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CEDIA Expo 2008: Control4 Adds Wi-Fi Touchscreens

9/04/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Control4 is expanding its touchscreen lineup here at the Expo and introducing its lowest cost home automation controller to date.

The $495-suggested Home Controller HC-200 is intended to control a home theater room or a small whole-house control project, the company said.

Like the company's more expensive models, it operates connected home theater equipment, lighting, security, HVAC, and multiroom audio systems. It is the company's first controller designed for mounting behind a wall-mount TV, and it is backward-compatible with existing Control4 products and feature high-definition on-screen output.

Other controllers include the $699 HC-300, $1,495 HC-500 with built-in HDD, and $2,995 HC-1000.

All of the controllers are based on industry standards such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and wireless ZigBee to simplify the installation of multiroom-audio and home-control systems. The $2,995 HD-1000, for example, is a home controller, music server, and DVD-management system that distributes music from its embedded server and from connected legacy sources to Ethernet- or Wi-Fi-connected tabletop clients. The HC-1000 also controls ZigBee-equipped home systems through an embedded ZigBee transceiver. An embedded database of control protocols enables it to control thousands of other-brand RS-232-based home systems.

The integrated systems can be controlled from tabletop and in-wall touchscreens available in ZigBee and Ethernet/Wi-Fi versions. One such touchscreen is a new $1,495-suggested 7-inch Wi-Fi-equipped portable model with 16- by 9-inch screen at a suggested $1,495. It joins a smaller Mini Touch Screen model. The 7-inch portable is also available as a wall-mount version at $1,195 with built-in Ethernet port and Wi-Fi. The new model features a screen-saver function that doubles as a digital picture frame.

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