Control4 Adds New Automation Controllers

Control4 has revealed two new models to its family of automation controllers: the flagship HC-800 and the HC-250.

At the center of Control4’s updated line of controllers is the new HC-800, a flexible, multi-zone controller designed to serve as the cornerstone of any Control4 installation. The HC-800’s next-generation 1.8GHz high-performance dual-core processor delivers instantaneous, interactive on-screen control and browsing of even the largest media libraries.

While the rack-mountable HC-800 measures in at 1RU, it doesn’t skimp on connectivity with two RS-232 ports, six IR ports, and four contact and relay switches. It also features enough analog and digital outputs to deliver four independent zones of audio without the help of a secondary media player. Certified HDMI audio and video connectivity enables simple integration with the latest displays, AV receivers, and surround processors, while component video connectivity guarantees compatibility with legacy systems.

“This is a blazingly fast controller that can keep up with just about anything you throw at it,” said Shawn LeMay, owner of Sound & Theater.

Kevin Luther of Blackwire Designs said: “The HC-800 is the most impressive controller I have ever tested. The on-screen performance is simply amazing and the speed of ZigBee is unlike anything before.”

The new HC-250 also joins the controller family as a low-profile form factor, single-room controller with a next-generation 1GHz processor that delivers exceptional speed and power. The HC-250 fits easily behind a TV, on a shelf, or in a rack and features new Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability enabled by a single CAT5 cable providing the electrical power and network connectivity for the HC-250 to control the entire room, greatly simplifying installation for the integrator.

The HC-250 supports both digital audio and video over HDMI, and boasts integrated Wireless-N WiFi and ZigBee for high-performance wireless networking. The HC-250 is ideal for single-room systems including media rooms, home theaters, and conference rooms, as well as for providing fluid on-screen control for each TV in larger residential and light commercial installations.

The HC-250 makes it easier than ever for an integrator to design a one-room AV solution as an upgrade-replacement for less-functional universal remote controls. Consumers can then build upon that system at their own pace — adding additional automation and control functionality over time.

“The performance, capability and design enhancements delivered by our new controllers translate to exceptional consumer experience,” said Control4 president and CEO, Martin Plaehn. “With our new controllers, consumer can browse very large media libraries and enjoy a selected movie, song, or playlist instantly, activate lighting before their finger leaves the touch screen, and control an entire home from their TV instantaneously. It will be hard to find a more responsive and capable system, and that’s going to delight consumers.”

Debuting at CES 2012, the new Control4 HC-800 and HC-250 enhance the current controller family, which also includes the HC-200, HC-300 and the HC-1000.