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Control4’s New HC-800 Home Automation Hub is Powerful, Packed with Connectors

Better ZigBee performance, faster processing, lots of I/Os highlight $999 HC-800 home control processor from Control4, debuting at CES 2012; new HC-250 is Control4's powerful new in-room controller.


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Introduced today at CES 2012, the new HC-800 from Control4 is the company’s most powerful home automation controller yet, and it’s packed with connectors that were lacking in its predecessor, the HC-1000.

The 1U piece is “the most powerful processor we’ve ever delivered,” says product manager Kordon Vaughn, ticking off the list of features: on-screen Navigator (Control4 interface) and audio through HDMI, analog and digital outputs to deliver four independent audio zones, two RS-232 ports, six IR ports and more ….

“eSATA on the back panel is wicked! says Joey Ferrell of Tennessee Home Theater by HomeSecure, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

For seasoned Control4 dealers, the new unit could be described like this: “Take the power of the HC-1000, combine that with the features of the old HC-500 and you have a blazingly fast controller that can keep up just about anything you throw at it,” says Shawn Lemay, president of Sound & Theater, an integration firm based in Buffalo, N.Y.

In addition to its powerful processor, the HC-800 offers much better ZigBee performance than previous Control4 hubs, with an external antenna and a 20db amp to boost the wireless signal.

“Expect much faster performance,” says Vaughn. “It can process ZigBee packets much more quickly and offers much greater coverage.”

Complementing the HC-800 is the new HC-250 in-room controller with PoE for a “really clean install,” Vaughn says.

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Control4's new HC-800 home automation hub and HC-250 in-room controller are packed with connectors and boast better performance than predecessors (click to enlarge).
With its next-gen 1 GHz processor, the “wicked fast” unit can serve as an HC-800 extender for an “instantaneous Navigator experience” or serve as a standalone piece for a rich home theater controller with a Control4 remote, Vaughn says.

It too features better ZigBee performance, along with two audio outputs for modest multiroom audio, four IR ports, a couple of relays and 802.11n WiFi.

The HC-800 will “retail” for $999 and Control4 is taking orders now for February delivery. The HC-250 will ship in Q2 for $599.

Control4 Touchscreens with Video Intercom


In addition to the new controllers, previewed by CE Pro prior to CES, Control4 is demonstrating its new in-wall and portable touchscreens with built-in video intercom. The products were previewed at the CEDIA Expo in September 2011. (Read: The Big To-do Over $999 Portable Touchscreen from Control4)

The system, which includes door stations with built-in cameras, delivers full-motion video inside and around the house.

Vaughn says the audio is exceptional, thanks to wideband audio for better intelligibility, and beam-forming for noise cancellation.





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Article Topics

News · Product News · Audio · Distributed Audio · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Events · CES · Intercom · Control4 · Ces 2012 · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

4 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by jberger  on  01/10  at  08:31 AM

The HC-800 is without a doubt, blazing fast. I replaced 3 controllers with a single HC-800 and the cpu is still below 10% utilization. It’s running everything in the house with plenty of capacity to spare.

The new form factor, CPU/zigbee performance and I/O package are a great fit and the homeowner gets far better performance for about 1/2 the cost of the previous generation of products.

It’s going to be a great year for C4 dealers, the combination of Software and new Hardware is fantastic and gives a tremendous value for the homeowner.

Posted by Kevin Luther - BlackWire Designs  on  01/10  at  09:08 AM

The new controllers and touch screens are amazing. A massive step in the market. Dealers will love the new gear!

Posted by 39 Cent Stamp  on  01/10  at  12:01 PM

If there is one thing you can say about Control4 its that they have someone with a brain running the interface department.

Creating the polished UI that you see on current devices was the first step. The second was mimicking the clean look of the iPad/android tablets. The intercom/door station features are very cool.

I dont have any personal experience with their black boxes so i cant comment on reliability, features etc but i bet their interfaces sell plenty of systems.

Posted by pierre van der merwe  on  07/12  at  08:53 AM

can anyone please help me i dont get internet on my hc800 but i can update and i can log into my hc800

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