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Topic:
Would you become a C4 dealer today?
This thread has 44 replies. Displaying posts 16 through 30.
Post 16 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 12:02
SWFLMike
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On October 14, 2020 at 10:59, ichbinbose said...
This is exactly why i will never go back to them. They do not care about you.
Iíve seen this happen to several former dealers and personally find it insane.
Before i picked up Elan I had that same conversation and was informed that they donít do this.

^^^ Agreed. We went with Crestron. I wanted a one stop source for lighting control, shades, AV control and distribution that wasn't actually a mish-mash of brands that were the result of a bunch of acquisitions.

We tried C4 and it's a good product, but I can't stand the company.
Post 17 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 13:07
Brad Humphrey
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On October 14, 2020 at 12:00, osiris said...
What control system manufacturers will provide you with current software for their systems if you're not a dealer?

Which ones don't expect you to actually sell their product to keep the line?

Any that are available thru distribution. I would make a list but 1st we would need to define 'control system'. That will vary a lot depending on the person and their perception.

Technically Harmony is a control system. But many here would argue against that, even if it is true.
Same with URC distribution lines, they are control systems but because they lack certain control protocols (or ability to write your own drivers), some don't consider them as such - even though they are.
RTI.
Crestron has minimums for factory direct dealers. But as I understand it, you can get equipment from places without being a dealer and places you can access the software if you really look around. Plus they don't lock the dealer (any person) out of the system - as long as you have the correct credentials.

Really, if you have access to the software and have the correct credentials (if applied), ANY of the popular control systems can be worked on.
C4 is the ONLY control company (that I'm aware of) that can and will lock a person (dealer, programmer, etc.) out, not allowing them to access the system at all. They own it!
Doesn't matter if the customer payed for it, if the dealer payed for it, or anyone that has actual possession of the system; C4 has ultimate control of that system and can choose who to allow access to it at anytime.

Which IMO brings up the whole legal issue of intellectual property. If someone pays for a product 'in full', how the f^ can the courts be allowing these dirty companies to essential still own the hardware still (thru software ransom). I mean, isn't this just legalized ransomware! Shouldn't it be illegal!
To be clear: locking the hardware so it is not accessible. Intellectual property applies to the programming on the hardware. A company should have the right to not allow access to 'their' programming if they so choose. Customer or another programmer would have to start from scratch. But they could use the hardware.
Post 18 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 15:40
burtont62
Active Member
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591
We switched from Elan to RTI when "G" first showed up. We've never looked back and have some large systems out there.
Post 19 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 16:55
internetraver
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On October 14, 2020 at 12:00, osiris said...
What control system manufacturers will provide you with current software for their systems if you're not a dealer?

Which ones don't expect you to actually sell their product to keep the line?

I would say none of the major players, but that's not the issue we're talking about.  C4 software would check in with their servers (at least back then) and if you were not a current dealer, they would shut down your access completely.

All the rest (as far as I know) will probably not allow you to update software or update profiles but you can still access and make changes to your client's current system such as changing codes or brands.
Post 20 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 19:17
buzz
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Being locked out of software updates is not a great long term solution, but the lockout will not usually cause immediate problems. For example, iOS updates can withdraw support of critical functions required to run older Apps. If the dealer had current access to controller system programming, things could be updated. And adding current models or replacing failed models, say a new camera, doorbell, and such, will probably be impossible without current software.
Post 21 made on Thursday October 15, 2020 at 09:45
SWFLMike
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On October 14, 2020 at 13:07, Brad Humphrey said...

Crestron has minimums for factory direct dealers. But as I understand it, you can get equipment from places without being a dealer and places you can access the software if you really look around. Plus they don't lock the dealer (any person) out of the system - as long as you have the correct credentials.

I just went through this and the regional rep was pretty wishy-washy about it at first. When I first spoke with him and told him we were getting product from another dealer, he took the company line and gave it a pretty hard no. After we spoke a bit and he knew we weren't Crestron noobs, he *eventually* said, "yeah that's ok", because I asked him, "well how do we support our existing jobs if we're not (yet) a dealer and we can't get parts sideways?"

The thing about software, for pretty much all of it, is that the clock is always ticking. Getting it is one thing, but keeping it updated is another. For Crestron, there's a lot to keep up with between versions of software and device firmware. But they catalog it very well, so you can roll back versions if you need to. I like that.

Also - Crestron Home works much like C4, in that you don't save the project to your computer. But to ensure that you can retrieve the config in the event of a processor failure, you need to register the processor when you set it up. Otherwise, it's a whole process. Not impossible, but a bit of a chore, I guess.
Post 22 made on Thursday October 15, 2020 at 12:02
Rob Grabon
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So is Elan the only 'Integration' company that allows dealers to support if they stop selling the line?

Crestron has a classification of 'programmers' I hear, do you automatically get moved over, or more hoops to jump?
Technology is cheap, Time is expensive.
Post 23 made on Thursday October 15, 2020 at 19:13
lippavisual
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On October 14, 2020 at 12:00, osiris said...
What control system manufacturers will provide you with current software for their systems if you're not a dealer?

Which ones don't expect you to actually sell their product to keep the line?

Extron does pretty well with this. Similar to Crestron, when you pass their programming certification, it's for the individual and not the company.

Cert is mine forever, even if they shut our company down for purchasing products.
Post 24 made on Thursday October 15, 2020 at 23:58
radiorhea
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We have been a long time RTI dealer and could not be happier. They have new funding and build a solid product, so they are stable.
Drinking upstream from the herd since 1960
Post 25 made on Friday October 16, 2020 at 08:32
Duct Tape
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On October 14, 2020 at 13:07, Brad Humphrey said...
Same with URC distribution lines, they are control systems but because they lack certain control protocols (or ability to write your own drivers), some don't consider them as such - even though they are.

URC let's you build your own basic drivers.

If you want to write a 2 way module and know how to program in the TCL language, they allow you access to the SDK for that too.

So not sure what you mean by this comment.
[Link: facebook.com]
Post 26 made on Friday October 16, 2020 at 09:25
Brad Humphrey
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On October 16, 2020 at 08:32, Duct Tape said...
URC let's you build your own basic drivers.

If you want to write a 2 way module and know how to program in the TCL language, they allow you access to the SDK for that too.

So not sure what you mean by this comment.

That's URC Total Control, which is factory direct only (and falls under some of these manufacture controlled guidelines).
I mention 'URC distribution'; which includes CCP and HomePro. No limitations for dealers there, no getting cutoff, and no minimums to worry about. But you don't get the integration like you do with TC.
Post 27 made on Friday October 16, 2020 at 20:03
edizzle
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On October 15, 2020 at 23:58, radiorhea said...
We have been a long time RTI dealer and could not be happier. They have new funding and build a solid product, so they are stable.

until the swap the volume and channel............. i wont even open an email from them!!!!!!!!!! that is literally the stupidest shit i have EVER seen!!!!!
I love supporting product that supports me!
Post 28 made on Friday October 16, 2020 at 22:27
Richie Rich
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On October 14, 2020 at 12:02, SWFLMike said...
^^^ Agreed. We went with Crestron. I wanted a one stop source for lighting control, shades, AV control and distribution that wasn't actually a mish-mash of brands that were the result of a bunch of acquisitions.

We tried C4 and it's a good product, but I can't stand the company.

Crestron ecosystem and flexibility/customization are the things that keep me away from the more "sandbox" style of C-4 and Savant.

Never programmed C4 but worked on a few systems as a tech. Coming from Crestron, AMX and RTI, I was floored at the lack of customization.

Had a similar experience when I went to Savant training. I asked pointed questions of the trainers, the oddball "what about" things that often spring up in higher end residential systems. I did not get answers I liked.
I am a trained professional..... Do not attempt this stunt at home.
Post 29 made on Saturday October 17, 2020 at 09:35
Ranger Home
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IMO URC has much better looking products than C4 and is very flexible.
Post 30 made on Saturday October 17, 2020 at 12:44
highfigh
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On October 14, 2020 at 13:07, Brad Humphrey said...
Same with URC distribution lines, they are control systems but because they lack certain control protocols (or ability to write your own drivers)

They tell people that the best way to use their remotes/hubs is to create drivers for the devices- how does your definition of 'driver' differ from theirs?
My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
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