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The builder we've chosen uses one exclusive company for low voltage and automation.  This shop represents URC and Elan G!, but not C4.  I could possibly talk the builder into letting another integrator do the work, so I got a quick "budget pricing" quote from Best Buy Magnolia last night.  What a joke.  With 7 audio zones, 6 TV's and a dedicated theatre, six rooms with lighting, six cameras they were quoting around $110k (+ or - 10%).  To actually do a line by line quote and figure out what's driving that cost, they wanted $10k deposit down to perform design work.  The guys really knew their stuff, but that initial price plus their deposit process scared me off.

 

I sat down with the builder's recommended integrator today and he seemed solid.  That said, I'm concerned that neither Elan or URC are at the same level as Control4.  Quick research seemed to show that both products lacked with integration/drivers and the interfaces don't seem as good as C4.

 

I know this group will be biased, but are URC or Elan that far behind C4?

 

A third option, which I'm liking more and more, is to have the integrator wire everything and then I'll have someone on the forum like Neil sell me the hardware and do the programming.  

 

Any other thoughts?  I really want to do C4 if I can make it work.

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Get the contractor to do the wiring and get a custom installer (CI) in your area that does C4 to tell you what he needs wired and where and do the project after the home is finished.

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What the heck is Magnolia quoting you for gear at that price!

 

I can make you a quote for that number at that price and more - but it would include some pretty hefty a/v gear (ie 4k tv's 60 and up all around - that sort of thing).

 

I'd try and find a local C4 dealer and ask for a quote....

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Cant speak to Elan G!, but on URC control 4 was a huge breath of fresh air. We installed URC products over 10 years and with so many limitations and customer complaints we switched to Control4 and have not looked back. The depth of URC integration felt more like select an activity and then go to the app or remote specific to the devices to navigate your interfaces. Cost over time also favors to control4 as you can add in multiple devices and save over a larger project compared to URC.

 

The community here is amazing and lots of new and exciting projects are ongoing at all times. 

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I was just reviewing the budgetary quote, and here are a couple examples:

 

- SINGLE motorized shade system for back of the theatre, quoted at $6800.  That's in addition to $7600 for Lutron base system controlling lighting for 6 rooms.

- 3 HC-800's and 3 HC-250's (I had planned one HC800 and one 250)

- $10k for 1.5 racks (one full, one half height), power conditioning and UPS

 

I rest my case.  I shouldn't have gone after work in my suit.

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that is a lot of IO available to you in their system. Even if you would need it, IO would be more cost effective through a IO extender. 

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I used to work for Magnolia (lead programmer) so I think I can provide some insight. 

 

First URC is more of a single room system and is an industry leader in that specific application. But definitely not a whole home automation solution. 

 

Elan is definitely a well recognized brand name in the industry and is certainly comparable to control4. That said, I much prefer the larger functionality of a contro4 system and increased scalability. 

 

 

As far as your quote, the specifics matter. Best buy is probably selling you top of the line TVs and B&W speakers. Things like that. Also they tend to sell higher end a/v equipment like a 20/20 leaf matrix or something. Also I would imagine you have a full ruckus wifi system in your quote as well. These products are FAR superior to your average products. But not totally necessary for every project, depends on the usage. 

 

The 7600 for Lutron base station is a bit high but it is probably including programming and switches etc.... Is this Homeworks or Radiora2? Because Homeworks would be much more expensive.

 

The mass of control4 controllers is likely not needed. The hc250s are probably in there for zigbee coverage as well as on screen displays I would assume. Cut it all out. You need 1 hc-800 to run your whole project. 

 

 

Saying all this, you can pick and choose what you want in your system.... Just tell them you don't want to have that many controllers and want cheaper whole house speakers. The 10k deposit is for engineering team to build you a rack elevation which is normal for Magnolia, otherwise people would be coming in and getting bids from them every hour....

 

Please keep in mind the sales guys you are talking to don't actually know anything about how these systems function... They just know what buttons to hit and what is supposed to happen. 

 

The positives of Magnolia (best buy) - you can be assured that the large investment you made will be completed at a reasonable time frame and done correct. If it is not, there is a multi billion dollar company backing it and a simple call to corporate would instantly give you attention. (this is a generality so please don't bombard me with your best buy hate)

 

The negatives - Magnolia is not the right company to do everything and anything control4 does. They typically sell straight forward audio video systems. When you start getting into the advanced stuff like sprinkler/pool controls, advanced programming, shades etc. you are probably better off going with a specialized audio video company that does control4. 

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URC is not comparable. Élan maybe, but even then...not nearly the level of integration you can achieve with C4. I had URC for years, which was integrated to my lutron radirora and loved the remotes. Also liked Phillips Pronto. But, they are no way comparable to an HA system. Steer clear of BB. Have them wire and then go with a C4 integrator.

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URC is not comparable. Élan maybe, but even then...not nearly the level of integration you can achieve with C4. I had URC for years, which was integrated to my lutron radirora and loved the remotes. Also liked Phillips Pronto. But, they are no way comparable to an HA system. Steer clear of BB. Have them wire and then go with a C4 integrator.

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Isn't that what I said....???

 

"First URC is more of a single room system and is an industry leader in that specific application. But definitely not a whole home automation solution." 

 

MRX-450 and 900 are some of the most sold remotes in the history of remotes... going back 20 years....

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I didn't quote you. I was replying to the original poster. Learn proper board use.

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Oh ok you're just saying the same thing everybody else already said. Gotcha. I'll study up on my "board use"

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Again, great insight.... thanks for all the feedback.  

 

I'm going to use the local integrator for structured wiring and security and then engage a board member to perform the configuration.  That will allow me to "rack & stack" and participate in the project a little bit.  I moved out of a technical role and until 100% management about 12 years ago, and man do I miss it!

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If you are lookin at osd then you need a controller for every tv you want it on unless you are doing an hdmi matrix. However you more than likely so not need more than 1 800

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Good point.  We will be dropping a small fortune on HDMI matrix, so the thought was to have two controllers.  There are only three of us in the household (unless our dog starts using the interface), so the chance of three OSD's being used at the same time are pretty low.  Figured two would work fine for now.

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6 screens. 6 OSD. Isn't that C4 protocol.

 

That definitely used to be the case but with video matrix's being so popular and lighting extending the zigbee network, they have become much less needed. 

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Good point.  We will be dropping a small fortune on HDMI matrix, so the thought was to have two controllers.  There are only three of us in the household (unless our dog starts using the interface), so the chance of three OSD's being used at the same time are pretty low.  Figured two would work fine for now

 

Also with the integration of phones and tablets the OSD has just become a pain to use. 

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I have had C4 for 14 months.  My girlfriend and I have used the OSD maybe 5 times, of which probably 2-3 were late at night, in bed and wanting to make sure a light somewhere was off or something was closed.  We have a "good night" setting but do not always use it when guests are over for various reasons.  The other few times were in the early stages because "it was cool".

 

Point is, as others have said, with phone apps, remote controls, keypads on the wall, touch screens, etc the interaction with OSD is minimal at best.  

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Yes, it will be interesting to see how our family ends up controlling.  I can see a couple of scenarios where the OSD would be used more readily:

 

1. Security cams

2. When I plop down on the couch after a long day, I like the idea of having a small tactile remote in my hand and not having to interact with my tablet.

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Yes, it will be interesting to see how our family ends up controlling.  I can see a couple of scenarios where the OSD would be used more readily:

 

1. Security cams

2. When I plop down on the couch after a long day, I like the idea of having a small tactile remote in my hand and not having to interact with my tablet.

 

Depending on how you get your Cameras into your project, you may not need the OSD to view them on the TV.  Cameras are also view able on touchscreens, phone, etc.  For example, I went with an IP matrix (not HdBaset) and my cameras are just another source, so I just click watch > driveway camera and that camera will appear on the TV.  watch > dvr gives me Cable tv box, watch > blu ray for DVD player, etc  you see what I mean.  If your NVR is in your matrix, you could probably do watch > NVR and get a grid style screen with a few cameras as well.

 

The SR 250 or the new SR 260 can control everything without the OSD menu.  the remote are your typical stick/wand style, and very easy to use.

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