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skippman

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  1. Thanks for the input! The battery swelling thing is definitely an issue to avoid. Looking online it looks like there's a suite of software options to have the tablet stop charging at specific levels. It sounds like Apple even built this functionality into the new iOS's. My main reason for using Control4 is wanting to put all my home theater equipment in a single rack in a wiring closet. I've decided to add a couple Ecobee thermostats and a garage door opener control as well. Eventually I do plan to add some controllable lighting, but that's a way down the road while I absorb the cost of building my whole new system from scratch. I figured I could buy 3 Amazon Fire tablets for half the cost of a single Control4 display. If that means I loose the intercom functionality and the camera functionality I feel that's a worth while trade off. Another option would be to use Galaxy Tab's.
  2. I'm not sure what I'd use the intercom for other than may as an interface with a Ring or other door bell. Is the no intercom thing a limitation of the software, or because of how most people are mounting their tablets in the wall and it blocking the microphone? I was planning on installing one in the main hallway just off my kitchen, one in the master bathroom, and one in the upstairs hallway. I see several companies make nice mounts to hide the wiring and make it look like a finished product. From what I've read the Control4 wall touch interfaces are like 7 times more expensive than an Fire tablet.
  3. Does anyone have an Amazon Fire Tablet or other tablet mounted in their wall as a Control4 interface? I'm considering doing this with my new system and would like some input from anyone who's attempted something like this before.
  4. Not really. I was just throwing out a name that pretty much everyone knows. If I were truly going to DIY it would probably be OpenHAB hosted on a local server with a DynDNS interface for remote access. One of the reasons I'm looking at COTS products (the thermostats, garage door opener, etc) is that gives me a backup interface I can temporarily use in case something goes wrong on the Control4 system. I'm also debating on adding Ubiquti's backup cell service appliance as I work from home and need maximum uptime on my internet. I figured using the Genie2 from DirecTV with three STB's would be the best bet. That gives me a central DVR and each TV can watch whatever it wants. What functionality would NetPlay add to the mix for me? I don't watch sports so having multiple TV's all showing the same program isn't really something I think I'd ever use. IOS is pretty much a universal standard now even though it originated with Cisco. Even EIGRP (which was Cisco Proprietary) has become an industry standard now. I want to avoid going off on a tangent here but Cisco has definitely allowed their more popular and less esoteric protocols to be rolled into IEEE standards.
  5. I have. I'm considering it. Personally I'm like most people in that I prefer physical buttons. Maybe I should talk to my friend and try playing around with it for a while. My complaining about the industry aside, I do recognize that Control4 is probably the most robust and modern option. I also recognize it's a niche product not really intended for average consumers. I'm learning to live within the limitations of what it requires to do the things I want to do. If I really wanted to DIY it I could go with Wink or something similar but that feels very kludged together and lacks the refinement of Control4. Buy once, cry once. I haven't decided on displays yet. I have a 65" Panasonic Plasma that I'm debating on selling, but I recognize that I won't get very much for it as average consumers aren't well versed in plasma TVs. I've been looking at the Samsung Lifestyle frame TV but worry that the display isn't bright enough for our living room which will get a lot of sun. As much as I'd like an OLED I don't know if they've resolved the burnout issue yet. Samsungs QLED TV's look amazing in the store, but that's with them obviously over-driving the brightness as people tend to subconsciously associate brightness with picture quality.
  6. I actually have an integrator who was a close friend for many years who talked me out of URC and into Control4 which he sells. He's going to build out the rack and set it up locally and then ship the finished product to my new home so I can install it. He'll also be the one making adjustments as necessary. I mostly came here for a sanity check on my design and the parts I want to use so I would know in advance if something I was buying on my own (the thermostats, garage door opener, door locks) wasn't going to play nice with the Control4 ecosystem.
  7. I take your point that words matter. I'm not asking for a copy of the un-compiled source code. I'm asking that devices talk to each other using non-propriatary protocols. In my industry (networking) proprietary protocols are death. Even Cisco lets other companies use their protocols. It's just good business. But here, where the company controls the entire ecosystem, I understand why they do what they do.
  8. I'm sorry if my message came across that way. It wasn't intended to. My question was a legitimate one though about complying with standards. RAV answered that for me. I apologize and realize now how my message could have come across the way you read it. I'm the network engineer so I'll be doing the setup of all the Ubiquiti gear. I don't think my installer is necessarily versed in 802.3ad and such. But he might be, I dunno. If he had his way I'd be using gear from Snap/Araknis but I like Ubiquiti's interface and all-in-one control approach. Support a couple hundred routers and switches on the daily and you might agree. The equipment would all be within about 40ft line of site with each other, except there's intervening walls. Fair point on the Lutron stuff. I was mistakenly under the impression that Lutron used Zigbee. You are correct in that they're a proprietary company as well. If they are all Maestro switches I guess I'll have to see about getting a bridge for them to the rest of the network. Otherwise I just won't automate the lighting for now. It's a nice feature, not a killer app for me. Honestly, I could do 80% of what I want to do with IR blasters. In my experience with them they're slow and unreliable. There's also the fact that it doesn't seem anyone makes a macro based remote control anymore since Logitech ended the Harmony line. That kind of forces my hand into one of the big boy automation setups to do what I want to do. URC has, in my mind, a better remote control product with their TRC-1080 WiFi based remote which relies on the houses WiFi signal, not a proprietary wireless protocol. <rant> It's pretty clear that all of these systems are built around selling you more product and creating a self sustaining ecosystem for their installers. I get that. I understand why they do that from a business perspective. It allows the people who sell their products to continue to profit from existing installs and it forces you to buy their product. I had hoped this space would have matured to open source standards in the last 15 years or so since I originally looked at URC and Crestron back in 2005. Unfortunately it hasn't. True, more things play well together thanks to ZWave and Zigbee. However, one look at Control4 and URC's websites will show you that they're not interested in selling the product to you, they want to sell it to an integrator who will then sell it to you. I'm just probably not their ideal customer. I'm not rich enough to throw money at my problems, and I'm to particular to just buy equipment from Best Buy and call it a day. </rant> OK, so in order to have a reliable network for the remotes I either have to establish a mesh network using Control4's proprietary switches and outlets or I need to buy at least one more control hub? I say one more control hub as my living room and master bedroom share the wall the TV's will be going on. I appreciate the help of everyone involved here as I remove my own ignorance of the product. Thank you @wnpublic, @RAV, and @msgreenf. I'm sorry if I've come across as a jerk. I'm more frustrated than anything.
  9. Oh hey, that's cool. I love it when companies claim to use an open source protocol then make it completely proprietary. So let me make sure I understand this correctly. Control4 uses a proprietary wireless protocol that just happens to work in the same frequencies as Zigbee, but it doesn't comply with the IEEE 802.15.4 standards and isn't part of the Zigbee Alliance specs?
  10. I think the house is stick built if my memory serves. I was originally going to build new using ICF but with construction costs the way they are it made more sense to buy an existing home. The new house has all Lutron switches as best I could tell during the walk-throughs. The previous owner had several Amazon/Alexa appliances around the house so I'm not sure whether the existing light switches are Zigbee or not. If they're not I'll likely strategically replace a couple of the switches around the house to help mesh things out. Probably all of the hall, living room, and kitchen light switches.
  11. Yeah, I probably should have been more specific. 1. Will I have any issues with the Ecobee thermostats? 2. Will the Genie Aladdin work correctly with the current version on the Control4 OS? 3. I should be able to use 3 separate remotes with the one EA-3 correct? To answer your specific question the house is 3800sq ft, two stories. The house is rectangular shaped. Call it 65ft x 45ft. I plan to place a wireless access point on the ceiling of the first floor 1/3rd of the way in from the left and right outside walls. So 22ft in. This means each WAP has to cover about 40ft in every direction to get 100% coverage. I'd like to thing the Ubiquiti U6-LR-US Long Range WAP's would be able to cover this, but I'm not opposed to adding one more if necessary.
  12. I'm in the process of designing a system with an integrator for a home I just purchased. In the past I've used island style systems with Logitech Harmony remotes. Since Logitech has decided to end that product line and my remotes are starting to malfunction after 10+ years of reliable service it's time to move on to something new. Originally I had planned to go with URC, but after seeing how poor their integration with the nVidia Shield Box is I decided to go with a vendor that partners with nVidia. My new house will have a dedicated wiring closet on the 2nd floor in the home theater room. This house is in Florida so no basements which makes the attic the easiest route for wiring. I plan to co-locate all of my home networking and AV equipment for the entire house in one location. I plan to have three locations in house that I want to control for now; the living room, the master bedroom, and the home theater. I currently have all of my movies ripped in lossless formats on a NAS box that I use to distribute the movies to KODI which runs on each of the nVidia Shield boxes. I have no desire to utilize and of the "smart" features of any of my TV's and would actually be perfectly OK with them being just monitors. I may add DirecTV into the system in the near future and those STB's would also be in the wiring closet. Here is the equipment I plan to use. The only components I currently own are the Yamaha RX-A1040 and the 3 nVidia Shield boxes. Everything else will be new for the purposes of this build. I'm aware there's some sort of argument going on between Control4 and Ubiquiti. It all appears to come down to whether you try to VLAN equipment off or not. I'm planning on a flat network so I don't believe it should be an issue from other threads I've read on the subject. Network Equipment Router - Ubiquiti UDM-US Dream Machine Pro Switch - Ubiquiti USW-Pro-24 24 Port GigE Switch Access Point One - Ubiquiti U6-Lite-US WiFi6 Access Point (powered via PoE) Access Point Two - Ubiquiti U6-Lite-US WiFi6 Access Point (powered via PoE) NAS 1 - QNAP TS-451+ (Media Storage/Distribution) NAS 2 - QNAP TS-421+ (Network Backup/FTP) AV Equipment Bedroom AVR - Yamaha RX-V6A AVR Bedroom Media - nVidia Shield TV Pro Bedroom Display - 55" TV Living Room AVR - Yamaha RX-V6A AVR Living Room Media - nVidia Shield TV Pro Bedroom Display - 65" TV Home Theater AVR - Yamaha RX-A1040 AVR Theater Media - nVidia Shield TV Pro Home Theater Display - Currently a 65" Panasonic Plasma Smart Devices 2 x Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostats (I have two HVAC systems) Genie Aladdin Garage Door Controller Possibly a smart lock Here's how I'm planning to connect it all. Alright chaps, pick it apart. Where am I making mistakes? What could I do better/different? Any input is appreciated.
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