Excuse me if I sound slightly sarcastic. I love Sony, their ideas, innovation and at least a few of their products. This announcement showed up in my inbox today: “Sony ES Receiver with built-in full Control4 automation”. Being the control freak that I am, I followed the link to Sony’s site and found out…wow. So, you can control all your A/V devices, lighting, environmentals, and do it from your phone? wow. (Can’t even bother to capitalize that one, and certainly on exclamation point!!!) What’s the big deal?
Welcome, Sony, to the already pre-existing world of Home Automation. We’re glad you finally made it, now take a seat at the back, sit and learn.
Here’s the link…have a look, and while you do, mentally substitute “Sony” and “Control4” with “iRule”. http://discover.store.sony.com/ES/home-automation.html
Frankly, this kind of thing anything but new. The first time I turned on a light from a computer was 20 years ago. About an hour later I did it over a dial-up phone line. A couple of years later I did it by voice command.
Today, Platinum Control based on iRule does all of the things Sony and Control4 do and a few things more, like integrate Sonos control, Lutron lighting, Centralite lighting, X-10 and Insteon lighting, thermostat control, video cameras, door access, and basically control anything else that runs on electricity and even some that don’t.
The thing is, Sony provides a control processor built into an AVR. Nice touch, but unnecessary. iRule doesn’t need a control processor at all, just a couple of inexpensive interfaces, or just one if you only are controlling a single room system. When we integrate with Centralite Lighting control, there’s still no need for a lighting control processor, and no expensive repeaters anywhere in the house. Your scenes and presets stay inside the dimmers which talk to each other and create a mesh network. You can even shut down iRule and run your lighting functions and scene presets stand-alone. No special wiring either, it all drops right into existing switch boxes.
Who needs a controller? Oh, and by the way, we NEVER see the blue circle of death. Sorry, Control4, we don’t have that feature.
Not even going to talk price here, except to say Platinum Control beats them all.
Welcome, Sony, and hello again Control4. Enjoy the empty seats at the back row.