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eggzlot last won the day on December 11

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About eggzlot

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    Control4 Wizard

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  1. eggzlot

    Recommendation: Door Bell / Camera

    The latest c4 doorstation just works period
  2. eggzlot

    Video Storm vs. Just Add Power

    Fair on not buying the switch - like I said I remember 5 years ago they were selling Cisco SG Switches, I already had one but my dealer (fairly reputable from this forum) suggested I get their pre loaded one. Either way, its another cost/concern needing a managed switch whereas C4 usually suggests not getting managed switch (ducks waiting for people to go nuts here). Any device can fail, JAP or FireTV. There was a thread yesterday about C4/Leaf Balun's having known issues. Cut out the extra hardware, get an Android TV (Sony/sharp) and hardware is even needed, just 1 ethernet cable for VS! Switching and device control? When I switch inputs/devices yes there is a 2-3 second lag sometimes but I am also not heavily switching between a cable box and FireTV and Apple TV and Roku and outdoor cameras. I guess different people have different uses. As far as channel surfing, it was brought to my attention that VS has a XXX millisecond delay when you press a button to get it to execute. since i knew that, that for the first week or two I thought I noticed it and it annoyed me. 5 years later its just normal. I've had guests sleep over, watch my house, etc and no one ever said hey your channels change oddly, you may want to look into it. knowing its there yeah I guess you see/feel it, but if you didn't know it doesn't really translate into an issue. My Wife is my biggest critic when I comes to my tech hobby. She hated the original door station from day 1 and that is all I ever heard about. Well other things too :-). Video Storm passes her sniff test because she never complains about anything TV related and even enjoys some of the features she realizes she misses as we are living with my inlaws while we do renovations on our house. Prior to VS we had a Monoprice Matrix system and I got calls all the time because it was not working. Not the case with VS. If the delays were that annoying trust me, I would have heard about it from her after 5 years! I've said it several times on several different threads about these topics and others - find a good dealer. Tell them what you need, and what would be a dream/nice to have. See their quotes, see if its in your budget. Ask for references, talk to references, then jump in. If a dealer says he/she can do anything you need for a budget you like and they spec JAP then fine. You really will sleep fine at night with either system. You are likely over analyzing as most of us are guilty of doing here on these forums.
  3. eggzlot

    Video Storm vs. Just Add Power

    some good points but I'd agree to disagree on a few: Video Storm has 4k transmitter that are certified to work - two different units by URay. They are only 4k@30, one is h264 and one is h265. They are not 4k@60 but still 4k and can be purchased and used today. They are only $445 for the most expensive one. Not sure how the JAP 4k transmitter prices out when comparing it to a $445 unit retail for the end client. I support a dealer model, but there is clearly margin for a dealer to sell JAP because they can sell the hardware and programming vs Video Storm which is bring your own hardware and the end client can buy the hardware and just have a dealer do the drivers/bindings. When your client can buy these Uray devices + Nvidia Shields and they ask you to add the drivers and program, that is not as profitable for a dealer who can sell hardware and then do the bindings/programming. Maybe the margin is $10 a unit or $100 unit, either way, there is profit being left on the table. JAP requires a dedicated switch you need to buy if not mistaken and you need to purchase that Switch via Blackwire preconfigured? Video Storm has no such requirements. Though now looking at Blackwire's site I think its Luxul - not 100% sure if you are forced to purchase but when I looked 5 years ago you had to buy the preconfigured Cisco SG switch from Blackwire which was a turn off as I already had another Cisco SG switch with plenty of ports available to add onto the system. I agree on the lack of PoE, though not true PoE you can use these devices and keep the wiring all tidy in the centralized location. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDLUSE7/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 For the first 2+ years I did not have a centralized controller. I had my least used room (Guest room) VRX running the program as the controller. Advised or not, it worked flawlessly. When I needed some sound correction/sync features I purchased a VRX020 to assist and then made that the controller of the system. So just saying you may not need a separate unit as a controller though your mileage may vary. Zero hardware failures in 5 years. Video Storm has drivers for C4, RTI, Savant, Crestron, URC and then generic HEX IR Codes. That is fairly friendly in case the user wants to switch control systems. How is the customer service an advantage? Video Storm is active on this forum daily and have not heard complaints about their service. Even though I am an end user they have answered any email or call I've placed to them. And they are super responsive on this forum. I would think this is a wash? I am sure there are many people with positive and fewer with negative experiences with both platforms. I cannot comment about your first point because every TV in my house is 1080p. I guess I'll see what happens when I add my first 4k TV but I am not expecting to get results that make me WTF. I am fairly sure the 4k tvs will get the proper 4k content and it will be downscaled to the 1080p TVs but I could be wrong. Since Fios has zero 4k content I am not super concerned, my Nvidia Shield will be directly connected to the 4k TV so I can stream 4k content so nothing I really need to share amongst TVs. I am sure Video Storm is doing marketing hype to say they are ahead of JAP. Maybe on owning their own hardware they are behind - I'll give you that much. But I think VS is heading more towards building a platform/ecosystem and letting users have their own hardware and just supplying the platform. In that respect, I believe they had several features first - I know 5 years ago you needed a transmitter for your NVR to get cameras in JAP, not with VS - just the IP URL. Splashtiles are unique to VS. There were other features at the time VS had over JAP. So maybe that is what VS is talking about being ahead of JAP - in regards to features, not hardware. Hardware yes, JAP has the edge in that category.
  4. eggzlot

    Video Storm vs. Just Add Power

    I am a video storm guy and easily recommend it to anyone. re: 4k@60...I have Verizon Fios, they do not even have 4k content available. Heck some content is still 720p or 1080i. I am not a big streaming guy but I guess maybe Netflix or Amazon Prime have some 4k@60 content but then its all streaming and compressed anyways and quality is really based on your internet connection, network and many other factors. I dunno, call me a cynic but I also think sometimes people chase a number for better or worse. Take a good TV in good lighting conditions and will someone really know 4k@30 vs 4k@60? People still request to come to my house for watching the superbowl and I have an almost 10 year old Panny VT Plasma that is only 1080p?!?!? Gosh... I am not putting down anyone who "wants" the latest and greatest but sometimes to me there are just limits and I am ok accepting them. If you have a true theater set up, very high quality inputs all around, physical media at the highest level, etc, then sure it may make a difference to the trained eye. On a 50-65''' TV streaming content and sitting on the couch someone is going to say that's 30 not 60 hz? My first 4k TV is on order. I plan on getting a Nvidia Shield instead of a FireTV just because it has more horsepower so should perform better per Video Storm's recommendation. Being the Shield is on sale now it makes sense so I'll pull the trigger. I have used VRX020 and VRX010 in the past with no issues. I'll continue to use the VRX's with my 1080p sets and with my 1 4k TV I'll get a Shield. I only have 2 cable boxes, we call one "Cable Box" and one "Fios Box". since its a two family house its easy, I basically know if my wife is in the other room watching TV. I would think via programming it could pick the next box, or if you have a family of 5, name each box, Dad DirectTV, Mom DirectTV, Kid 1 DirectTV etc and everyone watches their own box when they want to watch TV. For me using the VRX I just do "Watch > TV" and the last channel that was watched appears on the TV.
  5. eggzlot

    For sale: KD120s, & APD120s

    they are already discounted 25-33% or so off of MSRP. not sure he wants to chop his price down 50% of the price he posted. I've purchased from this poster and had a pleasant transaction.
  6. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    Was your last system 24 zones? From my experience and what I hear from others it’s better and smoother programming and operating a large system by breaking out the amps and the matrix separate. In a smaller system under 8 zones it may not matter as much. If you can daisy chain some 3rd party stuff with rs232 is possible save money on buying 10 touchscreens and 14 EA1s. But whole home audio equipment your dealer knows how to program flawlessly. C4/triad, video storm, drayton, monoprice etc it ain’t my money but given your scope this isn’t where I’d cheap out
  7. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    With your size system buy dumb amps and a matrix switch. C4 offers the solution under triad. I showed you video storms matrix. You know of other amps you mentioned. I’d steer clear of a combo unit matrix/amp
  8. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    Dummy amps plus matrix more flexibility in programming and adding on in the future.
  9. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    that 38x38 CMX is an audio switch. same as triad in base function. I am sure they each have their own unique selling points. At the time the Triad version was not out and the older c4 audio matrix did not handle lip sync issues well with video distribution so I just went with the VS matrix to keep it all within the VS hardware ecosystem. Netplay is their Video switch line, the VTX/VRX are their own line of hardware, or you can "bring your own device" and use some of their suggested 3rd party encoders/decoders that they certify to work on their platform. EA5 then maybe 1-2 strategically placed EA1s maybe for localized IR/RS232 control and helping with zigbee mesh. That is best left up to a system designer, but you certainly do not need 14 of them. There is a happy medium between 14 and say 1-2. You can meet somewhere in the middle.
  10. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    i am not a dealer, but I did stay at a holiday inn express last night. EA5 can stream up to 5 sources (pandora, siriusxm, deezer, sharebridge (c4's version of iOS Airplay) and several others, I only use pandora and sirius plus my own FLAC files) so the idea is to stream those into a matrix that can turn those around and stream them to other locations. Otherwise you can stream 5 individual sources to 5 rooms but not connect/join the rooms without a matrix. You could go sonos but then you need a lot of sonos connects or connect amps and its lacking in app/driver support so for a system this size should be a nonstarter. So without a matrix you could stream 5 sources to 5 rooms and not join the rooms. You have 24 audio zones, so you really cannot get a matrix smaller than 24x24 if you want all sources available in all rooms. If you have 14 TVs and want to put 10 touch screens in the house, it ain't my money, but get the Ea5 over the Ea3. You seem to have a decent budget, I would not cut corners on the main brain for the unit.
  11. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    its not a headache to centralize the AVR you said you want the audio feed from a TV in a room with Audio but no TV. For that, you need proper distribution. If your AVR is local or centralized is not really going to move the needle all that much. kids will use their tablet/phone to scroll for a song, or use alexa to ask for a playlist. touchscreen overrated 😉 a 4 year old will enjoy an iPad more and its a fraction of the cost. The big draw to the c4 touchscreen is its always "on" the c4 app if you will, and the intercom/doorstation calls work on it. for controlling music, go with a tablet/phone and the c4 app. Also what audio sources are you playing? You get 5 off the EA5. You plugging in anything else audio wise? With 24x25 or 38x38 you have tons of options like CD players, record players, Sonos Connects, Amazon Devices, Chromecasts, etc. so you may want the audio matrix regardless. You have 4 people in your house. let's say you have 1-2 guests over, you still will not have more than 6 different feeds? Let's be honest, if you have 2-3 people staying over, why is everyone in their own room watching TV on their own? And for guests, you 100% want some cable box/dish boxes or something since they will not know what to find on your netflix account or whatever. They just may want to put on Seinfeld reruns and go to bed. My house is a 2 person house, the most we've ever had is 2 different sources at once! Even when guests come over, wife and I share a bedroom so we watch a source while guests are in their bedroom watching something. Otherwise we are with our guests watching TV together in the living room or out of the house enjoying the non TV world. I am not talking you out of 14 TVs, just realize you'll never have 8-9 unique sources playing unless you have 5 more kids 😃 whatever your dealer is comfortable using. If you need to ask then you likely do not have the experience in this area, so trust your dealer. You have a system designed for C4 and a professional installer. There is not 1 way to set you up. Give your list of required and then nice to have scenarios to 2 or 3 dealers. Get quotes, talk to them, see who you are comfortable working with and who is understanding your use cases. Ask for references. then dive in.
  12. I use my C4 Amp/video storm audio matrix to play a doorbell sound in my kitchen, dining room, master bedroom and home office. Covers most of the areas of my home. If I have music playing on the patio then the doorbell rings there too (it obviously assumes I am outside because the music is it on so it plays the doorbell only at those times) during the holidays I play Xmas music as a doorbell, for the superbowl I have a random rotation of the "theme" songs for CBS Sports, Fox Sports and MNF playing when people ring my doorbell. Have fun with it!
  13. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    traditional HDMI Matrix vs an IP Solution: http://www.justaddpower.com/blog/2016/06/hdmi-over-ip-vs-hdbaset-some-differences/ basically hdmi matrix are fixed in a 4x4, 6x6 or 8x8 fashion - ie you can take 4 sources and share it on 4 tvs (4x4). IP is more modular, you can have YxZ with no problem. and not everything has to be centralized in the same location, you can have a random device in room A and the rest of your devices in Room B but they can all be accessed via your Video over IP solution if all on the same network. the $3-$4000 in equipment was Dish/DirectTV gear or a matrix? Video Matrix systems are not cheap, especially for 14 units! That said, if you are big Fire TV users, the Video Storm system can work on Fire TVs or Nvidia Shields which can help bring down your costs. you start looking for features like 4k or audio downmixing and it gets confusing and expensive! for prewire, 2 cat6 is a minimum. so may suggest 3-4. the big thing, add conduit, 2'', behind the walls. so you can run newer wires in the future. its inevitable.
  14. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    re: local vs centralized AVR location, pros and cons to each. no correct way. you only need a balun behind each tv (so 14, not 28) if you are going to do video distribution from a centralized location. let's say your cable boxes are downstairs. HDMI cable box > encoder box > ethernet wire > switch > ethernet wire up to the TV location > Balun > Hdmi into the back of the TV (or into the AVR, then another hdmi from AVR > TV). That will bring audio/video from the centralized unit into the room with the TV. If you elect to to have 4 AVR's being centrally located too, 100% you need good audio distribution. especially if you want cable box audio in a room without a TV - welcome to the world of full blow video/audio distribution. https://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=cmx3838a2 will give you up to 38 sources to 38 locations. The Triad goes up to 24, so that does not give you much room for growth. Also not sure how the Triad will handle audio delay. As for the encoders/decoders, these are the decoders you can use with Video storm (aka the balun behind the tv) https://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=netplayhomedecoder and their encoders (aka what the cable box or streaming stick will plug into) https://www.video-storm.com/proddetail.asp?prod=netplayready - mind you, some will say buy 14 fire sticks and put them at each TV. Sure you can do that, but then you have 14 appliances to upkeep. Firmware updates, changing of apps, when drivers go bad and you need to figure out a solution you need to do that x14, make a change to your kodi library and you need to do that 14 times, etc. Cheaper but more headache with the upkeep. I find the upkeep on little streaming sticks to be annoying, drivers go back, need to swap out for newer ones, etc. @videostorm can probably add more input. The biggest thing also is to get a dealer who can build a system of your size and complexity and use the tools/hardware they know the best. Otherwise you are asking for major headaches. So to me, if you are up for video distribution, keep it simple: 2-3 cable boxes 2-3 streaming sticks of your choice That would give you 4-6 sources to watch for a family of 4. The cost of the touchscreen vs its usage is low to me. Even if you get used ones. Devices are usually supported for 5-10 years max. So at some point those older touch screens *may* put some limits on their ability to do certain tasks, ability to upgrade your OS, etc. those older TS are based on Flash whereas all new C4 stuff is now Android based. I just think personally its throwing away money to give a 4 year old a touch screen in their room. But that is my personal opinion. Other than the PoE switch you mentioned you've been light on your networking details, you'll need a good router, access points, etc....
  15. eggzlot

    List of Equipment

    i believe Video Storm is cheaper. Just Add Power has been around longer in the game, that's all. I wouldn't put touchscreens in the bedroom, but that is my personal decision. I have one by each main door into the house for entry/leaving purposes, 1 in our master bedroom for easy control and one portable one in an upstairs office to answer the front door when we work from home. Another thing, though "uglier", if you are doing a security system, keep a physical button keypad somewhere in your bedroom in a closet or something. Though the touchscreen can control the keypad, when the alarm is going off at 2am those touchscreens and hitting the right button is not as easy as a normal alarm keypad. Just my $.02. 14 tvs - how many actual family members live in the house? That is how many cable boxes you should get in case everyone is watching something different at the same time unless you are just that heavy on streaming services. As far as the streaming sources, you can put a Fire TV behind each of the 14 TVs. Or if you dont want to maintain that much hardware get a few and centralize them. Multiple ways to attack your set up. You can centralized a Blu Ray player, just realize you'll have to get up and change the disc as you mention. We havent used our blu ray player in 5 years, but yes, its centralized :-) I've had both Optimum and Fios and zero issues controlling the boxes. Its IR control and just flat out works. If you want to centralize and audio receivers (aka AVRs) then 100% you need a good solid audio/video solution. How many rooms require an AVR? Just curious why you aren't just using TV speakers for probably 12-13 of the 14 TVs with maybe 1 nice "theater" set up requiring an AVR? You can simply just get 14 fire sticks, dont distribute TV Audio and Video, and just do 1 nice theater set up room with an AVR? If you are watching XYZ in Room A, would you want to watch the same thing at the same time in Room B and/or C? Would you want the audio of that TV stream in the kitchen at the same time but maybe not on a TV, just on one of those 24 pairs of overhead speakers? I do not have a TV in the kitchen or dining room, but during our superbowl party I take the TV audio feed and broadcast it on the speakers in my kitchen and dining room.