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Niles GXR2 vs AMX Precis ?

MWNE2MWNE2 Junior MemberPosts: 15
My Understanding is that the Niles has a slow change time and can only work with one zone at a time. ON the other hand it does have meta data. Does the precis change zones or at least react faster to touchscreen commands?
Thanks

Comments

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    The Niles will switch zones ... my solution for it only being active in one at a time is to assign an RS-232 box for each touch panel that will be controlling it. Since the whole point in using the GXR2 in the first place for us is to take advantage of their cheap (relatively) panels in lesser used rooms, so there aren't generally a lot of AMX panels on one anyway. It's not all that slow really ... not enough to matter.

    The Precis is just a switcher. It is definitely quicker, but you also need amps, and you need to add device control and controllers for each room that the GXR2 package already provides. I don't really consider the products interchangeable - they each have their own applications and not a lot of overlap.
  • MWNE2MWNE2 Junior Member Posts: 15
    So I get that you like the niles product. I do Too. I just want to provide a good product for my client. When you say a seperate rs 232 box, could you define that further?
    I don't thinkyou meant a different ni 2100 or whatever per touchpad , but maybe you did?
    Thanks, mark
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Well ... I wouldn't go as far as saying I like it, but it has a niche that it fills well.

    I mean that you assign a Niles RS232 box for each AMX touch panel that will control the GXR2. That way, individual panels can control separate zones at the same time. If you only have one, it can only be active in a single zone - which means two people in different rooms are going to have a conflict. One of them is going to lose control to the other.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    The Niles will switch zones ... my solution for it only being active in one at a time is to assign an RS-232 box for each touch panel that will be controlling it. Since the whole point in using the GXR2 in the first place for us is to take advantage of their cheap (relatively) panels in lesser used rooms, so there aren't generally a lot of AMX panels on one anyway. It's not all that slow really ... not enough to matter.

    The Precis is just a switcher. It is definitely quicker, but you also need amps, and you need to add device control and controllers for each room that the GXR2 package already provides. I don't really consider the products interchangeable - they each have their own applications and not a lot of overlap.

    We just met with the Niles product developemt manager for the GXR2 a couple weeks ago concerning the control of the product. We showed him how the control architecture was just plain screwy.

    It's effectively very slow, does not volunteer feedback on zones that your're not 'looking at', takes an undesireable time for you to change zones and solicite feedback, and even then can send out erroneous feedback messages. Current Volume of a zone seemed to be very unreliable. You'd quite often get 'zero' or the level of the previous zone you were looking at.

    It's not slow in and of itself. It's just how they choose to interface with the outside world. Their method is basically that you send it a request to look at zone #X. After that all commands to and feedback from is meant for that zone only. If you were looking at zone 2 and got some feedback and then sent a zone 3 command, it seems to take the thing a while to get used to it. You'll get some zone 2 feedback when you're expecting zone three. There's nothing in the feedback protocal to indicate which zone the feedback pertains to. You're just supposed to know that from you sending the zone request command.

    Once you are firmly established within a particular zone, the feedback seems to settle down and work fine. It's when you try to poll all zones or move from one zone control to another that things get pretty sketchy.

    He seemed rather interested in how we controlled other devices with similar feature sets. Of course, we left on a very positive note and with promises of better stuff coming soon. The skeptic in me tends not to trust it all.

    We'd love to use the GXR2 in our smaller systems. But, for now, we just can't rely on them to perform with other control systems clam-shelling over them.

    When it's the only control system in play, it works very well.
  • MWNE2MWNE2 Junior Member Posts: 15
    OK so Given your choice of something similar to the GXR2 what would you use ? An AMX piece or Extron or? I am not an elan dealer so that is out. Thanks for the help guys, I really want this project to shine.
    Mark
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    MWNE2 wrote: »
    OK so Given your choice of something similar to the GXR2 what would you use ? An AMX piece or Extron or? I am not an elan dealer so that is out. Thanks for the help guys, I really want this project to shine.
    Mark

    I like both the Presis and the Extron. We use them both and have had great results. They both are easy to program and pretty bullet-proof.

    I like the fact that the Presis has built-in processing. You can adjust pre-gain and EQ settings for each zone.

    The Extron has balanced audio ins/outs and that also is great.

    We also deal Elan and have had good results there too with the S12.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Putting an RS232 box in for each panel pretty much eliminates the zone change slowdown, because it becomes a rare event.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    Putting an RS232 box in for each panel pretty much eliminates the zone change slowdown, because it becomes a rare event.
    But aren't you eathing up a lot of RS-232 ports on the Netlinx Master as a result? I'm getting to the point that I cannot even order an NI-3100 or less anymore due to the need for RS-232 ports.
  • MWNE2MWNE2 Junior Member Posts: 15
    ok so I added an extra ni 3100 to the mix so that I have enough 232 ports, that and 1 rs 232 gateway per tp should speed up the response. Correct?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    ericmedley wrote: »
    But aren't you eathing up a lot of RS-232 ports on the Netlinx Master as a result? I'm getting to the point that I cannot even order an NI-3100 or less anymore due to the need for RS-232 ports.

    Yes, but the way we design these things, the GXR2 is really the main multi-room controller. The AMX system is usually a local theater or TV room that has the GXR2 as an input, so it needs to control it from there. So at most I'll have 2-3 RS-232 boxes on a full install, with Niles Contact panels on the rest of it. If every room were to have an AMX panel, I don't think I'd use the Niles, I'd go with a straight switcher and control the sources directly.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    Yes, but the way we design these things, the GXR2 is really the main multi-room controller. The AMX system is usually a local theater or TV room that has the GXR2 as an input, so it needs to control it from there. So at most I'll have 2-3 RS-232 boxes on a full install, with Niles Contact panels on the rest of it. If every room were to have an AMX panel, I don't think I'd use the Niles, I'd go with a straight switcher and control the sources directly.

    word...

    I suppose it's my own bias chiming in since we typically never do systems like that. There's not much middle ground for us. we either go very simply or very expensive. :)

    That's what happens when your designer/sales people are rather impatient...
  • elytronicelytronic Junior Member Posts: 51
    I would also like some help on this. We have an installation coming up with 12 zones using a Niles ICS system (2 x GRX2). Unfortunately it is too late to chage to a Precis based system since we have installed the backboxes for 6 Niles Displays Touchscreens and our walls are brick based...

    In this system we have a 3100, 3 x 8400s (if the 5200 comes out by June and we have positive feedback then 1 x 8400s and 2 x 5200s) and 5 x R4s.

    Would I need 8 x Niles RS232G to have proper control of the ICS system from the AMX touchscreen and remotes?

    I would like to offer the client full control of the ICS system, something similar to the touchscreens examples in the new AMX home brochures, http://www.amx.com/amxhome/mktmaterials.asp .

    We have a Precis component and analog audio switch specified as well but I think using it for the ICS audio, things will get very complicated.

    Sources would be 4 x analog or digital sources (cd, dvd, tv and sat), ipod and one server which is either request or kaleidescape.

    I was also wondering if we can have proper ipod control through the ICS system and the RS232G on the AMX panels and remote or is better to use an iport?

    Please note that this is our first AMX installation.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    This link has a new GUI for the MVP8400 & 5200 which is worth downloading and picking apart for parts & pieces or using as a Demo which is what they were made for.

    elytronic wrote:
    something similar to the touchscreens examples in the new AMX home brochures, http://www.amx.com/amxhome/mktmaterials.asp .
  • elytronicelytronic Junior Member Posts: 51
    Guys,

    anyone can help me with the questions I posted above?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Yes, you would need eight for that kind of setup the way I have been describing it. I think that might be pushing the limits a bit though; I have never done more than two or three, and they are chatty devices. Frankly, I wouldn't try it if I had a choice, the Niles RS-232 is simply not that solid a product.

    You might be able to get away with less. The reason for one-per-AMX-panel is because they can only control one zone at a time, and otherwise there may be conflicts. If you can say without a doubt that two panels will never be used at the same time, they could share one. Perhaps not all of the AMX panels (like the R-4's) need to control the Niles. I just don't have an easy answer for your situation; I wouldn't have designed it that way in the first place, though I perfectly understand being stuck with something that changed along the way.
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