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Control Systems are dead.
This thread has 98 replies. Displaying posts 61 through 75.
Post 61 made on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 18:52
Mario
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On February 12, 2020 at 17:02, Old Man River said...
I can't help but wonder if some of y'all even listen to your clients. The majority of people I deal with, from higher end down to that mid market that most integrators completely ignore or can't sell to because they don't understand their needs, don't see the multiple app scenario as inconvenient. Especially when, as mentioned numerous times in this thread, most of those devices' apps are better for the specific device than what you get when integrated into a control system's interface. The control system may still have a place, but it's a shrinking space, and it really doesn't make sense for most clients outside of the very high end market, and even then it's not always necessary and often not at all what the client actually wants. But we, as an industry, have brainwashed ourselves into believing that if it's not all tied to a control system, it's not done right. Maybe ten years ago, but those days are gone. Especially since most control system manufacturers are just rolling out buggy, untested junk as fast as they can.

2 years ago, I would have argued against everything I'm saying now. But the reality is, when we sell a control system, we're selling snake oil and a commitment to swindle the client again and again every time the control system gets outpaced by current technology. We may not believe we're swindling people, but we are. We sell people high dollar systems that are pretty well guaranteed to cost them again and again. Think about every time Control4 has rolled out an update that basically renders older systems obsolete. Every control system manufacturer is guilty of it, too, not just C4, but some of their fiascos from years past help them stand out.

We might think we're some bunch of cool tech guys that deliver this great experience, but we're not. At least, not if we're selling everything around a control system on jobs where it's nowhere even close to necessary. We're no better than greasy car salesmen. I for one am done with it. At least if a client's Nest thermostat needs replaced by some new, great, and wondrous piece, it's not going to cost them f*cktons of money because the whole ecosystem has to be replaced to accommodate one or two new components. Factor in that most control systems seem to have a maximum life of ten years, and we're really looking like the villains. At least with the multi app approach, things can be dealt with as they happen in the case of outdated product, or even product failure, rather than knowing that the whole thing will have to go in ten years.

And that, my friends, is the hard truth that we as an industry had better come to grips with if we want to survive.

I haven't been here much lately and don't remember any of your posts, so I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or if you're suffering from Corona Virus high fever.

Surely you're not serious.
Post 62 made on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 19:18
goldenzrule
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On February 12, 2020 at 18:52, Mario said...
I haven't been here much lately and don't remember any of your posts, so I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or if you're suffering from Corona Virus high fever.

Surely you're not serious.

Where the hell have you been?
Post 63 made on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 19:25
Mario
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On February 12, 2020 at 19:18, goldenzrule said...
Where the hell have you been?

Busy.
Post 64 made on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 19:29
Richie Rich
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"System" I did recently.
Sony OLED
Denon AVR (w/HEOS)
Appletv 4k
Xbox One

The Appletv remote happily and reliably turned the display and AVR on/off and adjusted AVR volume
HEOS app integrated house audio in the surround zone with the other 3 HEOS players in the home.
The only thing they needed to involve another remote for was to go to the Xbox (seldom used) or to make audio adjustments (that most people never do).

A house in this market segment used to be as follows:
1. Display*
2. AVR*
3. Speakers*
4. DVD/Bluray player
5. Power/surge protection*
6. House audio source gear (CD, XM tuner etc)
7. House audio amplifier or multi source, multi zone system (Russound or RTI)*
8. Keypads or house audio control panels of some sort*
9. Remote and processor*
10. Rack, rack shelves, thermal management*
11. Control system programming*

* products and services that had good margin at the time.

Now it is 4-5 devices, most on no/slim margin and most with little to no programming labor.
I am a trained professional..... Do not attempt this stunt at home.
Post 65 made on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 19:39
internetraver
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On February 12, 2020 at 18:08, jrainey said...

And how many times have you updated firmware in a speaker?

Well.....Sonos is considered a speaker.....;)
Post 66 made on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 19:58
Mario
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If you truly feel that you're selling snake oil - shame on you for having gone to work today and especially for going back tomorrow and a day after.

Me? I communicate with my clients exactly what I deliver, what challenges may lay ahead and I set reasonable expectations.

I can guarantee you that if I called any of my clients right now and told them that I was closing the door because I no longer wanted to be a snake oil pusher; not one of them would be happy, and they would all try to convince me that what we have is a symbiotic relationship.
Post 67 made on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 21:32
Rob Grabon
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How many Nest thermostats does it take to cover overhead?

Clients want service and support above all else. I can't see how you can build a business around IoT profit margins, but if you can, good for you.

IoT have their place, but you're being unfair to imply you HAVE to upgrade. If you want new features, and latest abilities, yes. But there are plenty of 10+ year old systems still cruising along and meeting their owners needs.
Technology is cheap, Time is expensive.
Post 68 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 09:20
jrainey
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On February 12, 2020 at 19:39, internetraver said...
Well.....Sonos is considered a speaker.....;)

No...that is a tabletop radio
Post 69 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 09:24
Fred Harding
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On February 13, 2020 at 09:20, jrainey said...
No...that is a tabletop radio

Jack Rainey for the win.
On the West Coast of Wisconsin
Post 70 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 11:33
faster48
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146
On February 13, 2020 at 09:20, jrainey said...
No...that is a tabletop radio

Ha!
Post 71 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 14:10
lippavisual
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On February 12, 2020 at 16:54, tomciara said...
At least tell us how you really feel.

Guess what, in homes without a full blown control system these work remarkably well, make clients happy that were unhappy before hand, and do not give us service calls.

So now I will make a bold statement much like yours. Good integrators donít sell one product to everybody, they sell the product that is appropriate for the situation.

P. S. I do not take issue with you if you have a product you like better. But if you honestly are calling them old technology and repackaged repeaters, then you donít understand or have not looked into the technology yourself.

I've done my research to back up my statements, have you??

I also don't believe in the "one size fits all" approach either.

Do a search on here for Eero. Someone was nice enough to give a brief description of why it's bad in layman terms.

There is always a way to install a traditional network.
Post 72 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 18:49
tomciara
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On February 13, 2020 at 14:10, lippavisual said...
I've done my research to back up my statements, have you??

I also don't believe in the "one size fits all" approach either.

Do a search on here for Eero. Someone was nice enough to give a brief description of why it's bad in layman terms.

There is always a way to install a traditional network.

Letís have the research from the horseís mouth. Iím here to learn.

In the thread of which I believe you speak, one poster had a technical issue, that *may* pop up in high density situations. What if most of us donít even see the neighborsí wifi?

This is your chance to give us the fruit of your research. Iím always interested in the best way to do things so I am all ears.

BTW you donít have to like it. But diss all your friends here as lazy? Pretty strong.

It is a great solution tested over long periods by many of your peers here.

Last edited by tomciara on February 13, 2020 19:00.
"People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive." - Blaise Pascal
Post 73 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 21:02
Munson
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I usually avoid getting involved in these discussions but thought I would through in my two cents.

I read a book a few years ago that I think puts some insite into this, it was called The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M Christensen. This book was first published in 1997 and talked about disruptive technologies that changed industries in the past and talked about industries that would be affected in the future. A good thing about reading a book that is 23 years old is that you can see if the predictions it made actually happened, and many if not most of them did.

This book talks about established company's and how their product improves at a faster rate than what their clients needs do. Then it talks about new disruptive technologies that when introduced do not meet the minimum client needs, but over time begin to meet their needs. At the same time established companies continue to improve, but because the new technologies now meet clients needs they have to move up market.

One example they gave was drag line excavators as the established technology with hydraulic powered excavators as the disruptive technology. At first hydraulic excavators were not powerful enough to anything but small jobs, but as they gain power they began taking over the larger jobs. This pushed the drag line excavators up market, to the point now where they are only used on large mining projects, hydraulics have replaced drag lines in most applications. The companies that embraced hydraulics thrived and only a few drag line companies still exist.

I think we are in a period of change. New disruptive technologies are challenging us and are changing the way we do things. We need to adaptive to survive. Just a couple years ago I still thought that there will always be a need for control systems, and in some sense there will be, but I have found that even some our our largest project are starting to question some of the technologies we install. They are commenting on the amount of money they spend and how often they have to upgrade.

I have seen the change from $5,000 touch panels to iPads that can be updated for less then the cost of replacing the batteries of the older remotes. I agree that there are some challenges to using iPads, but the cost difference is substantial. Also the change from $20,000 Kaliedescape systems to $200 AppleTV's.

Yes there will always be some work, but how much. I just went into a small higher end stereo shop in my area a couple weeks ago. It was nice talking to someone else still passionate about this product. He is a small one man shop and is a far cry from the large high end store that used to be in our area that everyone knew about and that did millions of dollars a year in sales.

Even in my own house I see changes. In the Living room I use the cable box, but am the only one in the house that uses it. My kids and even my wife are either watching their phones or if the TV is on using the AppleTV remote which turns the TV on, switches to the correct input, and also adjusts the volume, no need for an additional universal remote, even though I have a Control4 remote.

In short no matter how much we argue this industry will change, will we change with it? Product will get cheaper, and margins will be eroded. We can deal with it and try to find a way to make money from it, or look for new avenues to make money.

Here is a link of the author, and about 11 minutes in he starts to talk about this theory. Can be a little boring, but worth watching as he gets into the AV industry.

Post 74 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 21:38
goldenzrule
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On February 13, 2020 at 18:49, tomciara said...
Letís have the research from the horseís mouth. Iím here to learn.

In the thread of which I believe you speak, one poster had a technical issue, that *may* pop up in high density situations. What if most of us donít even see the neighborsí wifi?

This is your chance to give us the fruit of your research. Iím always interested in the best way to do things so I am all ears.

BTW you donít have to like it. But diss all your friends here as lazy? Pretty strong.

It is a great solution tested over long periods by many of your peers here.

I have Total Control in my house with JAP, Radio Ra2, 11 Sonos devices, 7 Alexa Dots and one Alexa Show, couple Ring devices, Luma NVR with 7 IP cams, 5 wifi remotes, and more...I switched my wifi out with Eero tonight. I am running it in Bridge mode behind my EdgeRouter. Everything is snappier. Speeds are better and more consistent throughout the house. I tested my TC app which is faster to open, faster to switch rooms and faster to operate everything. Noticeably faster. I didn't have Ruckus, but did have "proper" Unifi gear and just popping Eero in, everything everything WiFi related improved. I am not using Mesh as I put two Eero Pros in where I previously had Unifi, so both are hardwired. So they are in the same locations as before as well, and are covering our 5000 sq ft house with 5g speeds thoughout. The rssi numbers on my Ring devices improved dramatically, even though I did have decent wifi speeds outside of the house before. I am not concerned with my neighbors, we are 2.5 acres. In conclusion, for a product that is super simple to install, flexible as it can be hardwired or mesh, and easy to add on and any point, it works remarkably well.
Post 75 made on Thursday February 13, 2020 at 22:55
Hasbeen
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Just to throw some more gas on the fire, I had a conversation with an "in-house" Xfinity technician a couple of weeks ago.  He's been with the company for 15 years.  Here's what he told me.

He was in a meeting a month ago where they were explaining to the employees that Xfinity/Comcast is no longer a "cable company" they're officially a "data provider". They want to provide the data for home, business, and mobile.

He said they weren't crystal clear about all of the details, but when I asked him his opinion on it, he said he thinks that they'll provide and maintain the Xfinity app on new TV's, Roku, etc.  They'll do away with the hardware like cable boxes, and they'll provide the pipe into the home or business. 5G home networks may replace WIFI and they'll cut a ton of staff and save millions on hardware.

Think about those profit margins when they don't need technicians or the majority of the hardware anymore.
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