At this week’s CEDIA Expo in Denver, home automation developer Control4 introduced its new HC-200 home automation control unit. What’s surprising about the HC0-200 isn’t so much the wealth of home automation possibilities it offers, but it’s sub-$500 price tag in a field traditionally dominated by expensive hardware controllers.
“We believe the HC-200 sets a new standard of affordability for home automation,” said Control4 CEO Will West, in a statement. “The evolution of our Home Controller line highlights Control4’s commitment to providing flexible alternatives to fit the different needs of homeowners and in the case of the HC-200 will open the door to new customers who are ready for something more capable than a simple universal remote.”
The HC-200 features a Control4 onscreen interface, audio outputs (for streaming sound from a digital music collection to TV, home theater, or AV receiver), Ethernet and ZigBee communications (Wi-Fi available as an option), a USB port for add-on storage or peripherals, audio inputs, and a sleek one-unit rack-mount design. The idea behind the HC-200 is that it can control lights, temperature, security, and multi-room music (even the Rhapsody streaming service) all from a single SR 150 RF remove. The HC-200 offers enough power to handle a compact installation, or act as a secondary controller in a more elaborate home automation setup. And its $499 price tag makes getting into the world of home automation a simpler choice for consumers who have been sitting on the fence.
At CEDIA, Control4 also touted its 7-inch Portable Touch Screen controller, designed to complement its existing 10-inch Portable Touch screen and wall-mounted control units. The Touch Screen provides access to the entire palette of home automation capabilities, including home theater control, multi-room music, environmental control, security systems, lighting, and more. Control4 expects to ship the 7-inch Portable Touch Screen by the end of the year for $1,495.
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