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I met with an installer/dealer who's going to give me a quote for design and running cable to wire the house we're building. It's likely I'll have him do it all. He suggested Crestron Prodigy as the next logical step. I was already planning on setting up a wireless remote system for GE light switches and a Trane thermostat as a separate project, but the Crestron looks like a great system. I was wondering if y'all would offer some pros and cons regarding it (Crestron) or point me to a thread where it's been discussed.
 

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I'm a couple of weeks away from getting a prodigy system installed.


4 rooms audio

2 rooms lights

1 room blinds

4 rooms hd video distribution

iPad control of all


I did a lot of research and think it gives the best bang for your buck when you take into consideration crestron's size and history in the industry. I also wanted to get all of my equipment from one manufacturer - i know that the job of the integrator is to integrate - but it gives me more peace of mind. Full Crestron used to cost a small fortune, but u are getting the majority of the benefits for a fraction of the cost with prodigy (assuming your house isn't massive).


The main other brand I considered Was control 4, but something just didn't appeal to me about it.


In car terms I see it as:


Full Crestron: Porsche 911

Prodigy: BMW M3

Control 4: turbocharged Japanese coupe


All of above will give u a thrill but in a different way!


My 2 cents


AC
 

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the line between the crestron line and prodigy is starting to blur. Basically the biggest difference is the prodigy line has limits to what it can do. For example, you may only be able to have 1 or 2 thermostats or only so many lights. For many people prodigy is good enough. I have even heard that prodigy will be able to piggy back onto a full crestron system, so you can grow in the future.


As far as Control4 goes - it is the direct competitor of the prodigy. The huge advantage of C4 is they have created partnerships with many 3rd party device manufactures. Many devices have native control4 support. On the downside, as far as I am aware, reliability has been spotty. This may have recently changed with the new OS version. But for quite some time, the unreliable nature of C4 has been the scourge of many owners.


The downside of Crestron is the price. They are not cheap. Also, they don't have as much native support for third party devices. Crestron devices prefer to work in an all crestron environment. Programing and configuration is faster and interoperability is more profiecently. That isn't to say that you can't use 3rd party drives (you can and they can work rock solid). It just means you should ask your installer about purchases before you make them to see what he recommends would work best (TVs, Receivers, Blu-ray, etc).


Don't get me wrong, ultimately you can get almost anything to work with crestron. It just depends on how much you want to pay for it. The reason I suggest you ask your installer before buying things is because there are certain things he may have better luck personally setting up. Which in the big picture means everything should work better without him spending more billable time getting the kinks worked out.


The upside to crestron, is once things are working, it works. They have great support.


Personally, I have some crestron stuff in our house. We are looking to build soon and so I am debating how deep into the rabbit hole I am going to go. Just keep in mind one thing, This stuff does not have a huge resale value. It will be one of those things that has immense value to you, but totally confuse and appear irrelevant to the average person who is shopping for houses.


One last downside to both, you will pay dealer rates for hardware, installation rates for software and unless the dealer really trusts you, you won't be able to make any changes or updates without having the installer do it for you. Did I mention that this stuff can get expensive?


In my opinion it is totally worth it. I can log into my house over my iPhone, change the thermostat, set the alarm, turn music on/off and even control the AV stuff. This can be done regardless of where I am. (I am sure many of these things can C4 and many other competitors).


Good luck on your decision. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Ask for a demo, take your time.


Check the installer's references closely.


The biggest gripe with professionally installed control systems is calling the installer to make small changes to the system, and paying for the changes (for example, you buy a new TV).


I think that can be viewed as an advantage by many people - you pick up the phone, speak with someone who specializes in customer service, and it gets done. And you don't have to curse once.


Ask the installer about future programming changes done remotely, over the internet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmcxiiad /forum/post/20847624


...they don't have as much native support for third party devices. Crestron devices prefer to work in an all crestron environment. Programing and configuration is faster and interoperability is more profiecently. That isn't to say that you can't use 3rd party drives (you can and they can work rock solid). It just means you should ask your installer about purchases before you make them to see what he recommends would work best (TVs, Receivers, Blu-ray, etc).

I will say that this isn't exactly accurate. No 3rd party device has something which 'natively' works with Control4 or Crestron or AMX. What they have are modules which are either built by the company, or by the respective companies which are compatible, and (in theory) fully tested to work with those brands. Almost all companies which care at all, usually have a decent set of protocols, but some still do not. This is why going to a professional before purchasing any equipment, is important regardless if you have a top shelf Crestron system, or just a basic universal remote control.


I've been programming Crestron for 10 years, and what I find is that a big advantage is the history and quality of the company. While this may sound silly, they have products which have been in their lineup to control things for 10+ years without change. They aren't outdated, they were just made right the first time. They have a good warranty and customer service, which is a big plus if there are any issues.


The downside to Crestron, or any of these, is that you could end up with a poor programmer. I've seen programming that uses nothing but the pre-fab templates, and I've seen programming that looks spectacular, but barely works. Then I've seen a few which have worked perfectly fine and have solid programming behind them.


It's important to see a home or get references before you deal with any installation company to ensure that you will be dealing with a decent company/product. I would say that you also should go to at least one other company/installer just to check pricing and listen to other recommendations of the same product. So, be sure the other installer is familiar with Crestron.


I've been happy enough to put Crestron into my home. The reliability that my family finds with the system has made it enjoyable for everyone from my wife, to my in-laws, to my young kids. I think it's important to understand that if you understand A/V really well, then Crestron isn't going to be for you - it's supposed to be for everyone else in the family that can't figure things out on their own.
 
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