Control 4 has been offering personalized home automation solutions since 2003. In the years since then, they’ve expanded from just a few very basic offerings to some pretty neat home control options. They’ve been able to do this by teaming up with some of the largest names in home electronics and appliances. They’ve also teamed up with television service providers, such as DISH, to expand their offerings and increase the value to the consumer of the providers’ offerings, as well.
Backwards Compatibility to Deliver Greater Return
Many of you out there may have jumped onto the home automation bandwagon back when the company was founded to make lighting and audio control easier and may be looking to upgrade or improve your existing system. If so, you’re in luck since the company hasn’t changed much about the underlying control structure of their home automation solutions. What this means is that you can upgrade your existing central lighting control system, so that it has more capability.
Since their founding, the company has added energy efficiency to their product lineup — things like smart thermostat control and programmable lighting control by zone. Having a party with family and friends? You can set the kids up in the playroom with full lighting, while the adults can socialize in the living room with subdued lighting. Additionally, as you get familiar with the system and discover its potential, you can add to it without having to purchase a new central control unit.
Control 4 Lets You Start Small and Expand Over Time
The Control 4 system allows you to start as small or as big as you wish (or are able to) and expand the system’s capabilities over time. Looking to save some money on your homeowner’s insurance with a home alarm system? Or, maybe you’ve just bought your first home and wish to add a security system in order to gain that added peace of mind that a security system can give. Whatever the reason, your security system can be linked with your home automation system to give you control over the alarm using the control pad or the mobile app.
One of the newer offerings from the company that I really find intriguing is what they call Wireless Music Bridge. This is a solution that allows you to play the music you have on your computer, Pandora, or phone through your home stereo system-wirelessly, meaning no clutter of wires running between systems. Just bring up the music controls on your app or controller and start enjoying whole-house music. You can even have the system display the cover art embedded in digital media on the touchscreen or your TV. The music bridge supports Apple’s AirPlay, Bluetooth, and DLNA, so it works with pretty much everything.
Send Video from 8 Sources to 8 Different Displays
What would you say if I told you that with the company’s HDMI Matrix Switch, you can send video from up to eight different sources to up to eight different displays in various parts of the house? You can. Going back to our house party analogy, this means that you can send the video from your cable or satellite receiver to one TV, the kids can be in the playroom watching cartoons or kid’s movies, and the “tweeners” can be in another room watching something completely different, and you can control all of it from a single location.
Even better, instead of having to run HDMI video and audio cables all over the place, the matrix sends the audio and video signals via Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet cables, which are much less expensive than HDMI cables (and they’re available in longer lengths, to boot).
Let’s Have a Dance Party!
One of the problems with having a house party is that in order for everyone in the house and yard to be able to hear the music, invariably, there are going to be areas where the music is too loud (since it has to be turned way up to be heard throughout the house as well as outside), while in other areas it will be barely audible. Not anymore. Control4 offers four-zone and eight-zone amplifiers that allow you to have speakers throughout the house all playing the same programming, while keeping the volume at a level where your guests don’t have to shout to be heard while still being able to enjoy the music everywhere.
Complete Integration with The Hopper from DISH
DISH Network recently gave access the underlying code that controls their whole-home DVR known as The Hopper to a number of third-party vendors, one of which was Control 4. This means that if you have DISH, you can now access all of your DISH apps through the app or wireless controller.
Many Controller Options
Speaking of controllers, when we think of controllers, we usually picture a handheld device that we use to control our TV or video games. Owners of Control 4 systems have their choice of several different controllers. If you’ve got a basic system, you may only need a small wall-mounted controller that looks like a fancy light switch. However, as you add more capabilities to your system, you may want to upgrade to TV remote-like controllers, which are fully rechargeable and come with a charger base. Or you may wish to step up to one of their portable or in-wall touchscreen control devices.
Control 4 has come a long way since their 2003 founding, constantly adding features and capabilities to their systems, while always keeping backwards compatibility in mind. With the number of features, devices, and controllers available, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to find what you need and want. Your only problem may be in deciding which ones to get now and which ones to leave for later.