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Control4 has been a force in the home automation industry for over a decade now.  They were one of the first company’s to approach the industry with a view of driving down costs of equipment and installation time.  Before their entry into the market many home automation systems were EXTREMELY expensive, highly proprietary, and difficult to program.

10 years later they are continuing to innovate with EA series of processors.  These new processors are designed to increase overall system performance with additional processing power.  But they include some additional features that we’ll dive into as well.

The Control4 EA Series

Built with substantial processing power to ensure a highly responsive smart home experience that is both scalable and upgradable, the EA series of processors include three different models from which to chose.

>The EA-1

For those just stepping into home automation there is the EA-1 which is designed for single-room control.  Included with the EA-1 is the SR-260 remote.  This system is designed to automate everything in a typical home theater or family entertainment room.

This processor is the ideal starting point for complete room control.  It is capable of handling over 9,500 connected products including sources like Blu-ray players, satellite or cable TV boxes, gaming consoles, TVs and any other product that allows for infrared control.

It also features IP (internet protocol) control for web-enabled devices like Roku, Apple TV, and more.  The unit wirelessly communicates with other more common automation equipment such as lights, thermostats, automated locks, and more.

>The EA-3

The EA-3 is a step up from the EA-1 and integrates high-performance audio into it’s structure.  This includes three audio outputs for distributing up to three simultaneous audio streams from music sources.  One HDMI, one stereo analog, and one digital coax output.

It also features an integrated music server with built in functionality for Pandora, Rhapsody, Tidal, and TuneIn.

This unit is ideally suited for mid-sized systems.  It integrates fully with other Control4 home automation products including lighting, HVAC, security and more.

You can see it’s full spec sheet here.

>The EA-5

The EA-5 is the top of the line processor designed for the largest home automation systems allowing for integration and control of hundreds of devices.  This includes an advanced must-core processor that provides instantaneous control and feedback of all your smart home devices.

As with the EA-3, it also includes on-board high-resolution audio capabilities using high quality DACs (digital to analog converters).  The integrated music server works with Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer, TuneIn, and Rhapsody.

Designed from the ground up to offer the ultimate automation experience, the EA-5 has abundant processing power and can concurrently control hundreds of automated devices.  It simultaneously allows for browsing robust music libraries, distributing high-quality audio, and controlling a multitude of devices through even the largest homes.

It can manage sophisticated interior and exterior lighting control, integrate security and communications systems, and control the climate in multiple rooms.

Click here for the EA-5 spec sheet.

Smart Home Controller Cost

The Control4 EA-1 Bundle with Control4 SR-260 remote retails for $600.  The  EA-3 controller retails for $1000, and the EA-5  comes in at $2000.  These prices do not include installation. All three come with the latest Control4 Operating System 2.8.1, and are compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices including the Apple Watch.  They are backed by Control4’s standard 2-year warranty.

If you’re looking to step into your first home automation system, Control4 provides lots of options for getting started.  And as we’ve highlighted before, they are considered the best home automation system out there.