to various rooms. During this round of construction I wanted to add about 30 more lines for cameras, access points, a new office we built, a few new TV areas, etc. I could not find a single outfit who had the free time to do the work. 1-2 places would only touch my project if I had 50+ wires to run, others were too busy and blew off appointments. After a lot of hassle I got my electrician to pull the wires and it was on me to test, terminate and plug in all devices. So I dont know, at least in my neck of the woods, low voltage/AV guys are in demand.
Ok. So do you know that they are all out there installing Crestron and C4? Or are there just fewer people doing that work? Or are they integrating more consumer-level gear? Or doing built-in speakers that will be connected to a single AVR or HEOS/Sonos type of system? Or are they doing commercial setups in bars and pubs that have entire racks of HD over IP to drive 70+ TVs off of a rack of D* boxes? Are they designing HT rooms? Are they installing central vacuums? Or security camera DVRs? I'm not convinced that they're out doing C4 and Crestron systems.

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Furthermore, being my family and friends know of my hobby and career (not in residential but I work for an IT consulting firm) a wealthy family friend who recently purchased a new build (yes 100% complete new build) property for well into the 8 digit range asked me to review a quote because they were shocked there was nothing hard wired - no ethernet, no access points, no alarms, etc. So I reviewed a quote to get their place wired properly - all post construction/purchase. And these are older adults too, not young millennial types but they questioned why nothing had any wiring - and they are not super tech literate either but their common sense said wireless isnt the best/secure/stable route - even for simple things like alarm contacts. So to say people are moving away from hardwire to me is a fallacy, at least not what I am seeing in my neck of the woods. My brother in law is a GC who did my project and he admitted he cannot find a reliable LV/AV outfit because they are in such high demand in our area. So go figure. I guess our experiences differ.
That's appalling that there was no Ethernet wiring. I'm not sure why a house would come with APs, that's up to the owner to put in routers or APs, or more likely, a mesh type of system, but they should have done the standard 2 CAT-6 and 2 RG-6 to each room, 5.1 or higher surround sound wiring with TVs, etc. I'm a bit biased, since virtually all new construction in the Northeast is MDUs, with only a tiny number of custom high-end SFUs being built, and certainly not on spec any more. Most of these MDUs are small apartments and aren't wired with anything fancy. You get a couple of cable jacks and CAT-5 for the phone jacks. If Frontier gets around to it, they'll get fiber. Much of our housing stock was built before 1978, so it does't have original cable wiring, and it's all surface run or drilled through after the fact. Most of the wiring has been put in place by the various cable and phone companies over the years. The newer, larger houses were mostly built in the 1980's through 2000's, and were wired with cable TV everywhere, some CAT-3 phone jacks, and that's about it. There are a few newer houses here and there with structured wiring.

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I agree with cutting the cord, but I only purchase streaming sticks with hardwire ability because I've seen the stutter/delays with trying to wirelessly stream HD content let alone 4k content. I have a fairly robust network, I am a former Network Admin, and I am working a Tik router, Cisco switches and Unifi APs, so this is a better than average home network by design from the ground up.
I hardwire my main TV stuff, but the reality is that wireless is good enough at this point, even for 4k streaming. My wireless network can move about 300mbps, my internet connection is 30mbps, and UHD video requires 25mbps. Wireless is not an issue.

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And you mention 8k? Serious 8k? Where is highly available 4k content to the masses; then we can talk 4k!? Most cable operators and even an overwhelming majority of streaming content is 1080p or less - yes less - most cable companies are doing 720p or 1080i. 8k is out there because every tech company has to be the first - I am waiting for 4k to actually mean something on a daily basis to TV viewers.
I agree with you on 4k. It's amazing for the shows that are 4k, but they are few and far between. However, the high end market, that market you're claiming wants centralized A/V distribution and high-end Crestron or C4 systems is the same market that will drop the dough on an 8k TV. 8k HDMI may never actually be an issue if the smart TVs have it built in, and stream over Ethernet, but if there is 8k over HDMI, then that's yet problem for a 1080p or 4k HDMI distribution system.

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How does Sonos handle 7.2 surround sound with distributed audio through the entire house? At a minimum you need an AVR for processing, not just Sonos boxes. Then if you want it in sync, well an AVR will not be in sync with a room next to it without an AVR or even if it had an AVR it likely will not be in sync. put two tvs on in your house in close proximity and you'll hear the delay.
I just got my Denon AVR last week, but it has HEOS, which is supposed to be able to sync up audio throughout the house for a big game party or something like that. Sonos can ingest audio and sync it throughout the house, although that's not what it's really made to do. In terms of syncing up two TVs, that's a challenge. Yes, a centralized A/V system can do that, but is that worth $50k+ for such a system with huge technical trade-offs in the scalability and upgradability of the system? Maybe to a few, but not to most, even though who can afford it. A better solution would be to use one master audio source for a floor that runs with the main TV/screen, mute the other screens, and use Sonos or HEOS to distribute the audio from the main source so that the audio is in sync with itself, and the secondary TVs would be slightly out of sync between the audio and video.

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Centralized switches - people have moved to a new tech called Video over IP. Its modular, you buy hardware as you grow and as tech changes. You can keep the lower res hardware on your older TVs and only replace the hardware for the newer TVs or sources. its way cheaper to maintain and upgrade as you move forward. no more fixed AxB matrix - yes those are going away. But technology is keeping up to make updates/upgrade path much clearer and easier. If all you do is Roku/Chromecast and you want to rely on your phone for casting or use several apps for content, your examples are fine. but when you need to change 10 passwords on 10 roku's for 10 tvs, or make other changes, or update apps or whatever, yes it becomes a headache for the person in the house that has to manage it all. some people want to sit and watch TV at night, not manage their home network.
I am aware of video over IP. It's an interesting technology, but it does use some compression on the signal to make it run over gigabit Ethernet. It's also extremely expensive. A $20k matrix might have made some sense when there was several thouand dollars of AV equipment shared between a bunch of TVs, now that streaming boxes are <$100, and everything can be done wirelessly, the use case for a fully centralized system is a real stretch. No matter what you do, you have to re-auth apps, as Roku or the providers forget them frequently anyway. Apple has a better system for that with Apple TV where there is a master sign-on for TV anywhere apps at least, and they are still way cheaper than a centralized A/V distribution system.

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I paid more for C4 than Amazon - but how is it outdated? I can control anything Amazon can control and about 10,000 more items to boot. And as mentioned by me and upstream by others, Amazon works within C4, so I have the best of both worlds.
That's not what I said. I said that when you have a centralized A/V distribution system where a CI has to come and swap stuff out, you end up with outdated equipment sticking around, since you can't just to go to Best Buy and come home and plug in the new Roku or game console or whatever, it has to be added to the HA system.

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You mention security - well that is where CI can shine, because its local, not on the cloud. grant it I've extended my HA to include cloud services but you can have a complete localized CI experience without the cloud, and all of your data is yours on your own controller in your own house behind your own security.
Yet you say that you can integrate any consumer product into the custom HA system, so you're only as secure as your weakest point, and all those consumer devices, even when integrated into C4, are constantly talking back to the cloud, and are going to stop working when your internet goes kaput. Hopefully you've got physical switches for stuff that's needed like lights and thermostats so that you've got a functional house when some moron plows down a telephone pole and Comcast goes with it, especially with high end installations that likely have UPSes, backup generators, propane tanks, and ATSes to handle the power side of things.
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post #67 of 97 Old 01-16-2019, 12:34 PM
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Ok. So do you know that they are all out there installing Crestron and C4? Or are there just fewer people doing that work?
Outfits I spoke to were C4, my GC knew a Crestron guy he tried to get just to pull my wire and my electrician had a "data guy" he couldn't produce in time. My alarm guy was too busy with other projects. If they are installing 100k crestron systems or 1000 TV's with Sonos set ups, if you are hiring someone regardless of hardware, it moves from DIY to CI. yes you can tweak the sonos on your own later, but if you need someone to help set it up, you likely need help in the future. And those CI guys installing the big box/DIY hardware are trying to set up RMR streams to support those items.


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That's appalling that there was no Ethernet wiring. I'm not sure why a house would come with APs, that's up to the owner to put in routers or APs, or more likely, a mesh type of system, but they should have done the standard 2 CAT-6 and 2 RG-6 to each room, 5.1 or higher surround sound wiring with TVs, etc. I'm a bit biased, since virtually all new construction in the Northeast is MDUs, with only a tiny number of custom high-end SFUs being built, and certainly not on spec any more. Most of these MDUs are small apartments and aren't wired with anything fancy. You get a couple of cable jacks and CAT-5 for the phone jacks. If Frontier gets around to it, they'll get fiber. Much of our housing stock was built before 1978, so it does't have original cable wiring, and it's all surface run or drilled through after the fact. Most of the wiring has been put in place by the various cable and phone companies over the years. The newer, larger houses were mostly built in the 1980's through 2000's, and were wired with cable TV everywhere, some CAT-3 phone jacks, and that's about it. There are a few newer houses here and there with structured wiring.
I live in the Northeast, Northern NJ to be specific. My two examples are both in the NY/NJ tri state area. I don't know about MDU, I do not see them at all popping up in my area. But I see plenty of new construction of single family homes. Or total demo of older homes and building big houses. With the market as it is I see that coming to an end soon, but its certainly not MDU in our area. They cannot get the permits to build MDU's in our area.


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I hardwire my main TV stuff, but the reality is that wireless is good enough at this point, even for 4k streaming. My wireless network can move about 300mbps, my internet connection is 30mbps, and UHD video requires 25mbps. Wireless is not an issue.
Again cannot argue I am just speaking from my experience. Hardwire is a better solution. I have Fios with 150 plan and still prefer hardware. If I could have saved money by going wireless I would have but the experience was not there for me.


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I agree with you on 4k. It's amazing for the shows that are 4k, but they are few and far between. However, the high end market, that market you're claiming wants centralized A/V distribution and high-end Crestron or C4 systems is the same market that will drop the dough on an 8k TV. 8k HDMI may never actually be an issue if the smart TVs have it built in, and stream over Ethernet, but if there is 8k over HDMI, then that's yet problem for a 1080p or 4k HDMI distribution system.
They can drop the $$ for an 8k TV but as the CI its up to you to explain there is ZERO content so enjoy the TV for bragging rights but your cabling will remain in tact as well as your hardware until there is a reason to upgrade.


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I just got my Denon AVR last week, but it has HEOS, which is supposed to be able to sync up audio throughout the house for a big game party or something like that. Sonos can ingest audio and sync it throughout the house, although that's not what it's really made to do. In terms of syncing up two TVs, that's a challenge. Yes, a centralized A/V system can do that, but is that worth $50k+ for such a system with huge technical trade-offs in the scalability and upgradability of the system? Maybe to a few, but not to most, even though who can afford it. A better solution would be to use one master audio source for a floor that runs with the main TV/screen, mute the other screens, and use Sonos or HEOS to distribute the audio from the main source so that the audio is in sync with itself, and the secondary TVs would be slightly out of sync between the audio and video.
As you said, Heos and Sonos can sync music, not TV sources. My centralized AV system did not cost 50k. Go look at Netplay, its DIY friend and for a fraction of your 50k quote you can centralize Audio and Video and get proper distribution and sync.



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I am aware of video over IP. It's an interesting technology, but it does use some compression on the signal to make it run over gigabit Ethernet. It's also extremely expensive. A $20k matrix might have made some sense when there was several thouand dollars of AV equipment shared between a bunch of TVs, now that streaming boxes are <$100, and everything can be done wirelessly, the use case for a fully centralized system is a real stretch. No matter what you do, you have to re-auth apps, as Roku or the providers forget them frequently anyway. Apple has a better system for that with Apple TV where there is a master sign-on for TV anywhere apps at least, and they are still way cheaper than a centralized A/V distribution system.
Again centralized matrix are not 20k. I have no idea where you get these #s . https://www.video-storm.com/resident...late=Calculate - I calculated a 10 TV set up sharing 5 sources and I am getting $3019. That is a far cry from 20-50k as you quoted. Toss in their CMX (audio matrix switch) are you basically at 5k give or take. And you can buy the Netplay stuff direct, buy the platform/hardware, etc. Can tie into a larger platform or use on its own.


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That's not what I said. I said that when you have a centralized A/V distribution system where a CI has to come and swap stuff out, you end up with outdated equipment sticking around, since you can't just to go to Best Buy and come home and plug in the new Roku or game console or whatever, it has to be added to the HA system.
that is exactly what Netplay is - swapping/BYOHardware.


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Yet you say that you can integrate any consumer product into the custom HA system, so you're only as secure as your weakest point, and all those consumer devices, even when integrated into C4, are constantly talking back to the cloud, and are going to stop working when your internet goes kaput. Hopefully you've got physical switches for stuff that's needed like lights and thermostats so that you've got a functional house when some moron plows down a telephone pole and Comcast goes with it, especially with high end installations that likely have UPSes, backup generators, propane tanks, and ATSes to handle the power side of things.
My lights, HVAC, and cameras are all local. Zero cloud dependency. My alarm has a 3g radio back up. only stuff "on the cloud" are fun things around geofencing, voice control, audio streaming services (though I have 1TB of music locally stored on a NAS for streaming), having my phone ring when the doorbell rings, etc. But if my internet is down, if someone rings my doorbell I can still see the image on my c4 touchscreen, I could still see it on my phone if I am on my home wifi, etc. So yes, for critical living re: my home automation it was built with zero dependance on the cloud.
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post #68 of 97 Old 01-16-2019, 12:42 PM
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So.. I just want to say thank you to whoever recommended Chromecast Audio for WHA. Thank you! I was going to go the Sonos Connect option and spend $700+ just to get 2 sets of speakers running in 2 separate rooms, 14 speakers total.

I ended up spending about $30 for 2 Chromecast Audio devices and within 5 minutes I had seamless and simultaneous WHA. Shame they are disconnecting these things.

Now I just need to get the amps dialed in so it's on the specific input on each when I start my google assistant. Looking for a non-harmony solution that isn't physically hitting the buttons on the remotes or selecting the individual inputs on each amps associated app (one is yamaha, the other amp is denon)

Thank you again!
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post #69 of 97 Old 01-16-2019, 02:25 PM
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Outfits I spoke to were C4, my GC knew a Crestron guy he tried to get just to pull my wire and my electrician had a "data guy" he couldn't produce in time. My alarm guy was too busy with other projects. If they are installing 100k crestron systems or 1000 TV's with Sonos set ups, if you are hiring someone regardless of hardware, it moves from DIY to CI. yes you can tweak the sonos on your own later, but if you need someone to help set it up, you likely need help in the future. And those CI guys installing the big box/DIY hardware are trying to set up RMR streams to support those items.
Having a CI come and install consumer stuff is different than having a CI do C4 or Crestron. With the consumer stuff, anybody can modify it later, including the consumer.


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I live in the Northeast, Northern NJ to be specific. My two examples are both in the NY/NJ tri state area. I don't know about MDU, I do not see them at all popping up in my area. But I see plenty of new construction of single family homes. Or total demo of older homes and building big houses. With the market as it is I see that coming to an end soon, but its certainly not MDU in our area. They cannot get the permits to build MDU's in our area.
There are a crapload of MDUs being built all over the northeast. Maybe not in your exact town, but I can guarantee within a few towns one way or the other, there are anything from small townhouse developments to giant apartment complexes. High end custom renos/tear downs are a whole different animal than greenfield new SFU construction.

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Again cannot argue I am just speaking from my experience. Hardwire is a better solution. I have Fios with 150 plan and still prefer hardware. If I could have saved money by going wireless I would have but the experience was not there for me.
No argument there. Hardwired is superior. Wireless is good enough for 99% of people.

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They can drop the $$ for an 8k TV but as the CI its up to you to explain there is ZERO content so enjoy the TV for bragging rights but your cabling will remain in tact as well as your hardware until there is a reason to upgrade.
Until there is an 8k Roku or FireTV and the whole $50k HDMI distribution system becomes obsolete by a $100 box from Amazon.

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As you said, Heos and Sonos can sync music, not TV sources. My centralized AV system did not cost 50k. Go look at Netplay, its DIY friend and for a fraction of your 50k quote you can centralize Audio and Video and get proper distribution and sync.
The whole system isn't going to be cheap when you're starting off with an HDMI Matrix at $10k+, or HDMI over IP, which adds up really, really fast.

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Again centralized matrix are not 20k. I have no idea where you get these #s . https://www.video-storm.com/resident...late=Calculate - I calculated a 10 TV set up sharing 5 sources and I am getting $3019. That is a far cry from 20-50k as you quoted. Toss in their CMX (audio matrix switch) are you basically at 5k give or take. And you can buy the Netplay stuff direct, buy the platform/hardware, etc. Can tie into a larger platform or use on its own.
I can only find one site with a price, but for a 10x10 4k C4 matrix I'm getting $10k, and that doesn't include the HDBT receivers at the other end, which adds another $3700.

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that is exactly what Netplay is - swapping/BYOHardware.
Do they do 4k? All I can find on their site is 1080p60. Also, we're discussion two different things here, a C4 system and centralized A/V, which are often done together, but are two different things, the centralized A/V being a part of the C4 system if implemented that way.

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My lights, HVAC, and cameras are all local. Zero cloud dependency. My alarm has a 3g radio back up. only stuff "on the cloud" are fun things around geofencing, voice control, audio streaming services (though I have 1TB of music locally stored on a NAS for streaming), having my phone ring when the doorbell rings, etc. But if my internet is down, if someone rings my doorbell I can still see the image on my c4 touchscreen, I could still see it on my phone if I am on my home wifi, etc. So yes, for critical living re: my home automation it was built with zero dependance on the cloud.
If you're using Alexa to control anything, you're in the cloud. Same for Google Assistant. So it's hard to avoid entirely. The cloud dependency isn't that bad of a thing, as long as basic stuff like lighting and thermostats can still work individually like normal lights and thermostats.
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Having a CI come and install consumer stuff is different than having a CI do C4 or Crestron. With the consumer stuff, anybody can modify it later, including the consumer.




There are a crapload of MDUs being built all over the northeast. Maybe not in your exact town, but I can guarantee within a few towns one way or the other, there are anything from small townhouse developments to giant apartment complexes. High end custom renos/tear downs are a whole different animal than greenfield new SFU construction.



No argument there. Hardwired is superior. Wireless is good enough for 99% of people.



Until there is an 8k Roku or FireTV and the whole $50k HDMI distribution system becomes obsolete by a $100 box from Amazon.



The whole system isn't going to be cheap when you're starting off with an HDMI Matrix at $10k+, or HDMI over IP, which adds up really, really fast.



I can only find one site with a price, but for a 10x10 4k C4 matrix I'm getting $10k, and that doesn't include the HDBT receivers at the other end, which adds another $3700.



Do they do 4k? All I can find on their site is 1080p60. Also, we're discussion two different things here, a C4 system and centralized A/V, which are often done together, but are two different things, the centralized A/V being a part of the C4 system if implemented that way.



If you're using Alexa to control anything, you're in the cloud. Same for Google Assistant. So it's hard to avoid entirely. The cloud dependency isn't that bad of a thing, as long as basic stuff like lighting and thermostats can still work individually like normal lights and thermostats.

With C4 I have 100% ability to program/customize whatever is installed by my CI dealer. There is software called Composer HE. If my dealer installs it, I can program it 100% just as he/she could do on their software. I cannot add hardware, need a dealer. But in the example of CI installing sonos and you supporting it on your own, same in C4.

I am not in the real estate business nor do I pretend to know or care :-). You are bringing up a statement about MDU’s all over the northeast. I’ve lived in within 15 miles of NYC in the NY and NJ suburbs for 30+ years and MDU’s are not a major growing segment here, that’s all. It’s just a slice of the Northeast I am aware.

Still waiting to see how you keep getting to $50,000 AV distribution system. Really do not understand your thought about without 8k content a matrix isn’t needed. They are not mutually tied together. You could use the same logic for 4K or 1080p. If you have money for 8k you can get 10 8k sources for 8 TVs or you can get 1-2 and share. Quality of content does not matter. Also matrix can share various qualities and give the best available quality to any set in the house.

I gave you a site with a Video over IP product that is sold direct to consumers where you can get a set up for under $4,000. I have Control4, but I do not have all C4 products. I have Video storm for both Video and Audio distribution. And the beauty is C4 ties it together with other things in my house like IP Cameras, security, lighting, etc. You do not have to use a C4 matrix. It’s an option but more people are moving towards Video over IP vs the fixed matrix C4 offers.

Yes netplay does 4K - they have their own 4K encoder, but you can use a Nvidia Shield, Amazon FireTV or Android TVs as the encoder and those are all 4K as well. For a decoder they have a link to 1-2 3rd party products that are confirmed to work. I believe they are working on their own hardware too but the idea of the platform is to buy whatever hardware fits your budget/use case and get it to work within Video Storm. Basically any h264 or h265 encoder should work but they tested/approved certain models plus have their own. https://www.video-storm.com/proddeta...d=netplayready

So we are not talking about different things. You can do centralized audio/video DIY using a pro grade platform like Video Storm. You do not need to spend 10,000 on a video matrix. I gave you a price calculator for a mock 10 TV/5 source set up for under $4,000. That’s a fraction of your 20-50k. Now if you want someone to ring your 2N Helios door station and have a text pop up on the TV with a live video feed you may need a controller - C4 or another brand. If my alarm goes off after 10pm but before 8am i have programming to turn the master bedroom TV on and put up a grid of 3x3 with my security cameras so I can see what’s going on. That’s C4 allowing communication between Video Storm, my IP Cameras and my TV. So if you want some really deep automation you may need a hub. But if you just want to distribute video/audio and use a phone app for control, you can do it for well under your price quote.

I have C4 covering a 4,000 sq ft house. 5 TVs, hvac, all light switches, motion sensors, door locks, audio/video, security cameras, NVR, door station, alarm system, sprinklers, motorized blinds, auto water shut off, garage doors, blah blah blah. I am no where near $50k all in. I am not a dealer. I am just smart with purchasing, I’ve offered to Beta some products, picked up used gear and I have a dealer who works with me.

I am aware how using Alexa is using the cloud. As stated all core functions are 100% local on a controller. I can use Alexa to turn on/off devices but since I’ve set up my system to be automated I rarely have to turn anything on and off. That’s the difference between control and automation. I can say Alexa turn on living room lights, but I have sensors that know when I am in the room, and when I leave, so there is no need. When I turn on a movie my lights dim automatically. But yes, I realize if I do ask Alexa to do something it goes to the cloud, I am just saying a properly designed system for fail safe purposes should not rely on the cloud, yet most DIY products (minus z wave hub type products) are 100% cloud dependent.
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post #71 of 97 Old 01-16-2019, 06:44 PM
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With C4 I have 100% ability to program/customize whatever is installed by my CI dealer. There is software called Composer HE. If my dealer installs it, I can program it 100% just as he/she could do on their software. I cannot add hardware, need a dealer. But in the example of CI installing sonos and you supporting it on your own, same in C4.
That's a big problem with C4 or Crestron compared to Sonos or HEOS or something where the owner can add to it later.

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I am not in the real estate business nor do I pretend to know or care :-). You are bringing up a statement about MDU’s all over the northeast. I’ve lived in within 15 miles of NYC in the NY and NJ suburbs for 30+ years and MDU’s are not a major growing segment here, that’s all. It’s just a slice of the Northeast I am aware.
If you look nationwide, MDUs are responsible for a large chunk of the new housing starts, and in the northeast, they are virtually all the new housing coming online. Obviously there are always pockets of SFUs, but they are few and far between.

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Still waiting to see how you keep getting to $50,000 AV distribution system. Really do not understand your thought about without 8k content a matrix isn’t needed. They are not mutually tied together. You could use the same logic for 4K or 1080p. If you have money for 8k you can get 10 8k sources for 8 TVs or you can get 1-2 and share. Quality of content does not matter. Also matrix can share various qualities and give the best available quality to any set in the house.
My point is still valid if the price is $35k. Or $60k. Or something else in the many tens of thousands of dollars, no need to nitpick. What I said is that as new technology comes along, it requires the system to be re-done at great expensive, versus just plugging something in to a TV.

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I gave you a site with a Video over IP product that is sold direct to consumers where you can get a set up for under $4,000. I have Control4, but I do not have all C4 products. I have Video storm for both Video and Audio distribution. And the beauty is C4 ties it together with other things in my house like IP Cameras, security, lighting, etc. You do not have to use a C4 matrix. It’s an option but more people are moving towards Video over IP vs the fixed matrix C4 offers.
Great. Those things aren't cheap either.

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Yes netplay does 4K - they have their own 4K encoder, but you can use a Nvidia Shield, Amazon FireTV or Android TVs as the encoder and those are all 4K as well. For a decoder they have a link to 1-2 3rd party products that are confirmed to work. I believe they are working on their own hardware too but the idea of the platform is to buy whatever hardware fits your budget/use case and get it to work within Video Storm. Basically any h264 or h265 encoder should work but they tested/approved certain models plus have their own. https://www.video-storm.com/proddeta...d=netplayready

So we are not talking about different things. You can do centralized audio/video DIY using a pro grade platform like Video Storm. You do not need to spend 10,000 on a video matrix. I gave you a price calculator for a mock 10 TV/5 source set up for under $4,000. That’s a fraction of your 20-50k. Now if you want someone to ring your 2N Helios door station and have a text pop up on the TV with a live video feed you may need a controller - C4 or another brand. If my alarm goes off after 10pm but before 8am i have programming to turn the master bedroom TV on and put up a grid of 3x3 with my security cameras so I can see what’s going on. That’s C4 allowing communication between Video Storm, my IP Cameras and my TV. So if you want some really deep automation you may need a hub. But if you just want to distribute video/audio and use a phone app for control, you can do it for well under your price quote.
You contradicted yourself there. There are two different topics here- whole home A/V distribution, and an HA system/hub. Of course they are can be, and often are, implemented together. You can also just put an app on your phone, and if the alarm goes off, grab your phone and open the app.

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I have C4 covering a 4,000 sq ft house. 5 TVs, hvac, all light switches, motion sensors, door locks, audio/video, security cameras, NVR, door station, alarm system, sprinklers, motorized blinds, auto water shut off, garage doors, blah blah blah. I am no where near $50k all in. I am not a dealer. I am just smart with purchasing, I’ve offered to Beta some products, picked up used gear and I have a dealer who works with me.
Cool. You did some bargain shopping, which is not what the target customer for these systems is going to do.

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I am aware how using Alexa is using the cloud. As stated all core functions are 100% local on a controller. I can use Alexa to turn on/off devices but since I’ve set up my system to be automated I rarely have to turn anything on and off. That’s the difference between control and automation. I can say Alexa turn on living room lights, but I have sensors that know when I am in the room, and when I leave, so there is no need. When I turn on a movie my lights dim automatically. But yes, I realize if I do ask Alexa to do something it goes to the cloud, I am just saying a properly designed system for fail safe purposes should not rely on the cloud, yet most DIY products (minus z wave hub type products) are 100% cloud dependent.
Anybody who is smart about what they are doing will have local control to fall back on. I.e. light switches that work as light switches and a thermostat that they can walk over to and use like a normal thermostat.

There are some compelling use cases in the smart home/HA arena, but a lot of these products are solutions in search of a problem, and a lot of them, like lighting control, are best used in narrow, targeted applications within a home, with most of the lighting using regular switches like they have for the past 100+ years. I don't think there is any widespread demand for most of this stuff, the smart home products that will succeed will do one thing well, and solve a particular problem, like an EcoBee that allows you to geofence your location and turn the AC on, all of which can be done with a phone app and Wi-Fi. Or a security system with it's own app. Lighting control is mostly frivolous and not something that people want. Further, the more complexity that you add into the system, the more problems it's going to have, and the harder it's going to be to upgrade and change over time. Entertainment is going wireless, cloud, and OTT. Within a few years, the majority of people will not have local DVRs in their homes, or any sort of RF signal coming in other than for their modem/router. Most people have already gotten rid of, or effectively don't use their landlines.
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post #72 of 97 Old 01-16-2019, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by javan robinson View Post
So.. I just want to say thank you to whoever recommended Chromecast Audio for WHA. Thank you! I was going to go the Sonos Connect option and spend $700+ just to get 2 sets of speakers running in 2 separate rooms, 14 speakers total.

I ended up spending about $30 for 2 Chromecast Audio devices and within 5 minutes I had seamless and simultaneous WHA. Shame they are disconnecting these things.

Now I just need to get the amps dialed in so it's on the specific input on each when I start my google assistant. Looking for a non-harmony solution that isn't physically hitting the buttons on the remotes or selecting the individual inputs on each amps associated app (one is yamaha, the other amp is denon)

Thank you again!

The Google store has them in stock again, so get them while you can. Still $15. Maybe if enough people buy them they'll continue production? They are really nice devices.

Good luck!

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post #73 of 97 Old 01-17-2019, 08:28 AM
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They can drop the $$ for an 8k TV but as the CI its up to you to explain there is ZERO content so enjoy the TV for bragging rights but your cabling will remain in tact as well as your hardware until there is a reason to upgrade.
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Until there is an 8k Roku or FireTV and the whole $50k HDMI distribution system becomes obsolete by a $100 box from Amazon.

........

I can only find one site with a price, but for a 10x10 4k C4 matrix I'm getting $10k, and that doesn't include the HDBT receivers at the other end, which adds another $3700.
As a Hollywood Director said this past fall at CEDIA, and I'm paraphrasing, Hollywood is barely doing 4k right now, so 8k is not going to come along anytime soon. The future proof solution for 8k today? Conduit. And yes, you can stream 4k from a number of net devices, and the quality works for most people. However if you want the absolute best in sound and video, right now, you are not going to get that through streaming methods.

Yes, a 10x10 matrix capable of 4k with Audio Downmixing and receivers, you'd be looking at a price around $13k. However, when you get beyond 8 displays, and 8 sources, then it may be a more cost effective route to go with an IP based system like a JAP than a Matrix, as you can grow those systems at need.
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As a Hollywood Director said this past fall at CEDIA, and I'm paraphrasing, Hollywood is barely doing 4k right now, so 8k is not going to come along anytime soon. The future proof solution for 8k today? Conduit. And yes, you can stream 4k from a number of net devices, and the quality works for most people. However if you want the absolute best in sound and video, right now, you are not going to get that through streaming methods.
Conduit doesn't help you replace your HDMI matrix or re-configure the whole system to handle a new HDMI standard, in addition to the normal upgrades that have to be done like AVRs and whatnot (although you could go direct to the TV and use ARC in a normal setup). There is going to be 8k content, because there already is 8k content available. That being said, it is going to be even more limited in availability than 4k. There is a lot of 4k content out there, but of course it is a tiny fraction of the 1080p content available.

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Yes, a 10x10 matrix capable of 4k with Audio Downmixing and receivers, you'd be looking at a price around $13k. However, when you get beyond 8 displays, and 8 sources, then it may be a more cost effective route to go with an IP based system like a JAP than a Matrix, as you can grow those systems at need.
Sure. The JAP system does solve a lot of the problems of traditional HDMI matrices, is effectively infinitely scalable, and it can take local sources and put them back into the matrix. There is some compression involved, but it's probably not noticeable, since it's an order of magnitude higher bitrate than even UHD BD. However, that doesn't solve the cost problem. That system is pricey, and it ends up costing several times more to bring a source like a Roku, TiVo, Chromecast, UHD BD player etc, into the matrix than the device cost in the first place. You can absolutely do some really cool stuff with a system like that, but it's an extremely high end niche in the residential sector, as you can no longer recover any significant percentage of the cost of the system by not duplicating your source hardware in larger homes and installations.
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Conduit doesn't help you replace your HDMI matrix or re-configure the whole system to handle a new HDMI standard, in addition to the normal upgrades that have to be done like AVRs and whatnot (although you could go direct to the TV and use ARC in a normal setup). There is going to be 8k content, because there already is 8k content available. That being said, it is going to be even more limited in availability than 4k. There is a lot of 4k content out there, but of course it is a tiny fraction of the 1080p content available.



Sure. The JAP system does solve a lot of the problems of traditional HDMI matrices, is effectively infinitely scalable, and it can take local sources and put them back into the matrix. There is some compression involved, but it's probably not noticeable, since it's an order of magnitude higher bitrate than even UHD BD. However, that doesn't solve the cost problem. That system is pricey, and it ends up costing several times more to bring a source like a Roku, TiVo, Chromecast, UHD BD player etc, into the matrix than the device cost in the first place. You can absolutely do some really cool stuff with a system like that, but it's an extremely high end niche in the residential sector, as you can no longer recover any significant percentage of the cost of the system by not duplicating your source hardware in larger homes and installations.
you would have to replace AVRs if everything is localized anyways. With an IP system you can replace 1 piece of hardware. My entire home is 1080p, I just got my first 4k TV and it cost me a whopping $140 for a NVidia Shield and now I'll have 4k on that TV and still keep my IP distribution system. Its easy given my cable company has zero 4k content, but I could have gotten a 4k encoder for another $200 or so if needed. its not as cost prohibitive as you keep saying. And you get extra features too - in Video Storm you have splash tiles, mobile streaming, IP camera connections, ability for audio delay (where this entire conversation started), etc. If those features arent important than you do not need the product. But there are still uses where the product is bets suited to achieve a desired result.
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post #76 of 97 Old 01-22-2019, 12:45 PM
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you would have to replace AVRs if everything is localized anyways. With an IP system you can replace 1 piece of hardware. My entire home is 1080p, I just got my first 4k TV and it cost me a whopping $140 for a NVidia Shield and now I'll have 4k on that TV and still keep my IP distribution system. Its easy given my cable company has zero 4k content, but I could have gotten a 4k encoder for another $200 or so if needed. its not as cost prohibitive as you keep saying. And you get extra features too - in Video Storm you have splash tiles, mobile streaming, IP camera connections, ability for audio delay (where this entire conversation started), etc. If those features arent important than you do not need the product. But there are still uses where the product is bets suited to achieve a desired result.
Will the current IP distributions systems be able to handle 8k? I'm guessing probably not, or they will need 10gbps switching to do so. Further, going from 1080p to 4k, you've got not only streaming devices, but also UHD BD and Kaleidescape as well if you're into that sort of thing. Even on a basic system with the standard sources, you've got at least one UHD BD player and a couple of streaming players.

Certainly, whole home video distribution has a cool factor to it, I just don't see it as practical except for the highest end installations where people want that level of functionality, and are willing and able to throw down some serious cash to keep the system up to date. It just doesn't make sense for even most high end customers when the trend is going away from stacks of expensive boxes and towards some cheap streaming boxes or sticks and wireless everything (or Ethernet if you want).
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post #77 of 97 Old 01-22-2019, 12:52 PM
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Will the current IP distributions systems be able to handle 8k?
will the current TV be able to handle 8k?
will the current set top box handle 8k?
will the current streaming box of your choice(s) handle 8k?
will the current AVR handle 8k?
will the hdmi cable handle 8k?

If you want 8k you'll have to replace all the above hardware. IP distribution or no IP distribution.

you are future proofing for something that is merely a concept, and no the current system would not handle it out of the box but just like all of your other hardware, you would need a refresh. If you go with an IP solution, you refresh only what you need, not the entire system. just like you'd refresh 1 tv with 8k, you'd just need 1 encoder/decoder (depending on set up of sources) for that 8k tv.

also keep planning for 8k. I am waiting for Fios to offer 1 single 4k product - oh wait, they wont. You keep talking about a majority of society - you realize a vast majority still get content from OTA or a cable/telco provider and that content is mostly 720p/1080i and not even true 1080p? People are wifi streaming 4k content now but not to the degree of consumption of older technology and you are worried about future proofing for 8k? 4k was announced/released around 2013 if I am not mistaken. 6 years later and Fios has 0 4k content. Optimum/Altice has a "special events" channel for 1 off 4k programming. And this is in the greater NY/NJ/CT area - how most people consume content is still not even at 4k. Who is planning for 8k? Just conduit, its cheap and you can upgrade wires until your heart is content.

Honestly, I do not mind a fun conversation but this thread has been hijacked beyond belief. We'll just say we agree to disagree and personally I am moving on.
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post #78 of 97 Old 01-22-2019, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
will the current TV be able to handle 8k?
will the current set top box handle 8k?
will the current streaming box of your choice(s) handle 8k?
will the current AVR handle 8k?
will the hdmi cable handle 8k?

If you want 8k you'll have to replace all the above hardware. IP distribution or no IP distribution.
You're missing the point. Yes, you will need a new TV, and yes, you will need a new streaming device if the apps in the TV can't do it natively. However, adding a distribution system to the mix is another piece of the puzzle that needs constant updates, and it is an extremely expensive one.

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you are future proofing for something that is merely a concept, and no the current system would not handle it out of the box but just like all of your other hardware, you would need a refresh. If you go with an IP solution, you refresh only what you need, not the entire system. just like you'd refresh 1 tv with 8k, you'd just need 1 encoder/decoder (depending on set up of sources) for that 8k tv.
8k may not work at all with distribution systems. Will HDBaseT be maxed out? Will HDMI over IP systems be able to handle it at all? These are all unresolved questions. Adding a distribution system into the mix adds an unnecessary layer of complexity, and makes extra upgrades necessary every time a new technology comes along. Even if it's not 8k, there are various combinations of chroma subsampling, frame rate, and resolution that will require improvements to HDMI. As it is, HDMI is flaky enough without a distribution system involved.

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also keep planning for 8k. I am waiting for Fios to offer 1 single 4k product - oh wait, they wont. You keep talking about a majority of society - you realize a vast majority still get content from OTA or a cable/telco provider and that content is mostly 720p/1080i and not even true 1080p? People are wifi streaming 4k content now but not to the degree of consumption of older technology and you are worried about future proofing for 8k? 4k was announced/released around 2013 if I am not mistaken. 6 years later and Fios has 0 4k content. Optimum/Altice has a "special events" channel for 1 off 4k programming. And this is in the greater NY/NJ/CT area - how most people consume content is still not even at 4k. Who is planning for 8k? Just conduit, its cheap and you can upgrade wires until your heart is content.
Your "average Joe" also doesn't have an HDMI distribution system. Those are much higher end customers than the average TV buyer or cable TV watcher. Lots of people are streaming 4k Netflix and Amazon, even if it's just by default since their TV supports it. Cable TV is dying, and they aren't investing in new technology like 4k and HDR.
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post #79 of 97 Old 01-23-2019, 06:10 AM
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You're missing the point. Yes, you will need a new TV, and yes, you will need a new streaming device if the apps in the TV can't do it natively. However, adding a distribution system to the mix is another piece of the puzzle that needs constant updates, and it is an extremely expensive one.
Pieces can be had via amazon for under $200. a shield is a 4k decoder for video storm and is $179. plus it can be double duty and act as your streaming stick too at the locations. and if it ties into video storm you can get IP cameras, splash tiles, audio/video sync, etc.


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8k may not work at all with distribution systems. Will HDBaseT be maxed out? Will HDMI over IP systems be able to handle it at all? These are all unresolved questions. Adding a distribution system into the mix adds an unnecessary layer of complexity, and makes extra upgrades necessary every time a new technology comes along. Even if it's not 8k, there are various combinations of chroma subsampling, frame rate, and resolution that will require improvements to HDMI. As it is, HDMI is flaky enough without a distribution system involved.
not worried, 8k isn't realistic and will not be mainstream for over a decade. if this keeps you awake at night I am sorry for you. Start planning for 16k, its coming, you know it.

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Your "average Joe" also doesn't have an HDMI distribution system. Those are much higher end customers than the average TV buyer or cable TV watcher. Lots of people are streaming 4k Netflix and Amazon, even if it's just by default since their TV supports it. Cable TV is dying, and they aren't investing in new technology like 4k and HDR.
Agree Average Joe does not have one but there are cost effective solutions which can bring it to the masses if their needs dictate the use of one and they do not want to shell out $10,000's. And Average Joe in suburbia with a good income has 4-5 streaming apps. Most of America is still on OTA or basic cable. I do not have stats but I cannot imagine a majority of 300+ million Americans are streaming content on Netflix vs a coax coming into their house for decades. and that customer is not looking for this set up, I understand. Just saying if someone needs this set up, and you saying it costs $50,000 is a fallacy. this forum is very DIY and that's fine. I am just pointing out a DIY option to do a control audio/video matrix for 10 sources for around 3-4k. That is very reasonable for those interested. You arent. You have some facts at MDU's you find interesting or getting your house ready for 32k, that's all fine and dandy. No need to reply to my posts if you do not find them useful.
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post #80 of 97 Old 01-23-2019, 07:13 AM
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You're missing the point. Yes, you will need a new TV, and yes, you will need a new streaming device if the apps in the TV can't do it natively. However, adding a distribution system to the mix is another piece of the puzzle that needs constant updates, and it is an extremely expensive one.

8k may not work at all with distribution systems. Will HDBaseT be maxed out? Will HDMI over IP systems be able to handle it at all? These are all unresolved questions. Adding a distribution system into the mix adds an unnecessary layer of complexity, and makes extra upgrades necessary every time a new technology comes along. Even if it's not 8k, there are various combinations of chroma subsampling, frame rate, and resolution that will require improvements to HDMI. As it is, HDMI is flaky enough without a distribution system involved.

Your "average Joe" also doesn't have an HDMI distribution system. Those are much higher end customers than the average TV buyer or cable TV watcher. Lots of people are streaming 4k Netflix and Amazon, even if it's just by default since their TV supports it. Cable TV is dying, and they aren't investing in new technology like 4k and HDR.
If, and this is a big if, in 5 years there are a plethora of 8k options out there, and if I have displays capable of delivering a good quality 8k picture, then I would consider spending the money on upgrading my distribution system. People should not be basing current purchasing decisions on 8k. Instead focus on the technology available to them today and within the next couple years, and how that factors into their expected need and use.

I wouldn't say cable is dying, If anything companies like Comcast are attempting to position themselves to remain relevant in these cord cutting days, but they are damn slow to upgrade. In our Market Comcast is still running a number of channels in SD, and the compression they apply on their HD channels is awful at times.
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Pieces can be had via amazon for under $200. a shield is a 4k decoder for video storm and is $179. plus it can be double duty and act as your streaming stick too at the locations. and if it ties into video storm you can get IP cameras, splash tiles, audio/video sync, etc.
I was looking at something that can be professionally integrated like the JAP system with C4.

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not worried, 8k isn't realistic and will not be mainstream for over a decade. if this keeps you awake at night I am sorry for you. Start planning for 16k, its coming, you know it.
We'll see. I think 1080p will be the mainstream format for a very, very long time, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some 8k content available.

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Agree Average Joe does not have one but there are cost effective solutions which can bring it to the masses if their needs dictate the use of one and they do not want to shell out $10,000's. And Average Joe in suburbia with a good income has 4-5 streaming apps. Most of America is still on OTA or basic cable. I do not have stats but I cannot imagine a majority of 300+ million Americans are streaming content on Netflix vs a coax coming into their house for decades. and that customer is not looking for this set up, I understand. Just saying if someone needs this set up, and you saying it costs $50,000 is a fallacy. this forum is very DIY and that's fine. I am just pointing out a DIY option to do a control audio/video matrix for 10 sources for around 3-4k. That is very reasonable for those interested. You arent. You have some facts at MDU's you find interesting or getting your house ready for 32k, that's all fine and dandy. No need to reply to my posts if you do not find them useful.
Average Joe has no clue what centralized HDMI distribution is, no clue what s/he would do with it, and if they did, no desire for it. The Average Joe maybe has a cable box or three, and has a streaming device that's wireless, and if they're lucky, a soundbar. Even most HT/AV nuts on this forum don't have centralized distribution, as they have no need for it. Right now the majority of Americans are cord stacking, but the landscape is changing fast, and I believe that 5-10M would-be cord cutters who basically don't use their cable are stuck in bundles to get internet or bulk deals in their HOA. I visited two friends in the last week with Comcast who said that they rarely or never use it, but it was cheaper than just getting internet. They said that would get rid of it if it cost them more than a few bucks a month more than just internet.

I don't think you can do a 10x10 centralized AV distribution system plus control for $4k. Monoprice has an 8x8 for $3500, so with control and accessories, you might be able to squeak in at $4k. Beyond that and the price is going to skywards quick. I can't get reliable numbers for JAP, but it's $300-$400 per source or sink, so for a 10x10, you're looking at $6-$8k for the JAP equipment plus the cost of a properly sized POE+ switch. That's all fine and dandy for the extreme DIY'er on here, BUT you are arguing that this is something your Average Joe wants (they don't, but let's see where this argument goes). Your Average Joe can plug their cable box and soundbar into their TV and if they're lucky get ARC working. Forget about a centralized HDMI distribution system. Let's assume that all the CAT cable is already in place, which simply isn't the case in most situations, and would add thousands more to such a system. However, even if it is already in place, it is going to be thousands upon thousands more to have a CI come and install the whole system plus the cost of the control system and configuring that into some sort of coherent system that actually works in a logical and intuitive way.

The bottom line is that all but the very highest end of installations have no need for centralized AV distribution.
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post #82 of 97 Old 01-23-2019, 08:28 PM
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If, and this is a big if, in 5 years there are a plethora of 8k options out there, and if I have displays capable of delivering a good quality 8k picture, then I would consider spending the money on upgrading my distribution system. People should not be basing current purchasing decisions on 8k. Instead focus on the technology available to them today and within the next couple years, and how that factors into their expected need and use.
A centralized distribution system just locks you in on technology. Since it offers little benefit in today's streaming and whole-home DVR world, why bother with it in the first place? It's not 2005 anymore where the HR10-250 couldn't do any sort of multi-room distribution and cost $1000.

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I wouldn't say cable is dying, If anything companies like Comcast are attempting to position themselves to remain relevant in these cord cutting days, but they are damn slow to upgrade. In our Market Comcast is still running a number of channels in SD, and the compression they apply on their HD channels is awful at times.
Video quality definitely isn't helping pay TV, but it's not what's killing it. Economics are. 6 years ago I thought cord cutting was a small right-sizing of the market of people who didn't watch much TV. How wrong I was! Cord cutting is the way everything is going. The cable bundle got too bloated and too expensive. It's a business model that is based on analog traps that never evolved after analog died in the late 2000's and much of that capacity went to digital cable. Now, there is tons of great content on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, etc, and it is new, innovative, and what people are talking about. I also failed to realize that cable is not just competing with other way of delivering the same content, it is competing with other TV sources and content. With the amount of great content available now, services have to offer value and convenience as well as just the content itself. However, that is not entirely the case anymore, as YouTube is competing for time spent viewing video content, even though it's not direclty comparable to TV shows. And even that is starting to become an outdated way of looking at things, as gaming is also competing for the overall pie of screen time. And to circle back around, for the people who want to watch the sports and news that is the mainstay of traditional TV, there is more competition than ever from vMVPDs like DirecTV NOW and YouTube TV.
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post #83 of 97 Old 01-24-2019, 06:22 AM
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I was looking at something that can be professionally integrated like the JAP system with C4.
I guess you just do not read my replies because I have not mentioned JAP once. I've referenced Video Storm which:
1) is DIY Friendly
2) you can buy your own hardare
3) has a FREE DRIVER for Control4 https://www.video-storm.com/Download...%20support.htm
4) has transparent pricing
5) and they offer a system design guide which I linked to previously and built a mock system for 10 TVs and 5 inputs for under $4000 - your mileage may vary: https://www.video-storm.com/residential.asp

So you can put my mock 3800 quote in there for VS which leaves overhead to purchase:
1) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Control4-HC...SIwT:rk:3:pf:0
2) https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...r-250&_sacat=0
3) pay for a few hours of programming and...

Have your system for under $5k.

So basically that is EXACTLY what I have. SR250 remotes, HC800 controller and video storm. And it all works. and its under your 10k-50k quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

We'll see. I think 1080p will be the mainstream format for a very, very long time, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some 8k content available.
So I was an idiot for getting a 4k tv recently because we are just skipping over that format completely?



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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
I don't think you can do a 10x10 centralized AV distribution system plus control for $4k.
I showed you how you could do it for 5k, not 4k. far cry from 10k-50k as you've quoted upthread. Again your system may vary but with a few bring your own hardware devices you may own (android TVs, shields, Fire TVs, etc) you can easily get into Video storm and some used C4 gear and get your system up and running for $5k or less. Those ebay links were the first two I found. C4forums.com has a classified section as well, you may do better on price if you hunt around.
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I guess you just do not read my replies because I have not mentioned JAP once. I've referenced Video Storm which:
1) is DIY Friendly
2) you can buy your own hardare
3) has a FREE DRIVER for Control4 https://www.video-storm.com/Download...%20support.htm
4) has transparent pricing
5) and they offer a system design guide which I linked to previously and built a mock system for 10 TVs and 5 inputs for under $4000 - your mileage may vary: https://www.video-storm.com/residential.asp

So you can put my mock 3800 quote in there for VS which leaves overhead to purchase:
1) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Control4-HC...SIwT:rk:3:pf:0
2) https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...r-250&_sacat=0
3) pay for a few hours of programming and...

Have your system for under $5k.

So basically that is EXACTLY what I have. SR250 remotes, HC800 controller and video storm. And it all works. and its under your 10k-50k quote.
Quote:
I showed you how you could do it for 5k, not 4k. far cry from 10k-50k as you've quoted upthread. Again your system may vary but with a few bring your own hardware devices you may own (android TVs, shields, Fire TVs, etc) you can easily get into Video storm and some used C4 gear and get your system up and running for $5k or less. Those ebay links were the first two I found. C4forums.com has a classified section as well, you may do better on price if you hunt around.

And yet your argument is that every Average Joe should have a centralized HDMI distribution system... because why? If you like playing around with the tech, great, but that doesn't mean that it has any widespread appeal, or that there is any real need for it in the first place.

Quote:
So I was an idiot for getting a 4k tv recently because we are just skipping over that format completely?
No. I've got a 4k TV, and I love it for the 4k content that is available. However, building out a 4k distribution system seems to be somewhat foolish, especially given how cheap the components are to simply have at each TV.
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post #85 of 97 Old 01-24-2019, 08:32 AM
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And yet your argument is that every Average Joe should have a centralized HDMI distribution system... because why? If you like playing around with the tech, great, but that doesn't mean that it has any widespread appeal, or that there is any real need for it in the first place.



No. I've got a 4k TV, and I love it for the 4k content that is available. However, building out a 4k distribution system seems to be somewhat foolish, especially given how cheap the components are to simply have at each TV.
my argument isnt about average joe. its your claim that video distribution costs 50k and is out of scope in cost for most people.

Again I am just clearly pointing out a professional solution to work with CI systems or DIY systems that will do exactly what you want for 1/10 of your original estimate.


That is my argument. I am just trying to dispel the notion that centralized video costs 10-50k if the average joe wanted to get involved. people come to forums, and there is barely moderation. great to see both sides of the issue but they should at least have facts and not random #s tossed out there for inflated prices to make your idea seem stronger.

Video Storm has been in audio/video distribution just as long as JAP. When I made my purchase 4-5 years ago VS had some features JAP did not have and VS still continues to innovate in the space. JAP has some Pros to their system too, but I went with VS and it works. And its cost effective and transparent if the Average Joe who is on AVS Forum wanted to get involved - they could at a comfortable price point.

and if you want to stick up for Average Joe, they do not even need a 4k TV at this point since a vast majority of content is 1080p or less and its compressed and sent via wifi signals. so go to the TV threads and for every 4k tv thread you should tell them to stop because 8k is coming soon and we are going fro 1080p to 8k!!!
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my argument isnt about average joe. its your claim that video distribution costs 50k and is out of scope in cost for most people.
When you consider that the Average Joe can't set up something like that on their own, then the cost goes up several times. You're also not comparing apples to apples. I was looking at high-end stuff like a Control4 Matrix or the JAP system, which is significantly more than $4k. Further, the Average Joe has no use case for centralized HDMI distribution, they just buy Smart TVs or Rokus and use Wi-Fi or maybe Ethernet and they're good to go. If they have cable, they can have a box at each TV.

Quote:
and if you want to stick up for Average Joe, they do not even need a 4k TV at this point since a vast majority of content is 1080p or less and its compressed and sent via wifi signals. so go to the TV threads and for every 4k tv thread you should tell them to stop because 8k is coming soon and we are going fro 1080p to 8k!!!
The Average Joe has a perfectly good reason to have a 4k TV right now, as they can use Netflix to stream 4k over Wi-Fi, or walk into Best Buy and buy 4k Blu-Rays. Also, virtually all TVs over a certain size are 4k anyway, and the better ones have pretty decent upscaling of HD content, HDR, etc, that enhances the overall experience, especially for movies.

I actually may very well buy another 4k TV this year, but I certainly wouldn't lock myself into a whole-home HDMI system that couldn't do 8k! The new TCL 75" 6 Series for $1799 looks AWESOME for a 4k TV. 8k is still 2-3 years off from being relatively mainstream like 4k is today.
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post #87 of 97 Old 01-24-2019, 02:04 PM
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You're also not comparing apples to apples. I was looking at high-end stuff like a Control4 Matrix or the JAP system, which is significantly more than $4k.
first YOU should compare apples to apples. C4 matrix is HDBaseT whereas JAP (and video storm) are IP not fixed HdbaseT YxZ matrix. So let's get that straight.

What makes JAP high end and VS not high end? Your original post said you were interested in this area but only dabbled, no? I can give you a list of many features video storm offers that JAP does not offer. Both have a long history in Audio/Video distribution. I am not saying this in an attacking manner - but do you have any idea of what VS can do that JAP cannot do and vice versa? Have you any basis for a comparison in the hardware? Do you know their platforms inside and out? Do you know their support model?

Did you know VS offers these features JAP does not:
1) custom splash tiles
2) IP camera integration
3) BYOhardware
4) Kodi at every box if using their hardware
5) At the time VS was far ahead with video tiling, multi wall features but I believe JAP upgraded software to somewhat match
6) VS offers multi views not just single PiP. So you can have a grid of 3x2 sources on a TV at once (JAP was late to the game and not sure if they added this recently)
7) VS offers streaming all content to mobile devices
8) VS offers text over image inlays
9) VS can work on any switch and with legacy wiring, yes even coax can work with VS not just ethernet

JAP has some pros too:
1) faster latency
2) PoE end points
3) full in-house 4K products

Again you are putting claims out there with no merit. VS can and does stand toe to toe with JAP and actually has more out of the box features. I gave you a scenario for 5k (if not less) to get 10 TVs up and running with VS along with a dealer doing programming on an HC800 and SR250. Please stop mixing facts and falsehoods and claiming something is high end without actual experience on the platforms or underlying technologies.

And again you put words in my mouth, I did not say Average Joe needs video distribution, so please stop saying that. I said Average Joe could pay less than your ideal quote for a system they could either DIY or get a CI to do for them and its modular to grow. I agree, if everyone needed it you could walk into best buy and buy it off the shelf.

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first YOU should compare apples to apples. C4 matrix is HDBaseT whereas JAP (and video storm) are IP not fixed HdbaseT YxZ matrix. So let's get that straight.
No duh, which is why I was looking at one of each.

Quote:
Did you know VS offers these features JAP does not:
I don't need a sales pitch on your favorite toys, as it doesn't change my underlying points:

1. HDMI distribution is far too expensive to be worthwhile in this day and age.
2. Few people even have a use case for it
3. Multi-room DVR, cheap UHD BD players, and cheap streaming devices do the core functionality that made central A/V systems really cool 10 or 15 years ago

Quote:
And again you put words in my mouth, I did not say Average Joe needs video distribution, so please stop saying that. I said Average Joe could pay less than your ideal quote for a system they could either DIY or get a CI to do for them and its modular to grow. I agree, if everyone needed it you could walk into best buy and buy it off the shelf.
You claimed, "there are cost effective solutions which can bring it to the masses".

The masses:

1. Don't even know what centralized A/V distribution is.
2. If they did they wouldn't want to spend money on it.
3. Have no use for it anyway.

Centralized A/V is good for:

1. People who have a boatload of money and are willing to drop tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on cool, high-tech toys like extensive HA gear, and don't mind paying their CI constantly to upgrade the system.
2. Sports bars, restaurants, and casinos.
3. Other specialty commercial applications.
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No duh, which is why I was looking at one of each.



I don't need a sales pitch on your favorite toys, as it doesn't change my underlying points:

1. HDMI distribution is far too expensive to be worthwhile in this day and age.
2. Few people even have a use case for it
3. Multi-room DVR, cheap UHD BD players, and cheap streaming devices do the core functionality that made central A/V systems really cool 10 or 15 years ago



You claimed, "there are cost effective solutions which can bring it to the masses".

The masses:

1. Don't even know what centralized A/V distribution is.
2. If they did they wouldn't want to spend money on it.
3. Have no use for it anyway.

Centralized A/V is good for:

1. People who have a boatload of money and are willing to drop tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on cool, high-tech toys like extensive HA gear, and don't mind paying their CI constantly to upgrade the system.
2. Sports bars, restaurants, and casinos.
3. Other specialty commercial applications.
Its not a sales pitch - i gave 3 Pros of JAP over VS. I am just saying they are of equal nature, both professional and polished systems. Both can be used in the CI space, residential or commercial. Both can be used in a 4K environment. There may be more pros to JAP but when I looked and from what I still know from knowing users of both platforms that is where it stands. JAP has more traction in the CI market because they were there first and they are 100% CI whereas VS has some DIY stuff so dealers do not quote it as much because it hurts their profit margins. It’s like a dealer quoting Ubiquiti gear - they will probably do Luxul or some other CI brand because that is their profit margin.

I said there are cost effective ways to do it to bring to the masses - masses does not mean 100 million Americans. It means that if people need it they can go DIY. Ive said numerous times it has unique applications and not everyone wants, needs or know of one.

If you feel you always need to get in the last word - have it. If you put out any other falsehoods about lack of features/quality of various platforms, costs that are not accurate I’ll chime to update with some facts.

Otherwise feel free to get in the last word and steer this otherwise helpful thread even further from the core. The OP mentioned he looked and kicked the tires on C4 at some point, so I was suggesting how it could be done in that space, that’s it, period. It’s a shame as this thread has good content related to the OP but some people likely will not get thru the muck.

Feel free to PM me if you want to continue or any first hand knowledge of someone who has demo’d and used both IP products. And I used to use a fixed HDbaseT set up as well. So I speak from experience, not marketing material.
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post #90 of 97 Old 01-24-2019, 07:56 PM
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It’s like a dealer quoting Ubiquiti gear - they will probably do Luxul or some other CI brand because that is their profit margin.
I don't want to wade into the switch vs distributed approach again, but I do think it's important for the OP and others to understand this point. Many CI's are not going to spec the best tech for the job, particularly if it's available at retail like Ubiquiti, Chromecasts, Sonos, etc.. because they don't make profit on the hardware sale.

I have had friends who were bid Luxul gear which is broadly inferior to Ubiquiti and others because of this issue, and I always advise them to insist on different solutions. If they really wanted best of breed, they could spec Aruba or Ruckus enterprise gear, which they can still make money on but are at least top of the line from a performance POV. Anytime I hear the word Luxul, I suspect people are being speced inferior tech.

I wish CI's would just pick best gear and not try and make money on the hardware sale, but charge for their time and skill. That would end up with better implementations and people understanding the value they getting.

best,
mike
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