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rf9000

New Home Build - Help

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Guys, 

hope you are all well. I sold my home yesterday and looking to build again in a few months. I think I want to utilize Control4 throughout the home although I haven't been keeping too up to date on what is all new out there in home automation. This is probably the wrong place to ask because I assume most here are biased, but is Control 4 still the way to go? I have heard  there is so much out there now that will accomplish most things that I want for far less $$ than Control4. I have heard of friends installing Alexa/Google systems and other systems that perform some pretty amazing tasks. They show me what there systems can do, how easy it is and how flawlessly it works. For Control4 to do the same things, it would cost $1000s and $1000s. So I'm just diving into this again and want to know what the best options are out there now and get some un-biased opinions if that is possible? Are there any solutions for lighting control that are as good as Control4 that do not cost as much? In looking at the lighting aspect alone where I would be needing over 100 switches and dimmers, it gets crazy expensive to buy those all from Control4. I'm also know that I will have a minimum of 24 zones of audio. Thinking of using dummy amps (because Triad Control 4 amps are expensive) but then need a switch. The Triad switch that Control4 sells for this is also crazy expensive. Is there a better solution now and can I do more than 24 zones? Lastly, I want things to be automated like blinds, lighting, etc., but don't really know if I will do any distributed video. Just because I was planning on have localized component cabinets for each major TV location (great room, master, rec room, etc.) so don't really see the benefit of distributed video, along with the exuberant cost of it. Unless of course things have changed and there are ways to do video for much less these days? It seems so crazy that most things in the A/V world of come down considerably in price over the last few years, except for when you want to buy these automation devices like Control4. I mean you can buy a 65" 4K TV for under $1000, but to run 1080p/4k signal thought the home the price is astronomical. That is why it seems like it is much smarter to have localized components where you get everything in 1080p or higher and can watch blu rays and Netflix in 4K. Just some of my initial thoughts and would love as much feedback from you all as you can give. Thanks

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if you want to turn a light on or close a garage door Alexa/Google are fine.  But that is the definition of control not automation.

If you want true automation that integrates 10,000's of devices and platforms I'd look at Control4, Savant, RTI, etc.  C4 offers some user programming abilities while the others are locked to dealer only.  I like the Savant UI better but the online forum support + Composer HE moved me into C4.  If C4 had a better more modern UI it would be the best solution hands down in the custom install space.  Just my $.02.

Alexa/Google will not help you with a steam shower or a pool or a wine fridge or a driveway monitor or audio delay for whole home audio or whole home video distribution, etc.  Many examples where those "big box store" systems will fail.

If you have no needs for those ancillary things and you do not mind hopping between several apps to coordinate sure you can do something for $10,000's less.  

People buy cars for $15,000 and $150,000.  They have 4 wheels and get you from Point A to Point B.

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thanks for those replies. I really don’t know what Alexa can all do, but they can’t be all bad. Heck, most C4 users integrate them because of easy of use and compatibility. I’m looking for some help on video distribution and what all your thoughts are on C4 as my main system?

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1 hour ago, Gary Leeds UK said:

If you are looking at touchscreens speak to your dealer - Alexa with touchscreen or Siri with touchscreen is not far away 

As much as I would love this... no one can say for sure if and when this will happen.  Still, a good idea and more reason to invest in a T3 if true.

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2 hours ago, rf9000 said:

thanks for those replies. I really don’t know what Alexa can all do, but they can’t be all bad. Heck, most C4 users integrate them because of easy of use and compatibility. I’m looking for some help on video distribution and what all your thoughts are on C4 as my main system?

The blog post comes from a highly respected lifelong tech leader (literally the man behind both Windows Media Center and Amazon Alexa) who expresses his thoughts, as a smart home genius, on C4 (and other systems) versus DIY products.

so, go ahead and read it because it's an opinion that should be considered.

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9 hours ago, dcovach said:

As much as I would love this... no one can say for sure if and when this will happen.  Still, a good idea and more reason to invest in a T3 if true.

With Charlie working for C4 (Ex Alexa) and Apple talking about more integration and the lack of any updates this year - One thinks a big new software update including GUI some

new touchscreens / Remotes most be in the pipeline. 

However I could be wrong 

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4 hours ago, msgreenf said:

You really shouldn't mix opinions w must. Those 2 words don't align

Sent from my BBF100-2 using Tapatalk
 

I’m pretty sure he said ‘most’ (sic) not ‘must’ 🤣

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I'm also building and I've gone through a similar assessment. My conclusion is that C4 is worth it for the controller, the remotes, the touchscreens, and the keypads for lighting control. They cost of the keypads do add up to a big cost. You can do Lutron Casata for a lower cost in non-critical rooms, but it doesn't offer the flexibility and configuration of C4 keypads.  I like the extra control of C4 (single tap, double tap, triple commands) and feedback (LED color for each key to indicate status.)

For other aspects, I think it's more cost effective to go with non-C4 options. I think 3 of the Monoprice 6-zone Matrix amps are a much better value for audio. You can link 3 of them together for 24 zones. These amps do the source switching and the amplification both. There is a C4 driver for RS232 control (it's the same as the Dayton Audio version of the amp.)

I think matrix distributed video is unnecessary any more. Just put an Apple TV at each display and be done with it. The only use case that doesn't solve is "All TVs in house synced to the same source." You can do SnapAV MOIP or Vanco EVO-IP at a more reasonable price if you're really worried about that. Otherwise, skip it.

 

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