What exactly does that mean? I checked out Lifeware at the Electronic House Expo in Florida this past week and the system seems pretty good, though the interface for installers is weak and a number of devices will have to be manually configured/added through the UDI interface. I'm still trying to figure out the aha/gotchas as I haven't had a chance to play with the software extensively yet so, can you be more specific?
Thanks to everyone for your input. Here's my update.
I've looked at a couple of different options, standalone whole house audio and full control system including Crestron's adigio, Niles ICS, Digilinx, Lifeware, Control4 and a few others.
For now I decided to just go with the Niles ICS for whole house audio and let the newer controls market mature a little more. For a demonstrated functionable standpoint I liked what the Digilinx and Lifeware SEEMED to offer, but the cost in my opinion was still too high. More importantly, I have major concerns about using Windows as the base technology for these systems. No one could address my major questions concerning security holes in Windows, or just potential regular upgrades/patches, etc. Let alone what happens in the future when MS drops support for that OS.
So from my standpoint, whole house audio was my initial desires anyway. The other systems really did not address that need directly, would still have to integrate other systems. I figured go with a good whole house audio system and then I could always integrate into a full control systems later once the market matures. Also, perhaps Niles may continue to add features to the ICS which would make the growth easier.
Thanks Dean, I just got exposed to Lifeware and was just starting to do some research but my Internet connection over my phone here has been spotty due to the general crappiness of cell phone signal here at Wilderness Lodge at Disney. So, very helpful to read through that link. I also intend to check out your software as well. In any event, thanks for the informative link.
EI is trying to basically advertise their way into the market. They are spending big time on advertising, to create an impression that they are way bigger than they are. In terms of actual installed systems, I think that they are only slightly bigger than us, which means that they have to be enormously in the hole financially at this point. And their pricing means that there's little incentive to choose them over the more conservative Crestron/AMX route, so they've not made any headway into the custom installer market.
Hence, I guess, the various deals they've been doing lately to sell through BB and whatnot. But that's a path fraught with danger as well, since I think that most of us would agree that BB doesn't have the expertise to do this, though I'm sure there could be exceptions in some places where they happen to hire someone competent. And it's a $15K package being sold in a store where the next most expensive thing is probably a $2 or $3K Plasma TV, so it's questionable if that's really the place to sell such a thing.
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