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

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

Seura Outdoor TVs - How it works

If you are considering a television for an outdoor space, think twice before you install an off-the-shelf TV. Outdoor technology is more sophisticated than simply waterproofing. Designed to withstand debris impact, weather conditions, extreme temperature changes, contaminants, and solar brightness, Séura’s Storm is a high-performance television ideal for the discerning homeowner.

1. Bezel Constructed of high-grade metal, the bezel is responsible for holding together and protecting the elements of the outdoor screen. Removable, the bezel allows front access to parts for maintenance and cleaning.

2. Anti-Reflective Safety Glass Coated with a specially formulated anti-reflective coating, the dual-layer glass refracts sunlight, so reflections and glares don’t interfere with the picture. Tempered safety glass is strong and resistant to impact.

3. Precision O-ring System Creates a tight seal, protecting internal parts from rain, snow, and moisture.

4. Ultra-High Brightness Panel With more than double the brightness of a typical HDTV (Storm boasts 700cd/m2), high brightness panels perform well in sunny environments. Conventional televisions are not bright enough to be viewed in daylight.

5. Air Refinement Intake Filter Dedicated for air intake only, this durable composite filter removes contaminates such as sand, smoke, dust, and insects before the air enters the product.

6. Airflow System External air takes a dual path, cooling the TV screen across the front as well as the electrical components along the back. As the air takes on heat from these components, it rises and is drawn out the back of the product through a bank of ultra-quiet fans.

7. Robust Housing Aircraft-grade, light-weight aluminum construction withstands impact and cosmetic wear and tear. Powder-coated with a durable finish. Whether tested by Mother Nature or a stray baseball, the rugged build will continue to perform unscathed.

8. Protected Media Compartment Spacious media compartment has room for media boxes and cable anchors with space for hands to comfortably manage. Removable cover for easy access.

9. Weatherproof Integration Connections Designed for robust integration, weather-appropriate adapters connect video sources and control systems to an extensive array of connectivity options.

10. Speakers Speakers are protected from the elements and offer robust sound in most applications. For a more encompassing audio solution, integrate the TV with an outdoor speaker system using the built-in amplifier.

Posted by chantal Fri, 13 Jul 2012 16:13:00 GMT

10 Reasons why Sonos is great

by John Sciacca at February 10, 2012



Click here to view the full article

http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83384/10-reasons-why-sonos-is-great-1-way-to-make-it-greater/



1) Sonos understood the changing audio dynamic
For years, distributed audio was built around traditional – legacy – sources that involved CD changers, AM/FM tuners, plus maybe cable boxes or satellite tuners. These were mostly “dumb” one-way control items. Most systems offered only rudimentary play, stop, next disc, next station, preset 1 type of control. iPod changed all of that, with metadata becoming all-mighty, all-powerful, and all-important. Go on, try and control your iPod/Touch/Phone without looking at it. Not possible. You need that visual feedback. Sonos got that metadata importance early on and that network streaming – and feedback – was going to be crucial for house audio listening version 2.0.

2) It plays just about anything
When I first started ripping my audio files, I did it in Windows Media Center and turned everything into WMA files. I didn’t think anything of it. Until I got an iPod and found that I had to re-transcode everything into a format it would understand. There are lots of files types out there that aren’t MP3 and Sonos supports a gamut of them that includes just about any that a typical user is likely to encounter. All manner of lossy (MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, Audible), lossless (FLAC, ALAC), and uncompressed (AIFF and WAV). No, it won’t play any DRM-wrapped files purchased from iTunes, but that is less of an issue since the store dropped DRM a while back. (However, if you have a large library of purchased music from the iTunes store, you should check out Autonomic’s Mirage Media Server. It can be an “authorized” Apple player and will handle all that stuff.)

3) It streams just about anything
The Cloud is a giant part of audio 2.0, and Sonos supports more Web streaming music services than any other system. (If you know of a system that supports more than Sonos does, please let me know.) While some manufacturers are all, “Yeah. We do Pandora. That’s right!” and others feel all tough because they add Rhapsody and then maybe go the extra step of adding Spotify, Sonos basically says, “Hey, we’re agnostic. We’re gonna do them all. You decide which one you like instead of which one we make you pick.” The list that Sonos supports includes: Spotify, Pandora, Sirius-XM, Tune In Radio, Slacker, Rhapsody, MOG, iHeartRadio, Rdio, last.fm, Wolfgang’s Vault, BBC, NPR, Aupeo!, Stitcher and all manner of thousands of Internet radio stations. The cool thing is that THEY KEEP ADDING SUPPORT. Maybe the next big thing hasn’t even happened yet. But chances are, when it does, Sonos will be there to support it.

4 It has the way-coolest interface
I have pretty much established my reviewer-ness based on looking at user interfaces over the years and then breaking them down and finding out what’s good, what works, and what blows. This is why I love Kaleidescape and Sooloos so much. Those guys developed an interface that is just way-cool and way easy to use. A homerun interface is one that you can just hand to someone and they can just intuitively figure it out and make it work. And I’m not talking about handing it to someone who spends their days living/breathing/sweating A/V gear, I’m talking someone like my mom. Who has trouble figuring out how to read a text message or charge her digital camera. Sonos interface is this interface. Oh, and the programming time it takes to make all that magic work? Zero.

5 Control: Can’t beat ‘em, embrace ‘em
Sonos offers a handy little controller called the CR200 that looks nice and works really well. Except, you’ll probably rarely sell one. Because Sonos realized pretty early on that they could A) continue making a controller that would cost more than an iTouch and DO way less or they could B) embrace the iTouch and make a killer interface for it. I’m sure this made for some painful, sitting around the board room conversations – “We’re going to just give up on selling controllers?! Are you mad? MAD?!?!” – except it was the right decision. They still offer the CR200 for people that don’t have a separate control option and there are still benefits to it (the dedicated hard volume buttons for one, and that it isn’t likely to walk-off like an iPhone/Touch/Pad), but Sonos has embraced iOS and Android controllers in a way that sacrifices or limits nothing. Even better? Using Sonos on an iPad. The larger real-estate provides a huge array of info at a glance.

Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83384/10-reasons-why-sonos-is-great-1-way-to-make-it-greater/" target="_blank">http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83384/10-reasons-why-sonos-is-great-1-way-to-make-it-greater/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Mon, 27 Feb 2012 17:16:00 GMT

Review: Runco LightStyle LS-1 Home Theater Projector

This Runco DLP projector is an affordable home cinema luxury



January 26, 2012 | by Grant Clauser



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http://www.electronichouse.com/article/runco_lightstyle_ls-1_home_theater_projector1/



There are luxury brands that we all know—Mercedes, Louis Vuitton—and there are luxury brands that are known primarily among aficionado groups—Cohiba cigars, Sage fly fishing rods. Runco tends to be a brand that falls more in the second category. It has a reputation for offering spectacular, and spectacularly expensive, home theater projectors. For instance, at a CEDIA Expo press conference in 2011, the company spent most of the 40 minutes demonstrating a jaw-dropping projector that clocks in at over $200,000. That’s without the screen or the popcorn.

Why do I point this out—because alongside such extravagances, the company now offers a product that will get the Runco name, along with a lot of the Runco prowess, into homes for a lot less. Last year the company introduced the LightStyle line of projectors which tend to be less expensive than Runco’s other systems (though the three-chip models do get up there). They also don’t don’t look like industrial air conditioners. The LS-1 reviewed here carries an MSRP of $3,999.

Actually, being round and squat, they look a little like Roombas. That’s not a bad thing. These are stylish little projectors (you can also customize them with a color palette or team logo) that won’t look at all bad snugged up against your ceiling.

Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.electronichouse.com/article/runco_lightstyle_ls-1_home_theater_projector1/" target="_blank">http://www.electronichouse.com/article/runco_lightstyle_ls-1_home_theater_projector1/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Thu, 16 Feb 2012 17:10:00 GMT

HomeTechTell Review: Samsung UN46D7000 7000 Series Smart LED TV

by Dennis Burger at January 31, 2012 10:38 am



Click here to view the full article

http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83021/hometechtell-review-samsung-un46d7000-7000-series-smart-led-tv/

I feel like I need to apologize. Perhaps to all the friends who’ve come to me asking for TV-buying advice over the past few years. Perhaps to the consumer electronics industry as a whole. Perhaps just to Samsung, I dunno. But my mantra when asked for flat-panel buying advice has consistently been, “Buy a plasma.”

“But I love how the pictures look so much better on the LEDs at Best Buy!” they always say.

Nope. Buy a plasma.

“But LEDs are so much thinner! And sexier!”

Nuh uh. Plasma.

“But…”

Plasma.

Why? Mostly the better black levels of plasma displays. There’s also the fact that the motion of any LCD-based TV (LED-lit or otherwise) has always bugged the snot out of me. But I have to admit, the plasma that usually hangs in my bedroom goes unused most of the time. Because, quite frankly, while my media room is all light controlled and curtained up and wonderfully, deliciously, manfully cave-like (the sort of environment in which plasmas truly shine), the missus has this annoying habit of letting sunlight into the rest of the house. The horror, I know, but that’s one battle I just don’t have the energy to fight anymore.

So when Samsung asked to send me one of its LED LCDs — a UN46D7000, to be precise — to test out in the south-facing solarium that serves as my boudoir, I figured what the heck. At least a jerky, uneven, unsatisfying image is better than no image at all during the day, right?

I’m joking.

Mostly.

Honestly, I really wanted to take a closer look at why, although we tech-advice-giving gurus almost universally prefer (and more favorably review) plasma displays, LCDs universally outsell their superiorly stygian counterparts. And there has to be something to that beyond mere notions of slimmer footprints and sexier designs. I wanted to see how the other half lives.

And apparently they live with the curtains open. Because that’s really the first thing that stands out about the UN46D7000. I knew that, of course, going in. In theory, at least. Brightness is the first thing about an LED LCD that anyone mentions. But until you’ve actually sat in a sun-flooded room and seen just how vibrant an image the UN46D7000 still manages to pump out, it’s hard to wrap your head around.

And it isn’t just a bright image that the set manages to display in such difficult conditions — it’s a really incredibly watchable one, at that. After hooking up the UN46D7000, I connected my trusty Sencore analyzer, fully expecting to walk away with the sort of results that require a “yeah, but…”

No buts about it, the UN46D7000’s color rendering, in Movie mode at least, can only be described as nearly dead-on balls accurate. The set also includes a number of surprisingly advanced calibration screens and tools for color and brightness adjustment, in the event that someone fiddles with your settings and you need to get them back. Or if you want to tweak to absolute perfection. Seriously, though, set it to Movie mode and you’re off to an incredibly accurate start.

Blacks are a little harder to measure, given that the set’s LED edge lights turn off in the presence of a fully black test pattern, but I think fussing about that is sort of missing the point: the average consumer probably doesn’t even know what I mean by “measuring blacks,” and the UN46D7000 is made to cater to consumers, not tweaky reviewers. So with that in mind I popped in some Blu-rays and started fiddling with picture settings. Because, really, 99% of shoppers aren’t going to crack open the manual, so why should I?



Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83021/hometechtell-review-samsung-un46d7000-7000-series-smart-led-tv/" target="_blank">http://www.technologytell.com/hometech/83021/hometechtell-review-samsung-un46d7000-7000-series-smart-led-tv/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:19:00 GMT

Control4 New HC-800 Home Automation Hub is Powerful, Packed with Connectors

Better ZigBee performance, faster processing, lots of I/Os highlight $999 HC-800 home control processor from Control4, debuting at CES 2012; new HC-250 is Control4’s powerful new in-room controller.



By Julie Jacobson, January 10, 2012



Click here to view the full article

http://www.cepro.com/article/control4s_new_hc-800_home_automation_hub_is_powerful_packed_with_connectors/



Introduced today at CES 2012, the new HC-800 from Control4 is the company’s most powerful home automation controller yet, and it’s packed with connectors that were lacking in its predecessor, the HC-1000.

The 1U piece is “the most powerful processor we’ve ever delivered,” says product manager Kordon Vaughn, ticking off the list of features: on-screen Navigator (Control4 interface) and audio through HDMI, analog and digital outputs to deliver four independent audio zones, two RS-232 ports, six IR ports and more ….

“eSATA on the back panel is wicked! says Joey Ferrell of Tennessee Home Theater by HomeSecure, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

For seasoned Control4 dealers, the new unit could be described like this: “Take the power of the HC-1000, combine that with the features of the old HC-500 and you have a blazingly fast controller that can keep up just about anything you throw at it,” says Shawn Lemay, president of Sound & Theater, an integration firm based in Buffalo, N.Y.

In addition to its powerful processor, the HC-800 offers much better ZigBee performance than previous Control4 hubs, with an external antenna and a 20db amp to boost the wireless signal.

“Expect much faster performance,” says Vaughn. “It can process ZigBee packets much more quickly and offers much greater coverage.”

Complementing the HC-800 is the new HC-250 in-room controller with PoE for a “really clean install,” Vaughn says.



Click here to view the full article

<strong><a href="http://www.cepro.com/article/control4s_new_hc-800_home_automation_hub_is_powerful_packed_with_connectors/" target="_blank">http://www.cepro.com/article/control4s_new_hc-800_home_automation_hub_is_powerful_packed_with_connectors/</a></strong></p>

Posted by chantal Wed, 11 Jan 2012 17:08:00 GMT