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Topic:
Control Systems are dead.
This thread has 98 replies. Displaying posts 91 through 99.
OP | Post 91 made on Friday February 21, 2020 at 15:41
Fins
Elite Member
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On February 21, 2020 at 13:53, Mac Burks (39) said...
My point is that the "cable box" is still going to be a "box". Instead of motorola on the label it will be Roku or Apple TV. Comcast has a streaming box called Flex because they want to do away with roku and appletv. At some point...my guess is 20 years...they will have no box and suggest no box because all TVs will have their app built in.

I remember the story about the $20 million dollar system where they were going to "get rid of all the boxes". Like how? How are you getting rid of them? Oh you mean you are going to have Control4 boxes instead of Crestron boxes.

DirecTV is dead. I see hundreds of their satellites rusting on the side of apartment buildings in Chicago. Everyone has moved to Comcast. AT&T is a wired product so they aren't spending any more money on satellite.

Yes, in some way there will still be boxes. There will be TVs, and sources boxes, and amps, and light switches or centralized systems*, an thermostats, and alarms, and all of those. But as for control systems? I’m starting to think more and more homes, devices will be connected through google or Apple. Or if other products like Crestron or C4 do survive, they will likely be cloud based too. I realized yesterday that a Sony TV now is a Google Home hub. You put a Sony TV in and you can put in a nest doorbell and say “ok google, show me front door” and the tv will pop up the doorbell cam. Or add google compatible light switches and through the voice input of the tv, control those lights.

On the subject of lighting, also from watching my kids, where I used to think smart bulbs were a stupid concept and would never last, I’m starting to think they may become common in At least average homes. They are easy for anyone to replace, you don’t have to be an electrician, and they are inexpensive.
Civil War reenactment is LARPing for people with no imagination.

Post 92 made on Friday February 21, 2020 at 16:21
Rob Grabon
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But Alexa/Apple/Google aren't integration systems, at least not yet. They are still only another point of human control.

Yes there are Alexa and Google routines, Apple Shortcuts, but somebody has to 'program' them, and I'm sure with cloud AI, eventually She'll understand, a goodbye means: turn off the lights, the music, the water, the heat, lock the doors, monitor the cameras, and set the alarm.

So perhaps we need to focus our pitch more on the "integration" side, rather than "control". As a movie room isn't a home theater (you stick those in a family room with a soundbar), it's a home cinema with seating and cinematic purpose.
Technology is cheap, Time is expensive.
OP | Post 93 made on Friday February 21, 2020 at 19:52
Fins
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On February 21, 2020 at 16:21, Rob Grabon said...
But Alexa/Apple/Google aren't integration systems, at least not yet. They are still only another point of human control.

Yes there are Alexa and Google routines, Apple Shortcuts, but somebody has to 'program' them, and I'm sure with cloud AI, eventually She'll understand, a goodbye means: turn off the lights, the music, the water, the heat, lock the doors, monitor the cameras, and set the alarm.

So perhaps we need to focus our pitch more on the "integration" side, rather than "control". As a movie room isn't a home theater (you stick those in a family room with a soundbar), it's a home cinema with seating and cinematic purpose.

For now, you are absolutely right. But in 10 years? I don’t know. I have set up some routines on Alexa that combines actions from my Elan system, and some stand alone devices that I couldn’t integrate into Elan. Although, I do wish I could include the Alexa OnStar skill into those so that I could make sure my truck doors are locked at night.
Civil War reenactment is LARPing for people with no imagination.

Post 94 made on Saturday February 22, 2020 at 00:43
buzz
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Today I gave an Alexa command and there were two devices within earshot. Immediately after executing the command she asked if the correct device followed the command.
Post 95 made on Saturday February 22, 2020 at 22:13
Stryker
Long Time Member
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394
I think this thread is great. As things always change.
But as always I think it’s important to look at the markets we all serve. I don’t care if your 25 or 65. When you have a 20-35k house you will have a control system. And if your even semi smart you’ll have your systems integrated. Example said 20-35k sq ft house is in an area where satellite internet is the fastest option you have all of the cloud systems fail (latency). I know micro satellite and 5g will help to minimize this need but it’s still an issue (Plus the whole point of 5g and microsatellite is to control access and gather personal data). I looked at a 72k sq ft house last month. Internet is 5mb. 3xT1 lines combined with satellite internet (Hughes as the backup failover and a few other items segregated in the network) No cable service $2.4m to get fiber to the property

I get that these kind of projects may not be the norm for many. But for those of us that this is par for the course. I don’t see control systems going away for quite a few years still.

The race to the bottom the constant pressure from players in this industry to provide more for less is self defeating and idiotic. And show the lack of business acumen by most on this board. We went from Ferrari dealers. To “we will sell you whatever you want so that we can keep our doors open” Fing stupid.

Couple last thoughts
Everyone should be T&M and I think most know that. If your not. Why not?

And define successful? When someone says they ran a successful integration company and shifted to install consumer products “because of forsight”. I’d ask how they define success. If you own an AV company and your not doing a minimum of $350k in revenue per employee you are NOT successful. Your not even close

Lastly for those who are successful make sure to put all that money into something besides AV. Because as the last 7 pages show Control systems are not needed. ;) and all of us traditional AV companies will disappear

Last edited by Stryker on February 22, 2020 22:30.
"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way"
Post 96 made on Sunday February 23, 2020 at 12:02
punter16
Long Time Member
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449
On February 22, 2020 at 22:13, Stryker said...
I think this thread is great. As things always change.
But as always I think it’s important to look at the markets we all serve. I don’t care if your 25 or 65. When you have a 20-35k house you will have a control system. And if your even semi smart you’ll have your systems integrated. Example said 20-35k sq ft house is in an area where satellite internet is the fastest option you have all of the cloud systems fail (latency). I know micro satellite and 5g will help to minimize this need but it’s still an issue (Plus the whole point of 5g and microsatellite is to control access and gather personal data). I looked at a 72k sq ft house last month. Internet is 5mb. 3xT1 lines combined with satellite internet (Hughes as the backup failover and a few other items segregated in the network) No cable service $2.4m to get fiber to the property

I get that these kind of projects may not be the norm for many. But for those of us that this is par for the course. I don’t see control systems going away for quite a few years still.

The race to the bottom the constant pressure from players in this industry to provide more for less is self defeating and idiotic. And show the lack of business acumen by most on this board. We went from Ferrari dealers. To “we will sell you whatever you want so that we can keep our doors open” Fing stupid.

Couple last thoughts
Everyone should be T&M and I think most know that. If your not. Why not?

And define successful? When someone says they ran a successful integration company and shifted to install consumer products “because of forsight”. I’d ask how they define success. If you own an AV company and your not doing a minimum of $350k in revenue per employee you are NOT successful. Your not even close

Lastly for those who are successful make sure to put all that money into something besides AV. Because as the last 7 pages show Control systems are not needed. ;) and all of us traditional AV companies will disappear

There's a lot of good stuff above. In addition to his points, things that have helped to make us more successful and that have cut down on frustration are:

T&M (like noted above). You don't know what you're getting into on many projects and that isn't your fault. T&M is fair for you and the client if you know your product lines.

Client pays for initial consult...why, oh why do people continue to do this for free?

Sell better stuff. To the person who previously stated that they left the business due to the cheapening of products and the IOT state of the industry...why not sell better networks? EVERY house that has entertainment based on networked devices needs to have managed WiFi (or at least WiFi that is remotely visible) and some form of IP power piece to reset things automatically. MOST customers don't know what to reset when (as an example) Netflix hangs up. Is is the modem, router, streaming device, etc.? What do you unplug? Which of these 90 cables is the power? This element is now more important than ever.

Make yourself better: As professionals, we need to continually challenge ourselves and the status quo to ascend personally and professionally IF we want to grow. Still selling Netgear routers and extenders? Big fan of the URC MX450? Telling your customers to buy gear on the Internet and you'll install it? We see this constantly and if you're doing the above you aren't doing yourself or your client a favor. Learn why better products cost more and how they benefit the customer.

$$$: Charge enough to stay in business and give yourself the life you want. They're too expensive? Maybe you're too cheap.

Good luck to all of us and keep your eye on the prize.
OP | Post 97 made on Sunday February 23, 2020 at 13:03
Fins
Elite Member
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I feel like some took my initial opinion on control systems as we know them going away to also equal a death of the CI industry. While I think IOT products will get smarter and capable of doing more of the same things our systems currently do, I don’t think that means our field is going to end. It’s just going to change how we do our job.
Civil War reenactment is LARPing for people with no imagination.

Post 98 made on Sunday February 23, 2020 at 14:59
P2P
Long Time Member
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260
YES!  Well said.

On February 23, 2020 at 12:02, punter16 said...
There's a lot of good stuff above. In addition to his points, things that have helped to make us more successful and that have cut down on frustration are:

T&M (like noted above). You don't know what you're getting into on many projects and that isn't your fault. T&M is fair for you and the client if you know your product lines.

I've been T&M for the past 15 years.  Won't do it any other way.

Client pays for initial consult...why, oh why do people continue to do this for free?

An why do people credit it back if the project is sold?  This is just another form of giving it away for free.  Stop doing it!  Charge for everything.

Do you think the architect is crediting his design time back to the client if they decide to build the house?

$$$: Charge enough to stay in business and give yourself the life you want. They're too expensive? Maybe you're too cheap.

Just because you can't afford it doesn't mean your client can't.  Stop looking at projects with your own wallet.

And stop giving other things away too:
- charge for your travel time, even if it is at your cost just to cover expenses.
- stop eating shipping charges.  Pass them on to your client who ordered it (without markup).  Shipping is NOT 'just the cost of doing business.'

Raise your rates!  Especially if you're busy.

I've done all of this consistently for many, many years.  How many clients have questioned my business practices and fee structure?  ZERO.  Not one.

Last edited by P2P on February 23, 2020 15:08.
Post 99 made on Sunday February 23, 2020 at 21:59
Hi-FiGuy
Super Member
Joined:
Posts:
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2,707
On February 23, 2020 at 14:59, P2P said...
An why do people credit it back if the project is sold?  This is just another form of giving it away for free.  Stop doing it!  Charge for everything.




Same as the automotive industry. There is the diagnostic fee and once the problem is diagnosed its automatically assumed the diag fee goes into the repair.

Are you kidding me....so it takes an hour or two or 10 to find a problem and the part takes 15 minutes to replace and you expect to pay 15 minutes labor for the whole job! Happens every god damn day! "the diagnosis goes towards the repair right" No dear customer it becomes part of the repair, the additional labor required to replace the part is added to the diagnosis charge.

Nothing is free, especially your time. Your clients don't do a damn thing for free in their business. If they tell you they do they are lying,

Never sell with your wallet.
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