starting fresh...need ideas

Place to post your ideas and questions on how to integrate Cinemar's software in a Home Automation System (lighting, security, hvac, etc.)
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hobie_od
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starting fresh...need ideas

Postby hobie_od » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:30 pm

The new house is styrofoamed up and the walls are being poured on Monday.

Since this is fresh start, I need ideas for what to use.

I would like to do securtiy, automation, and a/v distribution via ML.

I was going to use an Elk or HAI system.

Insteon or UPB. Leaning toward Insteon for better pricing. Which is more useful.

Nuvo, Russound, Speakercraft. No MLSpeakercraft.

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Postby DavidL » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:38 pm

Elk, Insteon (with PLM controller!) or UPB via MLLighting, There is a speakercraft plugin that hasn't been announced yet. Nuvo GrandConcerto is now supported. RussoundCav66 is a standard.

Foam wall basement? Same here. Make sure they put some tabs to screw drywall / other finish surfaces into the block before pouring! I missed a few spots and it's a bit of a pain later to finish the block.

Makes a great theater room wall due to sound dead (foam), sound insulating, and mass (cement).

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Postby hobie_od » Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:22 am

Is there a functional difference between upb and insteon. It seems that upb has more devices available.

The form for the basement has inserts built into the foam. Every 8" there are full thickness studs to use.

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Postby gregoryx » Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:39 pm

If I were starting over, I'd go UPB over Insteon. I still think the Insteon stuff looks cooler in some cases and the "status" lights are really neat; but UPB would have been MUCH less expensive considering all the pain I've suffered from Insteon QC issues.

The product was a steaming pile early on and is now decent but not showing great future promise like UPB.

When it was a quarter of the price, it would have been worth it - assuming you'd install each switch twice or more - but now that it's less than half the price difference, I'd go UPB.

Oh... for reference: I have about 60 Insteon switches and devices in my house and have it controlled by Elk as well as ML and it all works well... when it works well. When something stops working well, a reset is in order and when that doesn't work, replacing the switch is in order (I have four that need replacing right now).

In case anyone cares to point it out: a reset is a pain when there's a lot of links set up and such - though much easier since I also bought SmartHome's programming software (which should most certainly be no-charge) as well as PowerHome. Unfortunately, Cinemar's set up is not ready to deal with the "reprogramming" in a manner as straight-forward as either PowerHome or HouseLinc. (Unless the latest PLM version is completely different.) Since resetting a device is always the first-line of action to fix the problem devices, straight-forward reprogramming is critical. Since the second level fix is to replace the device and that requires reprogramming EVERYTHING that relates to that device (over a dozen devices per device in many cases in my house) the ability to "replace and reprogram all" is also essential.

Go UPB.

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Postby DaveB » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:54 pm

I agree with Greg -

I have sold and installed many very high end systems, and there are many out there that work very well (like litouch and Vantage). for the average guy doing self installation and programing, UPB is straight forward, works as designed, and very rarely has any issues. The system basis is total redundancy in that, if you do loose one device, the program parameters for that device along with all the others are still remembered by all other devices. Essentually, you can replace a switch and not loose the setup. The bad side is no illumination of buttons. Indicator lights, but no buttons, which is a huge miss in my mind.

The only other option that I would consider is ZWave. They still have a limited selection however.

If you hold on a bit longer, Zigbee approved products will be the product of choice once more products gain approval. ZIgBee is Zwave on steroids, and actually was the basis of ZWave (but the courts are still fighting that one out). http://www.zigbee.org/en/index.asp
Most heavy hitters like Vantage, Centralite, and COlorado-V-Net just introduced full ZigBee lines. THey are bar none - the best out there as of the last CEDIA show.
For now - Go UPB
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Postby blafarm » Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:18 pm

smoothtlk wrote:There is a speakercraft plugin that hasn't been announced yet.


Interesting...for which product?

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Russound

Postby scotthpdx » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:01 am

I am still trying to figure out what ot use for whole house audio. I bought a AB8S on Tuesday, but want to check on my other options.

I like the russound and looked on ebay and there are alot of the russound stuff out there. Theyre is a CA6.4 and a CA4.4. But neither seems to have a serial port in them.

Does the plug in for russound only work with the CAV66? Is a CA6.4 similar to a CAV66?

Scott


smoothtlk wrote:Elk, Insteon (with PLM controller!) or UPB via MLLighting, There is a speakercraft plugin that hasn't been announced yet. Nuvo GrandConcerto is now supported. RussoundCav66 is a standard.

Foam wall basement? Same here. Make sure they put some tabs to screw drywall / other finish surfaces into the block before pouring! I missed a few spots and it's a bit of a pain later to finish the block.

Makes a great theater room wall due to sound dead (foam), sound insulating, and mass (cement).
What would you like to automate today....

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Postby DaveB » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:31 am

Scott;
The CA series is the entry level product line for Russound. You can control the units via IR with ML, and the units do not have a Video feature, R-Net or serial ports.

The best units to look at in this line are the CAV/CAM/CAA model lines. THe CAV is a six zone with video; the CAM is a six zone with no video and the CAA is a base six zone without R-Net.

Most users go for either the CAV or CAM lines due to flexability, keypad options and the built in R-Net IR system that can operate other devices. The CAA is a fine choice if your goal is to install a smaller, fairly simple system.

All have serial ports and work great with the ML driver.

Hope this helps!
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Postby mcascio » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:53 am

blafarm wrote:
smoothtlk wrote:There is a speakercraft plugin that hasn't been announced yet.


Interesting...for which product?


The speakercraft is being tested by one of our dealers and it's looking good. It supports the MZC Controller.
Mario Cascio
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http://www.cinemaronline.com

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Postby blafarm » Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:47 pm

Thanks Mario

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Postby mcascio » Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:58 pm

blafarm,

Are you in a position to test out the SpeakerCraft plugin? We'd love to have more eyes on it. :)
Mario Cascio

Cinemar, Inc.

http://www.cinemaronline.com

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Postby blafarm » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:20 pm

Mario,

I'm sorry, but I won't be in a position to assist with that plugin.

For the past six consecutive CEDIA's I have searched for the holy grail of matrix switchers. Unfortunately, I have had to reconcile that the product I require is much further down the road. Anyway, I am currently considering the Autopatch Autopatch PRECIS LT w/ DSP and an 8x8 or 16x16 version ofGefen's HDMI CAT5 Matrix Switch which is scheduled for release mid '08.

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Postby Ranger Home Automation » Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:03 am

blafarm, have you looked at convergent livings matrix switches? they pretty much build them to order so they may be able to meet your needs.

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Postby blafarm » Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:09 pm

Ranger,

Thanks for the recommendation. Interesting company.

However, from a video point of view, I really need 8-16 output channels of 1080p HDMI 1.3 with HDCP (also, I need those outputs to be Cat5 for low cost distribution). Gefen seems to be the company that is ahead of the pack in that regard, although they have had their share of stumbles. Autopatch (now AMX) has been promising this functionality for the Optima line for three years -- but never delivered. Now, with the acquisition, their ability to prioritize product initiatives has been further handicapped.

From an audio point of view, I need 16-18 stereo output pairs -- and I need DSP on each pair. Nothing fancy, just input gain, volume control and a functional EQ. In truth, I would rather not be dealing with unbalanced audio -- but this particular application is background music and not critical listening.

I wish there was an all-in-one box that provided the customized switching that I require -- without all the fluff. Optima would have been that box -- but I can't wait any longer.

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Postby Ranger Home Automation » Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:17 pm

blafarm, CL is coming out with rj45 jack but dont have a date, on their matrix switches. might be worth a call to find out. I will be talking to them on monday, i will bring it up.

edit: autopatch is ridiculously overpriced IMO.


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