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Refurb wish list - control 4 king?


Standard Member
Hi guys, I was wondering if I could get some of your input. I’m about to renovate a house and want to take my gadget geek to the next level. With the walls being open, I figure I’ve got a one off opportunity to automate some stuff for cheap.

I’ve spoken to a few installers, and they’ve started talking about things like enterprise grade wifi access points and switches. Whilst I may need those things, I’ve no real idea and just the mention of the word enterprise grade scares the bank manager. All the lighting solutions “have to be lutron”. Etc. and I’m worried that I’m speccing a solution far beyond my requirements.

The wife’s system requirements are simple.

1) It needs to be super simple for her and guests to use without an instruction manual
2) It needs to all work together to minimise requirement for lots of different switches etc.
3) Needs to look good

In terms of wish list, I’ve researched features, but not into brands which I hope is where your expert opinion would be helpful. Would it be possible to do all of the following?

1) I want proper data cabling to every room to future proof as far as possible. Is cat 6 worth the additional money?
2) Motorised satellite dish with picture distributed to the four rooms with a TV
3) Central server to distribute music and films
4) Set top box by each TV (4) so that different films can be streamed to each
5) Intercom system of some type so that I don’t have to shout to the kids two floors up. I hate shouting!
6) Automated blinds to two rooms (maybe three if cheap to add one extra)
7) Money saving sensible heating control (heatmiser?) to do underfloor heating on lower two floors and radiators on the top two
8) Money saving light control to do all off when exiting, porch light to come on at dusk and scenes in two rooms
9) Security system with cameras on external doors and ability to turn on lights/music if anything sensed
10) Potentially upgrade it over time

We currently have a squeezebox audio network with five rooms connected with wifi. I’d like to continue to use those but hard wired if possible. But it’s a pretty blank canvas from there….

How complicated is it to do that? If I want it to all be integrated is control 4 the only way to do this? Or are there other cheaper alternatives(albeit whilst fitting the wife’s demands)?

Thanks for taking the time to respond,


Active Member

The control system and the way you interface to it will drive the need for good WiFi infrastructure. If using iPads for example decent WiFi with multiple access points and a controller is essential, we use Ruckus. But, it depends a little on the size of your house, if its a 2up 2down then 1 decent access point will be OK.

Lutron is an option for lighting, but a quick search on here will also highlight Mode, Rako and a few others. All have pros and cons.

Meeting the wife's requirements should be second nature to any CI business, so this should be fine. De-cluttering walls and getting all the sky boxes etc hidden away is all straight forward.

The challenge is the control of it all, you mention control 4 and this is certainly an option. It has its limits and does to some extent tie you into there way of doing things, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

2 types of control system exist, raw coding such as AMX and higher end Crestron and systems which are programmed with wizards, control 4, RTI, URC fall into this category. We used to use wizard driven control systems, but now use AMX as it gives us total freedom and in many ways is actually simpler to do what you want rather than having to find a way within the constraints of the wizards. Cost wise the 2 types of control are not as far apart as they used to be...

Your wish list is all sensible, speak to local installers and take there advice. Item 4 is the only one I would question, put the boxes in the rack room out the way. You can then distribute the video over a HDbaseT system.

What is your location?



Standard Member
I'm based in South West London. And based on my first quote, I'm in urgent need of someone who loves the tech side, and can do a good job...


Active Member
Plenty of control4 etc installers near you, google is your friend :)

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