While the regular upgrade cycle of electronics often occurs with very little in the way of true innovation between one product and the next, the T3 series of touch panels from Control4 offer a big step up from previous generations. Not only are they elegant in their design, but they offer a significant improvement in performance and functionality as well.
Control4 was one of the first home automation companies to offer a touch screen panel that had a surface entirely made up of glass. Most products typically have some sort of plastic bezel around the edge of the touch screen surface. While many models from Crestron and other manufacturers looked good, the stylish design of the T3 screens is definitely a notch above.
On top of the aesthetic improvements there has also been a significant improvement in performance. Video streaming, page transitions, and feedback have all been enhanced by faster processing that is native to the panel.
John Pickering of Pickering Home Theater & Audio in Orlando has started using these panels in the majority of their installations. Because they are so sleek and elegant they can literally be put practically anywhere in the house without affecting the look of a room.
One of the most compelling reasons to use a solution like this from Control4 is that it requires very little in the way of customization by dealers to integrate a highly functional and easy to use automation system.
One of the biggest complaints over the years of Crestron dealers is that so much work is required on the programming side of projects to build a system. Control4 has always been more of a plug and play solution. While they don’t offer the level of customization that Crestron does, this often translates to more profitable jobs for dealers, and more robust and reliable systems for homeowners.
The capabilities of the C4 panels is pretty impressive. One of the biggest hits amongst consumers is the ability to stream video directly to the panel. This means that any camera whether it be IP or standard video can be streamed to and viewed from the panel. This is extremely helpful in larger homes when customers want to be able to view cameras without having to turn on TV’s or other displays.
While the graphics set has not significantly changed in the last few years, the functionality is very efficient. Most functions are within a couple button presses from the main menu of the panel. The faster processing built into these panels mean that transitions between pages are seamless.
Data from sources such as music or movies servers is also instantaneous as well. For those that remember the early days of two way communication devices such as the Fireball from Escient, you will remember that streaming song data used to be laborious and fickle. Now by the time the page has loaded, the meta data for the media you are browsing has loaded as well.
C4 has done a phenomenal job supporting their dealer base with high quality products. Failure rates even on brand new products are remarkably low. Out of the box functionality allows dealers to get a system up and going quickly. This helps to ensure a high level of profitability on a wide range of jobs.
This has translated to a very loyal customer base and a fast-growing business. Home automation wouldn’t be where it is today without such strong innovative practices.
Find more information at
Pickering Home Theater & Audio
2211 Lee Rd
Winter Park, FL 32789