Audio Accessories Misc
- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 21 August 2013
Control4 vs. Universal Remotes
Control4 specializes in home automation, not universal remote controls. So how are they different? A universal remote is designed to follow the steps you give it for an activity. You tell it that to watch a Blu-ray; it needs to send power to three devices, what inputs you need to change to, what component controls the volume and to set the controls to work the Blu-ray player. It doesn't know more than that; it just simply repeats those steps.
Control4 is built upon knowing the components of your system and how they interact with each other, not just the steps necessary for an activity. It not only knows the manufacturer and model of components that you have but how they are connected to each other. It knows what activities a component can perform, and can have different actions for those different activities. It can also communicate with supported devices to determine their current power status, input and volume level.
Control4 also can go far beyond replacing your universal remote. If you desire, it can control your lighting systems, HVAC system, and more. You can integrate it into your security system, allowing an image of who is at the door to pop-up on-screen when you are watching TV. You can control a whole-house, distributed AV system from a single remote control if you wish. You don't need to do any of this, but the ability is there.
The key is tying all of this together in a single, uniform interface. Anyone can now go down to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up a universal remote, some light controls, and a Nest thermostat. Once installed do they work together, or do you have three new interfaces that don't communicate and you control individually?