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Help Me Pick C4 Installer


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2 hours ago, AVNeeds said:

There are a lot of reasons.  A big one being that video over IP solutions need software/programmer/lic. HDBT is pretty much plug and play. 

A larger distribution system has more needs, more cost, more service. Video over IP systems solve a lot of issues for the installers and customization for the end uses needs. Upgrading a system like that over time is easier to deal with. 

On the flip side, the extreme cabilities of the AVPro gear will never be utilized by your cable boxes and probably hardly used if ever on the AppleTV steamers. Do you care about the most pure picture? 

Both are probably overkill for you in that sense but I am just giving you comparative responses. Video over IP is a cost level for my projects... There are equally capable HDBT options that are not as expensive. 

Cost is certainly a factor, and there are other design considerations as well that can add to that cost (be it in labour or parts)

HDoverIP generally will cause delays on the signal as it's a full re-encoding and decoding, whereas HDBaseT in 'merely' a signal type transfer (this is grossly understating the complexities of both mind you). This isn't an issue when you are using the TV or a LOCAL receiver/soundbar for the audio, but in distributed audio systems, this means additional setups, or even 'special' equipment (ie Netplay really requires you using the Videostorm audio matrices in this scenario).

 

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39 minutes ago, zaphod said:

You don't need that for VS as you can just use your existing ethernet wiring and then only need one drop per room.  Plus you don't need a dedicated switch the way that you do for JAP, etc.

It may not be REQUIRED but it certainly would be best practice to both have a dedicated line that handles the video and to have the video distribution have it's own dedicated network switch. Just because you can 'throw' the android TV if that is what you use on the same network, doesn't mean everything else in the room should be (ie AP, game system, anything else really).

Plus with HDBaseT you can do pretty much the exact same thing - you only need one CAT cable for your video, and it can provide networking to local devices as well.

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4 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

Cost is certainly a factor, and there are other design considerations as well that can add to that cost (be it in labour or parts)

HDoverIP generally will cause delays on the signal as it's a full re-encoding and decoding, whereas HDBaseT in 'merely' a signal type transfer (this is grossly understating the complexities of both mind you). This isn't an issue when you are using the TV or a LOCAL receiver/soundbar for the audio, but in distributed audio systems, this means additional setups, or even 'special' equipment (ie Netplay really requires you using the Videostorm audio matrices in this scenario).

 

JAP and other video IP systems have the appropriate audio outputs to go directly into a digital or analog audio distribution system without any additional product or big headaches. 

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1 minute ago, AVNeeds said:

JAP and other video IP systems have the appropriate audio outputs to go directly into a digital or analog audio distribution system without any additional product or big headaches. 

Not if you're using the transmitters - they've NEVER synced up out of the box even on the latest 3G gear for me, so sorry but no. So you're back to additional setup to tweak audio delays, which is time, which is cost. And if you're adding receivers to output audio (including the audio only ones for Snap for example) - that's additional devices and thus cost.

Hence, it's a consideration when choosing one or the other.

I never said it was a 'big headache' - just pointing out some of the reasons that may sway a dealer to use or quote one over the other.

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59 minutes ago, ClassicMuscle said:

 

On b) and  C), is that an argument for JAP or a video matrix?  Or can both do that?  

I think you are confusing some terms.  Video Matrix takes X amount of sources and shares them on Y amount of TVs

you can do that with fixed HDMI Matrix, an HDBaseT Matrix or a Video over IP Matrix.

All 3 are matrix.  each have different pros and cons. 

"HDMI Matrix" at least to me involves hdmi cables running to all the TVs from a centralized switch

HDBaseT has hdmi or ethernet ability to wire to the TVs around the house and a balun to transcode the ethernet signal to an HDMI output.  these all tie into a switch in the centralized area.

Video over IP is just Ethernet wires to the TVs and a balun to transcode the ethernet signal to an HDMI output.  no centralized switch hardware per se, all done via network configuration.  therefore its modular as there is no fixed matrix with inputs and outputs.

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4 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

Not if you're using the transmitters - they've NEVER synced up out of the box even on the latest 3G gear for me, so sorry but no. So you're back to additional setup to tweak audio delays, which is time, which is cost. And if you're adding receivers to output audio (including the audio only ones for Snap for example) - that's additional devices and thus cost.

Hence, it's a consideration when choosing one or the other.

I never said it was a 'big headache' - just pointing out some of the reasons that may sway a dealer to use or quote one over the other.

Sorry, I wasn't suggesting big headache were your words. I have not had the issues you have in the wide variety of installations I have used JAP which is all of my C4 projects. I have had video issues with MOIP. Savant has their own video over IP that also runs without issues. I understand and appreciate the consideration, but there are reasons why only a few options stand out the most, just as in other parts of AV and HA. 

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27 minutes ago, zaphod said:

I wasn't recommending it (I was saying that my understanding is that it needs less hardware), I was commenting that maybe it should be part of this discussion. I don't hear that much discussion of people that have it installed, I am looking to find out more from people that have lived with it for a while to understand if the supposed advantages that it claims are acutally realized.

I do use it - and I told my thoughts a few posts above.  Its certainly at a lower price point and slightly less hardware.  I am sure installers have their reasons for picking 1 platform over another (profit margin, support, comfort with the system, etc).  just like the other systems named, VS has its pros and cons.

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1 hour ago, eggzlot said:

to each his own and I can respect your opinion. 

I've done blind A/B testing and cannot pull call out 30 vs 60 even while wearing my glasses that give me "perfect" vision give or take (I've done it 2x at 2 different locations).  There are studies online giving their opinion on both sides of the argument.  I personally think its just a # people chase, like the new 8k TV sets .  If companies want to sell hardware they need to bump up the specs so you feel your stuff is "old" and get the upgrade urge.  At some point you are chasing diminishing returns.  

Some people are certainly capable of seeing the difference, but 30 vs 60 isn't matter of how 'good' your vision is, it's about your eyes', and probably even more your brain's ability to 'refresh'. The average person's eyes send signals to the brain between 50-60 Hz - but average is not everyone or even the largest amount of people. Then you're brain is what is taking that information and creates your reaction to it, and most people will 'trick' themselves to not even notice a frequency of 20Hz.

Even most people trained to look for and notice the difference wouldn't notice a huge 'viewing' difference (meaning when you're actually just sitting down to enjoy the movie).

But I certainly agree that numbers like 30 vs 60, 4K vs 8K HDR vs DolbyVision are mostly people 'going for the numbers' - this has always been the nature of the beast (also called marketing) with most things that are sold; wattage of your car audio system, wifi speed ratings, and my all time favourite, diapers that used to be for all genders, that went to 'for him/for her' to 'unisex' and got a big price hike for taking that route :)

When it comes to video specifically, people keep forgetting that most (non cinema target) content they watch is still recorded at an equivalent of 1080p or less....

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2 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

 

Video over IP is just Ethernet wires to the TVs and a balun to transcode the ethernet signal to an HDMI output.  no centralized switch hardware per se, all done via network configuration.  therefore its modular as there is no fixed matrix with inputs and outputs.

JAP and most systems have their own IP network with separate network switches....  just to be clear.

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Just now, Cyknight said:

 

When it comes to video specifically, people keep forgetting that most (non cinema target) content they watch is still recorded at an equivalent of 1080p or less....

I am fully aware of that which is why I still have my Panny VT Plasma hanging up on a wall.  Its only a 1080p TV but its crystal clear and given 80% of the content I watch is 1080p it does not matter to me at all.

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4 minutes ago, AVNeeds said:

Sorry, I wasn't suggesting big headache were your words. I have not had the issues you have in the wide variety of installations I have used JAP which is all of my C4 projects. I have had video issues with MOIP. Savant has their own video over IP that also runs without issues. I understand and appreciate the consideration, but there are reasons why only a few options stand out the most, just as in other parts of AV and HA. 

JAP is still one of my absolute favourites, and really the only one I'd consider for IP distribution - but again, I'm also putting in general reasons for why both technologies exist (and they both should)

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Just now, AVNeeds said:

JAP and most systems have their own IP network with separate network switches....  just to be clear.

but there is no physical Input v Output fixed switch is my point.  That is handled at the network switch layer.  My system Netplay doesnt require a separate physical network switch.  JAP and others may.  either way, with Video over IP you arent going to be installing a 2 RU piece of hardware like you would with the other 2 options (HDMI matrix or HDBaseT).  not that its is a pro or con but that is why those two options are fixed with inputs vs outputs whereas Video over IP is modular (up to the limits of your network switch or the system's limitations) 

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4 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

but there is no physical Input v Output fixed switch is my point.  That is handled at the network switch layer.  My system Netplay doesnt require a separate physical network switch.  JAP and others may.  either way, with Video over IP you arent going to be installing a 2 RU piece of hardware like you would with the other 2 options (HDMI matrix or HDBaseT).  not that its is a pro or con but that is why those two options are fixed with inputs vs outputs whereas Video over IP is modular (up to the limits of your network switch or the system's limitations) 

right...but with JAP and other video over IP you WOULD be installing a 2U L3 switch that you normally wouldn't have... So the argument for not having that isn't really the case. Especially when most all video over IP transmitters are larger than HDBT baluns and will also likely need rack space. 

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9 minutes ago, AVNeeds said:

right...but with JAP and other video over IP you WOULD be installing a 2U L3 switch that you normally wouldn't have... So the argument for not having that isn't really the case. Especially when most all video over IP transmitters are larger than HDBT baluns and will also likely need rack space. 

im not making any point about saving or needing 2 RU

for someone to wrap their mind around it just saying there is no fixed input v output switch.  its a networking.

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2 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

im not making any point about saving or needing 2 RU

for someone to wrap their mind around it just saying there is no fixed input v output switch.  its a networking.

I understand that... I am making the additional punctuation that it is in most cases and as it should be, separate equipment and not part of preexisting networking. 

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Has anyone used https://atlona.com/omnistream-av-over-ip-dolby-vision/?  Seems like a very cool (but expensive) solution.  Wondering how it compares to JAP (both on cost and quality).  I get the chasing numbers argument and I'm certainly not looking for 8K capabilities (I know that is impossible right now/meaningless given the lack of content).  But it would be great to get DV at 60hz as I consider that to be a widely available format/pretty great viewing experience.

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11 minutes ago, Topspin14m said:

as I consider that to be a widely available format/pretty great viewing experience.

Oh? I wouldn't consider it widely available at all (do note the difference between TVs capable of ACCEPTING it vs actually USING it), which makes deciding it's 'great viewing experience' rather difficult.

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24 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

Oh? I wouldn't consider it widely available at all (do note the difference between TVs capable of ACCEPTING it vs actually USING it), which makes deciding it's 'great viewing experience' rather difficult.

I mean in 2020/2021 it is widely available.  Heck -- all my TVs from 2017 to the present can accept and use DV at 60 hz.  You are right that not everyone has a TV that can display it, but pretty much every mid to high end TV sold today can (I don't know of one that can't).  If you are building out a $60K home automation system, chances are you are buying a pretty nice TV.  As for content, which is the other end of it, Netflix is DV @ 60 hz (I think Vudu too).  So, I would classify it as pretty widely available, as opposed to 8K, which is really not available outside of some demo content.  That was the comparison I was trying to draw.  

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20 minutes ago, Topspin14m said:

I mean in 2020/2021 it is widely available.  Heck -- all my TVs from 2017 to the present can accept and use DV at 60 hz.  You are right that not everyone has a TV that can display it, but pretty much every mid to high end TV sold today can (I don't know of one that can't).  If you are building out a $60K home automation system, chances are you are buying a pretty nice TV.  As for content, which is the other end of it, Netflix is DV @ 60 hz (I think Vudu too).  So, I would classify it as pretty widely available, as opposed to 8K, which is really not available outside of some demo content.  That was the comparison I was trying to draw.  

to my earlier point - think of your uses.  do you foresee sharing 1 netflix feed on 5 tvs at once to all be in sync?  Usually people watching Netflix are watching a show/movie together, not in different rooms.  To me, distribution of sources is really around live content where you have a gathering - super bowl or other sporting events, award shows, maybe a series finale of a show, new years eve party, etc.  Maybe I am of another generation but I do not recall ever being invited to a party (pre covid) for some big watching party of a netflix (or Vudu) show that had so many people attend we needed to get tvs in a few rooms showing the same thing at the same time.  I mean did people have 30-40 person parties to watch Game of Thrones (I never watched the show) - who knows maybe they did?  But it is fairly "normal" for people have 30-40 people over for Super bowl.  When we have our large super bowl parties I have the TV in the living room and basement in sync plus audio piped into the kitchen, dining room and patio.

if so, you can distribute stuff like cable and other non 60hz stuff, and if you need UHD on netflix you can use a local mini app off the TV.  within c4 use, it all looks/feels the same.

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Some of you are confusing me a little on this thread, I'm the OP but just a normal guy and not an C4 integrator.  Am I understanding correctly that some people are using C4 over Wi-fi or "over the air" and not using either products like JAP or a video Matrix?  Just putting some kind of device on each TV and then powering everything through C4 via Wi-Fi?  And this is the most cost effective way obviously?    

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21 minutes ago, ClassicMuscle said:

Some of you are confusing me a little on this thread, I'm the OP but just a normal guy and not an C4 integrator.  Am I understanding correctly that some people are using C4 over Wi-fi or "over the air" and not using either products like JAP or a video Matrix?  Just putting some kind of device on each TV and then powering everything through C4 via Wi-Fi?  And this is the most cost effective way obviously?    

What are your viewing habits?

we have a 2 person house - wife and I. 90% of our tv viewing is cable tv, 8% Netflix and 2% kodi

so that’s my example.  What do you all watch?  Cable/satellite?  Netflix? Amazon? Apple?  Hulu?  YouTube TV?

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We are probably 70% Apple TV (use Netflix, Amazone, etc through Apple TV), 30% cable TV and that's really it.  But we do like to have two DVR cable boxes, and be able to view them from anywhere we have a C4 zone.  Sometimes the girlfriend wants to watch her DVR content via cable in one room, and then I use the other cable box to watch football or whatever.  And then we use Apple TV for movies and Netflix in the evenings.   

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30 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

to my earlier point - think of your uses.  do you foresee sharing 1 netflix feed on 5 tvs at once to all be in sync?  Usually people watching Netflix are watching a show/movie together, not in different rooms.  To me, distribution of sources is really around live content where you have a gathering - super bowl or other sporting events, award shows, maybe a series finale of a show, new years eve party, etc.  Maybe I am of another generation but I do not recall ever being invited to a party (pre covid) for some big watching party of a netflix (or Vudu) show that had so many people attend we needed to get tvs in a few rooms showing the same thing at the same time.  I mean did people have 30-40 person parties to watch Game of Thrones (I never watched the show) - who knows maybe they did?  But it is fairly "normal" for people have 30-40 people over for Super bowl.  When we have our large super bowl parties I have the TV in the living room and basement in sync plus audio piped into the kitchen, dining room and patio.

if so, you can distribute stuff like cable and other non 60hz stuff, and if you need UHD on netflix you can use a local mini app off the TV.  within c4 use, it all looks/feels the same.

I definitely don't have a serious use case for video distribution other than the fact that my house is wired for it and everyone seems to do it with home automation.  I've been squarely in the DIY camp for a long time and want to get into the higher end/more reliable Control4 world (and not have to deal with it myself).  I think video distribution was huge when everyone at the high end had $1,000 bluray players and cable boxes were like 15x15 hunks of metal--so you were saving money on those devices and getting a cleaner look by using video distribution, rather than just using it to synchronize your viewing across devices.   Now, cable boxes are 4" boxes that you can stick to the back of a TV, every TV has every major streaming service built-in (or a Roku stick is tiny and can be hidden).  The major use case for residential video distribution seems to be dwindling.  But the reason to get it for me is to have everything work seamlessly with Control4 because if I'm investing it it, I want to go 100% in.  But it sounds like there are other ways of doing that that are worth exploring too.  Video distribution is certainly not cheap...

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9 minutes ago, ClassicMuscle said:

We are probably 70% Apple TV (use Netflix, Amazone, etc through Apple TV), 30% cable TV and that's really it.  But we do like to have two DVR cable boxes, and be able to view them from anywhere we have a C4 zone.  Sometimes the girlfriend wants to watch her DVR content via cable in one room, and then I use the other cable box to watch football or whatever.  And then we use Apple TV for movies and Netflix in the evenings.   

How many TVs do you have?

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