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Discussion Starter #1
Hopefully this will help other provide feedback on controllers.

1. Want to be able to set scenes from phone or tablet to turn things on off. Lighting, audio, security system, cameras, shades and TV's(if that's possible)
E.G. when I walk in house...disarm security system, turn on certain rooms lights and play music on certain zones and close shades. It could a few of these things or more.
2. I'd like to be able to have voice control( via Alexa or Google) to control audio and lights. Not sure if there are more things Alexa/Google can control via voice.
3. Do they have smart appliances yet. Specifically stove/oven? Nice feature would be to pre-heat the oven remotely.
4. Control of sprinkler system
5. Control of HVAC system..as part of particular scene as well

Any other cool bells/whistles or automation things I might want to consider?


My system will have roughly 7 audio zones, 5 rooms wired for video distribution, 8 cameras.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
anyone please?
 

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You might want to look into something like like a savant system. I would stay away from DIY systems if you want that much control to write scenes.

Savant has one of the easiest end user scene creation protocols I have ever seen and it’s free as part of their app.

Hopefully this will help other provide feedback on controllers.

1. Want to be able to set scenes from phone or tablet to turn things on off. Lighting, audio, security system, cameras, shades and TV's(if that's possible)
E.G. when I walk in house...disarm security system, turn on certain rooms lights and play music on certain zones and close shades. It could a few of these things or more.
2. I'd like to be able to have voice control( via Alexa or Google) to control audio and lights. Not sure if there are more things Alexa/Google can control via voice.
3. Do they have smart appliances yet. Specifically stove/oven? Nice feature would be to pre-heat the oven remotely.
4. Control of sprinkler system
5. Control of HVAC system..as part of particular scene as well

Any other cool bells/whistles or automation things I might want to consider?


My system will have roughly 7 audio zones, 5 rooms wired for video distribution, 8 cameras.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You might want to look into something like like a savant system. I would stay away from DIY systems if you want that much control to write scenes.

Savant has one of the easiest end user scene creation protocols I have ever seen and it’s free as part of their app.

Hopefully this will help other provide feedback on controllers.

1. Want to be able to set scenes from phone or tablet to turn things on off. Lighting, audio, security system, cameras, shades and TV's(if that's possible)
E.G. when I walk in house...disarm security system, turn on certain rooms lights and play music on certain zones and close shades. It could a few of these things or more.
2. I'd like to be able to have voice control( via Alexa or Google) to control audio and lights. Not sure if there are more things Alexa/Google can control via voice.
3. Do they have smart appliances yet. Specifically stove/oven? Nice feature would be to pre-heat the oven remotely.
4. Control of sprinkler system
5. Control of HVAC system..as part of particular scene as well

Any other cool bells/whistles or automation things I might want to consider?


My system will have roughly 7 audio zones, 5 rooms wired for video distribution, 8 cameras.

Thank you.
I'm surprised ...I thought homeseer and myserver could do all those things. also thought control4, savant lock you down to only using specific devices with limited flexibility.
 

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Homeseer and myserver maybe able to do but I wouldn’t want to take the chanc with DIY systems. Sadly you are misinformed with savant being limited to specific devices.
I'm surprised ...I thought homeseer and myserver could do all those things. also thought control4, savant lock you down to only using specific devices with limited flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Homeseer and myserver maybe able to do but I wouldn’t want to take the chanc with DIY systems. Sadly you are misinformed with savant being limited to specific devices.
Ok, thanks. Savant is much over my budget. Just a tech to come out in NY is $180 hour.
My system is not that big. I thought Homeseer and Myserver easily allowed scene setting???
Are there any controllers that are in between control4/Savant and Homeseer/Myserver?

Thank you
 

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Ok, thanks. Savant is much over my budget. Just a tech to come out in NY is $180 hour.
My system is not that big. I thought Homeseer and Myserver easily allowed scene setting???
Are there any controllers that are in between control4/Savant and Homeseer/Myserver?

Thank you
I live in Northern NJ so I feel your pain. I have Control4. You can get it set up with remote dealers at a fraction of the price if you are at all handy. You can even buy some used stuff on ebay or the c4forums to get you started.

C4 has software called Composer Home Edition. It lets you do 95% of what a dealer can do - the big thing is you cannot set up a project, access someone else's project or add hardware to your project, that is the 5% that dealers can do. The software is a 1x fee of $149 but it also comes with 4sight for 1 year and that is $99 on its own the software is really like $50. Control4 has a When/Then logic programming too which is very easy web based if this than that type programming, plus you can use your interfaces to create lighting scenes, add music services, etc but the addition of Composer HE makes it way more user friendly/customizable compared to Savant, RTI and Creston which at most let you create a few lighting scenes or something.
 

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...but the addition of Composer HE makes it way more user friendly/customizable compared to Savant, RTI and Creston which at most let you create a few lighting scenes or something.
Another misinformed statement. Savant pro app lets you create scenes with anything that is in your system and you only need your phone/tablet. No extra software and busting out a computer. My clients can write their own scenes to control lighting, HVAC, audio, video, security, etc and put them on timers. I can’t comment on crestron but RTI offers nothing like that. And sadly yes I am a control4 dealer/programmer as well as Savant.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I live in Northern NJ so I feel your pain. I have Control4. You can get it set up with remote dealers at a fraction of the price if you are at all handy. You can even buy some used stuff on ebay or the c4forums to get you started.

C4 has software called Composer Home Edition. It lets you do 95% of what a dealer can do - the big thing is you cannot set up a project, access someone else's project or add hardware to your project, that is the 5% that dealers can do. The software is a 1x fee of $149 but it also comes with 4sight for 1 year and that is $99 on its own the software is really like $50. Control4 has a When/Then logic programming too which is very easy web based if this than that type programming, plus you can use your interfaces to create lighting scenes, add music services, etc but the addition of Composer HE makes it way more user friendly/customizable compared to Savant, RTI and Creston which at most let you create a few lighting scenes or something.
Thanks a lot. Few questions.

1. So what equipment would I need to get started?
2. Remote dealers can add project and hardware?
3. How much do remote dealers charge?
 

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Another misinformed statement. Savant pro app lets you create scenes with anything that is in your system and you only need your phone/tablet. No extra software and busting out a computer. My clients can write their own scenes to control lighting, HVAC, audio, video, security, etc and put them on timers. I can’t comment on crestron but RTI offers nothing like that. And sadly yes I am a control4 dealer/programmer as well as Savant.
You are still talking scenes. Not programming buttons and actions, macros, etc. Composer HE is more powerful. If you want to set scenes you can do that on the OS in OS3 too in c4.

If someone is on the fence about DIY vs a pro install system, C4 is closer to DIY with Composer HE than Savant is with letting you create various scenes. If someone is not a power user/DIY person and just wants to make a few changes, then the updates to Savant to allow that are nice, but its not going to make a DIY person happy.
 

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Thanks a lot. Few questions.

1. So what equipment would I need to get started?
2. Remote dealers can add project and hardware?
3. How much do remote dealers charge?
First I’d consult with a dealer which I am not. That said:

1) equipment if you are looking used you could start with an HC800 with a license. You can get most of the OS3 features but missing 1-2. From there you can step up to a new (or used) EA3 or EA5. There is also an EA1 but its really sold as a 1 room solution not whole house. Now depending on how many devices you have to control, complexity, square footage of the house, etc is not possible to be 100% accurate with my answer, which is why I said ask a dealer for their advice. Mind you the HC800 will eventually be obsolete but it still works with the latest OS 3.1.3 so even if they make it end of line you’ll still get a few more years of it and it will cost you $200ish used

2) remote dealers can do everything to your project. Of course you need to be onsite to wire things or add batteries to wireless devices. And C4 needs you to “identify” a device which could be pressing a button on the remote 4 times or something so the dealer sees it pop up on their screen. So with a remote dealer, if adding hardware, you need to be involved. But if its just programming you can say hey I need X, Y and Z done and they can do it while you are at work, sleeping, out for dinner, driving the kids to a ball game, etc.

3) Remote dealers are just like onsite dealers they all offer their own rates, it is not regulated by Control4. For a big project some may just give you a flat rate. If you are buying hardware from them they may charge less (or nothing) to ID it and do simple set up vs if you are buying all used they will have to charge you a bit more to ID it so they can make a living wage. If you are getting quoted $180/hr+ I think you’ll be happy as most remote dealers are at least 50–75% cheaper. It’s a major cost difference. And most for small tasks charge in 15 min increments too. So if its a quick job it may cost you $20 or something.

There is a very active C4 forum, I am not sure if I can link to other forums here, so just send me a PM and I can send you the link. There are remote dealers on there promoting their offerings plus lots of users giving feedback on their work. Plus its just a good community of dealers and end users trying to help each other with programming, tricks, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First I’d consult with a dealer which I am not. That said:

1) equipment if you are looking used you could start with an HC800 with a license. You can get most of the OS3 features but missing 1-2. From there you can step up to a new (or used) EA3 or EA5. There is also an EA1 but its really sold as a 1 room solution not whole house. Now depending on how many devices you have to control, complexity, square footage of the house, etc is not possible to be 100% accurate with my answer, which is why I said ask a dealer for their advice. Mind you the HC800 will eventually be obsolete but it still works with the latest OS 3.1.3 so even if they make it end of line you’ll still get a few more years of it and it will cost you $200ish used

2) remote dealers can do everything to your project. Of course you need to be onsite to wire things or add batteries to wireless devices. And C4 needs you to “identify” a device which could be pressing a button on the remote 4 times or something so the dealer sees it pop up on their screen. So with a remote dealer, if adding hardware, you need to be involved. But if its just programming you can say hey I need X, Y and Z done and they can do it while you are at work, sleeping, out for dinner, driving the kids to a ball game, etc.

3) Remote dealers are just like onsite dealers they all offer their own rates, it is not regulated by Control4. For a big project some may just give you a flat rate. If you are buying hardware from them they may charge less (or nothing) to ID it and do simple set up vs if you are buying all used they will have to charge you a bit more to ID it so they can make a living wage. If you are getting quoted $180/hr+ I think you’ll be happy as most remote dealers are at least 50–75% cheaper. It’s a major cost difference. And most for small tasks charge in 15 min increments too. So if its a quick job it may cost you $20 or something.

There is a very active C4 forum, I am not sure if I can link to other forums here, so just send me a PM and I can send you the link. There are remote dealers on there promoting their offerings plus lots of users giving feedback on their work. Plus its just a good community of dealers and end users trying to help each other with programming, tricks, etc.
Thank you very much for you feedback.
 

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I'm surprised ...I thought homeseer and myserver could do all those things. also thought control4, savant lock you down to only using specific devices with limited flexibility.
Both myServer and Homeseer do MORE than what you can do with Savant and Control4.
Both are much more customizable and support more devices than S and C4.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Both myServer and Homeseer do MORE than what you can do with Savant and Control4.
Both are much more customizable and support more devices than S and C4.
Thanks Smooth. Would like to here others here to chime in as to whether they agree with that.

So scene control/automation is possible with Myserver/Homeseer?
Your saying I can have a scene set one either one of these that with a press of button lights come on, music starts and blinds close?
 

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Thanks Smooth. Would like to here others here to chime in as to whether they agree with that.

So scene control/automation is possible with Myserver/Homeseer?
Your saying I can have a scene set one either one of these that with a press of button lights come on, music starts and blinds close?
It is unlikely you will find many on a forum that have experience with all the systems you are looking at. There will be fans of one system and of course they are going to be biased towards that system. And they will have little or no experience with the others.

Scenes is a VERY basic function of any automation controller. That's not really what you should be comparing.
Homeseer and myServer are about as full featured as an automation controller has ever been (bar none).

myServer has a more professional and polished user interface capability than Homeseer. That's the primary difference.
Both myServer and Homeseer are available for free trial. If you want to take the time to compare, that's the best way. But that will take significant effort to install, configure, learn about, evaluate.
And forget about evaluating C4, Crestron or Savant. You would have to buy $mucho of hardware to attempt to "trial" those. End users don't ever do that. Dealers sometimes will have background comparing C4 and Savant as they might install both. But very few will have any background with HS or myServer. And I am not aware of ANY end users that have that much background. That's a full time job.

At the end of the day, you should look at what features you are trying to accomplish, decide if you will DIY or have a pro install, look at the example user interfaces (myServer can be configured to look like "anything" - that's a primary difference - none of the others can accomplish that with possible exception of Crestron and that's debatable). Then pick a system and go forward.
 

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It is unlikely you will find many on a forum that have experience with all the systems you are looking at. There will be fans of one system and of course they are going to be biased towards that system. And they will have little or no experience with the others.

Scenes is a VERY basic function of any automation controller. That's not really what you should be comparing.
Homeseer and myServer are about as full featured as an automation controller has ever been (bar none).

myServer has a more professional and polished user interface capability than Homeseer. That's the primary difference.
Both myServer and Homeseer are available for free trial. If you want to take the time to compare, that's the best way. But that will take significant effort to install, configure, learn about, evaluate.
And forget about evaluating C4, Crestron or Savant. You would have to buy $mucho of hardware to attempt to "trial" those. End users don't ever do that. Dealers sometimes will have background comparing C4 and Savant as they might install both. But very few will have any background with HS or myServer. And I am not aware of ANY end users that have that much background. That's a full time job.

At the end of the day, you should look at what features you are trying to accomplish, decide if you will DIY or have a pro install, look at the example user interfaces (myServer can be configured to look like "anything" - that's a primary difference - none of the others can accomplish that with possible exception of Crestron and that's debatable). Then pick a system and go forward.
https://www.control4.com/dealer_locator?utm_source=C4www&utm_medium=button&utm_campaign=C4Y&utm_content=local_C4Yourself
I am sure Savant has the same. Crestron has experience centers in NY and NJ. You cannot demo in home but you can certainly touch the hardware, see the UI, play with the interface tools (keypads, touchscreens and remotes) and get a better sense of how it all works. For C4 find the dealers with "certified showrooms" if you want to get that full customer experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It is unlikely you will find many on a forum that have experience with all the systems you are looking at. There will be fans of one system and of course they are going to be biased towards that system. And they will have little or no experience with the others.

Scenes is a VERY basic function of any automation controller. That's not really what you should be comparing.
Homeseer and myServer are about as full featured as an automation controller has ever been (bar none).

myServer has a more professional and polished user interface capability than Homeseer. That's the primary difference.
Both myServer and Homeseer are available for free trial. If you want to take the time to compare, that's the best way. But that will take significant effort to install, configure, learn about, evaluate.
And forget about evaluating C4, Crestron or Savant. You would have to buy $mucho of hardware to attempt to "trial" those. End users don't ever do that. Dealers sometimes will have background comparing C4 and Savant as they might install both. But very few will have any background with HS or myServer. And I am not aware of ANY end users that have that much background. That's a full time job.

At the end of the day, you should look at what features you are trying to accomplish, decide if you will DIY or have a pro install, look at the example user interfaces (myServer can be configured to look like "anything" - that's a primary difference - none of the others can accomplish that with possible exception of Crestron and that's debatable). Then pick a system and go forward.
So are there people whom I could hire to set up myserver?
 

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Hi horsegoer,
Yes, we can setup your myServer installation remotely.
Or, you can do it yourself (DIY)
Or, we can do the initial and you can see what we did and modify it from there (easier than starting from scratch).
Whatever level of assistance you need, we can provide. We do same for many of our dealers too.

Ezlotogura,
Yes, one can see Crestron and C4 and Savant and Homeseer and myServer running. My comment was really more about understanding how to install, program, configure, support, modify, the systems to compare. myServer is easy enough to see the end user experience because we have the actual product running live as a demo of residence and sports bar install on our public website (myServer uses modern web technology and doesn't require an "App" to be installed). But, if the questions go towards "how do I setup automation events", or "how do I add a new media player to my system", or "how do I add my daughter to the system so she can pull up her Pandora Favorites?" etc. To compare how one does that starts getting very difficult to compare. Crestron and Savant are a simple "call the dealer". C4 is for most, the same answer. Homeseer is "pull up your arm sleeves and get busy".
 
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