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HC-300 to HC-250 or HC-800?


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I'm planning an upgrade from HC-300 running 1.8.2 to a newer controller. The primary motivation is to get MyHome, 4Site, and OS 2.4 + ip drivers. I've been suggested several options:

1. Get HC-800 as the only controller.

2. Get HC-250 and run it alongside HC-300.

3. This hasn't been suggested, but I can image that HC-800 + HC-300 is also an option.

What's the difference between HC-250 and HC-800? Looking at the specs, there more connections on HC-800 and the cpu is 1.8 vs 1.0 GHz.

- Does the speed difference matter in real life?

- Since I can reuse IR from 300, is 250 sufficient?

- Is dealing with two controllers a lot more complicated?

My system:

- Home Theater (front-projection, tivo, roku, ATV, Dune, Oppo BD); no other TVs in the house nor planned

- 6 zone audio with C4 matrix audio switch off NAS + Grace TunerPro

- ~50 ZB dimmers, tstat, 2 remotes,

- Concord4 security



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For your system size a 250 would be plenty - doubt you'd see much of a difference on an 800. It's faster and better no doubt - but overdone in your case.

You'll need to keep the 300 in a 250 configuration due to lower number of IR/Serial outs on it. Possibly to add some audio streams.

It really isn't more complex to have one or more controllers - in your scenario the new controller, be it a 250 or 800 would become the main controller doing all the work (director, on-screen, ZigBee server and ZAP coordinator) and the 300 would become a rather "dumb" i/o controller.

ROUGHLY the 800 is 3 times more powerful then the 250, plus it has more connections of course, but it'll be like putting a semi in front of a u-haul toy trailer in your case. Stick with the full-ton truck ;)

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Probably the biggest advantages of the 800 over the 250 are:

1) CPU speed. It's mostly noticeable on the on-screen navigator. If you don't use on-screen, that speed will be used to run Director faster. Depending on the size of your project, you may or may not need that horsepower. It *does* give you a bit more headroom, such that if your project grows, you could get additional life out of the 800 vs. the 250.

2) External ZigBee antenna. If your controller is located in the basement, or somewhere else that's not centrally located, having the ability to put the ZigBee antenna on a 3ft extender to put it outside a rack, or up higher in the room can help ZigBee reception quite a bit.

3) Additional I/O. As you've said, you can re-use the IO on the 300. There's not much difference between using the IO on a 300 vs. IO on the 800. It's not more complicated to have a project with multiple controllers vs. a single controller. The only exception to this would be the on-screen. You can't really replace the 800's on-screen with the on-screen from the 300, due to #1.

Good luck with your project.


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