Should I remove my Crestron system? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-06-2020, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Should I remove my Crestron system?

Hello all. I purchased a home 18 months ago, and I am finally ready to upgrade some of the existing technology. The house was built 16 years ago with a premium Crestron system, but after spending time in the home, I am leaning towards removing the Crestron system. I met with the company who originally installed the system, and they provided quotes to upgrade the entire system, as they said some of the Crestron parts are EOL. However, as I looked through the quotes, I just don’t see the value in upgrading the HA system. Since all of our TV’s stream content via wifi, we don’t use the Crestron video features. Similarly, our new thermostats, surveillance cameras, pool controls, outdoor misting system, security system, etc., all have their own apps, and we don’t mind using dedicated apps. All of our lighting is currently controlled via Lutron room keypads (and a few Crestron touch panels with extremely dim screens), so I plan to work with Lutron to install a few new keypads (to replace the Crestron screens) and a few LED dimming modules (some of the existing dimming modules cause the LEDs to blink when the lights turn on/off). Since we don’t mind using separate apps for the systems mentioned above, are there any reasons why we should consider upgrading the Crestron system? I’m sure this system was state of the art 16 years ago, but with everything migrating to wifi and apps, I can’t justify spending 5 figures to upgrade a centralized system as the world migrates to smart equipment/apps. Having said that, this is my first residence with a HA system, so maybe the sales guy didn’t do a good job in communicating the benefits of a centralized system.

Assuming we maintain this course (i.e. disconnect Crestron), I want on-demand audio control in each room/zone throughout the home. The existing system is not working correctly, and the local tech company was going to address this with the upgraded Crestron. We have approximately 20 zones pre-wired for audio distribution, and here are the amps in the central Crestron cabinet:

We have two Sonance Sonamp 1250 MKII
We have one Sonance Sonamp 1230

QUESTION – What equipment will I need to play web-based music (i.e. Spotify) in the various zones around the house? Ideally, when I am working in the garage, I will use my phone to play music in the garage. When I move to the outdoor patio, I will want to play music in that zone via my phone. I would also like to know how many zones can have a different selection playing at one time (assume me, my wife, the nanny and maybe a guest (i.e. in-law) will want to play different music in different rooms at the same time). Let me know if I left out any pertinent information, and I appreciate the help!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-07-2020, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boost2020 View Post
Hello all. I purchased a home 18 months ago, and I am finally ready to upgrade some of the existing technology. The house was built 16 years ago with a premium Crestron system, but after spending time in the home, I am leaning towards removing the Crestron system. I met with the company who originally installed the system, and they provided quotes to upgrade the entire system, as they said some of the Crestron parts are EOL. However, as I looked through the quotes, I just don’t see the value in upgrading the HA system. Since all of our TV’s stream content via wifi, we don’t use the Crestron video features. Similarly, our new thermostats, surveillance cameras, pool controls, outdoor misting system, security system, etc., all have their own apps, and we don’t mind using dedicated apps. All of our lighting is currently controlled via Lutron room keypads (and a few Crestron touch panels with extremely dim screens), so I plan to work with Lutron to install a few new keypads (to replace the Crestron screens) and a few LED dimming modules (some of the existing dimming modules cause the LEDs to blink when the lights turn on/off). Since we don’t mind using separate apps for the systems mentioned above, are there any reasons why we should consider upgrading the Crestron system? I’m sure this system was state of the art 16 years ago, but with everything migrating to wifi and apps, I can’t justify spending 5 figures to upgrade a centralized system as the world migrates to smart equipment/apps. Having said that, this is my first residence with a HA system, so maybe the sales guy didn’t do a good job in communicating the benefits of a centralized system.

Assuming we maintain this course (i.e. disconnect Crestron), I want on-demand audio control in each room/zone throughout the home. The existing system is not working correctly, and the local tech company was going to address this with the upgraded Crestron. We have approximately 20 zones pre-wired for audio distribution, and here are the amps in the central Crestron cabinet:

We have two Sonance Sonamp 1250 MKII
We have one Sonance Sonamp 1230

QUESTION – What equipment will I need to play web-based music (i.e. Spotify) in the various zones around the house? Ideally, when I am working in the garage, I will use my phone to play music in the garage. When I move to the outdoor patio, I will want to play music in that zone via my phone. I would also like to know how many zones can have a different selection playing at one time (assume me, my wife, the nanny and maybe a guest (i.e. in-law) will want to play different music in different rooms at the same time). Let me know if I left out any pertinent information, and I appreciate the help!

Thanks!
I do not have Crestron (I have C4) but the point of an automation system is not control, its automation. When you press a button lights/music/hvac all react as you want. Heck I rarely turn on lights in my house anymore due to automation - my system knows when I come home and doors unlock, lights go on, etc. If you do not value that and you do not value a 1 app solution, there is no need for a home automation system. You can have separate systems and just use them on their own.

For your audio, you can go with Amps/Chromecast (several threads on here) or go with Sonos/Heos. For 20 zones the cost of Sonos/Heos is going to add up really quick. You need several amps, etc. At that size system I'd still probably want to go with a Audio Matrix switch and dumb amps. Not sure 20 zones is easy to pull off with basic consumer grade stuff to have a "Great" experience. You mention guests or the nanny playing music - depends on what access you want to give them - do you want to give them a log in to your "app"? Do you want them just to be able to stream from their own device - and then you need to plan for iPhone and/or Android because its unknown what device the guest will have? 20 zones, variables, etc I still think you need a well laid out system and I'd start with a Matrix, dumb amps and maybe a few Sonos Connects. Probably the "cleanest" way to do it.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-09-2020, 08:57 PM
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I would strongly suggest talking to the CI company that did the original system and voice your wants and needs. If you don't want to update the Crestron system they may be able to suggest an alternative.

As for myself, If you don't want to update the Crestron system and are looking for a stand-alone music system for 20 zones, I suggest the NAD CI 580 V2 which houses 4 separate zones of audio in a 1U chassis for rack mounting. You will need 5 of them for 20 zones. But the amps you have will power 18 zones.

You might want to look at replacing the Sonance amps with NAD CI 8-120 amplifiers (5 in total for 20 Zones) as the NAD amps are 1U chassis and have more power, are WAY smaller and more efficient than the Sonance amps.

This setup gives you 20 zones of streaming and ability to combine and select certain rooms at your pleasure. The NAD uses BluOS for the streaming and is one of the best streamers out there.

You could replace the Crestron TPs for iPads for app control of the music.


Personally, I would replace the Crestron with a newer (and less expensive) control system that can integrate with the various other devices you have in the house.

We personally use Clare Controls but Control4 works as well.

AV Professional for 23 Years

Last edited by ifor; 05-09-2020 at 09:09 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-09-2020, 08:59 PM
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And make sure the network and WiFi system are up to date and are robust.

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post #5 of 5 Old 05-11-2020, 07:49 AM
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I agree with what people have said - there are much better solutions out there than Crestron for WHA that are smartphone and cloud driven. See this and other threads: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/36-ho...use-audio.html

That being said, if you have some of the Crestron ATI based multizone amps, like the CNAMP-16x60, they are AWESOME! And they can be used independently from a crestron controller. If you have a old WHA based system, replace all the inputs to your BIPAD8s etc... from Chromecast audios, and feed them to each zone and let the chromecasts do the combining of zones etc... You can use the BIPAD8 to set max levels, but have the chromecast audio control all the volume levels etc...

This will give you a keypadless modern system that will stream everything from almost any service with great audio quality, as those old ATI amps were phenomenal.

In short, you don't have to rip everything out and start from new - just configure the system to map sources to rooms on a 1:1 basis, and get rid of the keypads etc... It will be cheap, and much less disruptive to wiring etc... I wouldn't recommend someone install a system this way from scratch, but if you have one, you don't necessarily have to rip it completely out. And if you do a complete swap out, don't go with a C4 or new Crestron system to replace it. The future is a software driven world, not one from these sorts of integrated systems that you have to bleed $ anytime you need to change something.

Thx
mike
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