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Hello All and thanks in advance.

So we are moving into out new 4br home in a few months. Starting the demo this weekend so all ceilings and wall will be open and plan on pre-wiring.

Not sure if alexa or google would be suffice or we should get control 4. Seems like everything is controllable through apps nowadays.

Wish list and equipment installed

1. voice controlled lighting.

2. will be installed 4 exterior cameras and 3 interior

3. Will be installing speakers throughout the house and out by pool( those will be wired). Currently have Sonos which we like. Not sure why anyone would installed wired speakers in wall/ceiling and be stuck with that location

4. Not sure about video distribution? May run some cat 6a and coaxial to each tv location just in case.

A few questions.

1. Control4 control multiple things(scenes) to happen at once where google or alexa can't?

2. Do you need a programmer/tech when installing control4

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Everything can be done with a myriad of apps. Control4 brings it all together. 
 

1 - Control4 can be controlled by the big voice providers (Google, Alexa, etc...)

2 - ...

3 - not sure why anyone would clutter up shelves and floor space with speakers. Put them in the ceiling - you’ll never want to move them, they’re less expensive, they look and function better. 
 

4 - I love video distribution. You don’t NEED it until you’ve had it. 
 

You will need an integrator. 

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Given all that you want to do, you will appreciate C4. But you do not need C4.

Regarding SONOS. I had Sonos and I enjoyed it. I now have full distributed audio throughout my house with wired speakers all back to my AV closet with matrix amps all controlled by C4. I love it and I would never go back. Sound is evenly distributed through my house so no loud or soft spots as I move around (This takes a lot of speakers properly placed). The result is a very pleasant listening atmosphere and something a few speakers placed around the house just cant do well.

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There are a bunch more things that you can do if you want - like AV control, even without distributed video.  Controlling other devices around the house like blinds, fireplaces, etc.  Security system, motion sensors to control lighting, 

In terms of programmin, lots of us do a lot of the programming ourselves with Composer HE.  But most of us on this forum are geeks, at least I am, and have experience in programming of various types.

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IMO,  what sets a home into another level of sophistication and class is lighting. It’s a combination of fixtures and lighting control.   The switches, dimmers and keypad options with C4 look great, have great function and really take a home up a level in my opinion.    Next for C4 for me is AV control,   This was the only solution I found that really enabled me to go to a universal remote,   And I wouldn’t have said this In the past but now distributed audio through C4 is great.  
 

the other stuff is great add ons but can be managed by other solutions but for me above is the core of why C4 is a great addition in a new home.

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From a layperson here - C4 is a luxury. You can ‘automate’ most things these days with a DIY solution but the experience is very disjointed and most things don’t play well together, have their own app and need attention that makes that process less than fun. Especially if you are looking at audio and video throughout the house I think C4 is definitely worth considering. It ties everything together in one integrated fashion.

You do need a dealer to install and set up the system and there will be maintenance that you should plan for (system or device updates(like Apple TV updates) that can ‘break’ the integration) so those could be annoying but, speaking from experience, I’ve had the same thing hobble some of my DIY stuff so it comes down to having a good relationship with your installer or finding a rock star remote programmer on this forum - seems like there are quite a few.

We put in a Crestron system when we built our home 14 yrs ago and are now updating it with a switch to C4. Crestron is much more locked down and more expensive (mostly because of  programming) and you are much more locked into one dealer. Because there is so much flexibility with that system, a lot of the programming can be more of an art form and making a dealer switch can be expensive as they try to figure out what the last dealer did, The C4 programming is much more standardized and allows for this flexibility.

Be prepared to make a sizable investment if you want to go with full integration but to me, it’s worth it. I could set up audio with Sonos throughout the house and each TV with a great local system but having everything integrated along with garage door status/control, door locks, lighting, etc. it is a super nice system to use.

I would suggest you speak with a few local dealers now since there is some planning you’ll need to do for prewire, etc. and get an idea about what the cost of a system might be for your needs. You might be pleasantly surprised or seriously shocked - it really just depends on what you want to do.

If you have no idea about the cost of what you want to do, those dealer conversations should really give you a good idea about whether or not the cost is worth the convenience. I would start there. Depending on audio zones, video zones, integration with other items - it can really add up, especially if you are starting from scratch with ceiling speaker installation, wiring, etc.

When we put in our Crestron system years ago, we paid a mint. The only thing I regret is that the system is so locked down that any integration that we would want to do would have been a LOT of money to implement so I have lighting through Hue now and it’s not integrated. It’s great but not optimal. New replacement remote -$2,200 (remote was $700+ and we needed a new wireless gateway since the network changed and programming).  If I want to add a remote to C4, it’s a fraction of the cost. Add a new lock or outlet switches - probably a few minutes with remote programming to add a driver.

It appears that C4 has a bit less customization than Crestron but nothing that most people would even notice or want and the cost differential for initial and upkeep work is much more palatable. The flexibility for what we need, and most people need, seems to be there.

Sorry for the long winded answer but talk to a few dealers and see what the cost would be for what you want to do and then decide if having everything integrated is worth it to you. For us, it’s very worth it. Others, it may be more expensive than the value they see in it. 
 

Congrats on the new house and good luck! 

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So if you read all of the above answers... the correct answer is “yes” and “no”.

No you don’t need Control4. You can do what you want by other means, but it won’t be as cool or allow for as much future expansion and modification.

Yes you should get Control4. It is a great system but be warned, it is addictive and there is always more to automate!

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You don't NEED automation, so you don't NEED Control4.

You can patch together what you want without C4

You can create a much more 'unified' experience with C4.

Note that you WILL need a dealer to do the main setup and major changes, but you can do a lot of the detail prograamming yourself

Oh and yes using Control4 plus Alexa or Google you can trigger a 'scene' and then have whatever you want happen from there.

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15 hours ago, mstrlucky74 said:

Hello All and thanks in advance.

So we are moving into out new 4br home in a few months. Starting the demo this weekend so all ceilings and wall will be open and plan on pre-wiring.

 

What is your expectation for budget?

Is this the NY house with the holes in the walls and dogs?

How many square feet in the house?

Are you doing the demo and renovations yourself or contractor?

What's the average price point for homes in the neighborhood?

How did you come to consider C4?

Your satisfaction with Sonos and other comments make me think you would probably be a better candidate for some of the newer consumer gear. Alexa, Homekit, smart bulbs, Apple TV etc. These are all portable and flexible and will permit your to change your products easier over time. I don't want to assume, but I have a feeling dropping 30-40k is not really your interest.

Install the wired speakers in the house or at least run the cable. Run your ENT smurf tubing to your TV locations and other places like basement to attic etc while you are gutted. 3 Ethernet to TV locations and any locations where you might want wall tablet control. If you are redoing the electrical you can make other choices. All of this is system agnostic and if you never use the speaker wire or the ethernet it really didn't cost you a lot. But if you use it you can a wide wide variety of choices and will not be locked in. Wiring and then pushing the choice of home automation into the future once you have your house complete is my recommendation. The only choice that would change that recommendation is lighting choices. If you want panelized lighting you have to make that choice now.  Literally, just wire up in a future proof way and then put it out of your head until you are done with the house.

Don't forget to consider ceiling mounted wifi access points and occupancy sensors. Make good choices for sound proofing and insulation. Are you in the plumbing business? When I gut houses now I replace everyting with pex. Copper and pvc both suck these days. Add an ERV and use some of the modern Mitsubishi hvac choices.

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16 hours ago, mstrlucky74 said:

1. voice controlled lighting.

2. will be installed 4 exterior cameras and 3 interior

3. Will be installing speakers throughout the house and out by pool( those will be wired). Currently have Sonos which we like. Not sure why anyone would installed wired speakers in wall/ceiling and be stuck with that location

4. Not sure about video distribution? May run some cat 6a and coaxial to each tv location just in case.

1. Most all the lighting systems have alexa control. Pick one of the Lutron lines.

2. Decide if you want local or a cloud based recording option.

3. If you dont want in ceiling speakers (in ceiling is great btw but different strokes) then you are pretty limited. Just stick with sonos since you like it.

4. This is where Control4 shinesl; tying together audio and video. If you want to do video distribution you will almost certainly want Control4.

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