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Planning a C4 system for a new house build - Questions of confirmation


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I love this forum!

I am planning a A/V system for my new house and I have met with some integrators in my area already. I want to confirm or dispel some things so I can proceed correctly.


4 Audio and video zones.

Each zone will have a display and speakers

I want all zones to have access to all sources. (no need for 4 PS3's right? :D )



Blu-ray player


Media server solution (not sure what one yet)

Motorola PVR cable box

Motorola HD cable box

Apple TV

I am not too concerned with the C4 GUI as I see this item to be redundant if you have good remotes, iphones, Ipads, etc.


Can i build this system with a single HC300 controller? All I want it to do is tell what sources to go to what zones and control volumes, channels, etc.

I am planning a HD Video Matrix (I own a Videostorm CMX44 component Matrix already that I like but I think it will be out classed on this build)

A Control4 4x4 Audio amplifier matrix

4x SRC-250s (one per zone)

2x iphone4's

Will this be adequate? I think I may need an I/O extender. BUt do I need more controllers? HC200's? I know the rule is one per TV, but this seems to be only for network mesh and GUI, which I dont think will be an issue. All components will be in a rack in the centre of the basement and the house is only 21' wide x 44' deep with 3 floors (incl. basement)

As the builder, I will be performing all the wiring in this house and will have conduit to all zones. I am planning 6x Cat6 to each zone, in addition to the usual cat5 and coax.

I would like suggestions on my system and components, advice...etc.

I am not planning lights, thermos, etc at this time, but I know I can add them later.



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I wouldn't try to run a new system on one HC300. I would do it right, and put a controller in the basement, then an HC200 at each TV.

That said, if you don't want to do to that, then at least get two HC300's. At the VERY least. One for navigator, one for director.

In all reality though, with 2.0 and zigbee pro, you should really put an HC1000V3 in the rack, and an HC200 at each TV.

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Thanks for the reply.

I have been reading the forum posts on the use of one GUI for a whole home and It seems that I 'CAN' do this using my Video matrix and just putting the GUI to the Component on the switch.

Are you saying that My system will over work the 300 controller? If I put a 300 in the basement and a 200 at each display what components can I get away from? It seems to me that I would still need everything I spec'ed out wouldn't I? So the 200 at each display would be for what? Speed, GUI and Zigbee mesh?


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Yes you can use 1 300, do you live alone? cause if two people try to access it, it can get confusing.

although you think the area is small you will have problems with your zigbee mesh with the way you are trying to do it.

Yes offloading some services to other controller will help the speed considerably.


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Dan brings up some good points. Since we have no information on the size and layout of you house it is hard to make a determination on the ZigBee coverage you will need. Since you are not planning on any lighting control you might have ZigBee coverage issues. There are two ways to build a good ZigBee mesh. One is to have multiple ZigBee nodes built with C4 dimmers, switches and possibly CardAccess ZigBee extenders. The other way is to deploy multiple HC200/300 as ZAPs. It is possible that you might get adequate ZigBee coverage from a single centrally located controller.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. If I can get out of having to replace my component matrix switch, I will feel a lot better about multiple controllers. I have been thinking about this analogue sunset BS for a while now and I think I will use my videostorm on my project and when this sunset issue acts up I can use the HDfury product to go from HDMI to component into my matrix and carry on as per the usual.

Anything else I need to think about? I dont see this being a whole lot of load for the HC300 - I used a harmony remote per zone last time I did this and it worked fine... But you guys know a lot more about C4 than I do - thats why I ask.

What is the rule of thumb on the zigbee mesh requirements?

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I may not know much, but let me tell you how my system evolved (C4 controller wise).

-Single Media Controller in the rack.

-Addition of two HC300's to the rack. One for navigator, one for director. Zigbee was handled by the media controller.

-Upgrade to 1.8 and the addition of an HC1000V3, then the update to 2.0.

I run one navigator through a matrix switch currently. Can it be done? Yeah, sure it can. Worked great for a long time. What's my next move? Add an HC200 at reach TV. This is due to how resource intensive the new flash navigator is. It takes a moment or two to switch. Plus, the way favorites and everything are setup, you really want a navigator for each TV.

But, it sounds like you know much more about this stuff than I through your research, so build it the way you see best.

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I should also add that there were monumental steps forward with each of those evolutions. Single controller systems were much more doable back in the 1.7 days, but 1.8 and especially 2.0 changed that.

Also note that while I was using only HC300's (and an old MC) I had one contdolr for each major process. Take it from a guy that learned by doing it...set it up right. HC300C or HC1000 in the basement and an HC200 at each display. My advice would have been different prior to 2.0, but 2.0 changes things. Set it up as every one is recommending. You'll be glad you did.

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Whoa... I am VERY interested in the advice. If I suggested otherwise, that was an accident. So, thanks to you guys that gave me feedback.

Where I am at then, based on your advice, is a 250 remote per zone, a 200 controller per zone in the rack (would it not be better to get 300's for the zones since they are better and have the remotes with them?) A 300 at the rack to be director. A C4 4x4 audio amplifer for zonal audio and my component matrix switch for HD video. Also a NAS as many on here have suggested - netgear I suppose?

Is there a need to have the 200s at the tv on location? Could these live in the rack as well and just run component video between them and their respective tvs?


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Is there a need to have the 200s at the tv on location? Could these live in the rack as well and just run component video between them and their respective tvs?


Since you don't have any lighting in your system you could have problems with ZigBee coverage. I would recommend that you not put the HC-200s in the rack and rather distribute them throughout the house.

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I would suggest putting them around the house as well.

Just buy the HC200's with no remote, and buy SR-250's. You will still be cheaper than the 300's.

That's what I would do. Sounds like that's what henniae would do too, and he is much more knowledgeable than I.

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  • 7 months later...

Hey folks.

So since my post on here some month ago, I have come along ways with both the house build and the system design. The house is nearly finished and I am in the final design phase with my contractors. I think we have nailed down the C$ specs, but I welcome you inputs.

The house can be seen here on my blog; http://mtpleasanthouses.blogspot.com/

Here is the spec we are working with:

1x HC1000 for the rack

3x HC200s at tvs

1x HC300 in theatre

1x 4 zone audio matrix amp

1x I/O extender

some keypads, a couple light switches

1x Multi Tuner

Iphone licenses

Sr250 remotes for each zone.

One relay set for the detached garage door to ensure it is closed.

All will integrate to a video matrix

Each TV zone is an audio zone + Theatre with projection and screen.

Have I missed anything? Any ideas what this system should cost excluding the wiring? (Just supply and programming).



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