FYI: CQC Price increase as of Fri night!

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by IVB, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. IVB

    IVB
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    FYI for those who've followed my posts and are contemplating using CQC for their HA/HT software engine: To reflect the greatly increased functionality in CQC, both now and as of the next version, they've just announced a large price increase for CQC, from $315 all-in to $495 all-in if you buy before end of august to $495-base/$900 all-in if you buy after august.

    If you buy before Fri midnight, it'll be $315. After that, the price starts going up. Hence, if you've contemplated this, you may want to strongly consider buying now to avoid unecessary fees.

    If you're looking for a "professional" level product that's very reliable and network distributable, it really is the best solution out there. It's only true competition is AMX & Crestron, both of which are mega-thousand dollar installs.

    you'll need to email them to get this price.
     
  2. KW1816

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    Not wanting to knock CQC but the last statement is a bit untrue. There are other options in the same sort of price range.

    Personally I'm commited to using Mainlobby and Homeseer with the MLHSplugin to communicate between the two. Homeseer is probably the best and most supported Home Automation software. Have a look at the forums for the amount of plugins and scripts that are available. Mainlobby itself has evolved from a nice front end to being powerfull in it's own right, especially since the launch of Mainlobby Server 3.0.
    Some of my examples screens are http://www.cinemaronlineforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7842

    Each system like this has it's strengths and weaknesses so it's always worth trying out a few. Nice setup by the way :D :D

    Kevin.
     
  3. IVB

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    Well, i've tried both, i'm user #375 on the ML forums from 12/03, obviously i see things a bit differently. However, your last statement is dead on: Try everything out there, see which ones meets your needs best. It doesn't matter if one package does something if you'll never use it.
     
  4. Dean Roddey

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    They do have more plugins than probably anyone, but the quality and support for them is highly variable, and many must be purchased separately. And one only has to read the forum (and other DIY automation fora) to see that many of their customers are quite dissastified with the quality of the product since the 2.0 re-write, and with the overall attitude of the company. That doesn't mean it wouldn't work for a given person, they should just take these things into account.

    Since ML pretty much requires HS to do serious automation, that has a knock-on effect for ML as well. And the combination requires more complexity, higher cost, and support issues when something goes wrong (whose problem is it?) We feel that a single package, designed from the ground up to work as a system, is the only way to achieve the most robust system with the least amount of complexity.

    IVB recent calculated what his current CQC system would have cost using ML/HS and all of the many seprately charged for options he would need, and it came out to $1300.
     
  5. IVB

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    Actually it was $1385, not counting however much Cinemar will charge for my extra audio zones beyond the 3 they'll let you use with MusicLobby 3.

    FYI - this is the post Dean mentions; i made it on another independent forum where ML, CQC, and HS folks hang out. Obviously Cinemar wouldn't confirm it or even respond to my request as it blatantly points out that their nickel-and-diming would result in a much higher "total-cost-of-ownership".

    The DavidL I'm asking for confirmation from also goes by smoothtlk on other forums, and is one of the Cinemar co-owners as well as their lead developer.

    Their product may be just fine, but the path is much more expensive than you'd think at first glance.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So all this hubbub about pricing made me curious as to how much my system would cost if I used ML (and HS? not sure) to do my stuff. I haven't looked at ML since August, and the prices have changed.

    Don't nobody get the wrong idea or read anything into this, it was just a scientific curiousity as to what the landscape looks like as compared to the path i've chosen.

    DavidL - is this correct?

    I have:
    - CD control
    - Currently 7zones, may expand to 10 based on some architecture modifications.
    - DVD control
    - XM Control
    - Misc Web Browser control [SageTV, CCTV]
    - Irrigation
    - Aprilaire
    - Elk M1
    - Weather
    - PPC for all of above. (which i've now actually used several times)

    I also have:
    - 4 PCs controlling something [either hw or sw], 2 of which are used as clients
    - 2 touchpanels today, 2 more coming as soon as I get all the CCTVs and whole-house a/v working

    Future:
    - I *may* throw out the Xantech and get 2 russounds as i'm sick of all the amps, in which case:
    - HD distro [probably Neothings as I can't get a decent price on autopatch]
    - Yamaha RXV1500 for cheap surround in MBR [eBay has it for $375]

    If I understand the licensing structure, that means I need:
    - 1 MLServer 5-client: $100
    - 1 MLServer 5-client pack [2 PCs plus 4 panels = 6]: $100
    - 2 MLServer 0-client [for 2 PCs that control something]: $140 ($70x2)
    - MainLobby: $100 [only need one, right?]
    - DVDLobby: $60
    - MusicLobby: $60
    - CD Ripping: $30
    - XMLobby: $60
    - Weather: $60
    - WebLobby: $45
    - XMPocket: $45
    - MusicPocket: $35
    - DVDPocket: $35
    - Rain8 driver: $55
    - elk driver: $100
    - Avalon driver : $35
    - Russound: $55
    - Yamaha: $40

    That's $1155. Is that correct? What about the 7zones->10zones of control - i couldn't find that price on the cinemar website.

    Also, that doesn't address the Aprilaire HVAC: I think I need HS there, so that's:
    - HomeSeer: $190
    - ML plugin: $40

    If that's true, then that's $1385, is that correct?
     
  6. KW1816

    KW1816
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    Horses for courses :D Without wanting to start a 'ours is better than yours' type argument there are a few points I'd make ....

    IVB's is a majorly complex setup and IMO beyond the needs of most people so using it as a comparison price is a little unfair. FWIW my setup, which would probably be more like a typical setup, cost around $500.

    It's difficult to compare functionality as each has it's own pluses, especially depending on hardware. Personally unless CQC can send track and artist info to my Russound Keypads (or any other message like callerID) - send and receive commands to my Comfort alarm system, gather data from my weather station or run all sorts of commands based on events then it's not for me :) Never mind the time and effort required to learn a new package.

    I'll agree the initial versions of Homeseer 2 were released far too early, however, the later versions seem to be very stable.

    I also think that if you're going to post in favour of a product in a public forum then you should explicitly state if you work for said company. Dean :rolleyes:

    I don't see a mention of CQC $95 a year ongoing cost - or did I read that bit wrong ?

    Don't get me wrong - I'm certainly not one of Cinemars best advocates - I think their pricing is wrong, their documentation (although better now) is lacking in some fundamental areas, initial releases are less than perfect and far more 'gallery' graphics should be included.

    Saying that - the end result for either system can be amazing. If I would give one bit of advice would be think about what you want to acheive before even trialing the software. Work out what hardware you want to use, how it comunicates with other hardware and what to do with the data. Don't be swayed by the flashiest graphics but look at the backend first.

    Kevin W.
     
  7. KW1816

    KW1816
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    If anyones interested, here's a concept diagram that shows how all my different bits and pieces fit together and how they 'talk' to each other.

    [​IMG]

    Happy to answe any questions :D
    Kevin W.
     
  8. IVB

    IVB
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    Not trying to pick a fight here, hopefully this thread is seen as a point-counterpoint civil discussion.

    In the end I think it comes down to the following 3 things.

    1) Cost:
    Sure, it's $500 now for you.What about next year, when you want to add <hardware x>? Gotta pay for that driver. Get a yamaha to supplement your russound? Gotta pay for that driver. Get sick of X10, and want to put in cbus? Gotta pay for that driver. Next thing you know, you too are at $1300. Besides, the base package is $495, which would do everything you got, so there's no price advantage for MainLobby. The opposite, rather - you've limited your financial exposure to $495 if all you'll ever do is that.

    BTW, the $95/yr gets you upgrades. Cinemar has no such concept, you pay for every little thing and any future upgrades.


    2: Current fxnlty and future extensibility.
    Dean's working on a Russound driver now to send data to the keypads. If someone were interested in creating a Comfort Alarm system driver, that would be easily doable as the dev tools are part of every install, and there's probably a dozen folks right now creating drivers that they'll probably donate to the CQC library [assuming it passes CQC certification]. All of that is free, btw.

    It's got a solid event scheduler, both timed and triggered, right now. No integration with any other s/w needed.

    3) Points of failure.
    What happens if you want to upgrade MainLobby, but it breaks with the version of HS you have? Who you gonna call?

    What happens when HomeSeer decides that MainLobby's recent attempt to do some basic HA stuff encroaches too much on their turf, and they no longer want to support it? Think it won't happen? I work in big business - it happens every day.

    In the end, Home Automation/Home theater automation folks are not the type who are content with the status quo. They'll want to upgrade, augment, etc, as the industry matures. The question is really: Would you rather pay $500-$900 now and not have the multiple points of failure or extensibility issues, or >>$1K over time but in $200 increments.

    great diagram, btw. Very detailed and clean.
     
  9. Dean Roddey

    Dean Roddey
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    I would like to, but the folks who run this board will not let me indicate in my signature my business affiliation. I argued with them that this is counter-productive for exactly this reason, but it's their board.
     

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