Just read the 3/28 announcement of C4 drivers and had some questions:
The Roon page says in part: “These drivers require a Nucleus or Nucleus+, and are not compatible with Roon cores running on other platforms.”
Do you mean this precisely, or are Intel NUC Rocks also compatible? If generic ROCKS are currently incompatible, is this a temporary situation, or do you intend for only the branded product to have this feature? [If you need beta sites for 7i7 NUC Rocks, overspecced, contact me.]
Are the drivers ready for public consumption? I ask because the version is 1.0 alpha1.
The webpage is missing screenshots on driver usage. Wasn’t sure if this was an oversight.
Thanks for your help. I would experiment, but installation isn’t free.
I believe they mean that precisely. RoonOS as used in Nucleus has some things and is optimized in ways which the more generic ROCK version is not. For example, the Nucleus RoonOS has thermal management which ROCK does not.
I would imagine that Roon would keep the Control4 stuff for now on their own branded product, if for nothing else, support issues at the moment. That way there is no question about what hardware is being used.
Thanks Daniel, But say, what if I promised that I was using a bona fide ROCK?
If you would, please: confirm your suspicions (they’re mine too) with “the suits”; add my name to a list of possible beta sites; and see if this if the “Nucleus only” policy is temporary or permanent. The last question is important to me, 'cause I could repurpose my generic Rock and buy a genuine Rock.
Pardon my presumptuousness; just thinking you might have a voice they listen to.
I posted these questions last week, and Brian quickly responded with his impressions, which I appreciated. But I was hoping to get a definitive answer from Roon directly (again, no offense to Brian). [I had originally posted to Support, but it was reassigned.] To recap my questions:
The C4 documentation refers to the extensions as V1.0 alpha-1. In some environments this means ‘still testing’. But, documentation is out and downloads are available. Can you clarify?
The documentation adds that either Nucleus or Nucleus+ cores are required. Is this accurate? If so, is this prerequisite temporary while this release is further tested and stabilized? Or is this a “permanent” part of your strategy to add value to the Nucleus proposition? I’m trying not to ask, “what does the future hold”, but if I HAVE to get a Nucleus to get C4 connectivity, then I’d like to know that sooner than later.
Brian also suggested that my ROCK might not qualify because it was an over-specced MOCK. His comment was probably in jest, but does my extra ROM and SSD size disqualify me as a Roon ROCK? See profile for specs.
Editorially, some folks have written and asked about these extensions as far back as 2016. Your ethos seems to been one of inclusion of qualifying kit, not exclusion. So, to announce curtly that non-Roon branded equipment don’t qualify was a bit of a shock – to me.
I may be reading too much into your KB posting. But you may find my interpretation of it helpful. That’s the spirit in which the above is offered.
@brian is our CTO, and the @support reports to him. Hearing from @brian is hearing it from our executive team. It doesn’t get any more authoritative than that.
I’ll clarify here, because I’m not sure what he or you spoke about since you didn’t post a link to the conversation and I can’t find it.
The document was saved as a PDF and uploaded before we deleted the “alpha-1” from the little version number thing at the bottom. Just a small oversight that is fixed now.
This is not a “temporary” thing. That said, we may change the distribution of our software in the future.
I’ve stated the reasons for this in the past, and I’ll repeat myself again here:
We package the other end of the extension with Nucleus. There were many reasons why we did it this way, but a few have already been mentioned. Having consistency in the hardware is very good for support and no doubt there was also a commercial component to this decision. If there was a significant number of users using Crestron and Control4 in the DIY space, then we would not have made these decisions.
For now, you have to get a Nucleus to use to our C4 module. The Roon API is open, however, and you can write whatever you’d like for C4.
I’m not sure where or what Brian was talking about since you didn’t post a link… but your ROCK doesn’t qualify for the C4 integration because it isn’t a Nucleus.
I’m not sure what your “qualification” of ROCK even means. The community has deemed if your ROCK is not exactly our hardware recommendations, then it is a MOCK. The Roon Team found that clever and have been using that terminology as well. However, I’m not sure what you are looking for here. What are you thinking happens if you “qualify” as ROCK?
Sure, but surely you accept that we can distribute our software however we want, given that we paid the cost of developing it. As for the “curtly” – is there a different way we could have announced this more sweetly?
Thanks for the response, Danny. My thoughts about being qualified as a ROCK owner: once you realize the error of your ways, you will push the additional software down to those “ROCKS” you know to exist.
I was making the case to Daniel (@rugby, mis-attributed to Brian, sorry) that Hardware-wise, my setup met Roon specs. Then he came forth with the MOCK comment. No worries.
My naivete about software development is showing. I had read about earlier programming efforts and thought this was “the” solution. So I presume others (not me) can and perhaps are write competing versions with Roon’s help in identifying all the necessary hooks, yes? Of course, there is even less incentive to compete now with Roon’s official version out.
And yes Danny, at least in the US and at least for now, you are free to distribute your intellectual property however you see fit. Getting a bit defensive toward the end.
It seems to me that if we are running a ROCK vs Mock and we are willing to pay to enable C4 control it would be another revenue stream. Clearly support would be an issue. But, just like other S/W vendors you can deny support if someone either hasn’t kept up-to-date or strayed from the ROCK path. I personally would pay a few hundred dollars to have this integration. The cost of the Nucleus’ are still a bit costly when you consider all of the other incidentals like end-points and DAC’s.
I would pay extra (within reason) in a heartbeat to get the C4 driver without having to spring for the Nucleus. Sadly, I realize us C4 DIY’ers are probably too few and far between to make this feasible. I can hope though.
Since posting, I actually HAVE purchased a Nucleus.
Still, adding to my original thought, I would have been willing to pay $200 or so for a driver to add C4 integration to a non-Nucleus core. That’s about what I paid for the driver to integrate Kodi into my C4 setup.
BTW, I was just sharing a thought/idea. Not demanding or expecting anything. So, not sure why the snarky reply??
No snark intended… I was genuinely curious about what “reasonable” was in this space. I just recently acquired a home with a Crestron system, and I’m appalled by what constitutes reasonable when doing anything with it, including switching to C4.
Which driver did you purchase?
This is a great example… While Kodi is free, its closest “paid” competitor is Plex. The driver your purchased cost 33% more than the lifetime price of the software itself. Also, this is for Plex, not the $0 Kodi.
An additional example: I’ve seen iPad wall bezels cost more than iPads.
These examples of pricing are what I meant by “out-of-reason”.
If you are used to this premium for working with Crestron/C4, then paying for a Nucleus instead of NUC+ROCK for software priced like Roon would be “reasonable”.
I paid $199 for the Kodi Full driver by Chowmain, plus another $50 for the installation. If I recall correctly, Chowmain’s Plex driver was the same cost.
You’re right though, C4 systems are not inexpensive. I got a deal at best buy several years ago… $900 for EA1 controller + SR260 handheld remote + installation. If you’re a bit of a DIY’er, you can do a lot of the work yourself and there are some great dealers who do online programming for the things that C4 prevents end users from doing like installing drivers. I realize I’m the exception to the rule, and as you note the cost of a Nucleus is probably just a drop in the bucket for most people who have a C4 system.