Best known for home automation, Control4 has a new system to make it easier for people to get multiroom music into their homes with a new audio streaming device.
In Amsterdam at the ISE show, Control4 is introducing the new Wireless Music Bridge, a small $300 box that streams virtually anything the user has on their smart device or computer.
“It supports Bluetooth, DLNA and Airplay and of course Wi-Fi and Ethernet,” says Kordon Vaughn, director of Control4 Listen & Watch Products. “Anything you can stream, you can get into the system.”
While plenty of other products can stream a variety of formats, Vaughn says the Control4 product is “pretty unique,” especially at this price because of the breadth of devices and content it supports – not to mention all of the content and devices can be accessed through any of the Control4 interfaces including a television.
Full metadata including cover art are supported as well.
Each box streams one device at a time, including any content or service available through that device – Spotify, Pandora, whatever.
The Wireless Music Bridge is expected to ship in Q2 of this year.
TuneIn Coming with OS 2.4
Also on the “listening front,” Control4 announced at ISE its support of the TuneIn music service, which streams 70,000 traditional and internet-only radio stations throughout the globe, as well as millions of on-demand podcasts, concerts and interviews.
“The TuneIn service is huge internationally,” says senior marketing VP Susan Cashen. “Every new Control4 system will support it.”
The service will launch with the release of the forthcoming OS 2.4, which will follow quickly after the recent release of OS 2.3. The new version should be available this April. Legacy controllers will need to upgrade to 2.4 to enable the TuneIn service.
Between the new streamer and TuneIn, Control4 supports “a massive amount of relevant content around the world,” Cashen says. “If I happen to subscribe to Spotify, Pandora or another service, it can connect.”
The company also introduced some new lighting control products, including customizable wall keypads that can even be backlit (so you can see them clearly in the dark). A new 8-channel, Adaptive Phase Dimmer module includes automatic, adaptive phase control technology to support new technologies such as dimmable fluorescent, CFL’s and LED sources as well as legacy light sources such as incandescent, halogen, and low voltage. The Panelized Lighting solution effectively controls LED lighting loads, which are rapidly replacing incandescent and halogen lights as an energy-saving alternative.
Check out some of the new keypads in the picture below.
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.
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