Published On: September 22, 2009

Control4 Unveils New Operating System - OS 2.0

Published On: September 22, 2009

Control4 Unveils New Operating System - OS 2.0

A lot of electronic and AV products were proudly shown to the world by their makers and distributors at the CEDIA Expo 2009. Among these was Control4's new operating system, OS 2.0, which makes customization and personalization even easier for users.

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Control4 just showed its second-generation operating system ("OS 2.0") at CEDIA EXPO 2009. Control4's OS 2.0 will enable new levels of customization for the installer and personalization for the homeowner. This next-generation release offers new home-control functionality, easy-to-access whole-home systems, integration of third-party applications, and improved media management. Featuring an elegant new user interface, Control4® OS 2.0 will provide Control4 integrators with its most powerful automation and entertainment solution to date.

Read more about Control4 here...


With a Flash-based software development kit (SDK) now available, the Control4 OS 2.0 will further the integration of third-party devices by adding the flexibility to design and integrate an interface to the control capabilities that is unique to the device and is delivered directly via the Control4 user interface (UI). Third-party companies can create applications that provide information to the customer, ranging from local weather and traffic reports to RSS Feeds. Installers can easily download applications that have been developed by third parties. They can also customize the interface without using the SDK, simply by taking advantage of pre-set macros and system shortcuts. The new OS 2.0 also features language localization to support the 37 countries where Control4 sells products today.

"The new Control4 OS 2.0 is at the heart of an expanding ecosystem of leading consumer electronics products designed to work together with ease," stated Control4's CEO Will West. "With this version, we make it easier to integrate partner products and applications, giving consumers and dealers a wider range of affordable options as they design scalable and powerful Control4® home-control solutions that are customized to address each user's needs."

Control4 OS 2.0 implements ZigBee® Pro standard, including the Home Automation (HA) profile, which allows a greater number of interoperable devices to be added to the Control4® system. The new OS 2.0 also implements the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard, enabling media served up by other products to be automatically available for playback within the Control4 system--improving management of video and audio files.

Read much more on Page 2

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The OS 2.0 has new whole-home capabilities to interact more effectively with media management, lighting, HVAC, and security. This enables easy expansion by third parties to support other subsystems.

The Control4 OS 2.0 consists of the following software:
- Navigator 2.0 - Updated user interface software for both Touch Screen and On Screen interface devices. Navigator 2.0 is based on Adobe ® Flash and features an elegant, easy-to-use, and customizable interface with improved whole-home functionality. 
- Director 2.0 - The core of the Control4 ® system, Director 2.0, features significant improvements to include additional security settings, updated system components, and support for the industry-standard ZigBee Pro RF communications protocol.
- Composer 2.0 - Composer 2.0 ensures that all Control4 ® solutions are easy to install and configure. Control4 has implemented a Composer 2.0 license activation, which allows authorized dealers to specify the installers allowed to use Composer 2.0 and to lock projects to prevent inadvertent changes.

Improved Media Support
- Digital Living Network Alliance- With Director 2.0, Control4 has added support for the industry-standard DLNA protocol, allowing Control4 ® systems to automatically access audio files located on DLNA servers, including network-attached storage devices and Control4 ® controller hard drives.
- Support for third-party media manager software - Control4 customers can select the media management tool of their choice (e.g, iTunes ®, Windows Media Player, MediaMonkey, and others) to manage their media. Via DLNA, updated items will automatically be reflected in Navigator 2.0.
- Improved Media Database - Director 2.0 has an updated media database featuring improved performance, scalability and user features such as song and artist selection.

Improved Third-party extensibility
- Flash-based Navigator SDK - Control4's use of Adobe Flash includes a Flash-based Navigator SDK that enables the creation of information and control applications, which can extend the Control4 solution. 
o Information Apps - Navigator 2.0 provides several information applications, including weather, temperature, and RSS feeds. The Navigator Application SDK allows Control4 and third parties to create additional applications that present information to the user of the Navigator interface.
o Control Apps - Third-party developers and Control4 dealers can create and edit control applications to provide customized control interfaces for specific devices or systems used by the customer. 
o UI customization - Customization becomes easier with the new Control4 ® OS 2.0, offering increased flexibility for integrators to do more custom programming as well as to create applications for the Control4 ® platform when a custom UI is desired.

"As the operating system for the home, Control4 brings disparate systems together to build a connected home ecosystem," concluded West. "By providing the platform for all of the electronics systems in the home to work together, Control4 makes it easy for the homeowner to enjoy effortless entertainment, energy management, comfort, convenience and peace of mind."

Read more about Control4 here...

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