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New system, what to go for? please advise


chriscannes

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Hi All

I have been looking around on your forum with much interest thanks for all the resources.

I wondered if you could give me some advice

I am looking at buying an hc300 currently i have an entertainment setup using another brand and the hc300 will give me lots of other useful controls which my current system does'nt offer. My current setup also involves flipping between apps like itunes etc i am hoping with C4 i can have almost everything in one interface. I am listing below my sort of long term goal for this setup and wondering whats possible with one or two hc300's.

c4 lighting : [phase1]

2 dimmers

media IR: [phase1]

3 amps [1 is a yamaha network amp which handles an ipod plugged in or link to pc for audio content, this also does pandora

dvd

atv [i will use xbmc on here for all video i dont want to bog the c4 down with cover art and TB's of data. So i will go from c4 screen to xbmc , the ipad will be c4 remote interface and the xbmc screen displayed on the tv]

cd

ps3

tv's using remote blaster to send IR

music: [phase1]

hardrive mp3's approx 300gb [would like to integrate this into the C4 menu for ipad/remote control from round house, don't need the cover flow art if this will make things slow?] Can also cut this library down if necessary?

video: [phase 1]

same feed to all tv's [phase1]

Audio: [phase1]

2 zones front of house and back

zone 1 front : office and porch [1 amp with area switching these will never play simultaneously]

zone 2 back: lounge, tv room, back porch [2 amps] I would like it layed out like this as the house isn't big and these areas would never play different music simultaneously.

zone 2 has the master av receiver [yamaha] and all devices are plugged into this before anything else.

Server: [phase 1]

Is there a program setup that gives the C4 easy win xp pc control ie for switching on internet radio/pandora/ and so forth if i dont get the amp setup? I have an IR control for the PC but not sure if this will be of use?

alarm: [phase 2]

paradox integration and control of some on/off relay devices approx 10. lights/irrigation/hot water/access control

which paradox panel is required

cctv: [phase 2]

4 cameras with an integration module/software

Will one HC 300 handle this? Will i need a second?

Should i run the old OS or the latest on the hc300?

Can i create custom control layouts? ie for zone1 you open it up and it gives you a toggle option for the porch and office? for zone 2 gives you on/ off functionality for the lounge, back porch and tv room

I have some existing IR dimmers do you think i could get the c4 to work with them and get reasonable functionality?

I dont have enough devices to run all zones in all parts of the house at the same time ie only 1 dvd player. Can c4 be setup not to show options not available because they are in use or how does this work?

Ie the system knows someone is already using the cd player therefor it doesnt provide the option in the other zone?

Many thanks for the help

Chris

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A little feedback on your phase 2:

Re:

alarm: [phase 2]

paradox integration and control of some on/off relay devices approx 10. lights/irrigation/hot water/access control

which paradox panel is required

Lights - this will work well with Control 4

Irrigation - while you CAN do this with Control 4 - you will find it is done better and easier and cheaper using off the shelf technology for irrigation systems

Hot water - Off the shelf controllers will also work better (in my opinion) than having this done through control 4

Alarm system - this works well if you have an alarm system that is compatible with Control 4

Bottom line - Control 4 is a great system. You will like it - I echo a previous poster with "Just do it!"

Bill

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Welcome.

The answer is do not get an HC300...whilst they would work, they are slow (these are OLD technology).. Your future project warrant's an HC800

So get 1 xHC800

Just do it. :)

Cheers.

Let me guess and say he is spec'ing the 300 because you can buy them for less than $100. But, I won't not recommend at least one 300 in a new system. I do not like the new controllers for two reasons and I had to repurchase a 300 after finding out the hard way. Suggesting an 800 is always going to be the popular response but beyond that it may depend on what else you want to accomplish.

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I am keeping my last HC300. Good for its extra digital audio streams, IOs, and a few other things. For $100 I would say it is more than worth it. The workhorse in my project is however an HC800 which give me the performance I need.

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Sure the HC800 is great hardware and faster. Is it 6x faster than a HC300C? Because it is 5x-6x the price difference (current market pricing)? The HC300B is definately slow but I thought the HC300C was still fairly quick no? What's the processor speed difference between HC300C, HC200B (think it has same as 300C) HC250, HC800? Are there other factors between them that make the HC800 really worth it?

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They're different processor families, so just comparing CPU speed is not really all that useful, but you can get *some* idea based on the processors' ratings:

HC300: ARM 9, about 350MHz (one core 32bit CPU, 256M RAM)

HC800: 1.8 GHz Atom (D525 2-core/4-thread 64bit CPU, 1G RAM)

4-5x faster is probably about right, but that's still a subjective feeling for me.

RyanE

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They're different processor families, so just comparing CPU speed is not really all that useful, but you can get *some* idea based on the processors' ratings:

HC300: ARM 9, about 350MHz (one core 32bit CPU, 256M RAM)

HC800: 1.8 GHz Atom (D525 2-core/4-thread 64bit CPU, 1G RAM)

4-5x faster is probably about right, but that's still a subjective feeling for me.

RyanE

You mention HC300 is that B or C? I was under the impression there was a pretty big difference between the two revisions. I wouldn't think 350mhz. 256M ram to be in the C. If it is then what is in the B.....

After searching found some old threads mentioning HC300B > HC300C = approx 30% increase in speed, so that would put it to maybe 450-500mhz if comparing same gen processor, was the RAM increased at all? I'm assuming since 300C shipped with 2.0 it should run fine on a simple system? OPs system might not be simple in the end and I'd agree if I were in his position I'd go with HC800 as the difference in processing power and ram is worth it. Same for the HC250 that looks to be a 1ghz processor. However, asking for some of us with very simple A/V only solutions (only zigbee I have are remotes)

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I believe that's the 'C'. The 'B' is about a 300MHz, believe it or not. I think they have the same RAM, but the C has more flash.

The biggest difference between the two CPUs is not the processor speed, but I believe the CPU in the HC300C has a 600MHz DSP co-processor, which is used to offload audio processing, so the 350MHz in the C is doing much less work if you're doing any audio streaming / decoding.

Unfortunately, raw CPU speed is a pretty bad measure to compare, especially if you're looking at two different architectures (ARM vs. X86), since in some ways, the ARM core is more efficient than an X86 core, instruction-wise.

Bottom line, the HC800 is *much* faster, but if you have a fairly straightforward system (not a lot of Navigators, not a lot of chatty gear), the HC300C works well. I was running my house on an HC300B a few years ago, and as long as the master controller wasn't also running Navigator, it ran fairly well.

RyanE

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Ouch, I steam / decode absolutely nothing through C4, all done by my Denon receiver or Oppo player.... I had thought the 300C was going to be quite an improvement it seems the best course of action at least for my tiny gear is to do a 300C for 2.0+ licensing and keep 300B for bedroom and additional i/o. Tried Denon IP driver and it doesn't seem to work as well as serial so having 2 Denon receivers + Oppo = 3 serials.

While I'd love to do HC800 I just can't seem to justify it perhaps in the future when I do complete home automation with blinds switches thermostat etc. Definately suggest to OP with all he wants to integrate HC800 looks excellent, good investment now and down the road as that much power won't be obsolete for quite a while.

Thanks Ryan

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Point me to where someone is selling a 300 for $100 or less that sure isn't the price on fleabay even for a pretty used one.

Several have gone for well under $100 but so what? What is "pretty used"? They either work or they don't. I don't understand your post at all.

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Point me to where someone is selling a 300 for $100 or less that sure isn't the price on fleabay even for a pretty used one.

Several have gone for well under $100 but so what? What is "pretty used"? They either work or they don't. I don't understand your post at all.

"pretty used" was probably bad wording on my part. What I mean is condition how it was treated in the home. There are some brand new never used, some used, some scratched and dinged.

So I guess from your post if I have a 300 that has the front panel cracked, scratched case etc you'll give me "fair market value" for it since it "works" ?

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Another just sold for $80 yesterday. Scratches are expected, especially if it was racked. Cracked? That's something that must be disclosed on an ebay sale. Any reputable seller will note that and possibly a "For Parts Only" status. Any responsible buyer should ask questions before the end of the auction (I get extremely irritated when buyers start asking questions after the fact).

Any sales here should go through the same protocol. But, everyone should know, there is no warranty for sales like this unless the same guy is a dealer in good standing. And, that brings-up a question from me- is the sale valid if the qualified selling dealer does not do the physical install?

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