If you are planning to install a Smart Home Automation system in to a residential property you will probably come across Crestron, Savant or Control4. These companies are the three main players in the residential smart home market
People always ask us which one is better, Crestron or Savant or Control4? Here at Monaco, we are constantly evaluating the latest trends in home automation. We studied and look at all of what each system can do in terms of from one room to many rooms integrating audio, video, lighting, shading, security and climate controls.
Is one better than another? What’s really the difference for ME as an end user? Let’s look at each option closely:
Let’s start with the most popular mid-level home automation system company, Control4. At first glance, the price seems right – about $800 to start for a small controller and about $300 for a 2-way zigbee remote. Nice! Right in the sweet spot! What most people don’t realize is how many buttons you need to press to get to see, hear or control what you want. The most important part of the user experience is the remote. Control4 offers two remotes, one with a comically small one-color OLED screen sans graphics, only text and another without any screen whatsoever. We can dismiss the cheaper remote out of hand because it ONLY operates an on-screen display. Without a TV powered on in the room, it is useless. Most of their of their products are Made in China.
Despite of their incredibly cheap feeling of their remote controls, lighting and keypad devices, we’re still big fan of Control4. Overall, their solutions work flawlessly in smaller Tract Home. Remember, Contro4 is the first company that brought in Smart Home Automation solutions for every Americans and it is equivalent to what Henry Ford has done for the Automotive industry 100 years ago! What they have done is GENIUS!
Our conclusion about Control4:
Easy to use and works flawlessly if installed properly in their perfect environment.
Cheap feeling of their remotes and keypads
Graphic interface looks basic
Largest dealer available
Suitable for smaller tract home around 2000 sq feet
Equivalent to 3 best basic automobile: Honda, Toyota and Nissan
Depending on which features you choose, pricing can be anywhere from $1,000 to more than $50,000. Control4 offers a la carte options, so each package varies based on the customer.
Savant are the relative new kids on the block; they have been making smart home systems for approximately 10 years. Savant have a polished eco system which relies heavily on Apple devices – the user experience is tight and fluid. Programming tends to be more straightforward which can result in a lower cost to install than a truly bespoke Crestron system. The Savant range of products is good – providing whole home audio video, lighting control and intercom integration; iTunes integration is also very tight. If you are a big fan of Apple devices and a user of the Apple ecosystem then Savant can be the logical choice.
The touch and feel of their remotes and keypads are slightly better than Control4; however there is still little bit cheaper feel to it. Most of their products are Made in China.
Our conclusion about Savant:
Easy to use and works flawlessly if installed properly in their perfect environment.
Little bit of luxury feeling of their remotes and keypads
Graphic interface looks intuitive, except can’t be customized
Suitable for medium size semi custom home under 5000 sq feet
Equivalent to 3 best quasi-luxury automobile: Acura, Infinity and Lexus
Depending on which features you choose, pricing can be anywhere from $5000 to more than $100,000. Savant offers a la carte options, so each package varies based on the customer.
Crestron are pioneers of the entire home automation industry; they started supplying solutions over 50 years ago, long before most people had thought of home automation.
The range of solutions is huge from video matrixes to audio amplifiers with lighting control in the middle. Each of their solutions is hugely flexible; for instance the video matrixes can take any video signal and distribute it to any or all outputs at once and the audio system is modular so a mixture of stereo and digital audio signals can be distributed to stereo zones (and stereo zones can be combined together for rooms with more than one pair of speakers or an output can take on the role of a subwoofer).
Lighting Control is another example of flexibility – lamps can be hard wired or wireless and any type of lamp can be controlled. This flexibility ensures complete client satisfaction as we never need to say no – any request can be accommodated. This flexibility means we have controlled everything from fire pits through to irrigation systems with saunas and steam rooms too. The modular nature of a Crestron system allows us to build a system of any size and complexity.
Luxury touch and feel of everything they make. Most of their products are Made in USA.
Our conclusion about Crestron:
Easy to use and works flawlessly if installed properly in ANY environments
Luxury feeling of their remotes and keypads
Graphic interface looks sleek and modern
Suitable for any size of Custom Home
Perfect for someone who appreciate finer things in life
Gold Standard & most secured in Smart Home Automation
Equivalent to 3 best true luxury automobile: Mercedes, BMW and Audi
Depending on which features you choose, pricing can be anywhere from $2000 to more than $200,000. Monaco AV has done successful Crestron project ranging from $2000 all the way to $1.5 Million and anything in between!
Any of these three systems will perform a great job of providing a whole home audio video, lighting control , HVAC and Security/ Surveillance in the home. They all have similar pricing and technical merit for everything they do. We think that ultimately it has to do with your Taste, Preference, Expectation and Lifestyle more than anything else. Prices are very similar for all those system now. You can’t go wrong with any of these companies.
Let’s face it, our industry is relatively young, compared to many already matured industry such as Automobile or Real Estate. Everyday we hear that customer mentioned that they have XYZ control system that don’t perform like they expected or XYZ control system is over priced etc. However, as we diagnose what the real issue is, often time we found out it was combination of poor implementation from the AV integration company and different expectation from the customer itself. Unlike in mature industry, for example Automobile industry, no one will purchase Toyota and expect the luxury touch,feel and functionality of Mercedes, or no one wonder why Mercedes is more expensive than Toyota or Lexus or vise versa.
Remember, now it is 2019, there is almost NO bad products out there; they are simply very unique and different. However, special care should definitely be taken to choose an installer who has experience of designing large residential systems. This is THE MOST important aspect of any successful projects. Choose an A/V installer that understand your taste, preference , expectation and lifestyle. You wouldn’t just go to any doctors or auto mechanics. Trust experience and always trust your gut feeling!
Several key questions that you should consider:
WHAT is size of the house that you are building? Is it 2000, 5000 or above 10000 square feet? What type of construction, Regular, Custom or Luxury?
WHERE is the property located? Is it in regular suburban neighborhood or in very affluent neighborhood?
WHOare you? Are you a regular user or tech savvy or combination of both? Do you always tend to go with the best or standard solutions?
WHENare you planning to upgrade the system? Are you okay with basic functionality for now and maybe upgrade it later? What kind of flexibility or robustness you want?
HOW do you want the system to function? Do you want to have basic feel, touch and functionality or more luxury feel, touch and functionality?
We always recommend the right system to match with your taste, expectation, and lifestyle. As always, we give you our Best Solutions, Services and Prices that is tailored for you!
We are here to help you with your project. Please call us (626) 395-9597 to discuss!
MONACO® was founded in 2005 by an engineer, entrepreneur and audio video expert, Larry Weiss. Our mission is simple: to be the best digital audio, video and home automation one stop shop solution provider.