Control4’s new entertainment automation system

Control4’s new entertainment automation system

Control4 is best known for its whole-home automation services, but its newest offering is a single box that promises to smarten up your home’s entertainment capabilities. The new Control4 EA Series (that’s “EA” for “entertainment and automation”) line of connected home controllers will range from $600 for a single-room setup to $2,000 for a unit powerful enough to smarten up a large home.

Each offering in the EA Series acts like a hub for your home entertainment. The system is compatible with over 9,500 connected home products — including entertainment devices ranging from Blu-ray players and gaming consoles to cable boxes and streaming gadgets such as Roku or Apple TV.

The EA Series pitch: control all of it — along with your smart home gadgetry — using a single remote and a single app. That means, for example, you’ll be able to set your lights to dim automatically when you start watching a movie, then dim back up when you press pause or stop.

The ports on the EA-1, EA-3, and EA-5 — again, from top to bottom.Control4

Music is another major point of focus for the EA Series. Each server features native support for a number of streaming services, including Pandora, TuneIn and Napster (Spotify is a notable omission). You can also stream music from your phone, tablet or external hard drive, including support for high-fidelity, lossless formats such as FLAC.

Control4 is also showcasing a feature called “Shairbridge,” which uses Apple’s Airplay feature to stream music from any iOS device throughout customized zones in the home. The idea is that you’ll be able to use AirPlay as you normally would, but stream your music to multiple rooms at once. The rub is that you’ll need to upgrade past that $600 base model — which only supports a single audio stream — to take full advantage of it.

That $600 model is called the EA-1. Next in the series is the EA-3, which supports three audio streams and costs $1,000. Finally, there’s the $2,000 EA-5 which can wrangle — you guessed it — five audio streams at once. The EA-1 comes packaged with the SR-260, Control4’s take on the universal home remote.

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BE AS SMART AS YOUR HOME

BE AS SMART AS YOUR HOME

What does a Smart Home look like? You may not be able to tell from just a quick glance.

Often, these homes are indistinguishable from standard homes. Sometimes you can only tell from looking at the homeowners — they look happy and relaxed because they have more peace of mind and more free time on their hands.

What can making your home smart do for you?

Save You Money

Investing in smart home technology can save you money in several ways, but the most common is by controlling your HVAC. Sure, you may have a programmable thermostat now, but it’s not the same. A smart thermostat learns the comfort levels and habits of your entire family, adjusting to your needs more and more precisely as time goes on.

Plus, you can set the more advanced systems to different temperatures in different rooms, providing more individualized comfort and saving energy at the same time.

Remote control for your blinds or shades also saves money, primarily by either letting in or keeping out the sunlight, depending on the season. You can also save money by having your system turn lights and electronics off when no one is using them.

Save You Time

Once you program your preferences into your system, you don’t have to think about them again unless you want to make a change. Your lights will come on and go off, your thermostat will adjust, your doors will lock — all on their own.

Protect Your Family and Belongings

A good security system is a necessity in this day and age. The types available with smart home technology are better than a live security guard, because there’s no room for human error.

These systems can be set up to arm every window and door in your home, plus provide live, streaming video of any potential intruders, not to mention calling the police for you. The only thing these systems can’t do is cuff the burglars and transport them downtown — yet.

Provide Convenience

Do you really want to get out from under the covers to close the blinds when the moon moves right in front of the window while you’re trying to watch your favorite show? What if the dog is waiting for its dinner, but you’re just getting to the good part? Just stay comfortable and press a button.

Make Your Home Fun Again

’Tis the season for colored lights, and not just on the bushes out front, but in your foyer and living room and anywhere else you want a blast of color. Stream music into the bathroom and switch the song with a simple voice command. You know you love giving orders, and your family isn’t going to follow them, so rely on a smart home system to recognize who’s the boss.

If you want your home to be smart, come visit the experts here at Theatron Home Theater and Smart Home Automation. We can make your dreams of a smart home a reality.

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HOW A CONTROL4 SMART HOME HELPS SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER

HOW A CONTROL4 SMART HOME HELPS SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER

With the holiday decorating, shopping, and cooking in full swing, there has never been a better time to automate your home. Home automation can help you manage the wonderful chaos, entertaining your family when they come to visit, setting that special ambiance that inspires the holiday spirit, and keeping your valuables and loved ones more secure than ever. Control4 can help you custom design your smart home to sync with your existing products and spread the holiday cheer.

Light Up Your Home

Home automation allows you to step up your game when it comes to holiday decorating and setting the vibe for the season. You can sync your lights to your holiday playlist, customize your holiday tunes to play at certain times of day, and completely control the light patterns and colors to fit your decorating visions. Home automation can help you make all of your holiday decorating dreams come true.

Share the Classics

An automated home theater system helps you share the classics like never before. With the push of a button on the Control4 Touch Screen, your living room sets itself up for prime viewing. The shades lower, the lights dim or turn off, and the movie begins. If cooking and other activities are going on throughout the home, no one has to be left out of the viewing-you can stream the classics to all of the rooms. If you prefer newer movies, you can also stream the latest hits or newest holiday releases.

Spend More Time with Loved Ones

With smart timers, alerts, and synced appliances, you can spend less time turning things on and off and more time enjoying the company of your loved ones. With the right oven, you can keep an eye on what’s cooking, control your oven and stove settings, and receive alerts about the food right from your phone. You can also control all of the lights in the house from your Control4 Touch Screen and set up timers to lock doors, change the temperature, raise or lower blinds, and many other functions.

Sleep in Peace

When it is time for bed, an automated home can set security systems, lower blinds, and lock doors with the push of a “Goodnight” button. With compatible cameras tied to the Control4 system, you can look at security views or check in on the baby, right from the Control4 App. You can also adjust fans and make sure all lights are off from the comfort of your bed.
If you are interested in finding out how a personalized Control4 smart home can make the holidays more enjoyable—along with every other day of the year—give us a call at 703-883-0970 or contact us.

 

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SMART THERMOSTAT VS. PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS

SMART THERMOSTAT VS. PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS

What makes a smart thermostat so much smarter than a programmable one? A more flexible schedule, a wider variety of features and ease of use, to name a few.

Some years ago, when many homeowners upgraded from old, dial thermostats to a digital, programmable ones, they gained some advantages. Getting up on cold, dark mornings to turn up the thermostat became a thing of the past, like stoking the embers. Programmable thermostats have your home at the temperature you want it when your alarm goes off, making it that much easier to get out of bed.

Handy, Not Revolutionary

Programmable thermostats also allow you to keep the house cooler (or warmer, in summer), while you are at work during the day, but have it toasty again for you when you arrive home. Like a programmable coffee pot, these features allow you to have what you want when you want it, but realistically, it’s not greatly different from flipping a switch yourself and waiting a few minutes.

While convenient, a programmable thermostat that saves you the trouble of walking over to the control unit to turn your HVAC up or down is not likely to make huge difference in your life, or your energy bill. Smart thermostats are a bit different, however.

Control4 Programmable Smart Thermostat, Great Falls Virginia, McLean Virginia

Control4 Smart Thermostat
click image to enlarge

Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation Great Falls Virginia, McLean Virginia

Nest Thermostat
click image to enlarge

Savant Smart Thermostat, Great Falls Virginia, McLean Virginia

Savant Smart Thermostat
click image to enlarge

More Control

Programmable thermostats generally give you a limited number of schedules — sometimes only one. This is fine if you keep to the same schedule every day, but if you do, you don’t really need a fancy thermostat anyway.

Smart thermostats allow you to choose a variety of options for schedules during the week and on weekends. You may not get home from work until six, but maybe your kids get home from school at 3:30 — except on days they work (which change every week) or have practices or rehearsals, which change every season, or sometimes even more often. Or what if you’re expecting them home, but they go to friends’ houses instead, leaving your house at a balmy 72 degrees for hours with only the goldfish to benefit?

Last-minute schedule changes can leave your home too hot or too cold and waste money. Smart thermostats allow you to log in to your system from work or from your phone and make any necessary changes to the temperature in your home.

Knowledge is Power

An indirect way smart thermostats can help you save money is by tracking your energy consumption and making this data available to you. This way you can see how much energy you are consuming and whether it is in line with your past usage.

If you find, for instance, that it takes more than an hour to bring your home’s temperature up or down to the requested level, you might learn that something’s wrong with your furnace or air conditioning.

If you find your heat usage spikes between 3 and 5 p.m. when your kids are playing video games in the basement, you may save money installing extra insulation or instructing them to don sweatshirts before retiring to the subterranean level.

A smart thermostat will give you better control over your home’s energy usage and help you save money. To find out more about smart thermostats and how they can help you, stop in and talk to the experts at Theatron Home Theater & Smart Homes Automation.

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CONTROL4’S SLEEK NEW TOUCH SCREENS

CONTROL4’S SLEEK NEW TOUCH SCREENS

Control4  NEW user interface hardware and capabilities including whole-home HD Video Intercom, wireless Smart Climate Control, sleek Touch Screens, and a redesigned Handled Remote system.

Control4 Video Intercom

Touch Screens

The new touch screen control units come in 7″ and 10″ for wall-mount, or a 7″ table top portable model. All feature sleek minimalist design, with edge to edge glass, HD cameras for Video Intercom, and 2x the screen resolution.

Control 4 Remote and Interface

Handheld Remote

The newly redesigned handheld remote system improves upon the current model with a larger screen, customizable buttons, and other improvements for whole-home automation control.

 

Control4/Aprilaire Wireless Thermostat

Developed with Aprilaire, the new wireless thermostat increases climate control and energy management abilities with support for ‘modern HVAC systems, including geothermal, dual fuel, and humidity control systems.

 

OS 2.8

The brains behind the brawn, the OS 2.8 software update powers all the new features and hardware with a more modern graphical design.

 

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HALLOWEEN HARMONIES FOR SMART HOME STREAMING

HALLOWEEN HARMONIES FOR SMART HOME STREAMING

As you may have heard, Control4 has just released native support for Pandora, Deezer and TIDAL, joining our already native streaming services of Napster, Rhapsody and TuneIn.

So it seemed fitting that with Halloween just a few nights away, we give you quick-access to some streaming stations that we have cherry-picked for you—all complete with scary (or fun) sounds and songs to play for your door-to-door tricksters or party-goers.

Here are a few soundtracks and playlists from Pandora, Rhapsody, TIDAL & TuneIn—sorry Deezer-lovers, the service isn’t available in the states just yet, so we weren’t able to help with your playlist picking, but we’re sure you’ll find some good picks below!
(NOTE: Some of these services require a subscription.)

Happy Halloween!

PANDORA

Fun: Halloween Party Radio
Instrumental: Spooky Symphonies
Family/Kids: Family Halloween Radio

RHAPSODY

Fun: Best Ever Halloween Party Album
Instrumental: Halloween Horror Themes
Family/Kids: Disney’s Halloween Hits

TUNEIN

Fun: Halloween Classics
Instrumental: Halloween Radio Movies & Soundtracks
Family/Kids: Halloween Radio Kids

TIDAL

Fun: Trick or Treat: The Best Spooky Halloween Music
Instrumental: Halloween: Very Scary Music & Horror Theme Songs
Family/Kids: Halloween Kids

Have any other favorites we missed? Share them with us below and we’d be happy to share them on our social media channels.

And if you aren’t experiencing whole home audio from Control4 yet, visit ourdealer locator to find a home automation professional near you who can show you what you’re missing!

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