Home automation and home theater go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you spend a lot of time watching television—whether it’s cable or satellite, movies or sports, comedy or drama—you’ll see a huge impact in the viewing experience once you throw Control4 automation in the mix.
Order from Chaos
You’ve probably got a television, an AV receiver, a DVD/Blu-Ray player, and maybe a satellite receiver or cable tuner with a DVR. You may also have a video game console (or two) and a digital media player. Some of the media you watch probably comes from networked hard drives, and some of it undoubtedly streams directly off the Web.
Most importantly, you’ve probably got a separate remote control for every single component, and a really big coffee table to hold them all. Unless, of course, you have Control4. Injecting home automation into a home theater installation can simplify everything, giving you the power to wrangle all of the audio and video sources without having to switch remotes or remember fancy button sequences. Your authorized Control4 dealer will configure everything so your controller “knows” how it’s all connected, allowing the system to manage all the various inputs and outputs. The only thing you have to do is the popcorn.
All of this is built-in functionality that comes with every controller Control4 manufactures. If you want to add modular automation as an audio-visual component, you can also get a Sony receiver with full Control4 automation built right in.
The Total Home Theater Experience
Of course, home theater is more than just the sum of the components. Whether you’re optimizing for movies or sports or gaming, you’ll probably want to extend the experience to other parts of the house. For example, do you like the lights in the room to dim when media is playing on the screen? Since home control extends to just about every system in your house, your dealer can program the lights to dim when you press “Play” and to go up again when you press “Stop.”
Since your smart house “knows” when you’re watching something, it can respond appropriately when distractions intrude on your viewing experience. Pausing your media when the phone rings or the doorbell chimes is a perfect example. You can deal with the interruption and then get right back to whatever you were watching without missing anything.
Finally, if you have even more complex needs, such as sending multiple video streams to multiple rooms in the house, your Control4 system has the power and intelligence to handle just about anything you throw at it. Thanks to the superior power and interoperability of Control4 home automation—if you can dream it, your dealer can build it. And you can enjoy it.
Whether you’re a casual radio listener or a hardcore audiophile, music is the soundtrack of your life. But even the most sophisticated stereo systems can get neglected in favor of other options that are more portable and easier to use. The goal of Control4 is to integrate your entire audio experience so you can listen to whatever you want, no matter where you are in your home.
Audio from Any Source
It’s likely that each member of your family has different musical tastes. You probably also have different sources for the audio each of you prefers. Maybe Dad prefers streaming talk radio, while Mom likes to choose from her private collection of classical music. Your teenaged daughter might want to listen exclusively to the pop songs she has loaded onto her iPhone.
Whether you’re in the mood for streaming audio or something from networked or portable media, Control4 can accommodate you. And you can change your mind as often as you like. You can even move from room to room and have your music follow you there.
Music in Every Room
The key to a powerful music distribution system is a multi-zone Control4 amplifier. Depending on the size of the installation, you may go with a 4- or 8-Zone Amplifier, or a combination of multiple amps to take care of all the areas to which you will feed the audio. If you have speaker wires already run to all your rooms, you’re ahead of the game. If not, you can stream over your wired or wireless home network via Ethernet or WiFi Speaker Points.
And that’s not to say that music is limited to inside spaces. You can add outdoor entertaining areas and extend the reach of your music selections to the patio and even the pool!
Control4 gives you full control over everything. You can add zones to your jam session, continuing your dinnertime playlist as you move outside to enjoy the evening. You can limit the volume of certain rooms and zones, preventing your son’s heavy metal from overpowering the basketball game you’re listening to in the den.
Music for All Your Moods
Your music can even tie into the lighting moods (or “scenes”) and scheduled events that happen as a result of your home automation programming. Maybe you like to wake up gently to a certain playlist, with both the music and lighting gradually increasing over a span of several minutes. Perhaps you like to hear the day’s news headlines as you walk through the door every evening. Or maybe you like to put the baby to sleep as the music gradually fades to silence. It’s difficult to overstate the impact that total audio control can have on your lifestyle.
The goal, of course, is a listening experience that transcends devices, sources, locations and playlists. It’s all available today, with Control4.
We take lighting for granted because it’s so ubiquitous. Most rooms have overhead lights as well as task lighting in specific areas. Almost all houses have exterior lights, some of which are activated by motion controls or light sensors. Just about every room in your house is likely to have multiple lighting options, with several options for dimming and so on.
So what’s the best way to manage it all?
Control All Your Lights, From Anywhere
Control4 has a full spectrum of lighting products that allows you to control virtually any lighting fixture—large or small, interior or exterior, incandescent or CFL or LED. Your dealer will help you pick the controls you need and get them installed and programmed. They may even add keypads to control ceiling fans and other built-in fixtures such as kitchen disposals and bathroom exhaust fans. Combine lighting controls with wired or wireless keypads and outlet dimmers or switches to control lamps and other small appliances.
The name of the game here is control. Yes, you can use the switches on the wall, but that’s just the beginning. You can also create specialized controls for each room to achieve a specific lighting mood or “scene.” Each lighting scene represents a collection of settings that are optimal for a particular activity. Your living room may require an “Entertaining” scene, a “Reading” scene and another for your “Sunday Afternoon Nap.” In your bedroom you might opt for “Wakeup,” “Lazy Morning,” “Getting Ready for Bed”—and, of course, “Romance.” Your Control4 system can also pair TV, audio and comfort options with lighting scenes for total environment control.
In addition to using scenes, you can also directly control your lights via your touch screens, your TV remote, your phone or tablet and your PC. Each button on every dimmer, switch and keypad can respond to single clicks, double clicks, triple clicks and more. This provides a nearly unlimited array of options to give you total control of every light in your house.
Panelized Solution, Centralized Control
If you’re building from scratch, you might want to consider Control4’s panelized lighting system, which gives unparalleled management of all lighting in your house. Control of your house’s lighting system is centralized in specialized lighting panels. Because of this, switch and dimmer controls can minimized to maintain the clean look and feel of your home’s design. This also greatly increases the flexibility and amount of control you can have in both your in-wall and screen-based controls.
Energy Friendly for Eco-Savings
Finally, one often-overlooked aspect of Control4 variable dimmers is the ability to govern the power output of many fixtures. Most people can’t distinguish any difference between 90 and 100 percent brightness in a given room. Setting the lights in your home to default to 90 percent can save up to 850 pounds of carbon dioxide per year—which is the equivalent of not driving a car for an entire month. You’ll enjoy the energy savings on your utility bill as you appreciate the positive impact you’re making on the environment.
We take climate control for granted, expecting a home to be comfortable no matter what season it is or how bad the weather is outside. But heating and cooling your home can be expensive—especially if your HVAC system is cranking at full blast whether you’re home or not.
Senses More than Just the Temperature
One of the best things about having a smart home is its ability to respond intelligently to changing conditions. And one of the best examples of this is climate control. Many “smart” thermostats give you the option of setting minimum and maximum temperatures for various times of the day. Often you can have different programs for weekdays and weekends. But what if you’re away on vacation? What if you’re at home on a weekday because of a holiday or illness? With Control4, your thermostat can automatically sense what “mode” your house is in and respond with the perfect temperature for whatever you’re doing, whether you’re home or away.
The Control4 thermostat can also receive and respond to external input. Often the most convenient location for a thermostat is not necessarily the best place for the sensor that controls it. Your dealer can set up multiple sensors in different zones to maximize comfort and ensure that you’re not heating and cooling areas of the house you’re not using. And since you can adjust a thermostat manually from just about any device (phones, tablets, touch screens and even televisions), there’s really no need to have the thermostat anywhere that’s visible. You can hide it in a closet or basement and still be comfortable all year round.
In addition to heating and air conditioning, your dealer can supplement climate controls with additional products that can be controlled manually or automatically through your home automation system. A Control4 Wireless Fireplace Switch can enable your fireplace to be turned on from the wall or from pretty much any interface in the home (including your mobile phone, tablet or PC). Or set up a Welcome Home sequence that automatically lights your fireplace when you get home, greeting you with a cheery blaze to help you warm up and unwind.
If you have a particular room that gets a lot of sun at a particular time of the day, you can choose shades that automatically lower to keep your home from getting too hot. During the winter, custom programming can raise the shades to catch the daytime light and close them for privacy in the evening. Your Control4 system knows exactly when the sun rises and sets every day, so you won’t have to do anything to adjust the schedule as the days get shorter and longer.
Your home may be your castle, but it doesn’t have to be an impregnable fortress in order to be secure. It just needs to be smart. With Control4 and our many companion products your house can monitor itself and let you know—whether you’re home or away—if something is awry.
Make Your House Security-Aware
First things first. If you already have a security system, your dealer can configure your Control4 controller to make your existing equipment work better. Extend your security system’s functionality by adding arm/disarm capabilities straight from your door locks, your mobile phone, your touch panels, and even your garage remote control. Build in even more functionality by adding supplemental motion sensor and IP cameras that can be controlled and monitored from anywhere in the world.
If an intruder triggers an alarm, obviously your alarm company will be notified. But why stop there? Because of your Control4 connectivity, you can opt to flash all your interior and exterior lights, blaring sirens at full volume through your whole-home audio system—making your home a particularly inhospitable place for anyone who doesn’t belong there.
Safer Home, Safer Family
Smart door locks—with either push-button or touch-screen entry—are more than just a convenient way to get into your house without fiddling with keys. When used with a Control4 system they can keep you informed about who is entering your home. Your dealer can program them to secure themselves automatically so you don’t leave a door unlocked without knowing it. They can also be programmed to alert you any time they are locked or unlocked, or to send you a message when specific entry codes (such as those used by grade-school children or service personnel) are entered.
Combine automated door locks with a Control4 Exterior Door Station to see and hear exactly who is at the door, no matter where you are in the house. If you choose, you can even unlock the door without leaving your couch or your desk, letting friends in while keeping strangers safely outside.
Stake Out, Fake Out
If you’re concerned about access to specific areas in your home—such as a medicine cabinet or gun safe—your dealer can install contact or vibration sensors to inform you when an area has been accessed. And if you prefer, you can have different alerts (blinking lights or alert sounds vs. text messages or e-mails) depending on whether you are at home or away. Other sensors can monitor things like interior temperatures and moisture to alert you to problems (like a furnace failure or leaking water) that would otherwise damage your home.
Studies have shown that burglars are much less likely to attempt to enter houses that are occupied. For the times you’re not around, your dealer can set up “mockupancy” programs that turn interior lights on and off in predictable patterns (or at random), faking any would-be intruders into thinking your house is occupied. You can even opt to play music or pre-recorded “conversations” to add to the charade.
The Sum of the Parts
No single product will completely protect you or your home from harm, but it all adds up. With security products and features from Control4 and our partners, you can enjoy a greater measure of safety and peace of mind whether you’re at home or abroad.
There are two aspects to the topic of communication and smart homes. The first is the ability for you and the members of your household to communicate with each other, and with anyone who may come to visit. The second is the ability of the home itself to communicate with you—to give you information you generally need right away.
Keep Everyone Talking
Let’s deal with the people first. Whether you live in a modest apartment or a 30-room mansion, at some time or another you’re going to have to communicate with someone in another room. Yelling is an inelegant solution, and it gets less and less effective the further apart the rooms are. The obvious solution is an intercom system using Control4’s In-Wall and Portable Touch Screens. Both products allow direct room-to-room communication with both audio and video. Audio-only communication is enabled with both the 5-inch and 7-inch In-Wall Touch Screens.
Your dealer can extend the reach of your video intercom system with a Control4 Exterior Door Station. This doorbell-camera-microphone combination allows you to see and talk to whoever is at the door, without them being able to see you. Full integration with your home control system means you can pause any media that’s playing so you don’t miss anything while you deal with the interruption.
Other types of communication can also make your life that much easier. For example, the announcement system built right into Control4 controllers allows you to send out messages that are displayed on every TV and touch screen, and play alert sounds over every speaker. They can be triggered directly within the Control4 interface—with “Come to Dinner!” or “Time to Leave!” buttons, for example—or they can be scheduled and automatic, such a “Good Morning” message that includes the daily forecast and current traffic conditions. These messages and announcements are fully customizable, and can happen at different times in different rooms, and on specific days of the week.
What Your House Can Tell You The flip side of communication involves setting up your house to tell you things. Because whole-home communication is built right into every Control4 system, your dealer can configure your house to keep you informed about the things that matter most. If a moisture sensor detects a water leak in the basement, or if your garage door is left open past 10:00 p.m., wouldn’t you want to know? What about if your teenaged daughter comes in after curfew? Anything that can be monitored can trigger an alert, and the alerts can come in the form of an e-mail, a text message or an announcement that displays on every screen in the house.
Total communication isn’t the future—it’s the status quo with a Control4 smart home system.
MyHome with Anywhere Access
When people talk about a “universal remote,” they’re usually referring to a little handheld device that replaces three or four similar devices and enables them to control several audio/visual components at once. But most of us carry a “universal remote” of sorts with us everywhere we go. We call them “smart phones.” In addition to providing access to all of your texts, e-mails, bank accounts and entertainment options, your Apple iOS or Android smart phone can give you control of virtually everything in your house.
Remote Control, Remotely
One of the appealing features of a Control4 home automation system is that you can control just about anything from anywhere in the house using the MyHome app. You can adjust the thermostat from your television, change TV channels from your tablet, shut off lights from your computer or arm the security system from your phone. This is standard behavior with a Control4 system—out-of-the-box functionality that comes with every Control4 controller.
But with Control4 and a 4Site subscription with Anywhere Access, you can do all this and more—even when you’re not at home. That phone in your pocket becomes a remote that even works remotely, from just about anywhere in the world. As long as you have a data connection, you’re in control of your smart home.
Check In, Check Up
Do you really need to be able to turn on a television in Tacoma while you’re vacationing in Tahiti? Maybe not. But the ability to control anything in your house can be invaluable. Your dealer can configure your system to enable you to manage and monitor security systems, and even disable your alarm and unlock the front door if a family member needs to get inside. You’ll be able to change your home’s “mode” from afar to reduce energy consumption, or adjust the thermostat from the airport so your house is at a comfortable temperature when you arrive at home. You can run “mockupancy” sequences to fool burglars into thinking someone’s at home. Oh, and you can activate your dog’s favorite Justin Bieber audio playlist to keep him entertained.
Web-enabled smart phones have given you the world at your fingertips, 24/7. Now that world can include your house and everything in it. It’s a natural expectation, and it’s a reality today.