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NewHouse More Questions

Integration products to avoid and to choose?

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Hi.  Obviously first time poster - but I've lurked for a while before registering and done a fairly extensive search before asking this question.  That being said, if it has been asked and answered, and I have missed it somewhere, can you kindly direct me to it please?

Now that that's out of the way, I'm a technology fluent, C4 knowledgeable enough consumer in the process of gutting an old home.  I'm planning on using C4 to integrate "what makes sense to integrate" (I'll explain that in a bit) and wanted some advice on products to avoid.  My personal view, is I like things that "just work" - that is to say, there is rarely a problem.  I'm not making a value judgment - it's just what I like.  As an example, I am comfortable paying more for the apple products because they "just work" compared to the PCs.  Sure, you can do more "stuff" on the PC - and there are certain tradeoffs to working on the Mac platform but I would rather have a platform that does a little less but works more of the time.

I know control4 "works" for the products that they sell.  For example, their lighting controllers work.  Like all the time.  When people complain about C4 lighting it's usually because it's been designed or integrated poorly, not because the underlying platform doesn't work.

But there are also things in the C4 world that don't really work so well.  But that's not the fault of C4.  That's the limitation of products that are being integrated.  Let me give you an example.  Let's go back to OS1 when home theatre control was done via IR.  Turning on multiple sources from the remote didn't really work all the time.  Sometimes the DVD player wouldn't turn on because there was no feedback from the DVD player to C4, but the amplifier was on, etc.  So then you had to manually turn on the DVD so all the devices were in the same state so the macro continued to function.  See to me, that's not really working.  I can figure out and fix that problem, but when it happens I don't know, once a month to my wife I get told the system doesn't work.  I don't want that.

So what integrates nicely with C4 and what doesn't?  Here's my experience so far with the system I currently have, I'd love to hear thoughts.

The control4 audio integrates nicely with everything except sharebridge and I'm guessing it's that apple doesn't play nicely.

The Baldwin lock doesn't play nicely because it's battery powered.  I don't want to be dependent on changing batteries.  

I would love to hear everyone else's thoughts on what integrations I should avoid or what products I should buy - I would much rather a system that "works" than one that "does something cool"

Thanks!

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It really depends on what you’re looking to do with your Control4 system there are loads of products in various categories that work and don’t work

I’d be here till 2021 if I was to list them all.

So let’s start with this question, what would you like to integrate? And what are your plans for the system?

Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Mujtaba - Thanks.

I didn't intend for this to become an endless list of good or bad.  So here's my thoughts of things:

 

Necessary:

1.  Lighting - preferably LED or other low energy.  

2. In-house audio (speakers, amplifiers)

3. Sonos (in my opinion, best way to integrate Apple Music - which is a must)

4. Television (actual TV)

5. Networked media aggregator (appleTv would be my preferred, but willing to listen to other opinions)

6. Garage door

7. Home Security

8. Home Surveillance (external cameras)

9. Doorbell that isn't a "door station"

10. Temperature control

11. Ceiling fans

 

Nice Addition:

1. Fireplace control for Isokern

2. POE access control

 

Does that help?

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By the way, Baldwin lock works great. Very reliable and batteries last months. And you get warnings when batteries run low.

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The only products that dont integrate are Ring or Nest Cams/Hello. Other than that things integrate pretty good.

IP control on TVs has come along way. It works on most brands now. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, LG and more.

 

Now just because Ring products dont integrate with C4 doesn't mean you should avoid them. They still have their place in the market.

I would avoid cheap lighting systems and stick with what works. The cheapest half decent lighting system thats not C4 would be caseta. It integrates fine.

 

I would AVOID sonos integration at this point. Its terrible. Unless we're talking about a soundbar and IP control which in that case go for it.

Don't install products that are old, as support may drop. Don't install products that are bleeding edge as they haven't been tried and tested.

 

For locks just get the Control4 zigbee ones. Do NOT get the z-wave module and jump through hoops. Just get the more expensive zigbee stuff.

 

I dunno anyone else got anything to add?

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On 4/30/2020 at 10:03 PM, NewHouse More Questions said:

Mujtaba - Thanks.

I didn't intend for this to become an endless list of good or bad.  So here's my thoughts of things:

 

Necessary:

1.  Lighting - preferably LED or other low energy.  

2. In-house audio (speakers, amplifiers)

3. Sonos (in my opinion, best way to integrate Apple Music - which is a must)

4. Television (actual TV)

5. Networked media aggregator (appleTv would be my preferred, but willing to listen to other opinions)

6. Garage door

7. Home Security

8. Home Surveillance (external cameras)

9. Doorbell that isn't a "door station"

10. Temperature control

11. Ceiling fans

 

Nice Addition:

1. Fireplace control for Isokern

2. POE access control

 

Does that help?

Necessary:

1.  Lighting - preferably LED or other low energy. - Use Control4, Caseta or the combination 

2. In-house audio (speakers, amplifiers) - Use a C4 matrix, speakers and amps depending on cost and how many zones you need but don't feel the need to buy C4 brand (Triad ).

3. Sonos (in my opinion, best way to integrate Apple Music - which is a must) - Sonos is crap. Are you averse to Airplay? 

4. Television (actual TV) - Sony, Samsung or OLED LG are all good. 

5. Networked media aggregator (appleTv would be my preferred, but willing to listen to other opinions) Apple TV is the best streamer. Some people frown at the Homekit setup IP integration they now use for automation systems but its simple. You can also use a normal IR driver (BTW... IR is still HEAVILY used in the industry across the board. Its not an antiquated control option and can be more reliable than other options)

6. Garage door - There are posts for this, besides could access you would need an additional garage door remote for control and a sensor kit (magnet or tilt) 

7. Home Security - DSC or Elk 

8. Home Surveillance (external cameras) - 310 Lumas 

9. Doorbell that isn't a "door station"  - Why? If you want door lock access but don't want wireless options, why not use a keypad DS2 with a 12v door strike? (BTW, majority of automated door locks installed are wireless. The batteries last fine.)

10. Temperature control - Ecobee with remote sensors. The C4 therm is unnecessary and very limited form an end user standpoint. 

11. Ceiling fans - Any fan with the removed RF module will work if you don't have a specific driver fan model. Wire it hot and use a C4 fan speed controller. 

 

Nice Addition:

1. Fireplace control for Isokern - Control4 fireplace driver (free) with wired or RF relay connection. 

2. POE access control - POE device reset? Network config?   Door access?  not sure what you mean... 

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Avoid Sonos, integrations sucks. Instead use Heos.

 

Also avoid Philips Hue, at least in a large scale - a couple of lights work fine but the more you set up the more issues will come uo

 

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C4 integrated audio is a hassle free choice you can’t go wrong there are literally a lot of solutions that integrates natively with C4 you don’t have to go with C4 equipment, I would avoid Sonos/Heos!

C4 Panelized lighting is a very good choice  and very, very robust.

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