At Residential Systems, Inc. one of the most common questions our clients ask us is “What are the major differences between Control4 and Savant and which should I use in my house?” As authorized dealers for both of these world-class products, this can be a very difficult question to answer. I joke with our clients that, when it comes to Savant vs. Control4, it is sort of like picking which of my kids do I like the best! Fortunately, I love both of my kids and at Residential Systems, Inc. we feel the same way about Savant and Control4!
Both Savant and Control4 have revolutionized the home automation and smart home landscapes for our clients. Control4 is the more seasoned of the two companies, having been around for many years and recently becoming a public company. Control4 recognized a major shift in smart-home technology and capitalized on this by making their products available to a broader marketplace through more reasonable pricing. Savant, the newer of the two companies, has strongly leveraged their partnership with Apple to gain momentum in the last few years. Since the invention of the iPad, Savant has grown tremendously and has made smart home technology more appealing to the mass market.
Let’s take a closer look at the strengths of each company:
Strengths of Savant
- Apple-based system is familiar to most consumers
- Easy integration with client iTunes libraries for whole-house audio distribution and movie downloads
- Carrier-grade switching equipment for audio switching, HDMI switching, etc…
- Easy ability to integrate with other world-class smart-home products including Lutron, Vantage, HAI and others
- The whole house is easily accessible from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
At Residential Systems, Inc. we tend to recommend Savant in applications where quality is of utmost importance to our clients or where the clients are self-described “Mac People.” For example—Savant’s HDMI switching products are some of the best in the world so if a client is particular about that, we will recommend Savant. Our clients recognize that they pay a premium price for that, but they also recognize that they get incredible quality, as well. Additionally, if our clients are very comfortable with the Apple operating system (and already have their content housed in iTunes, etc…) Savant is the more seamless approach for usability and functionality. We also tend to recommend Savant for clients in the Colorado mountain communities (Aspen, Breckenridge, Telluride, Vail, etc…) as the remote management capabilities give us the ability to troubleshoot issues remotely, potentially saving our clients a service call.
Strengths of Control4
- Control4’s products are available at lower price points, enabling clients to do more with their budget
- Control4 offers a full line of automation products including thermostats and lighting control under one umbrella. This makes integration incredibly simple and quick!
- Control4’s handheld remote control is one of the best we have ever used. It is intuitive and rarely fails.
- Control4 offers an Android application for those users who prefer Android over the Apple Operating System
- A large majority of the Control4 product line-up can be installed wirelessly, making it very easy to use in retrofit environments
At Residential Systems, Inc. we tend to use Control4 in applications where price/budget is more of a consideration. While Control4 can do many of the same things that Savant can do, the interface is very different. It is extremely intuitive and the on-screen display make it very easy for clients to control their entire home from their TV, iPad or Android device.
At the end of the day, this decision boils down to customer preference and perceived value. For clients who value an integrated home-automation system with high functionality, Savant presents a more “luxurious” option. For clients who want the ability to control their entire home and not break the bank, Control4 presents a wonderful option.
- What is the budget I have for this project? This is probably the most important question to ask yourself so that you can be prepared for the trade-offs that will be necessary if the scope exceeds your budget.
- What do I want to control? Is this a relatively simple A/V control or do I want to integrate other technologies like climate control, lighting control, security, cameras, motorized shades, etc…
- What type of technology am I comfortable with today? If you are an “Apple Zealot,” Savant may present a better solution for you and your family.
At Residential Systems, Inc., we are proud to be dealers for both of these companies, as well as many more. By offering our clients a full line-up of smart home solutions, we can meet any need and operate under any budget.
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