News / Media

Control4 Launches New Zigbee Smart Thermostat

Control4 Thermostat

Control4 home automation has always had a smart thermostat to integrate with its home automation system, and for a long time has supported third-party wireless thermostats as well (yes, Nest too). At the ISE 2015 conference in Amsterdam the company is (finally) launching a home-grown successor to its original smart thermostat that controls virtually all functions of any HVAC system. The new wireless, ZigBee-based thermostat is being launched in conjunction with Control4’s new OS 2.7, which dramatically improves the “Comfort Control” experience for users with simple (and pretty) at-a-glance controls. Control4 teamed with Aprilaire to develop the latest iteration of Control4’s decade-old original model. The key features of the new product are:

1. It works with the vast majority of popular HVAC systems worldwide, including radiant heating, split HVAC, dual fuel and geothermal systems.

2. It provides user-accessible humidity controls

3. It is “more reliable” than the 10-year-old Control4 model, says Paul Williams, VP lighting and comfort products for Control4.

4. Let’s face it, the thermostat is not a thing of beauty. Hide it in a closet and use remote temperature sensors instead.

A Better Interface
The thing about a thermostat that can control such a vast array of features for a wide range of HVAC systems is that it can be quite confusing. So Control4 “went back to drawing board,” says Williams. “People are often intimidated by thermostats. How do we simplify the experience?” A better interface, enabled by Control4’s new OS 2.7, was born.

Control4 started working through its UI with OS 2.6 introduced last year, starting with a vastly improved interface for pool and spa controls. Now Control4 is taking the same experience to HVAC systems. The UI features an intuitive dial interface for quick access to all comfort functions, including temperature, heat/cool setpoints, thermostat mode, fan speed and humidity levels, as well as access to new configurable presets. There’s a colored ring in the center of the screen that glows orange in heating mode and blue in AC mode. Furthermore, solid blue dots in the ring indicate the system is humidifying; outlined dots indicate dehumidification. Two tear drops around the ring can be dragged into place to establish heating (red) and cooling (blue) setpoints. Importantly, consumers themselves can configure their own HVAC scenes, incorporating temperature, humidifaction and other related settings. They then can incorporate these settings into more global schedules and scenes, such as “away.” Previously, only the integrator could create HVAC scenes. Control4 plans to provide end users with more ways to configure their home automation systems without requiring intervention from an integrator.

Posted by ryan Mon, 16 Feb 2015 17:43:00 GMT

Control4 Introduces New Whole-Home High-Definition Video Intercom, Intuitively Smart Climate Control, and Elegant High-Performance Touch Screens

New In-Wall and Tabletop Controls

Control4 (CTRL), a leading provider of smart home solutions, today announced the upcoming roll-out of its OS 2.7 software, which will power several new Control4® solutions for smart homes. The OS 2.7 software release will support elegant new touch screens that will enable instantaneous HD video intercom communications throughout the home, beautiful enhancements to the Control4 user interface for an enriched, interactive climate control experience, Control4’s versatile new wireless thermostat, and a newly redesigned handheld system remote.

“Today, we announce several new solutions that have been designed to dramatically enhance the Control4 experience for homeowners and their families around the world,” said Control4 Chairman and CEO, Martin Plaehn. “By centering our efforts on delivering exceptional performance, exquisite design and engaging interaction, including integrating with the third-party products that customers may want in their homes, our new solutions will empower our Dealers to deliver to their customers the customized lifestyle benefits of a Control4 Smart Home.”

A New HD Video Intercom Experience Featuring Powerful and Blazingly-Fast touch screens

Whether you want to see who is at the front door, check on your sleeping baby, or simply call the family together for dinner, the Control4® high-quality audio/video intercom makes it simple and convenient — and all of that functionality is automatically enabled on every new Control4® touch screen.

Homeowners can experience this elegant video intercom capability with the all-new Control4® touch screens, which feature a High Definition camera, high-quality speakers and microphone, and a fast, high-resolution display providing full frame-rate HD video – delivering a smooth, life-like call experience. Other key benefits include:

  • Dramatically faster connection speed, to let you quickly see who’s at the front door
  • Crisp, full-screen visual clarity so that you can monitor your sleeping baby or check on your children playing in another room at a glance,
  • Enhanced control and privacy functionality, including settings for do not disturb, audio-only, and auto-answer
  • The ability to select an alternate camera as the video source for exterior video door stations, providing preferred view and the best audio source whether inside or outside the home
  • When connected on the same home or business network, interoperability with third-party SIP products, including door stations (from industry leaders like Siedle and 2N), home phones, and mobile apps for iOS & Android
  • Out-of-the-box intercom functionality – simply add at least two video-enabled end-points (one or more video touch screens or video door stations), and the security and convenience of Control4’s HD Video Intercom is now part of your smart home experience.

Control4 also announced a new line of gorgeous, gesture-capable glass-edge touch screens that operate as dedicated interfaces for Control4 Smart Homes, bringing intuitive, responsive, and elegant interactions to homeowners’ entertainment, lighting, comfort and security experiences. With a simple swipe, you can browse music playlists and display bold cover art images. In addition, it’s easy to personalize lighting, temperature, and security settings directly on the expansive touch screen. As powerful on the inside as it is beautiful on the outside, the new line of touch screens are powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, providing all the horsepower necessary to drive the new graphics and HD video capabilities, as well as the capacitive-touch user interaction. Key features of the new Control4 touch screens include:

  • 7” and 10” sizes available for in-wall installations
  • 7” tabletop available for coffee-table, bed-stand, and portable use
  • Extremely fast and responsive processing power
  • Crisp, beautiful picture quality, with twice the resolution of previous models
  • HD camera, high-quality speakers and microphone for video intercom use with touch screens, a door station, or front gate
  • A brand new interface for managing smart locks throughout the home (exclusive to the new line of touch screens)
  • One-touch access to local and regional weather forecasts.

A New Comfort Experience

  • Control4® OS 2.7 also delivers a completely redesigned Comfort Control experience, with an elegant new UI to provide easy interactive climate control in the home – or from miles away. The new Comfort Control experience features a more intuitive dial interface for quick access to all comfort functions, including temperature, heat/cool set-points, thermostat mode, fan speed and humidity levels, as well as access to new configurable comfort control presets. These new presets are an intuitive and easy way to save all of your HVAC settings and recall them with one touch, or simply have them take effect automatically on a schedule or when a designated event occurs. The new Control4 comfort experience also works with the world’s leading HVAC systems, including forced air, radiant heating, split HVAC, dual fuel and geothermal systems. Additionally, the new interface works seamlessly with the most popular thermostat brands across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia including: Aprilaire, Carrier, Cool Automation, Heatmiser, and Nest.

    As part of the OS 2.7 release, Control4 is also introducing a new wireless thermostat, purposely built for comfort control and automation, and jointly developed with climate control specialists Aprilaire. The new Control4/Aprilaire Wireless Thermostat delivers a consistently comfortable home, with advanced HVAC control built-in for ideal comfort and efficient operation. The wireless thermostat features enhanced compatibility for use with more modern HVAC systems, including geothermal, dual fuel, and humidity control systems, and offers advanced scheduling and presets for increased flexibility and comfort. Additionally, the new wireless thermostat can be powered using AC power or batteries, allowing for maximum installation flexibility.

    Entertainment Enhancements

    To enhance the entertainment experience in homes worldwide, Control4 also announced a new handheld system remote. The new Control4® system remote is the perfect handheld interface for your entire home and is available in two models, with either English or iconographic buttons. The new system remote features:

    Control4 will demonstrate these new solutions from February 10 to 12, 2015 in conjunction with the 2015 Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Center, and will share the news with its global Dealer base through a Livestream video event scheduled for February 10th at 11am EST. Integrators at ISE are encouraged to visit the Control4 booth located at 10-N114 for live demonstrations, and Dealers and distribution partners not attending the ISE show are encouraged to contact their Control4 sales representative or visit www.control4.com to learn more.

    • Intuitive button layout and powerful programmability to give you the perfect remote to control your entire smart home, from entertainment to smart lighting
    • Custom buttons that Dealers can program to control devices in the home theater, the family room, or elsewhere in the home
    • A larger display that offers a variety of font colors and improved readability
    • A more intuitive List Navigator design, making it easy to control everything in your home
    • Two models, one with English buttons (SR-260) and one with international icons (SR-260i), making this the perfect remote control for a global community
    • Redesigned button layout that makes your media experience more intuitive and easy to use in the dark or with one-hand
    • Brighter keypad backlighting that automatically adjusts based on ambient light levels
    • On-screen support for multiple languages, including multi-byte characters
    • Faster and more responsive command processing
    • Interoperability with Control4’s existing recharging stations.

Posted by ryan Tue, 10 Feb 2015 16:34:00 GMT

Baldwin® Wireless Locks now Crestron Connected®

Baldwin Wireless Locks

Crestron is proud to offer Baldwin wirelessly-controlled door locks as part of our growing list of Crestron Connected devices. Long renowned for superior craftsmanship and style, Baldwin Locks are now available with our infiNET EX® wireless technology built-in, allowing seamless integration with a Crestron control system. Homeowners can lock/unlock doors remotely from their favorite mobile devices and Crestron touch screens, or manually using a keypad or key (depending on model). Baldwin locks can also be set to automatically relock after 30 seconds.

Personalized access

With the new Baldwin Locks, homeowners can personalize access to their residence(s) for family members, guests, contractors, and staff. The system can also monitor door position, battery status, and alarm status. What’s more, the locks can be integrated into automation scenes; for instance, when the door is locked/unlocked, the Crestron system can simultaneously turn lights on/off, adjust shades and temperature, and set the alarm.

More than just entry doors

Wireless door locks are great for all front, side, and rear doors, but there are many interior door applications as well. Add keyless entry and increased security to home offices, private reserve cellars, and equipment closets – without the hassle of carrying keys around the house.

CLK-BD-8285-AC5X

Posted by ryan Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:07:00 GMT

Google's Nest announces new integrations with more 'smart home' devices and services -- AppAdvice

Nest

 

Nestthe “smart home” company acquired by Google for $3.2 billion a year ago, has just announced a number of new integrations for its “Works with Nest” program, including ones that work with locks, lights, and even washers.

Officially launched in June last year, Works with Nest allows other companies and developers to tap into the Nest platform to enhance their home automation solutions. Essentially, it enables various devices and services to work with the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Nest Protectsmoke and carbon monoxide detector.

 

Nest is set to showcase its latest Works with Nest integrations at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015). And ahead of its participation in the trade show, which is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from Jan. 6 to 9, the company has previewed some of these integrations, as follows:

  • August Smart Lock – August Smart Lock can set your Nest Thermostat to Home when you unlock your door and immediately start warming or cooling the house. Lock your door on the way out and it will set your Nest Thermostat to Away to help you save energy.
  • Chargepoint – If you’re signed up for Nest Rush Hour Rewards, your thermostat can let your charging station know when energy is in high demand so you can avoid charging your car when electricity is most expensive.
  • Kwikset Kevo – Kevo Smart Lock tells your Nest Thermostat who’s home and what temperatures they like. It also helps Nest know when no one’s home so your thermostat doesn’t waste energy.
  • Ooma – Ooma VOIP home phone service works with Nest to learn when you come and go. So if something unexpected happens – like your kid doesn’t come home from school on time – it can send an alert to your phone.
  • Philips Hue – When Nest Protect senses something’s wrong, your Hue lights can flash on and off to get your attention.
  • Whirlpool – Your Nest Thermostat can let your washer and dryer know when you’re home and they will automatically switch to quiet mode.
  • Withings – Go to sleep and your Withings Sleep System will set your Nest Thermostat to a comfortable nighttime temperature. Wake up and it will tell Nest you’re ready to start the day.
Works With

Posted by ryan Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:47:00 GMT

Crestron Pyng Puts YOU in Control

Pyng, the newest addition to Crestron home controls, now allows you to make program scheduling changes yourself without waiting for your programmer! The newest addition to the Crestron line allows adjustments to lighting, shades, climate, and security right from your iPad. Having a party and want a scene specifically for the one night? No problem, Pyng it! Feel like your house could be a little more cozy now that it’s colder outside? Pyng it! Pyng brings your home control to your fingtertips for the easiest, most convenient system yet. Learn more at the links below, or give us a call!

http://youtu.be/Ja4ppY4yGMM

http://www.crestron.com/features/crestronpynghomeautomationipad_app/

Posted by ryan Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:45:00 GMT

6 Ways Smart Phones are Changing Home Security

san-diego-home-security-installer

With today’s on-the-go lifestyle, mobile technology is changing what you should expect from a home security system. With the right installation, securing your home and family is as simple as clicking an app on your mobile device. Mobile-ready security systems are amazing for homeowners who want to know their home is secure while they are away at work, or on vacation.

Here are 6 amazing ways that smart phones are changing home security:

1) Watch security cameras through your phone. Now you can watch live streaming video feeds that not only keep you secure, but also let you greet visitors at your door, view your kids coming home from school, check on pets and much more. In addition, you can view recorded clips to check motion activated alerts or events you might have missed.

2) Receive real-time home security notifications. Know what is happening right as it happens through text messages or email. You can have alerts sent anytime a sensor is activated in your home, such as the garage door opening, a window or door opening, or motion in the house while the home is armed. You can even specify what type of alerts you want to receive so you don’t get overwhelmed with notifications.

3) Instant connection to 24/7 emergency response. With active alerts and fully capable communications, you can confirm if a security threat exists and alert authorities right from your mobile device.

4) Reliable communications. Properly installed with the right backup power and fail-safes, a remote system offers more reliability. A trained professional can design a system that stays secure even in a power outage.

5) Remote access control for home service providers. Smart locks with wireless connections allow you to lock and unlock your door remotely. Now you can give access to contractors or guests and even setup unique codes for specific users. You’ll always know who is accessing your home and when. For added security, additional features allow you to lock one door that action triggers all the other doors in the house to lock. Smart locks can even unlock doors during a fire, allowing safer evacuation and emergency response.

6) Create a completely customized security solution. Mobile apps and online management tools allow you to customize your security system to your specific needs. Create personalized rules, add users, set up custom notifications and much more.

With the right installation team, the capabilities of your home security are endless. Audio Impact installs security and smart home systems throughout San Diego County. We build strong systems that keep you connected even through unexpected challenges such as power outages and down communication lines.

Posted by ryan Sat, 31 May 2014 00:49:00 GMT

5 Reasons to Consider Smart Locks for Your Home

San Diego Smart Lock Installer

You can stop leaving your key under the doormat because the days of making copies of your keys are over. Electronic locks or smart locks are becoming more and more popular in the home. Electronic locks have been used in commercial buildings for years. For Americans, it’s all about convenience and gadgets, and now homeowners are discovering the benefits of using electronic locks in the home.

With electronic locks, you can do away with the conventional key. Instead your smart phone activates the deadbolt lock when you approach the door. There are many different styles of electronic locks, from keypads to mobile device controlled systems, and the latest models have proven themselves reliable and extremely secure.

Here are the 5 top benefits to switching to electronic lock for your home:

1) It’s a hassle free way to give welcome guests access to your home. No need to worry about getting keys back from guests or renters. For those impromptu visits from friends, family, or guests you can unlock the door remotely with your smart phone while you are away.

2) Setup unique user codes for everyone that needs access. You can give each person a unique code and even specify days and times when the recipient can enter. Electronic locks let you manage access for houseguests and home services such as housekeepers, dog walkers, contractors, babysitters, and short-term renters.

3) Know exactly who is accessing your property and when a visitor arrives and leaves. Electronic locks keep a log of all the entries and exits, so you can see which authorized person has been in your home and when.

4) No giving out keys and no locksmiths. You can easily and securely send access to your home to anyone with a supported smart phone or give them a one-time use code to punch in. Stop worrying about getting the keys back later. You can easily cancel or change access for key recipients at anytime, even remotely.

5) Stop turning back to make sure the doors are locked. With a networked smart lock, you can remotely secure your home and get real-time alerts of any activity.

And, if you are worried about security, digital keys are encrypted using bank-level encryption and cannot be transferred, stolen, or copied like a mechanical key can. For backup, the lock also operates with a conventional key by pulling back the digital display to reveal the keyhole.

Audio Impact has installed electronic locks throughout San Diego County. Let our team of experts show you how smart locking systems can enhance the security and safety of your home.

Posted by ryan Fri, 30 May 2014 22:19:00 GMT

My Favorite (A/V!) Things From 2013

At Electronic House we are lucky to be exposed to the best new technology and most impressive. In the spirit of Julie Andrews’ rendition of “My Favorite Things” (or Carrie Underwood if you prefer) from The Sound of Music, we bring you our favorite things from 2013.

LISA MONTGOMERY:

Homes

Sophisticated Library Includes Hidden Lighting Controls I love it when custom electronics professionals get creative, and the book spine that was fitted with buttons for controlling the room’s lights is the epitome of thinking outside the box.

Smart Glass Creates a Home Office Hideout It’s not often we run across a home where smartglass has been integrated into a control system. Here, a curved wall of glass goes from clear to frosty when a button on a Lutron keypad is pressed.

Frosted office

NetZero Home Gets 600 LEDs Controlled by an Automation System To me, a story about an automated home is always more interesting when the owner of the house is intimately involved in the project. In this story, the owner was not only involved … he actually built a product that would expand the functionality of his professionally installed home automation system.

Trends

5 Up and Coming Technologies for the Home It’s fun to look into the future ball of home technologies, and this story does just that.

WiFi Strengthens its Position as a Home Control Protocol I always like cheering for the underdog, and in this story I do give a big hurrah to Wi-Fi, as it makes inroads as a very viable home control platform.

Integrated Control Vs. Multiple Apps for Home Automation Smartphone and downloadable apps have had huge implications in the home control marketplace. This story investigates the advantages and disadvantages of using apps to rule your house.

Products

Super Shading Solutions Get Motorized Of all the electronic systems available to the home, motorized shading is one of my favorites, mostly due to the fact that shades look about as low-tech as a throw pillow. Add a motor to them, though, and they can do some amazing things. This story discusses what’s possible.

High-Definition Artwork for Your TV This story came to my by surprise. I received a very well written email about a new technology that solves a very real problem facing anyone who owns a flat-panel TV: what to do with the screen to make it look better when the TV is off. This solution, unlike many others, is super affordable, easy to implement and lets you change the look of your static TV screen on a whim.

TV Art

To read the full article, click here.

Posted by ryan Tue, 24 Dec 2013 21:29:00 GMT

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

Why I Care More About Your (Inter)face Than Your Rack

Grab a handful of AV magazines and you’re sure to see some pictures of AV rack installs. Every week I’m sure to see articles about a rocking rack in my inbox, and each year at the CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles banquet an award is given for the best rack. Maybe us industry people get so excited about racks because we spend so much time with them—terminating, testing, and troubleshooting; we know that it is the brain, heart, and brawn of the system. Yet, I find our industry’s fixation on the rack to be misguided. It is the Interface that is the true soul of the system.

A Crestron Interface

It is the only part of the system the client actually touches. Racks tend to live in closets, basements, or equipment rooms. Maybe, the client will bring a friend into the space to show off the color-coded wires and fancy flashing buttons, but the rack is meant to be hidden. The remote, touchscreen, or app is what the client interacts with on a daily basis. It is where the magic really happens as far as they are concerned.

Recently, when walking through my clients framed house, the wife declared that she would not be using the system. She informed me that she was uncomfortable with technology and was only doing this for her husband. Their rack would live in the basement and their house was to be controlled via a remote and an iPad. After we finished the system, she called to tell me she was playing Pandora through the system using her iPad. It was magic to her and it had nothing to do with those boxes in the basement, no matter how nicely the wires were run.

If the system isn’t easy to use, it’s not worth the money. You can install the best receiver, the best speakers, and the most riveting flat screen, but if the wife can’t turn it on, the system is worth nothing. The interface must be intuitive. Think about how Apple designs its operating systems. Have you ever ended up on a new screen on an Apple device? You may think, I don’t know how to do this, but it should work like this, and BAM, that is exactly how it works.

Last night I was using the Apple remote app while watching a movie (ironically my remote was down) and wanted to fast forward (there is no fast-forward on the app). I decided to try swiping forward and guess what? The movie fast-forwarded. Swipe again and I had a faster-forwarding speed. No one had to teach me. No training had to be done. Our interfaces should be the same way. They need be so easy to use that the client can hand it off to the babysitter as they walk out the door to dinner.

Think you’ve done a good job programming? Use the “mom test.” Hand the remote over to your mom and see if she can navigate.

To read the full article, click here.

Posted by ryan Mon, 18 Nov 2013 17:12:00 GMT