Comment on: NEEO: NOW AVAILABLE FOR CONTROL4 SMART HOME OS 3

https://planet.neeo.com/t/189mjh/neeo-now-available-for-control4-smart-home-os-3

Comments on this topic are closed so i will share my thoughts here:

 

I just visited my local dealer for control4 an had a conversation to the manager.  It sounded like he had never heard of NEEO. 

So I asked a few basic questions to enter the world of Control4:

Its at least 1000€ for a ea1 controller (hub) and some basic programming to integrate my Philips Lights, TV and AVR with Musiccast. Control4 is not user programmable so i will have to call him for every change in the system (and pay for programming).

And NEEO will probably work as a remote for the ea1. 

That's a lot of money and far from "NEEO is user customisable".

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  • Can we use our existing NEEO remotes with a new control 4 system if we buy a control 4 system?

    Reply Like 1
  • I just spoke to our Control4 rep (I bought an original Neeo back a year ago but am also working for a dealer of Control4) - the original Neeo remote will not work with Control4 systems.

    Reply Like
      • Markus M
      • Markus_M
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jan Wagner I think the NEEO remote will be compatible with control4 after flashing it. And i asume the control4 dealers have not been informed yet.

      Reply Like
      • Jan Wagner
      • Integrator
      • Jan_Wagner
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Markus M Really, that would be awesome. I personally also cannot see, why it shouldn't work. Thanks for the hopeful update :) 

      Reply Like
    • Jan Wagner the c4 neeo is based on the NEEO pro with other hardware specs (at least that is what I have heard). So I wouldn't bet it will work. Also they would like to sell their new stuff...

      Reply Like
      • Jan Wagner
      • Integrator
      • Jan_Wagner
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Markus M That at least sounds a little promising. Concerning selling new stuff: I would rather see Control4 go into a direction of seeing the DIY-community as represented for example by Neeo-Crowdfunders as a customer-base which also actively carries the whole movement forward. And before I give off the wrong impression: in my opinion that does not mean to treat them like someone who is willing and able to pay the installer for everything. Just my two cents - I hope there ist going to be a good way to move forward. I really like the Control4 Eco-System :) 

      Reply Like
    • Jan Wagner You will (most likely) never see such moves from their side. There is a lot of history for other company that has opened up itself to the Enduser market and was therefor avoided by the "professional" installers. And if you look what C4 has done in the past i don't see that they will open up the remote, their system or anything. They make good money with their closed system, so no need to open it.

      The "original NEEO" will most likely be abandoned when the time os 24 month is over, if we are lucky the servers will stay like they are and we can use the remote a longer time. But i will not bet on that state, also a reason why i put my time and effort into an other remote.

       

      Also there where 0 communication from after ISE2019 from the former Heads or from the new Head at C4, that was also other when there was a personal meeting, but never mind, for me this is over!

       

      I'm not willed to pay for a system i use and someone to integrate a new Hue light bulb when i install it in my home!

      Reply Like
  • I don't know what drove them and they expect posting this here other than stirring cold dung up to a steamy hot stew.

    What i DO know though, is that I will happlily throw my money at everything unless it is affiliated with NEEO or Control4 who will both will NEVER see me having nice words leave alone becoming a customer. EVER.

    Reply Like 2
    • Bernard Cooper
    • Software Tester / Tech Enthusiast / Disenchanted KS NEEO backer
    • Bernard_Cooper
    • 2 wk ago
    • 1
    • Reported - view

    The company former known as NEEO invites you to give them even more money.  No thank you.
    I'm too busy basking in the 24 months of support they're so generously providing.

    They've totally skipped over any of the previous discussions they teased around reaching out to the developers in the community and exploring ways of keeping our stylish paperweights functional past the drop dead date.  All that supposed tech built into the remote that was never turned on.
    (if it is even there?  Was there ever a teardown to check?  The magical palm reader dropped off the radar pretty quickly...)

    Before turning their back on their first customers they really need to offer an offline solution for adding new devices once the lights go out on the server.  This is the least they can do for the jaded multitude.

    #StillSalty

    Reply Like 1
  • These bloody b...ds. 👎  First they ram a knife in to our back and now they come back to turn the knife over. I will make as much negative "advertisement" for them as I possibly can. 

    Reply Like 2
      • Bernard Cooper
      • Software Tester / Tech Enthusiast / Disenchanted KS NEEO backer
      • Bernard_Cooper
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Kozma You've got to wonder who in the Control4 marketing department thought posting here was ever going to be a good idea.  I see they modified the homepage and removed the 'latest posts' section in an effort to try and hide the existing community's experiences from anyone curious enough to google NEEO after reading the press release elsewhere.  They've got some sense at least. 

      Given their past track record with broken promises, I'm actually really surprised they haven't gone straight to full-on scorched earth mode and killed these boards.  Sure, we would rain down merry hell about it on social media if that were to happen but they haven't been too concerned with the feedback we provided there either.

      Reply Like
  • I admit I didn't read the post thorough enough the first time: just to clarify: yes, Control4 is a dealer-system. That comes with the perks of professional, reliable, official support - not from the company Control4 but your, ideally, local dealer, who is able to discern between different types of customers ;). 

    And no, the system is not purely programmable by the dealer. I find the depth of customers being able to program their system pretty comprehensive. 

    Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jan Wagner Is Control4 able to integrate other systems and devices that are not supported by Control4 itself?
      So is it possible to switch third-party devices via TCP, UDP or a webhook? Is there a public compatibility list of devices and systems supported by Control4 available?

      Reply Like
  • Control4 is able to control via a lot of protocols. Here is the comprehensive database of available drivers: https://drivers.control4.com/solr/drivers/browse.

    If there is no driver, your dealer can pretty easily program simple infrared or serial drivers. There is also a pretty big 3rd-party-sector which programs and sells drivers. For example there is a 3rd- party-driver that lets you send commands via TCP or UDP to specific IPs and Ports. I think there is also such a driver for webhooks (JSON).

    Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jan Wagner Is the database complete? Most of my devices are insufficiently supported at most by IR and not even by IP. Many systems are not found at all. I have never dealt with Control4 so far, but for a provider that is at least widespread in us, I find the selection of drivers very poor. I also seem to be very focused on the American market.
      Is there any link to the big 3rd-party-sector available?

      Reply Like
      • Jan Wagner
      • Integrator
      • Jan_Wagner
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Fonzo  Just a quick answer (pulled the devices from your profile): 

      • Symcon (seems like its own automation system, i.e. an alternative to Control4)
      • Homematic (also its own automation system, see above)
      • EnOcean  (there is a gateway by Intertronix)
      • Z-Wave (Latest Control4 Controllers can be fitted with a Z-Wave Module)
      • Hue (works)
      • Nanoleaf (not direcly - maybe via IFTTT)
      • Epson Beamer (works)
      • Plex (there is a 3rd-party driver)
      • Steam (only as source)
      • FireTV (limited support because of how Amazon encrypts commands - very slow)
      • Apple TV (works)
      • PS4 (only as source)
      • Nintendo Switch (only as source)
      Reply Like
      • Jan Wagner
      • Integrator
      • Jan_Wagner
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Fonzo ...and for 3rd-party-drivers: just search for the device + 'Control4 driver' - there are different sources.

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jan Wagner Thank you very much for the answer. Above all, I miss the support of car manufacturers like BMW, Telsa etc.
      Furthermore, I lack the support of high-quality players via IP like Oppo, here only IR is offered.
      Unfortunately, bus systems like LCN can not be found in the database and I did not find any support for common air conditioning systems like Daikin. Nvidia Shield was probably not found in the database but was indeed supported by the NEEO already.

      If you write only as a source what exactly is meant by that? Is it possible to start and control a Playstation 4 from Control4 and then also from the "new" NEEO or not?

      If it would be possible for the NEEO to send commands to a third-party system via Control4 and also to send feedback to NEEO or Control4 from a third-party system so that the status can be viewed in NEEO, then at least the NEEO remote control could also be used for widely used home automation systems like the market leader in Europe Homematic IP.

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jan Wagner I found more drivers 

      https://drivercentral.io/

      But if you need to buy a driver for every single device, you have to spend a large amount of money.
      Is there a documentation of the interfaces of Control4, so if necessary you can also write a driver yourself?

      Reply Like
    • Fonzo Their system is mostly closed and only available for the Installers, you need special software and special tokens to change anything in the controller. This is not available (you need to be a reseller and also attend to a C4 training to be able to use the software) all additional drivers and these thinks are only to be installed via this software.

      As i have written above, you put in a new light, you need to call your dealer he needs to program it (via remote access if available) or via in house service. That means you pay for it.

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Markus M Thanks for the answer, yes that's a pity because I do not want to hire a dealer for every light bulb or other things if I can do that myself.
      I do not believe that such a system is sustainable, home automation is complex, but with increasing simplification by software, it is now also possible to put many things into operation, without having to mandate a professional for every small change to the system.
      I had somehow still the last glimmer of hope to be able to do something more with the NEEO, but at first glance, the system of Control4 for me seems to be not suitable. For me, it is too expensive and offers far too few individual options, actually surprising, that despite the price and the effort you have, but Control4 is a very successful company. But at least in Europe, most people do not seem to be willing to spend a large amount of money, as in the US, just to control a house intelligently.

      Reply Like
  • Answers seem to be getting longer ;) I'll keep it nice and short: LCN is it's own system - they probably have as little interest in controlling Control4 equipment as vice-versa. 

    There is a free Oppo-IP driver; been using it for a long time. 

    There is a driver-API. Control4 uses Lua as the language for drivers. 

    Yes, new devices need setup by the dealer - find your local dealer and make a deal with them. If you add a hue-light for example - that takes me five minutes to set up remotely (Remote access is allowed or denied by the customer) after you paired it to your hue bridge; nothing in-house. 

    I guess in the end, it's a matter of deciding whether it's your hobby and you enjoy the community - then maybe you use openHAB or keep using Neeo in its current form (still the nicest remote you can have for an unbeatable price). 

    Or you want your home 'smart' and automated to make it easier, maybe more energy-efficient and safe to use for you and your family and have time for other things. Than I think a dealer you can ask and rely on isn't the worst. 

    ... longer than anticipated. Have a good night! 

    Reply Like
    • Jan Wagner Sorry to bother, but i don't agree with your statement!

      If a user don't choose to open the System to the Outside world, you need to visit the user to implement new Lightbulb, and will charge for that. Yes that is user decision, but it should not be required in these days!

      NEEO can only be used when Control 4 keeps the server running, else it will complete stay as it is right now, yes, so control is possible, but Smartphone app can't be used (resetup require user login). Also no new / changed devices can be added (local drivers will work, but no ir devices, etc)

       

      also it is possible to make a smarthome that doesn't need to worry about the face off with control 4 solutions. As Example see the KNX integration from C4, it is laggy, sluggish and also there is no statement if this will ever change or not. No Comment / description at the show or via request on the web why that is the case. (you may look at this video to see what i'm talking about: https://twitter.com/control4germany/status/1184373282524618752?s=20 ) also other smart homes will not be unsafe to use only because a user have set it up.

      Reply Like
  • No need to be sorry :) - I think this discourse is very necessary. What I meant is: the remote support is selectable by the user on a case-by-case basis. So you disable it generally. If you need support, you enable it for the required time and then disable it again (alterntively you can just pull the network-cable).

    In general: the system does work without access to the internet. Does that mean, some functions do not work? Sure. If you want to use Control4 for music playback, your limited to your local NAS or connected USB-Device.

    As for the original Neeo still working in the future as usual - you are completely right: no guarantee. But there is always the chance of people talking to each other an finding solutions. Maybe opensourcing the server-software and letting the community run it?

    Concerning KNX: the link shows a video for the integration of devices by a specific company (Opus GreenNet) which happens to use EnOcean as their technology; so no KNX in sight there. And I must say: to describe what you see as "laggy and sluggish" leads me to suggest using conventional 230V-switching and a record-player ;); which is also is fine: light and music are the result). The lag you see until music plays ist buffering and the light lag is dimming.

    And there is also no doubt, that an end-user is able to setup a safe (in regards to IT-safety) smart-home - I was talking about the safety-aspect of smart-homes (cameras, door-locks). But I see from my wording how that was misunderstood - don't sleep and text.

    Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jan Wagner I think the problem is that many of those who have bought an NEEO remote already have systems with remote control interfaces that allow them to control all devices adequately or better than the Control4 interface does. To control something via a remote interface or by voice I personally have little need for improvement. The unique selling point for NEEO was that many systems can now only be controlled via an app and a reasonable conventional remote control with buttons is missing. You can use a mass-produced product like a Logitech Remote, but it simply lacks a display where you can also select things like music or movies in addition to the buttons and you get status feedback on the display.  I am basically willing to spend money for an integrator, when it comes to integrating and controlling complex controls such as a photovoltaic system or a heating control, but not just to change a lamp or to add a normal device like a TV to the system.
      The NEEO Remote is a nice piece of hardware, otherwise, we would not have purchased this device. But hardware without the right software is useless and complementary systems will not help me if I'm not even able to learn the expensive NEEO IR codes or use Bluetooth.
      So that's probably a dead end for most of us here, myself included. With the old NEEO remote, you can hardly use it in the form, as it exists now, with unfinished software, because you can not train new devices yourself. Spending the extra money to continue using the old remote or purchasing a new NEEO remote control would make sense for most of us here, who already have working solutions if we can use the Control4 system and the new NEEO remote control so that an existing home automation system can also be controlled with an elegant remote control with buttons. Otherwise, the new NEEO Remote, unfortunately, remains an isolated part of a closed home automation system and the old NEEO Remote is at some point useless.

      If you do not use the unique selling point to work with the hard buttons you can actually use a smartphone with an app as a remote control. This gives you more options compared to the NEEO but it lacks the haptic feeling of a button, what was the real reason to buy something like a NEEO remote.

      Reply Like
      • Jan Wagner
      • Integrator
      • Jan_Wagner
      • 13 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Fonzo Just a quick reply in my lunchbreak. You are 100% right about the painful absence of useful, handheld remotes which are also made nicely: Doesn't matter where you look in the industry. I still have customers using B&O infrared-remotes with their IR-commands mapped into whatever control-system.

      You can use a mass-produced product like a Logitech Remote, but it simply lacks a display where you can also select things like music or movies in addition to the buttons and you get status feedback on the display.

      This really is the crucial part, isn't it? As soon, as you are talking about meaningful feedback and media-browsing, you are talking about the control-system and not the remote anymore. The feedback needs to originate somewhere. I simply cannot see how you would make a remote which is able to work with multiple automation-systems and media-platforms.

      But hardware without the right software is useless and complementary systems will not help me if I'm not even able to learn the expensive NEEO IR codes or use Bluetooth

      Also true. To use custom Infrared and Serial I would go this route with an Global Cache iTach device: https://planet.neeo.com/t/80pck9/alternative-way-to-control-itachs-and-internet-devices
      Bluetooth is generally difficult; except maybe a Playstation (do they still use bluetooth?) I couldn't think of a lot of use-cases. Exception might be device detection (is a device in reach or not and is that reason to trigger an event) - but then again, that is definetly a system-issue and not a remote-related one.

      I am basically willing to spend money for an integrator, when it comes to integrating and controlling complex controls such as a photovoltaic system or a heating control, but not just to change a lamp or to add a normal device like a TV to the system.

      How are these systems more complex to control? I do entertainment-systems on a daily basis - I don't know any other area with the requirement of integrating devices via IR, serial, network, at times power-switching and often without feedback into a usable experience. Not to mention the lack of industry-standards for control like you have in many HVAC and electic applications.

      And for everything else concerning possible transitions or continued community-support - there is only one way: keep talking to each other and finding solutions. 

      Reply Like
      • Fonzo
      • Fonzo
      • 13 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Jan Wagner This really is the crucial part, isn't it? As soon, as you are talking about meaningful feedback and media-browsing, you are talking about the control-system and not the remote anymore. The feedback needs to originate somewhere. I simply cannot see how you would make a remote which is able to work with multiple automation-systems and media-platforms.

      Much would be much easier if the hardware is capable of showing HTML pages, then you can just as easily return any content. But it may be that there are just problems again with the battery power of such a remote control. Most systems have a web interface for showing content and selecting it this would be enough. The web interface could be fit to the screen resolution of the remote. 

      Also true. To use custom Infrared and Serial I would go this route with an Global Cache iTach device: https://planet.neeo.com/t/80pck9/alternative-way-to-control-itachs-and-internet-devices
      Bluetooth is generally difficult; except maybe a Playstation (do they still use bluetooth?) I couldn't think of a lot of use-cases.

      That's ok for me at the moment I just use the forward actions of the NEEO brain to use a Logitech Hub instead to control devices the need Bluetooth like my Nvidia Shield. The PlayStation is controlled directly via the network in my case and not via Bluetooth, also via forward actions of the NEEO brain to an external home automation system.

      How are these systems more complex to control? I do entertainment-systems on a daily basis - I don't know any other area with the requirement of integrating devices via IR, serial, network, at times power-switching and often without feedback into a usable experience.

      electricity meters, photovoltaics, etc. each used a special bus system and protocols that are not understandable to a layman, so there is often an expert necessary.

      Nowadays, I do not buy consumer electronics anymore, which can only be controlled by IR. All devices of the upper price range can be controlled easily via network usually also by DLNA, UPNP, Alexa, Google, Homekit etc and give thus usually also a correct status as feedback.  So I do not need an integrator to run this, I just need to be able to connect an HDMI cable. An integrator is needed at most for complete built-in multiroom systems, which then gives me extensive advice, where to install which speaker and then set this up and put into operation. But that also refers more to luxury villas. In times when Ikea sells Sonos and you can control a lot with Google, Alexa and co, you can build yourself a multiroom system even without an integrator, where the music follows everywhere in the house. Of course, such a DIY system will not be able to keep up with the quality and demands of a system built in by an integrator.
      Only I would say that the users here may own high quality equipment, but not the majority own home theaters in the 6-digit range. If you have something like that, you can certainly commission an integrator to work out and install a solution.

      And for everything else concerning possible transitions or continued community-support - there is only one way: keep talking to each other and finding solutions. 

      Communication always takes place in two directions, otherwise, it is a monologue. You can talk a lot in one direction, only if Control4 gives no answer and the formerly responsible persons at NEEO have kept nice talk, but now stuck there heads in the sand, that does not help you to solve a problem. There have been plenty of suggestions in the community but never a single answer from the former NEEO responsible persons or Control4.

      Reply Like
    • Jan Wagner The video linked shows that, yes, but it does exactly the same for KNX integrations and other stuff, the signal flow is not fast enough and nobody was able to say why. I've checked it out at ISE2019 shortly after NEEO was aquired from C4, they provide a small (new at this point) KNX setup and integration, you push the lamp switch and it takes roughly 1-1,5 seconds until the light reacts. There where not much devices attached at the booth, but still no direct control.

       

      For larger simultaneous usage i would hate it to wait 1 second to have my light on. and nobody is able to say if this will get better or not. that is what bothers me the most with the system!

       

      For the Remote itself, all is based on cloud (user account, adding new devices, channel logos, login to app to setup remote) therefor when C4 will cut the server, there is nothing else then use the remote as it is, no change to anything possible after that date!

       

      for single remote with multiple hubs:

      also, it is possible, there are some guy (me included that provide simultaneous integrations to different hubs). It is currently in the start of beginning, but if you like to spy go visit yio-remote dot com

       

      For your understanding, most people are pis++d due to the past of the remote. The Kickstarter was a very successful intro, then there where beta testers (me included) that mentioned software issues that happen, but still there was less feedback or fixes of ground issues (6lowPAN between remote and Brain never works as intended, you where unable to use "use Volume of..." for manual recipes so you end with multiple target devices of the same input, what leads to multiple open recipes) and the fact that such issues where never fixed and then the remote was pulled completly due to C4's term (we only work with professional integrator, not with end users / what is totally fine but is sad for all the initial funders that put their money into the hardware, only to see them now taking the benefits and selling the same remote (design wise) for the double price (at least) is the key fact why they complain here.

      Also you will not be able to use this remote without a c4 controller, which means at least pay 600$ for the remote, and 1000$ for the smallest controller, plus the integrator to program it, so a formerly 350$ remote ends up unavail for the most of the original funders that will now end with a paperweight aftert the servers will be shut!

      Reply Like
  • Reply Like
      • Bernard Cooper
      • Software Tester / Tech Enthusiast / Disenchanted KS NEEO backer
      • Bernard_Cooper
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Patrick Borner For that price it might even do what they're promising!  Wouldn't that be something novel? :P

      Reply Like
    • Patrick Borner It is the same Price as they formerly charged for their crappy remote that also sells like nothing. So they will get great win now, as all will replace their remotes and pay 600$ for the hardware and additional $$$ for the integrator to integrate this to their systems. Win win for all! (Except original NEEO funder / Backers)

      Reply Like
  • Fun fact: the Control4 version of the NEEO UI seems to have a clock. A feature NEEO never delivered to us. I'm curious wehther the Control4 version of the UI will ever really get this feature. 🤯

    Reply Like
  • I’m happy about the system, with this problems I use my neeo til end of live and find some new.

    Reply Like 1
  • Why don't they just give us the courtesy of knowing what will happen to our remotes and what upgrade/trade in path they have planned for us. We did after all handover our hard earned money in good faith. I don't think its too much to ask.

    Reply Like
  • Edit: moved to Topic: "Can we use our existing NEEO remotes with Control4?"

    https://planet.neeo.com/t/x19mb2?r=q59msm

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