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What do I need and what are my options


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38 minutes ago, fleishhacker said:

Yes... I understand that but want to have an idea when I go in.. re EA5 or EA3. Which matrix, amp options

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Your question is too vague hence the response to call a dealer.  Only looking to watch tv?  Want to stream music?  Or you wanting to control other TVs in the house?  Centralize video sources?  I have 4-5 more questions likely and that is just AV.  Are you doing lights or security (cameras, locks or alarm)?  What about hvac?

so not being rude but you are saying I need a car to commute to work.   Ok - you live in snowy areas get a 4x4, on the beach get a convertible etc.  3 mile drive or 30 mile drive?  you are leaving out major details. Dealers are trained to ask questions and provide solutions.  If unsure bring those ideas back here for reconfirmation or conversation.  Prices are msrp so it is mostly what it is 

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are on point. One is a C4 Partner developer and the other is a longtime very engaged knowledgeable end-user. Neither will steer you wrong, and I’m sure you will get more responses very similar to theirs.


Where are you located?


What is your understanding of Control4 and why do you feel it would benefit you (it will)?


You do understand that although a Control4 automation system is extremely scaleable and can be state of the art at many levels, depending upon your current needs versus long term goals, there may be other options, but Control4 will be the ultimate long term solution if you are looking beyond simple A/V control or simple lighting, HVAC, etc. It is in my opinion the ultimate professional option. Most importantly, you’ll have to accept that Control4 is a dealer centric system and will require a Control4 dealer for purchase, install and initial programming of each device. However, once you make the initial investment, other than adding additional devices, you will be able to fairly easily program your system devices to behave the way you wish. And you always have the option of changing the way things are programmed, etc. A lot of critics of Control4’s dealer centric program miss the fact that the end user has powerful tools once the system is installed and the good dealers are very responsive and understanding of problems.


I’d advise that you do some research on “controllers”. They are the foundation of a project. The EA series is current and there are really only 3 fully capable controllers for the everyday home. They are EA-1, EA-3 & EA-5 and the differences are the number of audio zones each is capable of pushing simultaneously 1,3 or 5 and subtle differences in the processing speeds, but each is fully capable (processing-wise) of running the average home automation project. There also are project configurations that use a number of controllers versus a single controller. A good dealer will listen to your needs and help you develop a budget. In most cases, C4 branded device hardware (lighting, etc) is best practice, but nearly any device can be integrated with C4 free drivers or 3rd party paid drivers. There are certain 3rd party devices that actually work better than some C4 devices, but your dealer will talk you through all of that. Control4 is the ultimate home and a/v automation option available. It allows almost anything smart to work together with anything smart. There are also options to make “dumb” devices smart.


Depending upon the size of your project and existing infrastructure (wiring & cabling) you can start at $1,500 for a simple single room of A/V (that will ultimately control anything you throw at it down the road), to upwards of $10k - $75k for an entire home with several A/V zones. (the higher end of the pricing includes A/V equipment). Don’t let that scare you... it’s totally scalable as you choose to add devices and zones.


Go to the Control4 website and read a bit. From the site, you will also find a list of dealers in your area. Have 3 come out and help you design and budget your project. Most good dealers pay attention to your budget and explain what’s realistic. They’ll help with automation ideas, etc.


Once you’ve gotten your quotes and decide C4 is for you (it will be), come back here with any questions, and once installed you’ll always have this forum for ideas or troubleshooting. The forum members here are a very nice blend of C4 employees, dealers, driver developers & end users. All of which contribute to bettering automation, sharing ideas and helping to work through problems. The level of understanding varies from the newbie novice to real experts. There are even certified remote programmers that can legitimately remote to an existing project and help out fir a reasonable fee if your dealer isn’t available when you need help, none of which will entice you to break your relationship with a dealer, they’ll just help out when a dealer is unavailable or has hit a wall on an issue.


A final note. The backbone of your system will be your home’s network. Do not overlook this. A good dealer will advise you on best practices in terms of networking. Save yourself a huge headache (regardless of Control4) and have a proper robust network in place. Again, your dealer will know which equipment and which configurations are best practice.


Hopefully this is helpful. We’d love to see you integrate and join us!


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2 hours ago, eggzlot said:

Your question is too vague

Indeed. We get the question "what does a C4 system need (for equipment)" or "what does a C4 system cost" all the time. There is nothing but vague answers to give there.

Without knowing sources, intended use, TV zones, audio only zones, do you want audio for watching from speakers, are you looking at in-ceiling vs in-wall vs standalone speakers vs soundbar, what do you like to listen to and indeed what else do you want your Control4 system to operate it's impossible to give you an informed answer to your question.


Even then it's tough to answer accurately without having met you, talked to you and been on-site

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