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Topic:
EI going straight to builders with Lifeware
This thread has 350 replies. Displaying posts 151 through 165.
OP | Post 151 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 15:33
RADIO RAHIM
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rlustig, crestron has some bad installs? Crestron has 1,000s of bad installs and 1,000s of defective pieces of equipment over the years. Trust me come to Mass. I know it depends on the dealer, but faulty equipment is on the manufacturer. As for Vantage I won't even go there. I have personally worked with them, when working for a manufacturer and they were horrible.
Post 152 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 15:35
CoastalHome
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rlustig: When I say "reboot" the system goes through what is called "optimization". (You can access and turn on the function in the Media Center setup.) All it does it take Media Center off line and restart it. I do it at 3AM - I've never had a problem.

I had a Vantage system in my old house - LOVED IT. For now I'm planning on putting a Vantage system in my next house - tied in with Life|ware, of course.

Onkyo Integra receiver
Insteon switches
DSC security
Niveus Denali (soon to be replaced with an N7).
AprilAire t-stats

I'll put in a Russound or Netstreams distrubuted audio system soon - I've been busy and I didn't prewire the house for it when we remodeled.

Nothing out of the ordinary, here. The advantage I have is that through Web Services for Devices (WSD) my subsystems literally speak the same language as Life|ware - it's the next generation of UPnP. Can you believe it NO MODULES! Try that with Crestron.
Post 153 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 15:38
CoastalHome
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Everyone should visit Chris Lanier's blog for some great insight on Media Center. [Link: msmvps.com]

He's a Microsoft MVP so you might think his views are biased, but in my experience they are not.
Post 154 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 16:13
tsvisser
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On February 20, 2007 at 14:07, CoastalHome said...
...
There will always be Microsoft haters. I've learned to
stop trying to convert them. When establishing my business
model I looked at the bigger picture of who is going to
have the muscle to help penetrate this market in a way
that will create main stream buzz amongst consumers and,
for once, a pull market instead of the push market that
it is now. As far as I'm concerned Crestron and AMX have
had their chance. They've been around for a long time
and created some interesting closed system products. In
that time they (and a handful of others) have been able
to create approx. 5% market share for home automation
and practically zero brand awareness among John and Jane
Consumer. I think it's time for some fresh perspective.
It's easy to stand on a soap box and yell "Microsoft sucks,
blah, blah, blah" becasue you have a desktop computer
that crashes once a week. I tell you what; I had an Elan
system that crashed on a daily basis. My desktop computer
at work is a lot more reliable by comparision.
...

Crestron and AMX is closed, but LW is not open, either. It is also a closed system and the technology that runs it is not open source. However, both platforms offer a certain level of development. in the case of Crestron / AMX we can use the system to communicate with almost any device in the manner that we specify. if i wanted to run a Flash interface that communicates with Crestron in the Actionscript / XMLSocket object, i could do that. hunderds of wall mount, remote, and virtual interfaces... and not limited to Crestron/AMX devices. LW offers 3rd party hardware, but the interface always comes back to MCE. With the ability to have untethered customization, I personally disagree with others who embrace the ability to tweak out GUIs with pictures, marble grain, etc... I actually think of my GUIs as a "factory" look and feel, consistent, much like LW considers their GUI an integral part of the product, only I am at a much smaller scale... but... at least I have that decision to make, while others are free to take a different road.

i too applaud steve and company for coming here. debate, even critical debate, is not negative debate. it is ok to disagree, and when that happens, we all are enriched by the process. i also applaud LW's venture. Other traditional automation companies' limiting factor in growth is not the technology or market, but their desire to stay in the market that they are experts in... the high end, and acknowledgement that they do not want to expand beyond the logistic reach of their installer base.


i don't appreciate the marketing rhetoric that was originally prescribed... LW has identified the fatal flaw in existing automation and now that they have corrected that, they have a superior product. save it for the glossy brochures, not a professional forum. a more balanced perspective of a certain % of capability for a certain % of the price... more suited to the mass market audience that LW is targeting, versus the high end niche automation that many of us now cater to. i do not see the markets being exclusive... they only overlap by a fraction. hi risk, high reward. the risk component is certainly great, as the mechanism that is in place has great potential for unrealistic client expectations, not meeting client expectations, problems with the "dynamic" of the product... like exactly how is a client that buys a box from BB going to happily transition over to a custom installer? where is the planning that traditionally goes into installations, usually carefully thought out? with LW, a large percentage of the installations are going to start at the retail counter. to each his own, and i'll be curiously watching. half hoping that you succeed, half expecting that you won't, but definitely no ill-will or biased opinions that would keep me from an open mind - especially if LW does something that should make others pay attention to.
[Link: imdb.com]
OP | Post 155 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 16:15
RADIO RAHIM
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CoastalHome, you have to understand, people in hear attack products without even using them or having full knowledge. There are a few CI guys that only learn enough to get by and run off at the mouth. People have been attacking Vista and have never even used it. I understand the process you are talking about.
Post 156 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 16:36
rlustig
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True I haven't used Vista. I can't. It won't play nice with MANY of the applications I need on a daily basis. It probably will someday.

Just because some of us don't think a MS product is should be the basis of a critical system, it doesn't make us all MS haters. I use MS products every day.

In your opinion, are MS products perfect? Do they ever have bugs? Do they ever crash? All I am saying is that we heard the same thing about Xp that we are hearing now about Vista. It is reliable, it is secure etc etc. XP is still not close to secure for 90% of the users. Can it be? Yes, is it used that way? No. Why should we believe that Vista is any different? My brther inlaw bought an XP machine for his home use in December. He called me yesterday because it is completely unusable. It is riddled with spyware, unauthorized applications etc. He has to do a complete OS reinstall. Two months old on a mature OS. This happens all the time. You or I might not have this problem, but our clients will. Their kids will say yes to downloading all manner of crap. These machines will go tits up just like every other MS machine at some point. The locked down in a closet controller probably won't, but the vast majority of Vista machines will get problems.

And, that is all moot because Lifeware doesn't run on Vista yet does it? So if it still runs on XP, any open box that your client has will eventually have problems.

Coastal, if you have one or two simple sytems up and running that is great. I know all about the bazillion dollar system in the VP's house. I read the article. That doesn't really address any of the issues people here have brought up. I'll be meeting with the rep as I said and maybe I'll come away with a new perspective. I just haven't seen or heard anything that shows me different.
Post 157 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 16:42
rlustig
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Another question. I am in the middle of a project that will have an Infusion controller and 142 loads. Many scenes, don't know how many yet. How would the Lifeware licensing work with that lighting system? If I read the pricing right from the thread that someone else posted it would cost $7000 for the software license to run this lighting system, plus the hardware. Is that any where near accurate? What would Lifeware give me that Infusion doesn't? Again these are serious questions, not flame bait.
Post 158 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 16:43
tsvisser
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you shouldn't equate criticism with "attack" in the sense that 1 party is taking an unfair course of action to another. this is a forum and by nature, all content is subject to critical review.

any questions that EI has to answer to in here are many of the same ones that would have to be addressed in the market space. much of the rebuttal has been intelligent, but not all of it has be decisive. i think at this point it is still a hot debate, and performance will be proven over time. in any debate, you have to cede that all paties hold some element of truth/right and all some wrong/falsehoods, except in the cases of a few persons...

I for have been betatesting Vista from Longhorn, beta, RC, ... some things i did like. in a bit of my own sensationalism, how would i describe it in a couple of words?

Windows ME part deux - hope MS does something with the kernel for the next release and concentrates of making a ground up revised OS rather than a generational change.

regardless... some things should be questioned with both the design philosphy of the platform andof the actual runtime peformance of the components. here EI can say "it works great" all they want to, but until the community can see some hard figures and feedback from more CIs... of course no one will take something as fact until there is proof to back it up. not saying that EI isn't doing all it can to provide such proof, some of it will just have to come out over time.
[Link: imdb.com]
OP | Post 159 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 16:47
RADIO RAHIM
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rlustig, you do make a good point on the pricing.
OP | Post 160 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 16:55
RADIO RAHIM
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tsvisser, I think you are right. As I said earlier, EI still has a ways to go. If you use the system within its boundaries it will work for you. If you exit those boundaries and treat it like a crestron system you will run into trouble. It's the tool that fits the job.

People have done this with all the new comers (Control4, Homelogic) they try to replace a custom platform with a non custom platform. Maybe their should be another forum for non-custom platforms. Configured systems instead of custom.
Post 161 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 17:12
CoastalHome
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rlustig: Steve or your rep can best answer your pricing question.

As for your brother in law's machine - that sucks, but he should have locked it down better. My Niveus machine runs Media Center - that's it. The only outbound connections to the Internet it is making is to retrieve Guide data as well as movie cover art, etc. I'm certainly not surfing the Internet with it. When installing an MCE machine is someone's home the best thing to do is hide, or take the keyboard that it comes with.

Also, I never said Life|ware was open - MCE is. How cool is it that even before Vista oficially shipped they introduced a new "Sports" plug in for Media Center that gives the user unprecedented control over what sports they want to watch, record, as well as news, fantasy sports, etc? Great selling tool for the "man of the house". Not to mention all of the other plug ins already available.
Post 162 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 17:16
rlustig
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On February 20, 2007 at 16:55, RADIO RAHIM said...
tsvisser, I think you are right. As I said earlier, EI
still has a ways to go. If you use the system within
its boundaries it will work for you. If you exit those
boundaries and treat it like a crestron system you will
run into trouble. It's the tool that fits the job.

Rahim on this we agree. However, the EI folks according to the statement on this thread do not. It has been said that Lifeware has all the functionality of Crestron or AMX. This I don't believe. It may have enough functionality for its intended market, but it isn't 100% of Crestron at xx% less. It may not be 100% of Crestron at the same or higher cost. If that licensing model is accurate, it is way more expensive than I can believe.

In the above mentioned project I also have 8 zones of 14 zones of audio, 12 sources, HD video distribution etc. The software license alone would be crazy expensive with no control hardware.
Post 163 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 17:36
QQQ
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On February 20, 2007 at 14:37, rlustig said...
So please give us some examples of the projects you have
completed with Lifeware. How many installs have you done?

On February 20, 2007 at 15:00, CoastalHome said...
rlustig: How about my own home? I think that speaks many
more volumes about the belief I have in the product than
the number of installs I have done.

On February 20, 2007 at 15:26, CoastalHome said...
As for how many installs I've done - I'm not in the habit
of giving out that kind of information. My business is
not that old, though, so it's not a lot. It's mainly been
a lot of my friends, business associates and a few others.

The bad news is he doesn't have any friends. So the answer is 0.

CoastalHome, no one's asking you to post your annual report. Even if you said "I've done 3 installs and they've all gone smoothly and the customers have been very happy" that would give your opinion some value. Your refusal to answer suggests to me you have not installed any systems yet. Which is fine, but as it is, your answer makes you sound like a polotician on one of the Sunday morning talk shows. And I don't really think we care if your installs are for your "friends" or your "enemies". Just that they work.
Post 164 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 17:51
AHEM
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On February 20, 2007 at 17:36, QQQ said...
CoastalHome, no one's asking you to post your annual report.

Just a balance sheet and income statement will suffice.
Post 165 made on Tuesday February 20, 2007 at 18:01
CoastalHome
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Wow - QQQ aren't you quite the agitator? I don't need to justify any of the statements, or my business to you, or anyone else for that matter. Take them or leave them - I don't really care.
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