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Moomaw

Considering Control4

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Hi Everyone,

I'm considering Control4 in a house I'm building and I wanted to ask some honest questions in hope of getting some honest feedback.

Most importantly, I am not here to dog or question if Control4 is worth it. I've seen a show room and my questions are based on my personal hobbies that involve Control4.

I am an engineer, my entire life revolves around technology and I absolutely love it. When I spoke with my Control4 vendor, it seems that I would have little access to the system.

Q: For those of you who sell and support Control4, is it really true that end users have little ability to control what's going on with the Control4 product?

Q: Does Control4 have a public SDK?

Thanks!

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The only thing you cannot do from the home edition is rename devices, change connections, and add a majority of the devices. However control4 is adding more features everyday so that mundane things can be more user editable. 

examples

Lock user management

When / Then

Add Music

Auto Add Drivers

Room Control driver

native alexa and google support.

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Control4 is programmed with Software called Composer.

The Pro version is what dealers use, not available to end users.

There is a Home Edition (HE) for end users. One time minimal fee. HE has limits, somewhat to avoid accidentally deleting the wrong thing.
With HE the user can not add new devices to the system, or delete them, or rename them. Connections are how the audio video is routed, if you wanted to move your blu-ray from the DVD input on a receiver to the Video 4 jack, that requires dealer assistance.

There was another version called ME, which was media edition. It was free, but only used to work with the music library portion. It's gone, but you may hear it referenced. (Its included in HE)

So you can tweak things, program actions yourself, but you'll still need a dealer to add devices and some basic setup. Control4 is NOT intended to be DIY.

Also, there is a portal for client to use. Control access to the system, so you can control if your dealer can remotely support your system, and also add users for the App and such. Recently Control4 added simple when/then programming abilities in the portal.

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Composer home edition does a lot.

A remote dealer can often do the other stuff quickly.

Then your dealer is there for the big stuff.

It's a lot less constraining than you think.

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A lot of people seem to think that they will constantly be programming and changing things but I think you will be very surprised that once it is set up, it works great and you will change very little over time on it. Even as a dealer I edit my programming very, very little. Its all set up how I want it and there really isn't that much tweaking to do.

You can always use When / Then to customize programming. This is very handy for adding small things like "When the sun sets - turn on the outdoor lights" but that's about as far as people go with it. Maybe things like "when security is armed - lock the door" but 9 times out of 10 the dealer has already taken care of these minor programming requests.

You can also get Composer HE which I have sold a few times and I am certain the customers have never really used it.

The app is more flexible than ever and allows for a lot more customization than ever.

 

No other pro automation system allows for as much end user customization as Control4 does.

But if you do end up getting Control4 and Composer HE please follow up with this thread in a year or so and let us know how much you have actually used it. I bet it is very little.

Small projects don't have that much programming to tweak, and large projects rely on their dealers so not many go down that road

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21 hours ago, Matt Lowe said:

The only thing you cannot do from the home edition is rename devices, change connections, and add a majority of the devices. However control4 is adding more features everyday so that mundane things can be more user editable. 

examples

Lock user management

When / Then

Add Music

Auto Add Drivers

Room Control driver

native alexa and google support.

And you can buy a driver from @msgreenf that will allow you to rename devices.  That driver plus Composer HE gives you a lot of flexibility.  Add in a good dealer and you can’t get a better system.

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40 minutes ago, BraydonH said:

A lot of people seem to think that they will constantly be programming and changing things but I think you will be very surprised that once it is set up, it works great and you will change very little over time on it. Even as a dealer I edit my programming very, very little. Its all set up how I want it and there really isn't that much tweaking to do.

You can always use When / Then to customize programming. This is very handy for adding small things like "When the sun sets - turn on the outdoor lights" but that's about as far as people go with it. Maybe things like "when security is armed - lock the door" but 9 times out of 10 the dealer has already taken care of these minor programming requests.

You can also get Composer HE which I have sold a few times and I am certain the customers have never really used it.

The app is more flexible than ever and allows for a lot more customization than ever.

 

No other pro automation system allows for as much end user customization as Control4 does.

But if you do end up getting Control4 and Composer HE please follow up with this thread in a year or so and let us know how much you have actually used it. I bet it is very little.

Small projects don't have that much programming to tweak, and large projects rely on their dealers so not many go down that road

Agree with everything in this post... except how much one uses Composer HE, I change and update things regularly (at least once a month and often 2 or 3 times a week).

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23 minutes ago, South Africa C4 user said:

Agree with everything in this post... except how much one uses Composer HE, I change and update things regularly (at least once a month and often 2 or 3 times a week).

2-3 times a week? what are you changing?

'Master Bed Lights' renamed to 'Master Bet Pot Lights' on Tuesday - then on Friday relabel them "Master Bed Can's" Then once a month we send out for new custom engravings ;)

Then Remove a light from a scene, then decide I don't like it and 3 days later put it back in the scene again.

Sounds like madness haha

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10 minutes ago, BraydonH said:

2-3 times a week? what are you changing?

'Master Bed Lights' renamed to 'Master Bet Pot Lights' on Tuesday - then on Friday relabel them "Master Bed Can's" Then once a month we send out for new custom engravings ;)

Then Remove a light from a scene, then decide I don't like it and 3 days later put it back in the scene again.

Sounds like madness haha

Something like that.

No really, I am always adding things and tinkering... I drive my dealer nuts.

Today it was an experience button available on my Neeo which shows whether the security system is armed and allows arming (not disarming). Sure, I could wait for C4 to integrate security fully, but why wait!

Yesterday, it was adding photographs (camera snapshots to a few of my push notifications).

Last weekend, it was changing what a light button does so that it controls 2 sets of lights rathe than 1.

Two weeks ago, my dealer added sensors and control for water valves and a motor to pump water from a couple of tanks that we have for water outages.  So I spent quite some time programming around this. 

Etc.

Basically, I am always fiddling.  I did get to a stage 6 months before OS3 where I had everything as perfect as I could get it and I did very little tinkering for 6 months.  However, since OS3, I have been tinkering most weekends.  I suspect that my “to do” list will be complete in a month or so... but then! I have a lot that I want to change on my Beach House setup.

To cut a long story short, I love the flexibility that Composer gives and I use it a lot.

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32 minutes ago, msgreenf said:

personally even with composer pro I go through phases. I'll make a lot of changes for a few months and then won't touch things for months. It's just about changing lifestyles

This, exactly!

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2 minutes ago, South Africa C4 user said:

Something like that.

No really, I am always adding things and tinkering... I drive my dealer nuts.

Today it was an experience button available on my Neeo which shows whether the security system is armed and allows arming (not disarming). Sure, I could wait for C4 to integrate security fully, but why wait!

Yesterday, it was adding photographs (camera snapshots to a few of my push notifications).

Last weekend, it was changing what a light button does so that it controls 2 sets of lights rathe than 1.

Two weeks ago, my dealer added sensors and control for water valves and a motor to pump water from a couple of tanks that we have for water outages.  So I spent quite some time programming around this. 

Etc.

Basically, I am always fiddling.  I did get to a stage 6 months before OS3 where I had everything as perfect as I could get it and I did very little tinkering for 6 months.  However, since OS3, I have been tinkering most weekends.  I suspect that my “to do” list will be complete in a month or so... but then! I have a lot that I want to change on my Beach House setup.

To cut a long story short, I love the flexibility that Composer gives and I use it a lot.

Man you sound like a dealer haha! You know enough to be dangerous ;) 

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46 minutes ago, BraydonH said:

Man you sound like a dealer haha! You know enough to be dangerous ;) 

My poor dealer gets bugged often (too often he says!) to log in and do things I can’t do.  Although I try to keep that down to once every few weeks...

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How do I get the Composer Home Edition?  I read about it a while back and since I can't get any consistent help from local dealers maybe I can get some of the silly simple stuff done myself.

I didn't realize that was different than the place where I can login and add or remove users and do the if/then/when stuff.

 

Thanks for any info

 

 

 

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How do I get the Composer Home Edition?  I read about it a while back and since I can't get any consistent help from local dealers maybe I can get some of the silly simple stuff done myself.
I didn't realize that was different than the place where I can login and add or remove users and do the if/then/when stuff.
 
Thanks for any info
 
 
 
Your dealer can sell it to you

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This is a good and accurate thread.

I think the one thing that (as a user) that Im impressed by c4 is the reliability and stability of the platform. It’s rock solid.

I have to think that long term C4 has to be thinking about how it enables more and more to clicks (not code) for the end user. That’s just the nature of the industry, especially for the consumer market.

This community is a great source of information and experts (from professionals to customers.

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14 hours ago, Smess said:

How do I get the Composer Home Edition?  I read about it a while back and since I can't get any consistent help from local dealers maybe I can get some of the silly simple stuff done myself.

I didn't realize that was different than the place where I can login and add or remove users and do the if/then/when stuff.

 

Thanks for any info

 

 

 

ANY dealer can sell it to you. It's a license that gets added to your account, the same way 4sight is done.

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1 hour ago, Moomaw said:

Does anyone know if Control4 has user permissions?

Example: Give your teenager only access to specific items on their iPhone

It will be much easier to educate your kids on uses and what is appropriate. Honestly has not been an issue for any of my installations, I have never really had a customer complain. Once the novelty wears off.

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I wouldnt give my c4 equipment to my worst enemy, if I were building a new house it is the last thing I would buy. It should be called controlU because thats what it does lol.

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1 hour ago, Smess said:

I wouldnt give my c4 equipment to my worst enemy, if I were building a new house it is the last thing I would buy. It should be called controlU because thats what it does lol.

I think you'd end up making a friend...

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Can you use your own interface graphics for background, and buttons...or dips that a dealer item too?

Sent from my SM-T830 using Tapatalk

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