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Old 12-31-2007   #1
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Default From AMX to Harmony - a true story

A good friend of mine is swapping his ENTIRE home in West Palm Beach from a full AMX system to Harmony remotes.

That's like him trading in his Bentely for a Corola however the AMX systems have proven SO difficult to program and get support on - that he has given up. He wants control of his system in a world where it can take 3 weeks to get someone out to change one channel on your remote (and it costs you $500 for their time).

I understand his frustration. My Crestron based system sits waiting for installation and programing for new DirecTV receivers among other goodies. My system currently works but I don't have the new DirecTV boxes installed in all but one of my systems. With all of the HD content on the sat - I hate to miss out on it.

The idea that dealers can make a fortune selling AMX and Crestron stuff is fine by me but what I object to is the idea that you become a slave to them for even the smallest of changes to you system. Sometimes, in my system, my programmer can make changes from the Internet which is GREAT and cost-effective. Right now, its the changing IP addresses and overall connectivity that is causing me grief.
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Old 01-01-2008   #2
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Default Re: From AMX to Harmony - a true story

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Originally Posted by JerryDelColliano View Post
A good friend of mine is swapping his ENTIRE home in West Palm Beach from a full AMX system to Harmony remotes.

That's like him trading in his Bentely for a Corola however the AMX systems have proven SO difficult to program and get support on - that he has given up. He wants control of his system in a world where it can take 3 weeks to get someone out to change one channel on your remote (and it costs you $500 for their time).

I understand his frustration. My Crestron based system sits waiting for installation and programing for new DirecTV receivers among other goodies. My system currently works but I don't have the new DirecTV boxes installed in all but one of my systems. With all of the HD content on the sat - I hate to miss out on it.

The idea that dealers can make a fortune selling AMX and Crestron stuff is fine by me but what I object to is the idea that you become a slave to them for even the smallest of changes to you system. Sometimes, in my system, my programmer can make changes from the Internet which is GREAT and cost-effective. Right now, its the changing IP addresses and overall connectivity that is causing me grief.

This is why Crestron has to find an answer to the Control4 type of Automation Solutions.

They offer just as much automation abilities as the Crestron but if the home owner buys a new X, they just plug it in and tell the Control4 it's there with their own home software.

Systems like Control4 that are less expensive, intuitive and easy to navigate menus, and easy to upgrade are capable of slaying the Crestron/AMX hold on the custom installation market.

That is if it wasn't so much cheaper. I know many companies that won't give up that programming revenue. Which is a shame, because a tried and true intuitive interface is much smarter to deal with than customizing them for everyone and leaving you having to go reprogram their tablets, etc. just so they can use their new X.
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Old 01-01-2008   #3
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Default Re: From AMX to Harmony - a true story

Yeah, someone needs to bridge the gap between Harmony and Crestron, Universal is getting close with their RS 232 controller (via RF) but once someone makes a truly cool system that is user programable like the Harmony's for the whole house they will cut out a bunch of the high end business. I suspect it is only time now until that happens.

How long I don't know!
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Old 01-01-2008   #4
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Default Re: From AMX to Harmony - a true story

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Yeah, someone needs to bridge the gap between Harmony and Crestron, Universal is getting close with their RS 232 controller (via RF) but once someone makes a truly cool system that is user programable like the Harmony's for the whole house they will cut out a bunch of the high end business. I suspect it is only time now until that happens.

How long I don't know!
Control4 has that. You have to buy the home software to do your own upgrades, but it does exist.
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Old 01-01-2008   #5
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Default Re: From AMX to Harmony - a true story

I've never had any of the high end controllers like the Crestron but I have had a few "Universal" remotes & can tell you the Harmony is so much better than those!

Most of the universal remotes worked like the Harmony's device function, that is you had all the remotes in one device but they didn't really work together.
The ability to have the TV, DVR & AVR on the same activity is great, push a button & everything that needs to be turned on is turned on & customizing the buttons is easy.
Oh yea & you can get it on sale for around $125 & the CSR in tech support are actually helpful.

The Harmony is so easy to program & use that I bought one for my parents & after it was all set up I only got 1 call about a problem (AVR didn't turn on), I walked them through the help function & they were up & running.
They love it & are not big on tech but have no problems using them.

I think the installers would have a problem with the high end remotes being user programmable, that would cut out a bunch of profit for them.
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Old 01-01-2008   #6
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Default Re: From AMX to Harmony - a true story

Lotus,

I know the control4 does it, I have no personal experience with it though, maybe soon!
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