Top end home automation company Control4 has launched a low cost entry level home automation and home theatre controller.The device, which is being sold via mass retailers in the USA, uses Control4’s operating system to deliver control of lighting, climate, security and appliances, while providing access to video and music collections, gaming systems, streaming content and energy management information.
It is not known when the product will be launched in Australia. In recent weeks both Bunning and the new Woolworths Master hardware group have said that they are set to expand their range of SmartHouse control devices as they ramp up sales of their electrical ranges.
At the same time Control4 is taking orders from its 2,000 custom dealers worldwide, it is also rolling out the new controller in 280 Magnolia Home Theatre stores inside Best Buy nationwide with a special $50 off promotion on all its controllers with purchase of a wireless thermostat, switch or dimmer.
In the USA Control4 has built in-store kiosks in an effort to educate consumers on how the new controller can be used.
Control 4 claims that the HC-250 Controller extends automation beyond media entertainment devices. The unit uses Control4’s operating system to deliver intuitive control of lighting, climate, security and appliances.
Users can interact with their Control4 system using on-screen navigation via a TV, or via dedicated in-wall and table top Control4 touchscreens, or via a tablet or smartphone. This is achieved by downloading the Control4 My Home application.
The HC-250 controller can be hidden behind a TV, on a shelf or in a rack. With a 1GHz processor, the HC-250 delivers good processing speed allowing users to quickly activate lighting, control the entire home, or browse large media libraries and select a movie, song, or playlist quickly.
The controller features new built-in Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability enabled by the single Cat 5/Cat 6 cable. Additionally, the HC-250 supports both digital audio and video over HDMI (2 audio outputs – 1 analogue and 1 HDMI, plus 1 analogue audio input), and offers integrated Wireless-N Wi-Fi and ZigBee for wireless networking. The HC-250 Controller also includes support for up to 4 IR (or 2 IR and 2 Serial) devices as well as a USB port for outboard connection to external storage of music, pictures and more.