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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering automating my home, I have to start from scratch as I do not have my house wired. Planning on doing all or most of this myself, I do not think that it is in my budget to subcontract this project. With that said, what should a doIt yourself expect to spend on this project "equipment quote"?


I want to control the tv's, audio, security cameras, alarm and pool equipment, lights.


By the way, I already know that this will not be an easy project. But I think I can doit.



Thanks in advanced.
 

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Questions about the project:


1. How many rooms of audio are there?

2. How many TVs?

3. How many sources of audio and video are you going to have?

4. What kind of CCTV are you having?

5. How many cameras?

6. What kind of alarm is it and what's the interface? RS-232 or IP?

7. How many circuits of lighting are required?

8. Which user interfaces are you planning on going for?


General questions:


1. Where do you intend to buy the equipment from?

2. Who is going to design the system for you?

3. I assume you will DIY all the wiring?

4. Who is going to program the system for you?
 

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I DIY'ed a non-Crestron system and wrote up my path. If you look at the site in my sig, you'll see a tab for costs for the non-TV/speaker/receiver stuff. Those are for non-Crestron brand, and 90% eBay'ed stuff.


I'd at least double that for Crestron-level equipment, if not triple or more, and consider that your floor. If you decide to get 'nicer' stuff, it'll obviously cost more.
 

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Crestron is not a DIY product. The software is only available to authorized dealers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syphon Filter /forum/post/16847170


Questions about the project:


1. How many rooms of audio are there?

2. How many TVs?

3. How many sources of audio and video are you going to have?

4. What kind of CCTV are you having?

5. How many cameras?

6. What kind of alarm is it and what's the interface? RS-232 or IP?

7. How many circuits of lighting are required?

8. Which user interfaces are you planning on going for?


General questions:


1. Where do you intend to buy the equipment from?

2. Who is going to design the system for you?

3. I assume you will DIY all the wiring?

4. Who is going to program the system for you?

Syphon, I am doing everything from scratch, would have 5 maybe 6 rooms of audio and a total of 6 tv's. Right now the cctv that I am using is made by guardian and I think it has a serial port on the back. Total of 10 cameras. I have a ademco 21ip alarm, just installed that three weeks ago.


Question 7 and 8 I am not sure about yet. I was gonna subcontract some of the work, but considering doing most of it myself to include programing. I am a geek and modify any piece of hardware I can get my hands on.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB /forum/post/16847716


I DIY'ed a non-Crestron system and wrote up my path. If you look at the site in my sig, you'll see a tab for costs for the non-TV/speaker/receiver stuff. Those are for non-Crestron brand, and 90% eBay'ed stuff.


I'd at least double that for Crestron-level equipment, if not triple or more, and consider that your floor. If you decide to get 'nicer' stuff, it'll obviously cost more.

Thanks will take a peak at your site.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg C /forum/post/16848641


Crestron is not a DIY product. The software is only available to authorized dealers.

Dealers and everyone else with internet connection and google. I think others in this very same forum have successfully installed and programed a crestron's.
 

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If i were you i would think twice about fighting Crestron as a DIY'er. The obvious reasons are that you will have a difficult time obtaining software & hardware. I wont go on about this because everyone knows you can find hardware dealers and attempt to piece together systems via ebay. Everyone also knows that you typically have no avenue for service once you purchase hardware in this manner.


I watch seasoned CAIP's (crestron authorized programmers) struggle with seemingly basic things. While Audio Video is typically straight forward and subsystems like climate, security and lighting are easy if you chose products that are crestron friendly... everything else is a royal PITA.


Your first step (in my opinion) is to set a realistic budget for your project. There are literally hundreds of AVS members who can then take your budget and offer a DIY friendly path to getting your home automated. IVB's site is ridiculously helpful. You have to be asleep not to learn something there. There are many others here who have experience with other DIY friendly products.


Doing this yourself will be a big enough challenge without slaving yourself to a product that is not DIY friendly.
 

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I'd stay away completely from Crestron. As 39 stated, even TRAINED AND CERTEFIED techs have some level of difficulty. Its EXTREMELY expensive (try 10 times the diy price or MORE) and it will likely do nothing more than what you need an HAI or Elk system to do. Why are you even considering Crestron?


Crestron is for the elite that have more money than sense no clue on value. There will always be those that just want what they "hear" is the best or base buying decision on what costs the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advise guys, I am open to opinions and suggestions! Most of my old customers had crestron, that is why I was looking into it.


This all started with a darn remote 4 days ago, I bought the harmony 1100 and was so disappointed with it that I started to look for options here, then the idea crept up in my mind, why not automate the whole house?


The budget for the job is 10k, I do not have more money that I can burn, so with that said if I can save some cash and get something comparable that has the same features then I will most deff consider it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxs158 /forum/post/16850468


Thanks for the advise guys, I am open to opinions and suggestions! Most of my old customers had crestron, that is why I was looking into it.


This all started with a darn remote 4 days ago, I bought the harmony 1100 and was so disappointed with it that I started to look for options here, then the idea crept up in my mind, why not automate the whole house?


The budget for the job is 10k, I do not have more money that I can burn, so with that said if I can save some cash and get something comparable that has the same features then I will most deff consider it.

I don't mean to be mean, but there is absolutely no way to do that system with Crestron equipment for anything close to 10k. There's no need to even worry about it. There are a lot of good options out there and, imo, that's still the best, but it's impossible on that budget, even if you go all-ebay & do the entire install yourself (which, as others mentioned, is strongly discouraged).
 

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Hell, it's hard to do DIY friendly stuff with eBay'ed equipment for $10K. It's not always easy to find the stuff on eBay, so many times you have to buy new.


Not impossible, I did a lot of what you want within $10K, but I think my cumulative bill (over 3+ years) is closer to $20K. I did more than what you ask, but not hugely more. The security stuff was an easy $5K of that which you wouldn't do, though.


As a point of comparison, a whole-house audio controller for 6 zones is about $2K. (NuVo or Russound) Cameras are $150 or so each based on which one you want, 9 of them is $1K. You've already lost a third of your budget, and still aren't done buying parts, much less the control system.


Do you have to buy speakers and TVs as well within the $10K, or do you own those?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB /forum/post/16850823


Hell, it's hard to do DIY friendly stuff with eBay'ed equipment for $10K. It's not always easy to find the stuff on eBay, so many times you have to buy new.


Not impossible, I did a lot of what you want within $10K, but I think my cumulative bill (over 3+ years) is closer to $20K. I did more than what you ask, but not hugely more. The security stuff was an easy $5K of that which you wouldn't do, though.


As a point of comparison, a whole-house audio controller for 6 zones is about $2K. (NuVo or Russound) Cameras are $150 or so each based on which one you want, 9 of them is $1K. You've already lost a third of your budget, and still aren't done buying parts, much less the control system.


Do you have to buy speakers and TVs as well within the $10K, or do you own those?

I already have a security system, already have a video cameras tied on to a recorder, already have pool automation system. I have an additional 5k for surround sound, tv's are already there.


This is what I am working with right now;

http://www.amazon.com/Defender-SENTI...024855&sr=8-15

http://www.pentairpool.com/products/products3.php?id=79

http://www.security.honeywell.com/hs...ad/245569.html

http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/pr...espmodular.htm


If I did crestron I was gonna go the ebay route, the budget could be expanded a little but i rather not unless I would have to.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxs158 /forum/post/16851131


I already have a security system, already have a video cameras tied on to a recorder, already have pool automation system. I have an additional 5k for surround sound, tv's are already there.


This is what I am working with right now;

http://www.amazon.com/Defender-SENTI...024855&sr=8-15

http://www.pentairpool.com/products/products3.php?id=79

http://www.security.honeywell.com/hs...ad/245569.html

http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/pr...espmodular.htm


If I did crestron I was gonna go the ebay route, the budget could be expanded a little but i rather not unless I would have to.

The system you're talking about cannot be done with Crestron equipment for anything close to that budget, regardless of where you get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnml /forum/post/16851299


The system you're talking about cannot be done with Crestron equipment for anything close to that budget, regardless of where you get it.

Please humor me, what equipment would you say I need for my project that will put me outside my budget? Keep in mind that I will not be buying new form a dealer. IF it cannot be done, then it cannot be done but I would like to see why it cannot be done.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxs158 /forum/post/16851379


Please humor me, what equipment would you say I need for my project that will put me outside my budget? Keep in mind that I will not be buying new form a dealer. IF it cannot be done, then it cannot be done but I would like to see why it cannot be done.

A quick look at ebay says your control processor, a/v switchers, & power supply run close to 6k, even if used. You'd still need amps, power protection, sources, modules to actually receive that video in the rooms, keypads, remotes, rf gateways, lighting processor(s), lighting modules, network switches, & wire. That's assuming you don't run into any odd problems that require more adapters or baluns or switches (you'll wind up needing a few other things, inevitably).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by txredneckbud /forum/post/16850148


Crestron is for the elite that have more money than sense no clue on value. There will always be those that just want what they "hear" is the best or base buying decision on what costs the most.

How I miss AVSforums!


Stick to ElK and HAI, or check CQC. And check your budget and your time.


Don't do this to save money or time, you'll be disappointed. If you have the time and the passion to do this and set your expectations it will be satisfying. Read through IVB's posts and his history to get a perspective on the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB /forum/post/16850823


Hell, it's hard to do DIY friendly stuff with eBay'ed equipment for $10K. It's not always easy to find the stuff on eBay, so many times you have to buy new.


Not impossible, I did a lot of what you want within $10K, but I think my cumulative bill (over 3+ years) is closer to $20K. I did more than what you ask, but not hugely more. The security stuff was an easy $5K of that which you wouldn't do, though.


As a point of comparison, a whole-house audio controller for 6 zones is about $2K. (NuVo or Russound) Cameras are $150 or so each based on which one you want, 9 of them is $1K. You've already lost a third of your budget, and still aren't done buying parts, much less the control system.


Do you have to buy speakers and TVs as well within the $10K, or do you own those?

Great job with your system, I like what you did! Thank you for sharing and thank you for documenting your install!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by txredneckbud /forum/post/16850148


Crestron is for the elite that have more money than sense no clue on value. There will always be those that just want what they "hear" is the best or base buying decision on what costs the most.

At least you chose a user name commensurate with your knowledge level.
 

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fxs158,


I also think you should take a close look at CQC. It's an outstanding and powerful product and as a DIY you will have access to full DIY support. Don't get me wrong, Crestron is an outstanding product, I work with it daily and there is nothing better, but based on your posts in this thread and the fact that you want to DIY everything, and your budget, I think it would make better sense to look to a solution such as CQC.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by txredneckbud /forum/post/16850148


I'd stay away completely from Crestron. As 39 stated, even TRAINED AND CERTEFIED techs have some level of difficulty. Its EXTREMELY expensive (try 10 times the diy price or MORE) and it will likely do nothing more than what you need an HAI or Elk system to do. Why are you even considering Crestron?


Crestron is for the elite that have more money than sense no clue on value. There will always be those that just want what they "hear" is the best or base buying decision on what costs the most.

For the record.. i am a CI who works for a Crestron dealer and IMO.. there is no better control system. I have been everywhere from volume controls, speaker selectors and IR repeaters all the way to Crestron. I installed Niles, Audio Ease & Phast before Crestron with Pronto, URC & RTI in between. Every piece of Crestron hardware i have installed works as advertised and 99.9% of the time it works the first time. If the budget allows for it you will never be disappointed with a Crestron system.


Crestron systems are meant to be designed & installed by professionals. Think.. using a real lawyer for a court case or a real surgeon to have a tumor removed. Attempting to DIY a Crestron system or tumor removal for that matter.. will typically end with you being unhappy. Im not saying you cant do it or that you shouldnt try just that your energy & budget will be better spent with a product that isnt difficult (by design) for you to obtain & service.


To the Original Poster.. Do you have blue prints for your home? If so take the time to sketch out what you want in each room. TV, Speakers, Handheld remote, HVAC etc. Be specific about what level of subsystem control your looking for etc. This will help us send you down the right path and better gauge where your budget should be spent.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxs158 /forum/post/16851131


I already have a security system, already have a video cameras tied on to a recorder, already have pool automation system. I have an additional 5k for surround sound, tv's are already there.


This is what I am working with right now;

http://www.amazon.com/Defender-SENTI...024855&sr=8-15

What would concern me about that particular model is that it's not clear whether you can setup an "auto-login" via the web, you may need to type in a username/password. That may be fine for out-of-house, but what about if you're in the house? With HA, you typically have touchscreens in centrally located areas. What I do on doorbell ring is to have my kitchen touchscreen wake up, and pull up a browser widget with the CCTV that's at the front door. Even if you ignore the fact that CQC doesn't let you interace with the web widget to enter in a userid/password, imagine if I had to look at a screen where I first had to enter in that userid/pw, then look at the screenshot, all while someone is waiting at the door. Wouldn't happen.


A second issue is the ability to strip away the useless crap that the web interface has on it, leaving just the image.


Finally, you may want to view your cameras on your PDA cellphone, if you get a security alarm going off and you want to view it yourself. I've done that a few times, not b/c of alarm, but because of neighbors who called me with a false alarm that there was some muckity mucks at my house.


Here's the screen I have with my AverMedia NV5000. Note that it's *just* the image, looks very clean inside the GUI.




or, if you want to see the quadshot (and one CCTV was down at the time that I took this screen-cap:





As opposed to this much older GUI that I had. Note the scrollbars on the window, the right & bottom had probably 1.5" of random crap that my old DVR solution forced down my throat.





The hassle with going DIY is that you're going to be stitching together equipment that may not have meant to be integrated into other solutions, such as that CCTV solution you are looking at. While not a "requirement", I'd strongly advise before you purchase ANYTHING, to decide on a control system, and then see what people using that control system have found to work well.
 
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