From an actual customer stand point - I agree with the concerns about the lack of communication and support from the dealer driven model.
To date my experience with the local dealer has been extremely disappointing. When researching different options for my home automation (C4, Savant, Crestron), this forum was an excellent source of information on the system. I went through Control4’s website, and found a ‘Authorized Diamond Dealer’ near me. The company was brought into the loop at an early stage. The first walk through happened while the framers were just putting up studs.
The dealer was responsive at the beginning when selecting hardware options. From a scale side, I am sure it’s a smaller size project (around 1600 sq ft) for a dealer, but to give you an idea here is the equipment paid for and installed to date:
- Panelized Lighting System – Consists of 2 x 5-Slot Panels (PAID)
o 3 x 8 CH 0-10V Dimmer Modules (PAID)
o 3 x 8 CH Relay Modules (PAID)
o 2 x 8 CH ELV (PAID)
o Bus Ethernet Gateway (PAID)
o Corresponding Term Blocks Etc
- EA 5 Controller (PAID)
- Snap AV Watt Box IP+ WB-700-IPV-12 (PAID)
- Snap AV FS Series 27U Floor Standing Rack System – SR-DS-SYSTEM-27U (PAID)
- Araknis Networks 300 Series Dual WAN Gigabit VPN Router (PAID)
- Araknis 500 Series Indoor Access Point (PAID)
- Araknis Networks 210 Series 8 Port Websmart Gigabit Switch with partial POE+ and rear ports (PAID)
- Snap AV Luma Camera – 500 Series Outdoor Dome x 6 (PAID)
- Luma Surveillance 500 Series 8 Channel NVR (PAID)
- Also paid for labor and materials to have all the AV wiring to be ran before drywall was hung
- C4 thermostat (PAID)
The additional agreed upon items that I am about 6 weeks away from having installed are:
- Paradigm in wall speakers x 8
- A few C4 remotes touch pad & sr260
- Paradigm monitor sub
- Denon 7.2 CH HEOS Dolby Atmos Receiver
- Paid for two Sony televisions
- AVPro 18GBPs 4x4 Matrix w/ Dual Audio Deembeddin
- Control 4 4-Zone Matrix Amplifier
A few of the elements they claimed to have experience integrating and have now gone completely silent
- Fireplace (Napolean Linear 62)
- Kohler DTV+
- Blinds – the dealer has been provided with dimension'd prints and quantities multiple times for quotes
The biggest concern I had going into this setup was the potential situation lack of support for the panelized lighting system would leave me in. Equipment cost aside, you are married to C4 once wires are ran (from my understanding of how it is setup) To put it delicately, the dealer dropped the ball. I spent hours researching how some C4 dealers map out the panelized system & the support provided to the electricians through visits & calls. In the end, the equipment was picked up by me, brought to the house & the electrician and myself worked together to figure it out. The only information provided to him was the instructions in the box along with a brief call. The ‘dealer’ focused model led to me completely mapping out the system, putting together spreadsheets to label loads, modules & corresponding locations from video examples posted by other dealers on youtube. Then the programming that they actually did do was an absolute mess & had to be COMPLETELY redone. At the end of the day Control4’s ‘Dealer Model’ literally just supplied hardware and a mess to clean up.
When I say the programming needed to be COMPLETELY redone, that is in no way an exaggeration. Luckily, I saw that there are a few dealers that offer remote programming services through the forum. Honestly, this was my saving grace. I am not going to mention specifics, but anytime he needs a reference he has my stamp of approval. It took a couple days, but the system is sorted out for an extremely reasonable cost. Rather than chasing my dealer for months, the remote programmer responds within a couple hours. You can tell a person that has a passion for their craft.
Honestly this isn’t an attempt to bash Control4, because I like the concept of the system. Working properly, it would be well worth the investment. However, getting stranded by your dealer is an absolute nightmare, and Control4 should be embarrassed that ‘diamond’ certified dealers handle customers like that. Being negative isn’t going to remedy this project, but I hope potential customers take these problems into account.
This forum has been an extremely helpful tool for me, and the remote programmers deserve a cape.