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Why do we need control systems?
This thread has 51 replies. Displaying posts 31 through 45.
Post 31 made on Thursday November 29, 2018 at 09:48
Trunk-Slammer -Supreme
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As it all moves into the connected devices, can you imagine the calls to Amazon, Apple, Google etc, etc?

Will there be the times a CS guy has had his fill and tells the person "You need to take it back to the store because you're too stupid to use it.".
Post 32 made on Friday November 30, 2018 at 01:50
Dean Roddey
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The Echo cannot take over for a number of reasons.

1. No guest will now what commands to use
2. You can't browse anything with voice control. Alexa, read me my 5000 sounds and let me pick one.
3. You can't even really get good information beyond the trivial because takes so long to speak it that you'll have forgotten half of it.
4. It can't tell you the state of the house because it'll take too long
5. It can't talk to any serial devices, and presumably no USB devices, right?
6. It's not extensible or customizable unless you use a custom skill, and immediately you run into the problem that you now have to use specialized syntax, Alexa, tell Bubba to do this or that. Most people won't know when to which.
7. It can't do anything securely. Will you ask everyone to leave while you speak your password?
8. It cannot react to anything, it's purely control, AFAIK. It can't even run scheduled activities, can it?

Even a mildly adventurous DIYer will probably quickly move beyond those limitations. And the demonstrable benefits beyond that of even a fairly limited real, local system are enormous.

And of course you can always play the FUD game, and with justification. It won't work when your internet connection is down. So at the time you might most want to get things done quickly, it may not be available to you. And of course the issue of do you want these companies to own your lives?
Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems
www.charmedquark.com
Post 33 made on Friday November 30, 2018 at 18:16
Ernie Gilman
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On November 26, 2018 at 10:07, Rob Grabon said...
Privacy.
Perhaps as valuable as time.

There's a huge difference in privacy with DIY and Integrated Systems.
For many, that's worth the cost.

The biggest fear is the populace is numb with data breaches. It's only a matter of time before one of the big 4 blows it. Will the people react? Trashing their phones and voice devices? Or, just except it as status quo?

And, to get this "privacy," a guy who might be called an A/V guy (my favorite was the British restaurateur who called us "the tunes guys") is exposed to and carries records of your network secrets.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 34 made on Friday November 30, 2018 at 18:49
davidcasemore
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On November 26, 2018 at 10:07, Rob Grabon said...
The biggest fear is the populace is numb with data breaches.

I don't worry! I stayed at a Marriott last night!
Fins: Still Slamming' His Trunk on pilgrim's Small Weenie - One Trunk at a Time!
Post 35 made on Friday November 30, 2018 at 19:04
osiris
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On November 29, 2018 at 01:53, Richie Rich said...
IMO, the days of big, involved home automation systems in all but ultra high end residential are drawing to a close.

Many people are happy with a big box store tv, Sonos soundbar, Appletv (or other streaming box), and small directv or cable box stuck behind the display.
Sat box remote handles 90% of their needs, grab the ATV remote (or app) for when you want to use that.

That same job years ago was a plasma, 5.1 speaker system, AVR, Cable/sat box, DVD player, CD Changer or hdd based music player, programmable remote, gateway, pull out rack, power management, quality cabling and a fan system. Maybe throw in an XM tuner if they wanted a bit more audio diversity. I did probably hundreds of this setup in tract houses, condos etc.

We are left with a bunch of products we make little to no margin on coupled with 100% network dependence, odd intermittent HDMI issues, logins and firmware.

Yes, there is still work to be done as most clients won't want to tackle the 2018 version of a living room system but we are left with very little meat on the bone and a lot more annoying phone calls.

Big, involved home automation systems have never been in any homes but ultra high end residential.

The people you are encountering that are doing Costco TV's with Sonos Beams and using AppleTV remotes were never the same people buying Fujitsu plasma's, Kaleidescape, and Crestron...they were buying Samsung LCD's, Onkyo HTIB's, and fumbling with 5 remotes.
Post 36 made on Friday November 30, 2018 at 19:45
roddymcg
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We don't "need" a control system. We are in the "want" business, if someone wants a control system provide this to them.

Generally I work with control systems in the ultra high end market. But on a occasion we work on the house of many apps. I was at one of those today and I am very comfortable using a control system. I can use this house as an example. I received a list of 20 questions today (maybe 19) on this app and that app.

I've created a T&M CO for this phase of things.
When good enough is not good enough.
Post 37 made on Friday November 30, 2018 at 19:56
Trunk-Slammer -Supreme
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On November 30, 2018 at 19:04, osiris said...
Big, involved home automation systems have never been in any homes but ultra high end residential.

The people you are encountering that are doing Costco TV's with Sonos Beams and using AppleTV remotes were never the same people buying Fujitsu plasma's, Kaleidescape, and Crestron...they were buying Samsung LCD's, Onkyo HTIB's, and fumbling with 5 remotes.

Not quite that bad. Even that group of people needed help. Been there done that (at $120.00 per hour).
Post 38 made on Friday November 30, 2018 at 21:58
buzz
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I always discuss privacy with customers. Today we installed a BEAM and skipped the Alexa integration because of privacy concerns.
Post 39 made on Saturday December 1, 2018 at 12:24
Anthony
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A long time ago you used your key to enter your home and thermostats where fixed and you set the temp and forgot about them. The only thing controllable was the TV and a bit later cable box, VCR, DVD…. You had the remotes that came with tem you had inexpensive universal remotes and you had better more expensive control solutions. The tech might have changed, the options might have changed, what can be done might have changed, but the reality has not. Three options for consumers
1) do nothing and live with the mess (learn how to do everything using "native" controles
2) go with a low end diy solution that are much simpler then #1 to use (if you do it right) and less expensive then option #3
3) go with a professional well integrated solution that is easy to use.


I don't think that reality will ever change

IMO, the days of big, involved home automation systems in all but ultra high end residential are drawing to a close.

but wasn't that always the case? AMX was started in 82 back then as a kid we (and everyone else I knew) lived with the default remotes. Years later when I got my first job I went and bought a universal remote at radioshack, I had no idea stuff like AMX even existed
...
Post 40 made on Saturday December 1, 2018 at 13:17
Richie Rich
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On November 30, 2018 at 19:04, osiris said...
Big, involved home automation systems have never been in any homes but ultra high end residential.

The people you are encountering that are doing Costco TV's with Sonos Beams and using AppleTV remotes were never the same people buying Fujitsu plasma's, Kaleidescape, and Crestron...they were buying Samsung LCD's, Onkyo HTIB's, and fumbling with 5 remotes.

Our bread and butter was:
Panasonic Pro or Pioneer Elite plasma
Integra AVR
Integra DVD or
Escient DVD-M with Sony changer
Integra CD
Paradigm 5.1 speaker system
Panamax surge pro
Ultralink cabling
URC or RTI remote and gateway/processor
Middle Atlantic SRSR rack(s)

Labor was to retro tv and speaker/sub wiring, cut in speakers, build/install rack, mount display, program remote etc.
So, a bunch of products that all had margin on them and had a pretty profitable amount of labor.

These weren't $300k Crestron systems but day in and day out they kept the doors open/lights on/bills paid in between big customs. Like I stated before I did tons of this exact system in condos and upper middle class tract houses.

That is what got replaced by no margin, low labor, high frustration streaming boxes, disposable tvs, soundbars and little circles that you yell at.
I am a trained professional..... Do not attempt this stunt at home.
Post 41 made on Saturday December 1, 2018 at 14:20
Anthony
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On December 1, 2018 at 13:17, Richie Rich said...
....

These weren't $300k Crestron systems but day in and day out they kept the doors open/lights on/bills paid in between big customs. Like I stated before I did tons of this exact system in condos and upper middle class tract houses.

but isn't that the point Osiris and I were making? what your discussing is not "Big, involved home automation systems" because those were always relegated to the ultra high end jobs.


That is what got replaced by no margin, low labor, high frustration streaming boxes, disposable tvs, soundbars and little circles that you yell at.

maybe but the world has always evolved and you need to evolve with it, some things have disappeared somethings are new. You need to find out what your market and skill set can support
...
Post 42 made on Sunday December 2, 2018 at 11:37
osiris
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On December 1, 2018 at 13:17, Richie Rich said...
Our bread and butter was:
Panasonic Pro or Pioneer Elite plasma
Integra AVR
Integra DVD or
Escient DVD-M with Sony changer
Integra CD
Paradigm 5.1 speaker system
Panamax surge pro
Ultralink cabling
URC or RTI remote and gateway/processor
Middle Atlantic SRSR rack(s)

Labor was to retro tv and speaker/sub wiring, cut in speakers, build/install rack, mount display, program remote etc.
So, a bunch of products that all had margin on them and had a pretty profitable amount of labor.

I see no reason you can't sell essentially the same package, only utilizing Sony OLED or Z-series televisions, a Sony ES UHD Blu-Ray player, and higher-quality streaming audio sources. I do it all the time. Sure, the margin on the TV isn't as big, but that's why I also bill install labor at a rate that is 35% higher and programming/networking at 50% higher than it was 15 years ago.

These weren't $300k Crestron systems but day in and day out they kept the doors open/lights on/bills paid in between big customs. Like I stated before I did tons of this exact system in condos and upper middle class tract houses.

I think most people that were in the business back then did a lot of that as well. But again, that's not "big, involved home automation systems"...that's a basic single-room media system with a universal remote.
That is what got replaced by no margin, low labor, high frustration streaming boxes, disposable tvs, soundbars and little circles that you yell at.

The people who want "good enough" weren't buying that $15-20k package you listed 15 years ago...just like the people who actually want something good aren't running with a TCL TV and a $500 sound bar today. The issue is that a lot of our industry has gotten lazy with actually being able to sell better quality experiences.
Post 43 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 14:52
Mac Burks (39)
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On December 1, 2018 at 12:24, Anthony said...
A long time ago you used your key to enter your home and thermostats where fixed and you set the temp and forgot about them.

Still me.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
Post 44 made on Monday December 3, 2018 at 16:00
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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On December 2, 2018 at 11:37, osiris said...
...that's why I also bill install labor at a rate that is 35% higher and programming/networking at 50% higher than it was 15 years ago.

THAT's the reason? The American Institute for Economic Research's inflation calculator ([Link: aier.org]) says $100 in 2003 money had the value of $136 in today's money... so your raise has been much less than you thought.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 45 made on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 00:24
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193
On November 30, 2018 at 01:50, Dean Roddey said...
The Echo cannot take over for a number of reasons.

1. No guest will now what commands to use

The Alexa voice service can guide you if you ask it.

2. You can't browse anything with voice control. Alexa, read me my 5000 sounds and let me pick one.

You can browse through the Alexa app.

3. You can't even really get good information beyond the trivial because takes so long to speak it that you'll have forgotten half of it.

What is "good information?" You can get far more information from an Echo than any other control system out there.

4. It can't tell you the state of the house because it'll take too long

It can tell you some things, everything else you can see in the Alexa app.

5. It can't talk to any serial devices, and presumably no USB devices, right?

What decent product in this category needs serial comms anymore?

6. It's not extensible or customizable unless you use a custom skill, and immediately you run into the problem that you now have to use specialized syntax, Alexa, tell Bubba to do this or that. Most people won't know when to which.

You can create custom routines based on custom commands you want to speak, on schedules, based on a device event, etc. all through the Alexa app. It's gotten so good recently that when I add a new Alexa-supported device to my network it is instantly recognized by Alexa services and ready to control.

7. It can't do anything securely. Will you ask everyone to leave while you speak your password?

A password for what? They do have voice codes for purchases. It even has voice profiles that recognize your voice to personalize preferences.

8. It cannot react to anything, it's purely control, AFAIK. It can't even run scheduled activities, can it?

Yep, it can. Simple to set up in the Alexa app. Check it out.

Even a mildly adventurous DIYer will probably quickly move beyond those limitations. And the demonstrable benefits beyond that of even a fairly limited real, local system are enormous.

I worked primarily in the residential integration industry for 14 years until recently, and I disagree. I have Crestron and Control4 hardware collecting dust in my home now. It's almost hilarious how good these "DIY" products have become, and how quickly they continue to add features and pull further away from the old stalwart players of the industry. The FAANG companies simply have too much engineering talent, infrastructure, and capital to compete against. And they're motivated to win.

And of course you can always play the FUD game, and with justification. It won't work when your internet connection is down. So at the time you might most want to get things done quickly, it may not be available to you. And of course the issue of do you want these companies to own your lives?

These days if your internet connection is down it doesn't really matter if your control system is local or not. What good is a local control system to control cable/streaming media services (95% of what people do in their home) if there's no cable/internet connectivity? Regardless, these DIY system still function fine on their own--services like Alexa just make them even more approachable to the average consumer.
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