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Discussion Starter #1
sorry all, the more I read on the internet the harder the choice becomes.

I need to decide like today which controller is like to use as I have to start buying wall switches.

maybe this doesn't exist but I'm looking for a controller that is very customizable but easy on the DIY end. I don't want to have to spend days learning how to set a scene. I'm willing to put time in but I don't want something VERY complicated to "program".

I'm down to Homeseer, Home assistant or MyServer.

any other suggestions is ok but really need some help deciding as I don't want to buy switches that only work with one of these....as I have to get the switches on the next 2 days. again thanks a lot
 

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are you only looking for something to set lighting scenes and shades?

What specifically do you want to do ?


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As I've already stated in your other thread; I use VeraPlus which ticks all of those boxes and is also local so it only needs internet if you wish to access remotely but not as a requirement for basic functionality.

It's tough to go wrong with this and meets your requirements perfectly. Keep in mind that if any of the ones you listed go under your left with a paperweight. This has already happened to bigger names in this segment so I'm not sure why anyone would still even consider something that isn't 100% local w/o the requirement to call home to the mothership to retrieve all setup & functionality information. Once that server goes dark, so does your entire smart home automation setup.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
are you only looking for something to set lighting scenes and shades?

What specifically do you want to do ?


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Yes but I'm also going to have the following that I'd all like tied in and easy access via voice or phone/tablet.

Security cameras/system
Video distribution
Indoor/outdoor audio.
landscape lighting
 

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Yes but I'm also going to have the following that I'd all like tied in and easy access via voice or phone/tablet.

Security cameras/system
Video distribution
Indoor/outdoor audio.
landscape lighting

What sort of video distribution are you trying to do?


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Discussion Starter #6
being able to have watch apple, tv, Roku etc. etc over multiple TV's
 

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being able to have watch apple, tv, Roku etc. etc over multiple TV's
if you want them in sync you'll need a matrix. Depending on your budget, technology requirements (must it past the latest 4k 60fps spec, allow down-mixing of audio on the fly, are you using local TV speakers or AVR or in ceiling speakers?) and inputs/outputs you could be looking at $1000-$10,000

If they do not have to be in sync you can just get streaming boxes per tv.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
if you want them in sync you'll need a matrix. Depending on your budget, technology requirements (must it past the latest 4k 60fps spec, allow down-mixing of audio on the fly, are you using local TV speakers or AVR or in ceiling speakers?) and inputs/outputs you could be looking at $1000-$10,000

If they do not have to be in sync you can just get streaming boxes per tv.
Can I just have say one apple tv but have it setup where I can choose to watch it on any tv? not at the same time.
 

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Can I just have say one apple tv but have it setup where I can choose to watch it on any tv? not at the same time.

You could do that with an HDMI splitter and have it routed to each TV with an IR extender.

There is no cost benefit in using a matrix to share roku’s or an Apple TV.


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I’ve read several of your threads on what you’re looking to do, and I really think you should consider something like Apple HomeKit. I think you would get exactly what you want at a lower cost, and it’s dead simple to use.


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Discussion Starter #11
I’ve read several of your threads on what you’re looking to do, and I really think you should consider something like Apple HomeKit. I think you would get exactly what you want at a lower cost, and it’s dead simple to use.


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Automation/Scenes are capable via Apple Home Kit?
 

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I’ve read several of your threads on what you’re looking to do, and I really think you should consider something like Apple HomeKit. I think you would get exactly what you want at a lower cost, and it’s dead simple to use.


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as mentioned you can use a splitter. likely not worth the cost/headache vs just getting a box behind each tv
 

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Automation/Scenes are capable via Apple Home Kit?

Yes. And there are some really nice updates coming with iOS: tv OS 14. You will have access to your scenes and cameras from the Apple TV side bar, and doorbell notification alerts on the tv with video.


I’m currently renovating and have been back and forth myself between Control4, Vantage, and HomeKit, and I’m 99% sure I’m just going to stay with HomeKit. My biggest hang up has been the lighting controls. There is a very specific switch I want. Vantage makes it. It’s expensive. But Legrand is about to release a HomeKit specific version of that switch. Hopefully have my test kit here soon from Legrand to start testing it out before making the final call.


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Yes. And there are some really nice updates coming with iOS: tv OS 14. You will have access to your scenes and cameras from the Apple TV side bar, and doorbell notification alerts on the tv with video.


I’m currently renovating and have been back and forth myself between Control4, Vantage, and HomeKit, and I’m 99% sure I’m just going to stay with HomeKit. My biggest hang up has been the lighting controls. There is a very specific switch I want. Vantage makes it. It’s expensive. But Legrand is about to release a HomeKit specific version of that switch. Hopefully have my test kit here soon from Legrand to start testing it out before making the final call.


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I'd really like control and automation. So I set a scene and be able to have multiple things happen. Hard to believe Apple Home Kit could do this stuff for such a cheap price. What's the main difference between C4 and home kit. Soooo many options and hard to decide. I'm about to pull the trigger on C4 but not sure that's exactly what I need.
 

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I'd really like control and automation. So I set a scene and be able to have multiple things happen. Hard to believe Apple Home Kit could do this stuff for such a cheap price. What's the main difference between C4 and home kit. Soooo many options and hard to decide. I'm about to pull the trigger on C4 but not sure that's exactly what I need.

C4 lists somewhere around 300k compatible devices, as well as various interfaces like remote controls, touchscreen interfaces, etc... as well as I/O relay capabilities that HomeKit lacks that allow you to interface virtually any electrical component. You can create custom alerts and control capabilities through programming. It’s a legitimate “smart home” system. I’d say it’s also the best system for home media integration.

HomeKit has exponentially fewer device integrations, and I would classify it as simply a “home control” system. But I think it meets the needs of the vast majority of people looking for a “smart home” type system. It does everything you have specifically mentioned you want, and it does it nicely.

Whereas Control4 can be for the most part a completely wired system, HomeKit is a completely wireless system, and therefore you need good wireless networking. The majority of issues I see people discuss online can be traced back to a poorly designed home network.

The main benefit to HomeKit put simply is cost. Control4 can be wildly expensive. Like tens of thousands of dollars expensive. C4 has a lot of native drivers, but there are things that require 3rd party drivers that are not free, and can cost a couple hundred bucks each.

I’ve been using HomeKit for maybe a year and a half, and I’ve been happy with it. I don’t have an elaborate setup; I have all of my lighting, some lamps, HVAC controls, air purifiers, water heater, door locks, & garage door connected. I have some simple lighting scenes and automations I use Siri mostly to invoke.

To run HomeKit, you need a compatible iPad that stays at home plugged up, an Apple TV 4 or newer, or a HomePod. I use an iPad Air 2 as my hub. I think the hard limit on automations is 240.

The least expense C4 controller is the CA-1, which lists for around $500. It has no on-screen guide to use with your TV or audio outputs, but can interface with everything else. For the setup you want, I think a CA-1 is fine.

Neither of them are perfect. They both have glitches sometimes; you can read through the forums for either and see that. They’re going to be as good as the components you buy to integrate with it. The only problem I’ve ever had with HomeKit is a couple of times I couldn’t access my system from outside my house, and it was because my iPad was trying to update. Other than that it’s been flawless.

Lastly, I will add that probably what led me to go with HomeKit other than cost is ease of use on iOS devices. I don’t like having to open an app and wait for it to load. I have the scenes and devices I use most accessible from my iPhone control center, and I can use Siri. One of the biggest complaints you’ll see with C4 is the load time for the app. The average time people report is about 20 seconds. My HomeKit app will load in less than 5. The 2nd biggest complaint I see is those using the “Intercom Anywhere” app for their video doorbell. Apparently that can take minutes. And it’s not just a few, it’s literally everyone using it saying that.

I was pretty set on C4 for the new house until I saw the HomeKit updates for this year, and legrand told me they’re releasing a new line of HomeKit lighting controls. And that’s even with my buying C4 at dealer cost. So as of right now that’s my plan. There’s also the issue of obsolescence; I just can’t stomach what it would cost to replace everything in 10 years. The new C4 software doesn’t work with the controllers they were selling less than 10 years ago. It’s going to be like that with anything, but how much do you want to spend again to update?


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I think the above assessment is fairly accurate. That said the CA-1 from C4 will not give you any audio and I believe you want some audio feeds. It is likely best to step up to the EA3 or a used HC800 if you are really trying to go budget. You have also asked about a video matrix or even an HDMI Switch. Again that would be in the realm of C4 over HomeKit.

I'll only disagree with support, Apple doesn't support hardware for 10 years. If you look at how long Apple supports iOS on new devices vs C4, its at least even if not C4 edges it out. Ask someone with a 7 year old iphone/ipad how its like not getting updates? My iMac stopped getting updates a few years ago. The HC800 was released in 2012 and supports 90% of the latest features in OS3. I think that is fair.

I am a buy once cry once person. If c4 is what you want, you do not have to go all in tomorrow. Its modular. Get a controller, get some lights for the key areas. Find someone selling some used stuff buy it and add it later, etc. The key is just wire wire wire wire now while building.

As said above, C4 has lots of wired options, vast media integration and works with 100,000's of devices whereas homekit is fairly limited on supported devices
 

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Homekit uses WiFi and Bluetooth which is a non-starter for me. My 2.4Ghz band is already congested enough with microwaves, bulbs & actual WiFi clients that I couldn't imagine if my entire Smart Home Automation network were also WiFi. You're talking nearly 100 wireless clients added to my network. Even with a pro-sumer WiFi network things start to get awfully dicey. I also couldn't imagine having to manage that many wireless clients. I'll take a single controller that does all of that for me and I include a single controller to my network and let them communicate wirelessly on a different bandwidth. It may be cheaper but that's about the only benefit if nothing works due to congestion.
 

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Homekit uses WiFi and Bluetooth which is a non-starter for me. My 2.4Ghz band is already congested enough with microwaves, bulbs & actual WiFi clients that I couldn't imagine if my entire Smart Home Automation network were also WiFi. You're talking nearly 100 wireless clients added to my network. Even with a pro-sumer WiFi network things start to get awfully dicey. I also couldn't imagine having to manage that many wireless clients. I'll take a single controller that does all of that for me and I include a single controller to my network and let them communicate wirelessly on a different bandwidth. It may be cheaper but that's about the only benefit if nothing works due to congestion.
It supports native WiFi devices, but no one with 100 devices is going to do that. For lighting, which is the largest device count usually, there are Zigbee and other RF band hub based solutions. There are several device types that use a hub to keep the devices off your WiFi network.


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I'll only disagree with support, Apple doesn't support hardware for 10 years.
What I meant was that it would be less expensive to replace the apple system in 10 years versus C4. Depending on how long the OP plans to stay at this house, he could end up buying the system again, maybe more than once.
 

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What I meant was that it would be less expensive to replace the apple system in 10 years versus C4. Depending on how long the OP plans to stay at this house, he could end up buying the system again, maybe more than once.
it is also less expensive to start with HomeKit. It is a less expensive system from initial buy to new hardware purchases, etc/ But as you mentioned, you get less flexibility and options for the lower price point. So really has no impact on 10 years from now. In fact in ~8-10 years you may still be on 1 c4 controller vs 2 pieces of Apple hardware. It is all subject to change of course. If I could predict 10 years from now I'd be a lucky man.
 
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