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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a EEE who's working with an architect and has contacted several integrators, most of whom are busy so I'm doing my own leg-work. I'd like to design a system to distribute HD to 3 TV's and SD to another 7 so naturally I'm thinking Elan System 12.


I'd also like to do whole house lighting (with at least UPB rather than X-10), 3 to 5 CCD cameras with audio at the front door, HVAC control, all web accessible. For this I'm thinking HAI Omnipro II with Weblink II software.


My questions are:


Has anyone had experience with these two units working together in one system? If so, what was your experience?


Am I better off using the VIA 64 to control the HAI or the HAI touchscreen to control the System 12?


Are the touchscreen displays (VIA 64 for example) considered a standard def output for the S12? In other words, if I tie up 9 of the 16 outputs for HD, I have 7 left for SD, if I use 3 VIA 64's, do I only have 4 available for SD TV?


Do I have to run the surveylance cams through the S12 then modulate them onto a PCI TV card to Weblink II to the internet or is there an easier way? Maybe connect the cams to the PC then output the video to the S12 as an additional source? I'd like to be able to view the cams on all TV's in the house as well as across the internet.


Thanks in advance for the help!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
oh ya, any links to threads I may have missed would be appreciated!!!


Dave
 

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I don't think the HAI Omnitouch will even work to control the Elan at all. Definately use the VIA. You could look at the VIA 40 as well as the 64. Comparable in price to the Omnitouch, but a real touchscreen.


Yes, the Vias are a composite video output from the S12. Not sure about the Camera question. They can all be inputs to the S12 then selected on any output. Never tried to integrate this with an HAI controller. You may want to look at Vantage for your lighting, and HVAC control. You could do a real hardwired lighting system for much more automation control.
www.vantagecontrols.com


Then just integrate a security panel and you are all set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Fletch, the feedback is much appreciated! I'll check out Vantage Controls. I haven't seen anything as good as Weblink II yet, but IF I can still do lighting across the internet and integrate it (and HVAC) with a driveway sensor and time control, I'm set! Have you heard bad things about the HAI lighting? Most people just recommend Lutron with no explanation as to why...
 

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I use HAI to control my 7 thermostats and all outdoor and basic indoor lighting via x10 (leviton). All works fine. I use weblink as GUI. This gives me all the control I need from home or internet.
 

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I'm not a believer in powerline carrier lighting control. For a DIYer it may be fine, but as a dealer, it is just not reliable enough to support. If a button press doesn't work 100% of the time, my customers aren't happy. Vantage, Lutron, Crestron, these lighting systems work. Period. They definately cost more but bulletproof is a requirement from a dealer perspective. (and don't think that I am saying that these systems don't ever fail, its just that I am confident that I won't be getting calls at 3AM because my client can't turn on the lights.)


Vantage can do internet control as well as local. It is a much more robust programming system, that is basically unlimited in what it can do. Vantage and Elan Touchscreens are programable where the HAI is really just a glorified keypad. It isn't programmabel, heck you can't even set up the Omni security parameters from it you must use a regular hard button keypad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, excellent feedback! You learn something new everyday! Ok, HAI touchpads out, VIA touchpanels in...


How much more is Vantage? If it's not using PLC, what is it using? Hardwiring? as in I need a special electrician/integrator to do the work?


I'm a little wary of PLC too because I have some X-10 stuff at my current home that turns itself on (pool light). I even swapped out the X-10 unit controlling the light and though it works better, it's still unreliable. I'm just happy that I was able to turn it off and keep it off! I was kind of banking on UPB being way better than X-10.


Glad to hear it's working for you McGrath, I may have to use it based on budget. Better that than nothing. Seven thermostats? Your house must be as big as the one I'm building...Do I really need seven or can I get away with 2-3? How many zones do you have?


Fletch, can Vantage do camera surveylance over the internet and all of the other fancy stuff the Weblink II software can do? Can I program it myself? I know 5-6 programming languages...
 

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A lot of this depends on what you want to automate, lighting wise.

I just have a dozen switches that I turn on at dusk and off later in the evening.

This saves me time when I'm home and provides some security lighting when I'm not.

Installed correctly with couplers, etc. the newer x10 stuff (like leviton) works fine.

It was a trivial add on to the hai system. With Weblink, I can do everthing I need (your mileage may vary). I looked at hardwired systems but it was way more than I wanted to spend.


I have a big house with 7 zones-5 air handlers and 2 zone dampers. If you want full control of HVAC in each bedroom, and each major area, it takes a lot of zones. Turning the heat or AC up or down across the house is a project. With this system I can check that the windows are closed all over the house and then turn on the AC from one location.


I haven't done the security camera thing yet.


I agree that from an installer point of view with nontechnical customers that it has to be idiot proof and work perfectly all the time. For someone with some technical expertise and understanding, 99% is good enough for me given how much cheaper the PLC stuff can be.


GLUCK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Therein lies the debate. Is 1% worth 50% price increase? Or 80% price increase? Or whatever that percentage may be.


I still have homework to do on Vantage and Leviton, but the extra programming flexibility with Vantage sounds appealing, as long as it's not a 10-hour-a-week project every time I want to change something.


Per the Weblink II pdf instructions, modulating the cameras to a WIN-TV-GO card or connecting them directly to the PC via USB is the only way to get the cameras viewable via the internet. Sounds reasonable enough as long as I can still view them through the S12.


I DO appreciate the feedback. I'm really surprised I don't read more about the Elan S12 seing as how it appears to be the most inexpensive quality product to distribute HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I like the extra size with the Elan touchscreen, but the Vantage looks more programable...are there any other important differences?
 

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The Vantage is really cool, programmable in Flash. In a new construction situation, you can have installed the Vantage central system. All loads home run to the dimmer panels, no toggle switches in any of the rooms. Just very nicelooking keypads or touchscreens. If you don't want the hardwired system, the Radiolink system replaces standard toggle switches and communicates over RF. It is MUCH more expensive than any powerline carrier system though.


It sounds like you are more of a DIY kind of guy. Both Vantage and Elan are only available through dealers. You may be able to find a dealer that will work with you though.


I guess you don't read too much here on the S12 because it is a dealer only product. Much more talk on the forums about Russound cause anyone can get it on the internet. Also, the S12 isn't exactly inexpensive at about $7500 for the preamp/amp combo. Then 2k each for VIAs or $500 each for keypads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Fletch!


I'm not opposed to using a dealer, but only for stuff I'm not capable of doing myself. For example, I would try to find a dealer that would work with me if I go Elan and/or Vantage. Elan is a little proud of their amp though...for $2500 I could buy two B&K AV1260's.


Can the Vantage screens control the Elan? Will it display 30 fps video? Hardwired is cool, it's for new construction. Are any of the hardwired non-X10 based lighting control systems DIY?


Still, the Elan's screens are bigger and priced the similarly. I would think it would be better to control lighting with your distributed av controller than the other way around. I would hate to be in a situation where the Via programming limited me because it isn't flexible enough.


Whole house dimming would be the goal as we have a small child and often just use "night light" mode in our manual lighting...My favorite is a ceiling fan with remote - it has upper and lower lights that can both dim independantly and 3 speed fan.
 

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i have the s12 and d1200 with a via64 setup at my desk at work very nice combo

i definitely have an s12 system in my future now

thank god for employee discount :D


the new via valet64b is kewl too

not sure on the price i am just in tech support we dont have access to pricing unless we ask
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What does the 64b offer over the 64?
 

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the new valet can be mounted under a counter or be a table top unit instead of being just an inwall unit like the via64
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonspawn
the new valet can be mounted under a counter or be a table top unit instead of being just an inwall unit like the via64
and the wood finishes are not available - only black plastic.
 
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