Audio Accessories Misc

Control4 HC-250 System


Daily Use of Control4 HC-250 System

I spend far more time with my living room system than my home theater system. Watching two young kids most days, they aren't allowed in that room as it is not kid-friendly. The living room system is also surrounded by toys and adjacent to the playroom. The addition of Control4 changed this system from being used for occasional TV and movies to being used continually.

The best feature is having someone else over to the house and handing them the remote. All I say is "Choose Watch or Listen, and then choices are simple" and it is. You select Watch and you can choose from TV, Blu-ray, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and more. Selecting Listen brings up my music library, favorite stations, Blu-ray (for SACD and DVD-Audio discs), Internet Radio, and the Wireless Music Bridge. It is very simple and it works flawlessly. This interface is the same on the TV screen, a remote, or a touchscreen controller like my iPhone.

When my three-year-old son gets up in the morning, he can turn on whatever he wants to watch. He grabs the remote, selects Netflix, and then chooses his favorite titles from there. I get to watch a lot of Thomas and Friends and things related to monster trucks. He can even select his favorite playlist, Robot Music, to listen to the latest Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories. He has much better taste in music than in TV shows at this point. A full home theater system is distilled down to be simple enough for a child to use, and he can't even tie his shoes yet.

Guests also find it easy to use. Our babysitters are able to listen to their favorite music, or watch their favorite shows on Hulu Plus and Netflix. Not once have I come home to find that devices were left on or that it was too confusing to use. My Netflix suggestions might have changed, but Control4 has let them enjoy themselves instead of being stuck with a system that is too hard to control.

Adding Control4 has made my system get far more use than it ever did before. Streaming audio is easy and is utilized all day long. From my favorite Internet radio stations and podcasts with TuneIn, to playing back my entire library from my NAS in the basement, everything works. Even browsing through over 500+ albums with the SR-250 remote is possible. I can't say the same for any receiver or processor remote that I've used to date.

It's hard to describe what Control4 does in controlling my system beyond this. Everything just works. It is simple and easy to use. Even your child that is in pre-preschool can watch a movie or listen to music with it. The only issues I had were related to the Roku 3 IR sensor being poor but updating to an IP driver will likely fix those. The months spent with Control4 have been trouble-free and provided a lot more enjoyment from our entertainment system.