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Packaged Solutions

Now that we have John Nagy from CineTouch available to answer questions and promote his product, I want to take this opportunity to properly set up a sandbox for CineTouch, GSLogic and AMXhome to play in. I want to start a clean slate, and a "definitive" thread to where dealers, and end-users (let's face it, there are end-users on the forum) to get information directly from the source. I think we're all interested in cold-hard facts & opinions relevant to the product itself.

As I see it there are the three major package solutions at the moment as pointed out above. I want to invite John, Gary and anyone from AMX to talk about their solutions - blow your own horn if you will, so we can all see the differences and similarities, including myself. Knowledge is key!

Some things to possibly highlight (since I'm sure most dealers have these questions right out of the gates):

1) What can your system do? What can't it do?
2) At what install range does your solution fit?
3) How many and which (BIG question I know for sure) devices do you support?
4) What's your MSRP? (I know, a bit touchy - but I'm sure people wanna know.)

And while I am following this thread - because I do want to know the difference between all three (and straight from the horse's mouth) - I'm in no way, shape or form setting any guidelines or rules. Post as little or as much as you want about the solution.

Without further ado . . .


  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702

    “CineTouch Software for AMX”

    John Nagy here for Cinetouch. I don't think it's useful to repeat everything here that's on our web site, just click above and have a look there. Here's the capsule view. As this thread continues, I'll add other info as suggested in the opening message. Other specific requests for details are also welcome.

    Let me say before we start, I know this forum is largely programmers. Programmers don't usually want to like a solution that makes programming unnecessary (that's why we haven't been active here before!). So I expect UNDUE skepticism and suspicion here. We're pitching cars at a blacksmith convention. I get that. Try to understand that we're appealing especially to new or small dealers who don't have a programmer on staff. Or businesses that want to up their production. If the concept offends you, please, let those who ARE interested discuss it here without ridicule. WE DO UNDERSTAND IT'S NOT FOR EVERYONE. Please respect the fact that it could be for someone, if not you.

    CineTouch is advanced residential entertainment and home management software exclusively for AMX processors, providing SIMPLY EXTRAORDINARY CONTROL. CineTouch isn’t just software, it’s a new way to do business. Unlike expensive and time consuming custom programming, CineTouch software offers powerful layered features and options for multiple price points, each quickly configured by the installer from a Web browser. Compared to custom programming, CineTouch costs less, does more, and looks great. It’s completely dealer-configured, ready to run in at little as an hour, and you can make your own changes anytime, even by remote control. System behavior adjusts on the fly from panels on a running system.

    Central Intelligence is the revolutionary difference in CineTouch. Built on a unique relational database architecture running inside the AMX controller, CineTouch learns while you use it. Intelligent evaluation of individual user preferences and permissions, location, source, time, and system status is used to manage entertainment content, lighting, security, heating and cooling, pools and spas, and more home technology. The result is a remarkably simple user experience with unprecedented personalization, flexibility, and control. Twenty built-in themes allow each user to choose any appearance at any panel, and dealer tools allow custom themes and custom behaviors.

    • CineTouch offers high-end custom features with No Programming. It configures and works immediately with unlimited combinations of hundreds of supported equipment lines. You don’t have to ‘stay in the box’ of templates and pre-configurations. (I'll post a list separately).
    • Change, expand, upgrade anytime in minutes, without reprogramming. Even retrofit an ailing or aging control system - supports legacy hardware including PHAST and other brands for fast, easy and affordable upgrades reusing most of the existing equipment.
    • CineTouch learns over 1,000 dimensions of individual user permissions, capabilities and preferences, giving each user an experience tailored exactly to them. Anyone can use it immediately, and the more they use it, the more it complies with their individual tastes and abilities.

    o No Programming. None. Not even code compiling!
    o Demonstrate exactly what you install – no functional surprises
    o Bid jobs accurately with Up-Front software prices – no pricing surprises
    o Configure and run within hours every time – no delay surprises
    o One single code base – systems vary only in configuration data
    o All system specifics are quickly configured in a web browser
    o No touch panel editing required - EVER - pages compose automatically
    o System behavior adjusts on the fly from panels on a running system
    o Up to 50 rooms– 50 sources– 50 UI devices– 80 system devices– IN ANY MIX
    o 16 user profiles each with 1,000 dimensions of individuality
    o 10 simultaneous channel vendors and 1,500 channels and icons built in
    o All panels synchronize to show current states regardless of who does whatever
    o Themes and Personalization let each user make their own changes
    o Control and maintenance is done remotely over the Internet
    o Hundreds of supported lines of hardware, more added each month
    o Programming-free driver extension and a community driver exchange
    o Major updates or additions take only minutes using a browser
    o Dealer training and support provided for self-sufficiency

    Built for change, CineTouch can be reconfigured or upgraded in minutes, even over the Internet. Customers can have exactly what they want today, and then grow with the system tomorrow. Because it’s a product, not a project, it’s ready now. Every job works, works right away, and works the same way, making pricing, installation, and service easy and predictable.

    More in another post....
    John Nagy
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    modified re-post

    I do not claim GSL Home is the end all to programming, there will never be such a program, so all programmers are still safe! :)
    It is a turn-key solution for dealers wanting to make money with a reliable, logically designed, expandable solution, fully loaded for 10k!
    Compare GSL Home to any other system and you will see what many other dealers already know.

    - VERY easy to implement (no training required)
    - Small to large projects at an affordable price!
    - Easy to understand touchpanel interface
    - Purchase only the sections you need, add others in the future

    - 36 zones of audio (w/36 Metreau keypads)
    - 16 zones of video (using display spks OR ceiling audio spks OR as many theater room receivers as you like)
    - 36 TPs (all TPs can control any location and ALL sections)
    - 36 R4s (all R4s can control any location and ALL sections - implemented since the release of the R4)
    - Lighting
    - Shades
    - Security
    - Climate
    - Sprinkles
    - Pool/Spa
    - Phone Book (w/Panasonic callerID)
    - Blackjack game
    - Poker game
    - Capitals game
    - Image Frame
    - Weather

    Some dealers I work with that don't have programmers on staff have installed GSL Home in projects in a matter of hours? with NO training (just over-the-phone support).
    If you start a project that has 8 audio zones, 6 video zones and 2 thermostats, and your customer wants to add 8 more rooms (won the lottery), you can easily add everything they want at no additional cost to you, or in the future, if your client wants to update their projectors, displays, receivers and devices, it is VERY EASY for you to update.

    All modules (ADA, AMX, Antex, AprilAire, Kaleidescape, Request, VideoStorm, etc.) have been created in-house, there are no outside modules used at all. The reason for this is that most modules have been, and are still, designed with the conference room mentality in mind. They don?t take into consideration multiple panels and data flow. When programming for large homes, this is the key and it is something I have made as the center point of GSL Home. The complete system compiles in less than 15 seconds and reboots in minutes. I?ve always programmed to conserve system resources and for quick feedback response time.

    All touchpanels and R4s use the same TP4 files, which can control all locations and all devices in the system. By just holding a location button, you can set up default locations for each TP/R4. To get your system quote lower, try only selling a few touchpanels and an R4 with a system. Once your customers see the need, just add touchpanels and R4s (up to 36 total) to the system at no additional cost to you. You only purchase the sections (such as Lighting, Climate, A/V, etc.) that you need for each job. All other sections can be added later if needed.

    GSL Home has been a passion of mine for over 6 years now. Think of 6 years of updating and debugging in a real-world environment. Many features are exclusive to GSL Home such as Blackjack, Poker and the Capital game (which helped my son get an A in Geography). The XM modules that load all the XM stations from the air then sort them into categories and store them to disk. Another selling point is that the end user has the ability to control event timers for just about everything in the system like Audio, Video, Lighting, Shades, Thermostats, Sprinklers, etc. This gives your client NOT ONLY the ability to control, but to automate their home system.

    When Bob Fealy (president and chief operating officer of The Duchossois Group) was interested in a home automation system for his home, AMX called GSLogic.
    Compare and you will $ee the difference!
    Please visit the web site for more details or call me at 586-677-7500.
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702
    CIneTouch FAQ

    This is the last prepared marketing item I'll duplicate here. For more, go to our web site or request the full PDF set. http://cinetouch.com
    I'll follow up with supported devices and price information in a few days... have flooding issues to deal with in sunny California.

    How is CineTouch different from my own custom programming?
    CineTouch is a finished product that you control and configure without programming, compiling, or even touch panel design. Every CineTouch installation uses the same AMX system code and touch panel projects, operating on an onboard relational database. Behavior and appearance are determined in real time by the dynamic data, not by customized code. Systems set up and run in as little as an hour and reconfigure anytime just as quickly, without code or panel changes. When upgraded features become available in new core software, any CineTouch system can be updated and expanded anytime by any trained dealer. Stop hoping your customers don’t call to ask for something to be changed or added – now it’s profitable! Don’t live in fear of losing key staff who are the only ones who understand your code!

    How is CineTouch different from using a contracted programming house?
    Our dealers report that after the inevitable changes and fixes, the actual total cost of contracted programming always exceeds the initial bid - often by as much as double - and can take weeks or months longer than expected. With CineTouch, you know the FINAL price and schedule before you start, and you know how it will work and look… and so does your customer. Show exactly what you sell, deliver it on time, and adjust it yourself whenever necessary. No reprogramming charges, no delays. Systems can be quickly maintained, reconfigured, and upgraded by any trained staff. Need to revise channels, or add another DVR, an iPod, a Kaleidescape, or thermostats to an installed system? With CineTouch, you can do it yourself in minutes. At no added cost.

    How is CineTouch different from programming aids and templates?
    CineTouch is neither a “template” nor a “programming tool”. Templates have serious limits and still require programming and graphics skills to make even the smallest changes. Automated programming tools can’t be reused once any manual code changes have been added. But CineTouch is different- it’s a product, so you have a wide selection of robust feature offerings and upgrades without programming. Every system can be unique, and yet every system will operate, service, and upgrade the same way. Configure any combination of up to 50 rooms and theaters, 50 UI’s and panels, 50 sources, and 80 system devices in straightforward web browser forms. Return to that configuration tool anytime for changes. No one on your staff needs to program, compile code, or revise touch panel projects to fit each room in each job. CineTouch is data-driven and extensible, so new devices and behaviors can be added and changed anytime.

    I have (or am) an experienced AMX programmer, why do I need CineTouch?
    CineTouch lets you sell better, bigger, more profitable AMX systems more quickly and reliably than you or your programmer can do alone. Instead of paying yourself or your programmer for hours of custom coding ON EVERY JOB, you can be selling more systems, deploying them faster, and upgrading them simply, quickly, and profitably by adding CineTouch to your offerings. Intimate technical understanding and familiarity with the AMX platform will accelerate your success with CineTouch. Developing advanced functionality for custom behaviors, making new device drivers, creating custom panel Themes for special customers, and value-added Consulting Services to more junior CineTouch dealers are additional business avenues for those with advanced technical skills and experience.

    How is CineTouch on AMX different from other control products and platforms?
    There is no other control system like CineTouch, and there is no other hardware platform like AMX. Instead of custom code defining rigid behaviors, CineTouch is entirely data-driven. Every operation, device, user preference, and even appearance is coordinated by the central intelligence provided in the CineTouch on-board relational database. The robust AMX hardware provides the only dedicated control platform capable of supporting the CineTouch architecture. Unlike PC-based solutions, AMX has no moving parts, is designed for years of maintenance-free use, and is optimized exclusively for control applications. AMX is the proven leader for use in the most demanding commercial, educational, and government campuses worldwide. CineTouch and AMX make an unbeatable combination for reliable and feature-rich high-end residential control.

    What kind and how many devices are supported by CineTouch?
    CineTouch supports many hundreds of system devices and source product lines already, and more are added every week by our staff and our dealers. New devices can be added in the field when required. You aren’t limited to AMX control components either. You can retrofit an ailing or aging control system by adding an AMX processor and CineTouch software. CineTouch supports legacy AMX hardware including PHAST as well as other brands for fast, easy and affordable upgrades reusing most of the existing equipment. CineTouch enables unlimited combinations of rooms and equipment lines from leading manufacturers. You don’t have to ‘stay in the box’ of limited pre-configurations.

    How long has CineTouch been available?
    CineTouch has been in development for over nine years and has been available to dealers since 2006. CineTouch has been shown extensively as a featured guest of AMX and of Audio Design Associates and Meridian Audio at CEDIA, EHX , and CES trade shows. Currently in version 7.1, CineTouch is a robust, well supported and thoroughly tested system that runs trouble free for years at time. But it's so easy to change, most customers want new sources and features every year. So instead of fearing the next time the phone rings, CineTouch dealers know their existing installations are a continuing source of revenue with satisfied customers who keep coming back and buying more. Contact us for references!

    How do I buy CineTouch and how much does it cost?
    CineTouch is a software product available only to AMX integrators and consultants for professional installation. CineTouch costs less than custom programming from commercial programming services and does more. Prices scale with the size of the system and the options selected in order to provide the best value. An automated pricing spreadsheet lets dealers plug in quantities and features, and immediately see the FINAL software cost. CineTouch is NOT priced by the number of sources- you can add them anytime. Best of all, since CineTouch is dealer configured and reconfigurable anytime in minutes, you never pay a programmer for changes. You do them yourself, over the Internet or right from the touch panels on a running system.

    PRICING is calculated based on -
    - the number and type of rooms of independent control
    - the number and type of UI devices
    - which options are selected

    I'm depending on the discretion of the dealers here and presume end users don't see this. Please respect our margin information as any manufacturer.

    We are presently investigating price adjustments to benefit the low end and small systems to help AMX provide a good answer for customers considering more limited competitor products. We'll announce the result of that soon.

    MSRP offers dealer 40 points or more depending on the class of dealer (advanced, low support, high volume dealers get higher discounts).
    As a rule of thumb, the dealer COST averages about $1,000 per room. This is a looking-backward average of systems sold in the last 2 years. A one-room theater with one touch panel could cost just over $1000. A well-featured 42 room system might cost $39,000 but could be lower or higher based on features.

    Rooms vary in price by type and presently COST a DEALER from under $100 to about $600 each
    Audio only
    AV (display on the multiroom distribution)
    Minitheater (using an AVR)
    Deluxe Full theater (multiple display, masking screen, video processor, etc)

    All current and many legacy AMX UI's are supported in any mix up to 50 per system:
    G3 panels including MCP, CV6, VPN, CP4, CP4/a, CA/CV10 (about $300 COST each to enable)
    G4 panels including the entire line from 430 to 17", with and without video in all configurations. (about $600 COST each to enable)
    MET keypads of all varieties (all mappable to any function) (about $90 COST each to enable)
    IR pickups of all varieties including AXB series (not PMB) (about $90 COST each to enable)
    R1, R2, R3, R4 handhelds (vastly improved R4 functionality since new firmware release) (about $300 COST each to enable)
    MIO DMS (about $180 COST each to enable)
    PLK DMS (PHAST) (about $180 COST each to enable)

    Optional features have a COST of between $60 and $90 PER ROOM so they scale with the size of job. This allows small systems to affordably add many features.
    “Location” RoomNav and Advanced Room Control
    “Cast” User Pack (Includes Parental/Access Control)
    "Montage" Panel Imaging (Weather, Stocks, Traffic, etc)
    “Showtime” Timed System Control
    "Spotlight" 2-Way Interactive Lighting Control
    “Backstage” HVAC Control
    "Usher" Security (Alarm) System Control
    “Backlot” Pool and Spa control

    SOURCES and SYSTEM DEVICES have no incremental charges and can be added or changed in any combination at any time. There are no limits on how many of any source are used.

    This pricing model is made simple with an automated spreadsheet that you just plug in the numbers and it shows you what everything costs, what we suggest you charge, and such. We arrived at this price structure by modeling hundreds of actual jobs with actual programmer bids, and arriving at 70-80% of those bids. Comparisons stop there, but additional savings with CineTouch continue after the bid, with NO UP CHARGES, no CHANGE charges, and unlimited free reconfiguration after installation. Based on interviews with our dealers, CineTouch averages below 50% of actual charges by contract programmers by the time the job is complete, and 100% (free) below for changes after installation. And it configures, installs, and runs in under a day. Changes take minutes and can be done over the Internet.

    I'll break out more in a later post if required, but this gives you a good sense of it.
    John Nagy

    Oh, and hey, we did win CEPRO's 2009 BEST WHOLE HOME CONTROL SYSTEM of the year award. Beating products from SAVANT and ******** in our category.
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    I thought I would post a few questions I have been receiving from dealers regarding GSLogic Home solutions:

    Q - Do I need to send an employee to attend training classes?
    A - No, you DO NOT need any training classes; over the phone support is all you will need.

    Q - Can GSL Home be edited in standard Netlinx code?
    A - All of the UI files can be edited in Netlinx Studio.

    Q - Can the dealer edit the touchpanel/R4 files?
    A - Yes, you can easily change the touchpanel and R4 graphics in TP4, there are only three files x600, x480 and the R4 file. You can also create your own custom audio or video device control popups.

    Q - What products such as displays, projects and receivers does GSL Home support?
    A - There is no limit for such products such as displays, projectors and receivers. GSL Home has a passthru design which allows dealers to add include files or IR files to control anything… when using rs232 you also can have two-way feedback.

    Q - What if we purchased a system with 8 Audio zones and 2 touchpanels and the customer needs to add more Audio zones and/or touchpanels before the project is completed, will there be any additional charges?
    A - NO, The base system comes with 36 touchpanels/R4s, so you will never need to purchase more touchpanels/R4s and once you purchase an Audio section you can add up to 36 Audio zones at anytime without ANY additional charge.

    Q - So you don’t charge per room or per touchpanel?
    A - That is correct, the base system come with: Weather, Phonebook, Image Frame, Blackjack, Poker and the Capital game. You then purchase sections (Audio, Security, Lighting, etc) to configure the system to your project. You can then add or remove touchpanels, thermostats, audio and video zones as you need. In the future if a customer wants to add 10 more touchpanels and four more Audio zones, its ALL PROFIT to you!

    Q - What is the cost and what is included in complete system?
    A - <b>TOTAL COST IS 10k COMPLETE!</b>
    Below is a list of almost all the features included in a complete GSL Home system.
    • 36 Audio zones (event timers , multi-room presets, source lock-out, input volume settings, tone and 10 band eq controls)
    • 16 Video zones (user defined favorites w/icons, source lock-out, use display speakers, audio ceiling speakers or a receiver per zone)
    • 06 Thermostats (event timers and arm, disarm settings)
    • Lighting (event timers for armed, disarmed and alway)
    • Shades (event timers)
    • Security (w/ DVR camera control)
    • Sprinklers (event timers with two presets per day)
    • Pool/Spa
    • Weather (6 presets with 7 day forecast with images and text)
    • Phonebook (Panasonic caller ID can be used)
    • Image Frame
    • Blackjack
    • Poker
    • Capital game

    • Also included are the user defined Event timers for Audio, Video, Lighting, Shades, Sprinklers and Thermostats
    • Event Timer include sunset/sunrise +/-30 options
    • Security Link Armed - turns off all Audio and Video zones and resets Lighting and all Thermostats to user defined Armed presets
    • Security Link Disarmed - resets all Lighting and Thermostats to user define Disarmed presets
    • Security Link can use any security device to turn lights on and off (motion at night turns on lights)
    • Security Link can check garage doors status and close them a set time
    • Security Link can be configured to open door latches
    //////// Please call 586-677-7500 for even more features

    Q – Is there an additional charge for Theater Rooms?
    A – No, as long as you purchase the Video and Audio sections there are NO ADDITIONAL COST. You can use all 16 Video zones for Theater rooms. You will need to have a video switcher capable of handling the digital audio for the surround sound signal.

    Q - Why are there limits for the number of touchpanels and R4s, Audio, Video zones, ect. – can this be increased?
    A – GSL Home can be increased to meet your project needs; these jobs are more of a custom install, which usually entails many other customized extras.

    Q - Do you have other turn-key solutions for AMX?
    A - Yes, GSLogic has a commercial solution for Restaurants, Clubs, Racetracks and Casinos that can handle up to 256 inputs by 256 outputs. All settings can be saved to presets for a total recall of everything! All input sources, outputs and output groups can be configured, named and stored by the user. Below is a link to an image of the USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier that I did last year. It not only has the A/V total recall feature, but it also has total recall of hundreds of theatrical devices and lighting scenes… talk about fun! :)

    Thank you for the interest.
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702
    You say in one section that there is a base that includes xxx, then you purchase sections for lighting, etc. The next section says $10K for everything. This doesn't appear to agree internally. What am I missing?
  • viningvining Posts: 4,368
    Gary, that's a funny looking battleship! :)
  • TurnipTruckTurnipTruck Posts: 1,485
    Well, I guess I better get to work on TurnipTruck Home!
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    John Nagy wrote: »
    You say in one section that there is a base that includes xxx, then you purchase sections for lighting, etc. The next section says $10K for everything. This doesn't appear to agree internally. What am I missing?

    The base price is $2k and then you add sections (audio $2k, security$2k, etc). If you are only going to need Audio and Security it is cheaper ($6k), but as you add more sections you comes to a point that it is cheaper to just buy the complete package for 10k.
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    vining wrote: »
    Gary, that's a funny looking battleship! :)

    I didn't even notice it... aircraft carrier, very good you acually read it!
    I will correct it
  • jjamesjjames Posts: 2,906
    Gary and John, please correct me if anything I say is inaccurate; I really want to make sure I am understanding this, and really want to try to point out the key differences in both systems.

    Overall, I think both packages are good for who and what they're designed for. If I were to compare their systems to driving - then the programmer would be in a limousine directing the chauffeur where to go with the CineTouch system, and with GSLogic's solution the limousine is on cruise control - but the programmer is behind the wheel. Both require input from the dealer and programmer - but the amount of input varies.

    I'm starting to think we're not comparing apples to apples anymore. The feature sets (non-essential stuff in the solution that have no direct impact on how the overall end control system works) between the two, in my humble opinion, are not necessarily the driving factor of difference but do play a slight role. If you look at pricing models as explained by CineTouch and GSLogic, they are fundamentally different and that to me, is the big kicker.

    GSLogic appears to take a "per type" (audio, video, security, etc.) approach with a standard number of zones & remotes (which can be increased as Gary pointed out) for a certain price. CineTouch's approach appears to be on a per room, UI and feature set basis (which John points out can be easily tailored to accommodate not so flexible or large budgets thus becoming competitive in price.) Both systems are a la cart, so I can add as much or as little as I want. Using these two pricing models I can get a basic idea what it would cost me, the dealer, to do a small system.

    One thing that comes to mind for me about both systems is: it doesn't matter much on the end-component side of things. If it's a DVD, or a VCR, or a BluRay or whatever that gets swapped - it's not an up-charge. I like this approach because as we all know - pieces die, new technology comes out and it's bound to happen at some point. So this is great for the dealer / programmer since you won't have to mess with the reprogramming of a TV (a "feature" I could use about now since I'll be changing out a plasma soon on a 5 year old system . . . ugh!)

    There is something I need to know; I've talked to both of you in private and have gotten the impression (if not explicitly told), that the solution you deliver gets updated as you continue development and come out with new "features" or devices to integrate with. So since both companies are constantly improving upon it - what does it cost me to upgrade my existing systems? Is there a monthly / yearly maintenance fee? Is it on a per job basis, so Client A gets it but Client B doesn't based on who I feel needs it more, or is asking for those requests? Is it free? Do I *HAVE TO* update my system? And the dreaded - what if I go out of business or lose this client, who gets charged if there is a recurring fee? This is a big unknown for me since neither of you have really talked about it and cannot find any information.

    I do want to pose a scenario for the two of you of a close to "typical" smaller system (this would be *my* perception of typical - not saying it's 100% accurate for everyone else.)

    I have a client who has seven rooms of audio using an 8x8 audio / video switcher, and in those seven rooms, five will have video. The client will be getting two MVP-8400s, and four R-4 remotes (one for the theater room.) The 8400s need to be able to float around the house to control different zones of the audio, while the R-4s are room specific. He will also have a typical theater room, nothing too fancy; we'll say an Integra DTR, a projector and motorized lift for the screen. He has a small Vantage lighting system to control (with feedback) as well as security; he's been talking about maybe eventually getting pool & sprinkler control, but isn't quite sure if he wants that yet. Of course, having only an 8x8 for audio and video - there is limited room to expand, so he may eventually need to upgrade to a 16x16 audio / video switch from AutoPatch to solve his problem if he wants more rooms.

    I feel this is a fairly conservative layout - nothing crazy, just a straight forward 5,000 sq/ft home type thing. It'd be nice to get a BALLPARK estimate of doing this (cost preferably since both of you seem comfortable doing so), but of course - I'm not twisting anybody's arm.

    John, I do have a specific question for you though - of all of the optional features you can have (and not have depending on budget), do most dealers go with all? Or just a couple? Which are the most popular features?

    Gary - do you support 15" and 17" panels? You said you've only got the three major resolutions - the two larger panels are not 800x600 (or 800x480) if I recall. Do these still need to be developed or would this be on a per request basis?

    I'm glad we're definitely having this conversation & hope that we wind up answering interested dealers' questions about each system. Like I said before - both packages are very commendable. I think it boils down to asking the question: "Which one is right for me?" Both solutions cannot please everyone, but both do a good job at pleasing who they need to. Kudos to the each of you.
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702
    Answers for CineTouch

    EDITED to correct pricing. My fault, used a broken calc sheet we were experimenting with for low end price reductions, sorry. Prices remain approximate (Consulting and high volume dealers get a higher discount than this) and subject to change (we are mid-way working on reductions for the smaller systems). Exact quotes available via phone for serious inquiries. Our price spreadsheet shows all the choices, you check what you want and it shows all the subtotals, cost, and MSRP to help you form your bid. And it works great when you use the right one...

    Your sample system would be about $5400 DEALER COST and $9100 MSRP ( without optional items, with countless features included in the base (see web site for some) and the ability to construct any custom behaviors in the no-programming tools included.

    2-way lighting and security are each options will increase that to $6600 cost all totaled.

    Pool/spa control option added to that would become $7300 if it were decided on. It would cost no more to add later than when originally installed. Nor would it be harder to install later.

    Those and all options to make it nicer are priced to scale with the total number of system rooms (you can't pick a just few rooms for a feature and pay only for them - all rooms are empowered).
    LOCATION, room navigation convenience option permits panels to control muliple rooms on the fly, with advanced ROOM CENTRAL, a switchboard-like control to push and pull sources to and from any rooms, and control them all at a touch. Without LOCATION, panels are assigned to a room, and can be reassigned from the panel if you move it. $90 a room COST, $150 MSRP, this would add $720 cost or $1200 MSRP to your system.

    CAST gives the system up to 16 individual user profiles, effectively making 16 completely independent user experiences in the same infrastructure. Sources, favorites, appearance, depth of control, complexity, and option access, each tuned to each user. Adds $720

    MONTAGE: Panel image management - Stocks, weather, traffic, web images, motion cam images, VNC to other systems - Adds $720 for 8 rooms.

    SHOWTIME Timed events. 64 events to do anything in any room with any user profile, indluding external events like sprinklers or setbacks, adds $75 a room, here $600

    BACKSTAGE is HVAC control. Adds $75 per system room, here $600 for the whole system, no matter how many thermostats.

    You asked about later upgrade charges.......
    Within the current main version (we are 7.1 right now, so any 7.x) can use newer same-main version code as it is released without a new license. Versions 6.x have to upgrade to a 7 license to get new features and new supported devices. We offer two ways to calculate - the customer can buy a service contract for 15% of the software price per year (yes, the dealer takes their margin too) in advance, or if they don't take the contract, 20% per year looking backward. So a 2 year old system that wants to upgrade to get new functions will cost 30% of the original cost, or 40% of the original cost if they didn't have a contract. Keep in mind, THEY DON'T EVER -HAVE- TO UPGRADE, the system will continue to run as installed, and still be flexible for free within the parmeters of what the product could do when they bought it, including updated channel maps and all. But for example, to get the 2-way Kaliedescape, 2-way iPod docks, and upcoming SQUEEZEBOX support, 6.x users HAVE to upgrade to base version 7. Version 7 users won't need to pay for the upcoming SQUEEZEBOX inclusion, even if they aren't on a contract. The contract protects them for after we go to version 8, which they eventually will want. They can bet against that and not take the contract, and might pay more later - at their option.

    Because the DATA in a CineTouch system defines the entire operation of the system, anyone with CineTouch training can service any CineTouch system - it's self documenting. If a dealer goes away, any other can pick it up. If there had been a contract, CineTouch will honor it through any dealer for upgrades.

    John Nagy
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    Hi John

    I just wanted to be clear, you're saying for 7 audio rooms w/multi-room control, 5 video rooms, 1 theater room with screen/projector control, lighting w/2-way control, security control w/zone status, 2 touchpanels and 4 R4s would cost $3800?

    <b>A FEW QUESTIONS:</b>
    Are you able to have video zones use either the display speakers, ceiling audio speakers or a surround sound receiver?

    Are you supporting R4s? If so, are they limited to room control or can they control all sections and all rooms?

    Does it cost more if a dealer's client has a Kaliedescape, I-Pod, or an Request w/IMC?

  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702

    REVISED to correct all numbers, apologies for my using a broken price list calculator. Numbers are quite different. Mea Culpa.
    I'll edit the main message too.

    CORRECTING, [for 2 audio only rooms, 5 AV Multiroom rooms, and one AVR room (minitheater), 2 G4 and 4 R4 remotes]:
    Your sample system would be about $5400 without optional items, with countless features included in the base (see web site for some) and the ability to construct any custom behaviors in the no-programming tools included. [This includes the rooms and UI's specified, no options]
    I could add that it might cost $240 more if the screen was using masking control, there were dual displays, and/or one or more video processor was being controlled as part of the theater, defining it as a FULL theater compared to MINI theater. Any room can use basic concealment/lift/screen management without charges.

    2-way lighting and security will increase that to $6600. [Total - 2-way lighting and Security each are separate options]

    Pool/spa control added to that would become $7300 [meaning the 5400 plus lighting and security - plus pool, TOTAL]

    Yes, you can use a TV for sound, or an AVR, or multiroom speakers. ONE kind of volume control per room. We've had dealers want all the TV sources to come out the TV speakers and all the music sources to come out the ceiling speakers... that would require defining them as different "rooms" (as in 'MBed TV Area" and 'MBed Audio') but can be done. Messy and hard to use for the user. Poorly defined too, is XM via DirecTV therefore a TV source? We don't find this a useful definition and suggest to make the system understandable, the room is the room, and any source just plays in the room...

    We are testing our R4 implementation with very nearly 100% of G4 panel functionality, which was impossible until last week's new firmware that does not dump the gateway if more than 150 commands arrive at any R4. This means all our touch-hold personalization, themes, room navigation, room status screens, option buttons, favorites, scenes, users, thermostats, ARQ/KSCAPE/SQUEEZEBOX metadata and menus will appear on the R4. No cover art of course... the hardware can't do it. The plan is that an R4 is fully equivalent to a G4 panel in all functional ways. We'll be releasing that in a week or so from how it looks now - very good, tested yesterday at one of our dealers with multiple R4's at once.

    High function/interactive sources like KSCAPE, iPOD, ARQ, TUNESUITE RADIOS, SQUEEZEBOX are all wrought into the base code. There's no upcharge for using any number of any of them. Or any sources of any kind. You could make a system with 50 Blurays. Or 50 TIVOS. Not that you would. There are a fixed number of prep buffers for some of the very needy items like KSCAPE (presently set at 10 clients) that can be reset higher with if a job needs more - pointless to waste all that room for the 99% that don't need it.

    (yikes! Sorry!)
  • jjamesjjames Posts: 2,906
    John - thanks for the info and correction, makes much more sense now.

    Of all the optional features, which are the most popular? Surely every client is different, but do you see a pattern of people selecting the "Location" package more than "Showtime" or "Montage"?
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702

    LOCATION is bought by nearly all systems - at least those with more than one room. It's a bundle of inter-room functions and is quite convenient.

    More than half buy CAST, our users package, which also includes the ability to restrict user and password protect more powerful users. CAST makes the system work uniquely for each user's preference.

    Same, more than half, for SHOWTIME (timed events) (I'd really hate to be without my alarms and timed automation!), and MONTAGE (internet images).

    Fewer buy SPOTLIGHT (2-way lighting control - note that one way control without on=panel feedback is free), BACKSTAGE (HVAC), and USHER (Security system), and not many buy BACKLOT (Pool and Spa control for PENTAIR/JANDY/COMPOOL). We expect more USHER sales as we add more supported systems - right now just GE and APEX are included. More soon!

    Often, more features are added to a system after a few months, once the owners get used to it and want more functions. It's easy to cut a few out to make an initial budget point, and add them later without any price or effort penalty. You can even turn the features on over the Internet.

    The largest systems tend also to have the most options - when price isn't an issue.

    Available soon will be the INTERCOM and PHONE GATEWAY functions as new options.

  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702
    CineTouch Configurator

    You don't program CIneTouch, you enter DATA about the system and the behavior desired. Attached is a screenshot of the "Configurator" for that - it runs in a web browser, installed locally on your laptop or at a server you reach to remotely as desired. The Configurator uses MYSQL, APACHE WEB, and PHP in a easy installer for any Windows platform, and MAC browsers can use it remotely. MSIE and FIREFOX compatible.

    Every tab has built-in contextual HELP - over 90 pages of help altogether, illustrated. The CHECKLIST also does a completion test and gives you links to pages that need more data. It analyzes your entries and prepares a license request file listing the parameters of your license needs. It also lets you view your work in a SPREADSHEET-like view, handy for looking up work already entered, editing-in-place, or quick export of a single file.
  • A Question

    With these packaged solutions how do you deal with systems that span more than one master?

    Whenever I design large systems I need to be able to split control between either a overall processor and multiple sub system / area masters.

    Another way of looking at it is what happens wiht Cinetouch when one master in a mulitple master setup is lost from the system for whatever reason (failed, away for service, local fault etc)?
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702
    Multiple Masters

    CineTouch runs in one master, no need to split program responsibility or load even on very large (50 room) jobs. Additional masters can be used as slaves for their I/O sections. They communicate on IP and a small slave program runs in the slaves to coordinate 2-way IO on RS232. Any NXI or NI style processor can be a slave. Also use an AXCENT3 as a slave on AXLINK if you like.

    In practice, we don't see NetLinx units fail in the field... except for direct lighting strikes. Designing a system as completely isolated islands of control (usually with many redundant local sources) loses the value of central intelligence and any-source-anywhere switching, and drives costs up while reducing functionality. Not to mention far more equipment clutter in more rooms.

    We recently consulted on a retrofit of a large home with FIVE (bulky and poorly concealed) independent systems in bedrooms, another in the living room, and YET ANOTHER in the basement for "whole house audio". No coordination, no interoperation, and a ton of equipment. We'd have designed it as one organic whole. The local manager was skeptical, because his experience was that they couldn't keep more than one or two of the ones they had running at once. That's because of bad design and execution, as well as programming, not because of inherent instability of the NetLinx control system.

    We find that most system failures ("lockups") after installation are due to some kind of problems in the IP network. These prevent wifi and wired G4 panels from working, or cause the NetLinx to stop communicating. A distributed system on a single network would be just as affected. We have had to create a separate network for the automation system in some homes where the "house" network was frequently compromised by customer equipment.

    John Nagy
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702

    Related to the above topic of distributed systems...

    CineTouch offers POOLING of sources - you can create a POOL of identical content sources, like SAT receivers, XM/SIRIUS/FM tuners, Kaleidescapes, ARQ, etc. Then ONE source button for EACH POOL gives access to the NEXT AVAILABLE (not already in use) device of the same type. Once all are in use, it starts sharing (with notice to users, and with sharing rules governing autodiailing, etc.). If you SEND a pooled source to other rooms, it uses the one you are using, because it's the CONTENT you want to share. Users can pick a specific source out of a pool if they want, but POOLS reduce the number of source devices required for orderly sharing, and make selecting simpler too. We don't pool DVR's, since their content is NOT identical- you want the one you recorded your show on!

    John Nagy
  • jjamesjjames Posts: 2,906
    John Nagy wrote: »
    CineTouch runs in one master, no need to split program responsibility or load even on very large (50 room) jobs.

    We have a very large job (for us) coming up (51 zones of audio, 26k sq.ft. home with lighting, security, and pool integration) and am curious on your thoughts as we've talked to a couple of programmers from AMX and other very experienced independent programmers. All that I spoke with recommended a separate master for the lighting alone (LiteTouch system, 426 loads, 113 stations with an average of 8 buttons per station.)

    I would agree with you that you would not need a separate master for 50 or even 100 rooms of audio, though might question running all of those rooms with a heavy load of lighting (2-way communication), along with security for a house of that size.

    Your thoughts?
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702
    Multiple Masters

    CineTouch does not yet do LightTouch as 2 way, but unless it is VERY different in operation than Lutron and Vantage, the "load" of such a system should not be an issue requiring distributed processing.

    Processing should be proportional to the operations required. Even with so many loads and places requests could come from, the actual requests for operations and the resulting feedback will be trivial on an instantaneous sampling. I would expect no problem on one processor.

    By comparison, when a G4 panel comes online, we have 955 individual commands sent to it to bring it up to speed. When all of maybe 32 of them come on at once, do the math... and there's no problem, no significant lag. Lighting commands and reports are each equivalent to ONE of those panel commands. They aren't a problem.

    On the other hand, we have seen security systems that are so very chatty as to make it hard to work on the system without disabling the alarm system. It's not so much LOAD as it is NOISE, TELNET is virtually swamped with messages. I can see a value in moving such a system to a separate master that could just return important changes to the main processor. But we don't support that architecture - yet anyway. We're looking at options, maybe distributed DUET modules for the future.
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    The breakdown of the hypothetical proposal for a GSL Home system with 36 Audio rooms, 16 Video rooms or Theater rooms, Lighting control, Security and 36 touchpanels and/or R4s would cost $6500. As a dealer you would only install what the project calls for, but in the future any additional Touchpanels, R4 remotes, Thermostats and A/V zones to the project would be <b>NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU</b>, and programming can be done in minutes using Netlinx Studio.

    GSL Home comes with MANY built-in base options that would send other companies? pricing through the roof.
    There are many features added in this system from many years of real-world use. Below is an explanation of some of the features.

    <b>The BASE SYSTEM ($2k) comes with: </b>
    Weather, Phonebook, Image Frame, Blackjack, Poker, Capital game and 36 Touchpanels/R4 remotes

    <b>Touchpanel/R4 notes: </b>
    ALL Touchpanels and R4s can control all locations and everything in the system. GSL Home has been using R4s since they were released; our system design logic only sends data when needed, and does not use the Define Program section for code. Along with creating all of our modules in-house this helps to maintain a quick and clean running system. Programmers will appreciate not seeing any data being sent in the Netlinx Studio Notification window when all of the TP/R4s are at the default Main Menu section. Dealers can define the IDLE_TIME feature which returns any TP/R4 back to the Main Menu page after the IDLE_TIME expires (excluding when in the audio or video sections.)

    The complete GSL Home program runs in one NI-Master, so using additional NI-Masters, Axcent3 or Axlink devices is no problem.
    The complete system compiles in less than 15 seconds and the NI-Master reboots in less than 3 minutes.
    *Since the TPs and the R4s can control the same things, I?ll refer to them as TP from here out.

    Here is an example of the TP default location feature: Let?s say the Master Bedroom TP gets dropped in the tub. You could use any other TP in the system; hold the Master Bedroom location button for 3 seconds and the TP will be defaulted to the Master Bedroom. When the default feature is not set, the user first selects a location before entering a section. If the dealer finds the need, customizing TP graphics are very easy as there is only one TP file per resolution.

    <b>AUDIO section ($2k) which includes: </b>
    ? 36 zones of audio control
    ? 36 audio control Metreau keypads (one for each zone)
    ? user defined audio zone presets (select multiple zones)
    ? tone controls (hold button for 3 seconds to access the 10 band eq)
    ? ability to add or remove input sources PER ZONE
    ? ability to assign order of input sources PER ZONE
    ? ability to assign order of zone outputs (no need to re-wire speaker amps to change the room order)
    ? zone lock-out; prevent other users from changing the zone source
    ? user defined Audio Event Timers let you select, source, time on/off, days of week, room volume, repeat and bypass
    ? ability for the dealer to update/change audio sources and/or audio receivers using RS232(two-way) or IR
    ? Any touchpanel and/or R4 can control any audio location
    ? Software linked to security system for complete auto shut-off

    <b>VIDEO section ($2k) which includes: </b>
    ? 16 video input sources
    ? 16 analog audio inputs
    ? 16 digital audio inputs (surround sound)
    ? ability to send analog and/or digital to each zone for digital surround sound
    ? NOTE: Any video zone can be wired to use either the local display speakers, audio distribution speakers or a local receiver
    ? user defined Sleep Timer (turns zone completely off)
    ? user defined channel station numbers and icon favorites for each group of DSS/Cable sources
    ? the ability for dealers to update/change video displays and/or audio receivers using two-way RS232 or IR
    ? Any touchpanel and/or R4 can control any video location
    ? Software linked to security system for auto shut-off

    <b>SECURITY section ($500 to $2k) includes: </b>
    ? a system feature that resets all audio and video, lighting and thermostats upon security arming/disarming to user defined Away or Vacation settings
    ? overview of all security zones with time/date stamp when last triggered (overview map available)
    ? dealer defined SECURITY_TP feature (eliminate standard security keypad)
    ? EX: When entering the home, the security speakers announce a countdown disarm time (optional), the TP (SECURITY_TP ) closest to the door awakes and displays the Security section awaiting to be disarmed. Once disarmed, the TP returns to the Main Menu after the touchpanel IDLE_TIME feature expires.
    ? option to send emails/text messages with date/time stamp and which user disarmed the system.
    ? option to trigger lights to turn on/off from any security devices
    ? option to open/close garage doors from the TP or at a dealer defined time.
    ? option to open door strikes from the TP
    ? option to toggle between no chime, chime or voice announcement of desired security zones
    ? option to view and control all Cameras connected to the camera DVR (wireless TPs need an AXIS device ? no R4s)
    ? Security System event log page

    LIGHTING section ($500 to $2k) ? Lutron/Radio RA/Litetouch//Vantage/Leviton
    SHADES section ($500 to $1k) ? Lutron/Somfy
    CLIMATE section ($1k to $2k) ? AprilAire/AMX color stats w/iWeather
    POOL/SPA section ($500) ? Pentair/Jandy
    SPRINKLER section ($500)

    If you were to purchase each section individually the complete system package would cost over $15,000 per project. However, if you purchase the entire GSL Home package up front, the discounted price would only cost $10k. This is a $5,000 savings for the complete system package. As a dealer you would only install what your project calls for, but in the future any additional Touchpanels, R4 remotes, Thermostats and A/V zones to the project would be <b>NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU</b>, and programming can be done in minutes using Netlinx Studio.
  • John Nagy wrote: »
    We recently consulted on a retrofit of a large home with FIVE (bulky and poorly concealed) independent systems in bedrooms, another in the living room, and YET ANOTHER in the basement for "whole house audio". No coordination, no interoperation, and a ton of equipment. We'd have designed it as one organic whole.

    Yes there are a plenty of badly designed systems out there, but bulky and poorly concealed surely is less to do with the control architecture and more to do with the product and AV system design?

    As James said, there are times when subsystems need to reside on a seperate master, I'm working on a large yacht at the moment and I need a seperate master for the HVAC and another for the lighting, it just runs smoother that way due to the overhead of these devices. It still offers as much intelligence, just over a distributed model, which is always more resilient. The masters can all be located together.

    I'm surprised that you've not seen Masters fail in the field, I'd have thought everyone working with AMX (or any other manufacturers kit) has seen a unexpected failure in their time... even with dedicated control LAN's and mains protection. Hardware does sometimes fail
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702
    Multiple Masters

    The system I described was bulky in part due to redundant hardware... every room had a 3100, a switcher, a Kaleidescape, a DVD, VCR, DVR, access point... in a rack, right in the room. Most had a drape over them to hide it and I'm sure help the equipment bake without ventilation. Just part of the reasons not to do it that way.

    In any case, subsystems need not be broken out to separate processing to achieve smooth operations. I'm surprised to hear that you need to break out HVAC. We've got a bank of 11 in one installation, same processor as everything else, no problems or delays. Same processor manages two Pentaire pool controllers, shades in several rooms, a GE alarm system, Lutron Homeworks for the whole house... and 42 rooms and 24 touch panels and even 5 Kaleidescapes (with full panel feedback and cover art). JUST ONE processor. No lags. No disrespect to those who would rather break it up.

    Hardware does fail. But in literally hundreds of installations, we've found all models of NetLinx to be mighty hardy. On occasions where they have failed, it has been due to outside issues (lightning, power, wiring errors (they really don't like 110 volts)). When a system fails in use (after shakedown), it has nearly always been due to a network issue, or a device affecting the network, and after the problem is cleared, the NetLinx is happy again. Multiple masters wouldn't have helped these cases.

    We've heard from dealers that they use multiple masters so the whole system doesn't go down when one fails. an event they expect to be frequent with the software they are familiar with. In a properly built CineTouch system, it's reasonable to expect to have the processor run a year or much more without requiring a reboot. We nevertheless provide a protected RESET button on the racks, and if the worst happens, relief is just a push away. Some dealers put that (and other power breakers for DVR's and the Network) on IP controllable power strips so they can selectively reboot portions of the system remotely.

    John Nagy
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    Jimweir192 wrote: »
    As James said, there are times when subsystems need to reside on a seperate master, I'm working on a large yacht at the moment and I need a seperate master for the HVAC and another for the lighting, it just runs smoother that way due to the overhead of these devices. It still offers as much intelligence, just over a distributed model, which is always more resilient. The masters can all be located together.

    I've never seen the need for code to run on sub master. I agree with John Nagy that the odds of a master going down is rather remote and I beleive the money would be better spent on a good AC backup. I have worked on a design that if a single master system goes down, another master would take over with all the same settings. I never implemented it as I thought I was getting to paranoid. Three years ago we did a home with 42 tps, lighting, 12 thermostats, 16 video zones/9 theater rooms and 42 zones of audio - it's still running fine today on one master, but I have often wondered, what would happen if there were 42 people in the house all using the audio section at the same time... China syndrome? :)
    I think much of it has to do with the code design logic being still when not in use.
  • jjamesjjames Posts: 2,906
    The exchange of ideas are great. I've been wanting / needing to change my routine of feedback and how it's handles - you both have given me the extra boot to take that step forward and just doing it. The logic of how the feedback is handled is important, I've always known that - but I think it's time for me to stop being lazy and do it the "right" way.

    Thanks for the motivation guys! :D
  • The HVAC in question runs on a CANbus network and while the protocol is great the network chatter is huge - every zone transmits its status every second and you can't stop / change that refresh rate. Even with the best of my coding abilities this would bog down the most well written code why would I risk that when having it on a separate master ensures that it never interrupts anything else.

    The reason the lighting sits on a seperate master is so specific operational requirements.

    I think its great that there are these types of package around for the residential market and that they open markets for dealers and customers, although I wonder when would either GSHome or Cinetouch recommend that a client goes the custom code route?
  • GSLogicGSLogic Posts: 562
    Jimweir192 wrote: »
    The HVAC in question runs on a CANbus network and while the protocol is great the network chatter is huge - every zone transmits its status every second and you can't stop / change that refresh rate. Even with the best of my coding abilities this would bog down the most well written code why would I risk that when having it on a separate master ensures that it never interrupts anything else.

    The reason the lighting sits on a seperate master is so specific operational requirements.

    I think its great that there are these types of package around for the residential market and that they open markets for dealers and customers, although I wonder when would either GSHome or Cinetouch recommend that a client goes the custom code route?

    My last post was mainly in regards to Home devices, you are in to the specialty items and that would be a situation GSlogic would recommend using a programmer. I know that no company can have a solution to fit all needs, this is why it's good to have choices. Many of the companies that use GSL Home also have a programmer on staff, but they are to busy to handle more work, this is when GSL Home comes in to play... and of course it works out of the box! :)
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702

    That sounds like a nightmare HVAC issue - if you had to stay with that hardware, yes I see why you want to isolate it.

    We obviously know that CineTouch isn't going to work in every install. We know it will work in the majority of residential installs of all sizes, but there is a balance between flexibility and preconceived design. That's why we don't press it for commercial where all bets are off on requirements. We absolutely don't want to force-fit an inappropriate solution, you never stop paying for that mistake. At the same time, we are always adding new support and capabilities, so the potential is ever rising.

    That said, theres a huge amount of flex already in CineTouch, and we accommodate more strange situations than you'd think. A Texas dealer of ours, Theaters By Design, just did a bizarre retrofit job using CIneTouch to operate via existing antique multi-button (simple closures) control panels with LED feedback added. It works, the customer is happy, and no lines of code were injured, written, or compiled in the process. And when they start to get familiar with the single touch panel they added at the central rack, the customers may want to add more modern control, which will mesh seamlessly.

    John Nagy
  • John NagyJohn Nagy Posts: 1,702

    An example of flexibility in CineTouch-

    A growing trend in homes is a "sports-bar" arrangement of multiple displays. A main screen is flanked by one or many smaller screens, and each will have unique program content. Control of any one needs to be just one touch to pick, and the panel should operate the target. Touch one other button to swap any target flanking screen's program content with the main screen, have it take over the room's main sound, and control brought to the single touch panel, all seamlessly and instantly.

    Custom? Nope. In CineTouch, this can be set up in minutes. Since we manage N number of rooms and devices, and already have commands for send-to and navigate, this all becomes child's play to set up and, especially, to use. We'd make each screen a "room" (usually named "Upper Left" or such to indicate which screen), and use the existing room navigation features (LOCATION) for control, and use existing system services (SWAP SOURCE) to make the transfers. Compose the action in our configurator (web) tool, decide what you want the buttons to say, then touch-and-hold to place them on option buttons exactly where the customer wants them. It takes longer to describe than to configure.
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