News / Media

9 Overlooked Home Theater Features

Many home theater enthusiasts, especially DIYers (and I’m including myself here) tend to fuss all about the big picture and sound-in-the-round speaker approach, while neglecting many important details.

Sometimes installers are guilty of the same thing (though usually it’s the client’s taste or budget that’s to blame). A home theater is more than a room and more than a collection of electronics all tethered together. When done right, a home theater is a total experience.

A well-done home theater is inclusive, comfortable, and- most importantly- not noticeable once the movie's on.

To get to that sublime experience, you need to pay attention to all the details

The truth is that few rooms are perfect for a home theater before the gear arrives, and many still aren’t perfect after the gear’s been installed and connected. In fact, perfection is rarely achievable, but there are a number of features that any home theater enthusiast overlooks at their own peril…

To read about the impact of lighting, reflections, seating, and more, click here.

To read about the impact of lighting, reflections, seating, and more, click here..

Posted by ryan Tue, 17 Dec 2013 16:29:00 GMT

Big, beautiful backyard with big, beautiful sound

A grassy, open area

We recently did a full home system featuring Control4 interfaces, an Apple Airport-based network, and a Sonos audio system- all of which extend out across the homeowner’s gorgeous backyard! Rock speakers surround the pool and patio to bring Sonos to every corner of the yard, and subtly, too- can you play spot-the-speaker in the image above?

The system can switch between all of the sources Sonos offers- including internet radio stations, Pandora, iTunes, Sirius, and more- via the homeowner’s iPhone or iPad app. Volume can also be controlled there, or with the built-in volume controls around the patio.

Television embedded in the loggia stone wall

And speaking of the patio, part of that is the loggia: its own music zone with a television nestled in the stone wall and a smart remote with dock, it creates a beautiful outdoor living area for relaxing in the San Diego weather. You’ll see it in the picture above- excuse the continued construction in the reflection!

See our video below for a better look:

http://youtu.be/LKv6f0awUZo

Posted by ryan Mon, 05 Aug 2013 16:25:00 GMT

Control4 Remote Recharging Station Makes Dead Batteries Obsolete

The Remote Recharging Station, which ships in April for $130, features a low-profile design and a charging indicator LED.

It’s a bummer when you go to use gadgets, only to find dead batteries. Imagine if you need that gadget to turn on lights! Something like that should always be ready at a moment’s notice, which is probably why Control4 has introduced the Remote Recharging Station.

The new Recharging Station is designed for use with Control4’s SR-150 and SR-250 System Remote Controls. Instead of having to replace batteries all the time, this option adds in a lightweight, high-power-density rechargeable lithium polymer battery.

Control4's new remote dock

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Posted by ryan Mon, 22 Jul 2013 15:57:00 GMT

Control4 Hardwired Centralized Lighting Control System is Here

New ‘panelized’ hardwired lighting control system is the first for Control4, best known for its wireless home automation systems.

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It took a few years for Control4 —best known for wireless home automation—to perfect its first ever hardwired centralized lighting system but “it’s really here,” says Paul Williams, VP of security and communications products. The system, which Control4 calls “panelized” lighting, was shown in its finished form at ISE 2013 in Amsterdam in January. The solution is Ethernet-based, readily integrated into an IP-enabled automation ecosystem.

The panels and termination blocks are “ready to go,” says Williams, “so dealers can start spec’ing it.”

Control4 added a few niceties to the system since it debuted a few years ago, including some features you don’t see in every hardwired lighting control.

The new lighting system is available in both U.S.-centric panel configurations and European DIN rail mounting.

The system can operate from 120V to 277V allowing it to operate worldwide in commercial and residential applications.

Control4 Panelized lighting control system

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Posted by ryan Tue, 02 Apr 2013 16:56:00 GMT

Audio Impact Control4 Authorized Gold Dealer - 2012

Posted by chantal Fri, 06 Jul 2012 20:23:00 GMT

Control4 Releases New Controller HC250

Introducing the Control4 HC-250 Controller! This powerful controller offers exceptional value and performance plus instantaneous on-screen control. Whether you are installing a simple single-room system for your home or business, delivering a universal remote alternative with room to grow, or adding intuitive on-screen control for one TV or 20, the HC-250 Controller is the perfect solution.

The HC-250 delivers instantaneous control at an exceptional value. Its sleek design and small form-factor make it ideal for single-room control systems, universal remote replacements or as a way to deliver on-screen control to every television in larger residential or light commercial installations. A powerful 1GHz processor running the Control4® award-winning operating system delivers instantaneous, interactive control and makes the HC-250 a versatile and powerful player in any control system.

  • Next-generation core and ZigBee processors deliver a new level of speed and performance for instantaneous interactive on-screen control and access to lighting, security, music and video libraries.
  • Elegant, low-profile design features an integrated power supply for flexible, simple installation behind televisions or on a shelf.
  • Instantaneous, intuitive control from a touch screen, remote, or TV on-screen navigator.
  • Built-in PoE capability provides power and network connectivity over a single CAT5/CAT6 cable.
  • Certified HDMI with audio and video capability delivers reliable connectivity to today’s televisions and receivers.
  • Integrated Wireless-N and ZigBee simplify installation while delivering high-performance network connectivity.
  • 2 audio outputs – 1 analog and 1 HDMI – and 1 analog audio input.
  • USB port enables connection to external storage for easy access to music content.

Posted by chantal Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:17:00 GMT

High-Tech Helps Save Energy at one of Subways First Eco-Restaurants

Control4 Press Release

Control4 automation solutions and Eragy energy management lower utility bills to pay for the system in just three years.

Salt Lake City, UT – April 5, 2012 – A new, high-tech Subway franchise in Kokomo, Indiana recently received the state’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) commercial project certification thanks in part to a Control4 automation system. As part of Subway’s Eat Fresh, Live Green™ Eco-Restaurant initiative, the restaurant earned accolades for its use of intelligent automation technology for saving energy and for its green-building methodologies.

George Estep, franchisee of the newly opened Subway, had experienced the sting of his monthly electricity bills at his other restaurants and knew that building a “green” restaurant was about more than just recycled construction materials and native plantings. “Rising utility expenses were a factor in deciding to make this location a showcase of energy efficiency,” stated Estep.

Estep teamed up with Brandon Pitcher, Chief Sustainability Officer at Indiana-based real estate development firm, Fortune Management, who presented a vision for a store that was high-tech, economically sound and environmentally conscious. Pitcher then commissioned Huston Electric to create a fully automated lighting, HVAC, and occupancy sensor-driven system powered by Control4 that would allow the building to act and react automatically to predetermined commands.

The building was fit with programmable light switches, thermostats, motion sensors, daylight sensors, and an eGauge energy monitoring device that communicates wirelessly with the Control4 system. The processes were then automated so interior and exterior lights would switch on and off based on pre-set opening and closing hours, bathroom and kitchen lights function based upon occupancy, and two exterior light level sensors harvest daylight to automatically conserve power. When the sensors reach a set percentage of light, near 60%, the dining room lights on the side room will shut off, thereby “harvesting” the natural light coming into the dining area. Thermostats were also programmed to rise or drop automatically based on business hours alongside an in-ceiling ERV air recovery unit also controlled through a Control4 switch. A monitor in the lobby displays the Control4 navigator with the Eragy App in real time, acting both as an education and informational display tool.

In order to measure the project goal of a return on investment within 36 months, Huston turned to Eragy, a leading provider of smart energy software applications and services, to monitor the building’s overall power usage. The Eragy system monitors electrical loads throughout the restaurant so that energy usage can be tracked and accessed remotely, allowing the restaurant staff to quickly understand projected monthly energy costs even before they get their bill, and make prior adjustments as needed.

Being able to monitor and record the shops’ energy savings allows Estep to track just how much money he is saving on his monthly electric bill. The energy savings alone is projected, at its current rate, to pay for the system in just over 2 1/2 years – sooner than their original goal. At that point, the energy savings becomes additional profit to the business’ bottom line.

“Control4 and Eragy allowed us to combine high tech with a positive environmental impact,” stated Huston’s Nate Cushman. “By organizing the different systems to work together, we’ve created effortless control with environmental consciousness that allows this Subway location to monetize their energy savings.”

The store displays the energy usage on a large monitor for customers to enjoy and discuss. “We invested in an intelligent system because it made solid economic sense,” said Pitcher. “We went public with Eragy’s Watts On Now! app to expose customers and staff to the real world energy usage it takes to make a Subway operate. We want our store to provide creative and interactive experiences to our customers so they gain an understanding about economic and environmental issues.”

“Eco-restaurants reflect our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability,” said Marketing Director Elizabeth Stewart, who heads the Subway brand’s corporate social responsibility efforts. “We have pledged to make our restaurants and operations more environmentally responsible and it’s exciting when a franchisee takes this level of effort with their restaurant. They set a great example of just what can be done.”

With today’s affordable technology solutions, even small restaurants and businesses can deliver a high-tech experience to customers, while also enjoying energy savings.

Posted by chantal Fri, 06 Apr 2012 22:34:00 GMT

Introducing the Card Access Sub Zero Smart Appliance Module for use with your Control4 System!

It’s a long-held stereotype that beauty and brains don’t go together. Well, not anymore. Introducing the Card Access™ Sub-Zero® / Wolf® Smart Appliance Module™. This new product from Card Access gives the beautiful Sub-Zero BI-Series of refrigerators the needed brains for integration with the award-winning Control4® home control system.

Underneath the Sub-Zero BI-Series’ refrigerators are several advanced technologies that work together as a comprehensive food preservation system that provides you with fresh, wholesome food and water in ways no other appliance can.

The Card Access Smart Appliance Module combines these advanced appliance features with the capabilities of Control4 to monitor:

  • refrigerator door / freezer door open and close states
  • refrigerator and freezer temperature set points
  • ice maker on/off state
  • Max Ice Mode on/off state
  • Pure Air on/off state
  • water filter useful life (displayed as a percentage)

And set a variety of refrigerator operating modes including:

  • Short and Long Vacation Mode
  • High Use Mode
  • Sabbath Mode
  • Normal Mode
  • Night Ice
  • Heat Store

The free Card Access Sub-Zero Smart Appliance app–available for download from Control4’s 4Store™–gives Navigator access to these refrigerator features.

You can now take advantage of the combination of these two systems to receive alerts, throw a better party, or vacation with greater convenience and peace of mind… All with a little help from Control4 and Card Access.

Who says you can’t have beauty and brains in a single package?

Posted by chantal Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:20:00 GMT

Control4 Launches Video Intercom Solutions with New Touch Screens and Door Station

High-performance In-Wall and Portable Touch Screens with full-motion video intercom and wideband audio deliver dedicated control and crystal clear communications.

Las Vegas, NV– January 10, 2012 at 7:00 AM PT – Control4, a leading innovator in residential and light commercial automation systems, introduces its new video intercom solutions, which include the Control4® 7” Portable Touch Screen with Camera, the Control4® 7” In-Wall Touch Screen with Camera, and the Control4® Door Station.

This new video intercom product family provides dedicated, always-on control functionality along with a convenient high-quality communications experience for homes and businesses. Each new product within the family features an integrated camera delivering H.264 full-motion video along with integrated speakers and dual microphones utilizing beam forming and wideband audio to deliver a high-fidelity experience. With activation of a Control4® Intercom License, consumers can enable whole-home or business communications and message broadcasting, as well as the ability to control auto-answer and “do not disturb” settings.

“Our video intercom family is an exciting new addition to the Control4 offering,” says Control4 President and CEO Martin Plaehn. “By adding the Door Station and the new Touch Screens to Control4 systems, consumers are able to see and communicate with others inside and outside their homes or businesses. We’re creating an exceptional audio and video intercom experience that is completely integrated with the full Control4 automation system.”

Central to the video intercom solutions is the new Control4 7” Portable Touch Screen with Camera, a sleek capacitive touch screen that is dealer-configurable as a portable or tabletop solution for use on a countertop, desk, end-table or nightstand. It supports Wireless-N and Ethernet connectivity, and is powered either by Power over Ethernet (PoE) or AC power options. The Portable enables seamless video-intercom interoperability with other Control4 video intercom-capable products, and audio intercom compatibility with the current 5” and 7” In-Wall Touch Screens.

The new Control4 7” In-Wall Touch Screen with Camera features the same sophisticated design and technology as the 7” Portable for high-performance in-wall control. Like Control4’s existing touch screens, the new 7”In-Wall is an elegant addition to any room.

Rounding out the Control4 video intercom solutions is the new Control4® Door Station, providing an exceptional video intercom experience from outdoor locations such as a gate or front door — enabling consumers to see who’s requesting entry from the safety and convenience of their home or office. In addition to supporting WiFi and Ethernet connectivity, with AC or PoE options, the Door Station includes two contact sensors and one relay for monitoring as well as opening doors and gates.

“Our goal is to consistently deliver insightfully simple solutions that enrich families’ lives and enhance businesses,” adds Plaehn. “We believe our video intercom solutions will do just that.”

Posted by chantal Fri, 10 Feb 2012 17:18:00 GMT

Control4 Android Home Automation App for Android Device Home Control

With the Control4 MyHome app, you can use your favorite device to Control your home theater; Control your music (even in the shower); Control your comfort; Control your lighting; Control your security. What do you want to Control?

Posted by chantal Mon, 06 Feb 2012 17:21:00 GMT