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PC Controller?


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wondering if there is a way to use the PC that's in my component rack as a controller for a HTC. The Pc is hooked to a touchscreen monitor, and i want to be able to have the C4 GUI on that screen and be able to control it

PC is running off xp if that makes a difference, hooked serial to the PC.

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Only way you could do this is with a Navigator Emulator... C4 has an internal testing product called Win Navigator, Unfortunately it's not released and I'm not sure if it will be released in the near future.

There are some third party companies coming out with external control of C4 via the SOAP/XML Protocol. This will all be over IP.

Right now if you wanted to control the c4 system you could use the IR in and use software on the PC to emit IR codes. You can program those codes to do anything on the C4 system.


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Another option would be the new Slingbox Pro. Connect it to the video out of the HTC. I'm currently looking into this but need to get Slingbox programmed with the new Composer 1.3 Room IR commands.

Also, you could hook it up to a matrix switch and a C4 HTC, you could stream all your media and control your house on a laptop.

Slingbox Pro


Program Slingbox IR


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Along a similar vein...

I've always wondered why the PC seems to have been left out of the equation with coming up with a Control4 solution. I mean, it should be extremely rare when you have an installation that doesn't have a PC present (probably multiple PCs). PCs should be a perfect fit. They can do all kinds of activities, they can talk to the network, and they are used alot by the clients. Why ignore this great asset that should be available most of the time? Is this some kind of positioning by Control4 so that they are only ones that can provide anything to do with their automation equipment? Control4 can't seriously think that they could hold on to such a position. It also appears to be inconsistent with what I've been hearing from Control4 lately. They have been annoucing more and more third-party offerings and have even dropped their own Serial/IR Extender product in favor of third party offerings. That was a smart move. Why try to be everything to everyone. Let other vendors (and even the consumers) add value to your products by being able to integrate.

Using the PC has a lot of advantages both in talking to Contrl4 equipment and in receiving requests from Control4 devices. It will also allow for even faster integration of other non-Control4 automation equipment. Much of that equipment already has software that allows control from a PC. You should be able to tell Contrl4 equipment to tell the PC to do something that controls some other device.

Here's what I was thinking. The best solution would be to integrate the PC straight into the Zigbee network. It could be done through an ethernet connection to an HTC, but that means Control4 would have to come up with some kind of API to allow for controls.

Here's a simple USB dongle that would handle all the hardware and networking needed to get a PC connected to a Zigbee network. It sells for $75.


The Control4 equipment are sending simple commands back and forth to each other across Zigbee. Control4 could publish a list of the commands that are sent. Then the only thing that would be missing would be a piece of software sitting on the PC that would need to be developed that would manage the sending and receiving of commands. It doesn't need to be some great GUI kind of thing. Something basic for now, where you can receive any command sent and react by sending any command or series of commands back out.

Is see this as really putting things on the fast track to having Control4 easily work with a lot of other equipment. One thing that I see an immediate benefit from is being able to use the Control4 remote (which uses Zigbee) to control the PC. I have people that use the Slingbox on a PC and it would be nice to use the Control4 remote to control the video on the PC.

Anyways, food for thought. Maybe people have some other ideas.


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Dan..i completely forgot, the IR is working on 1.3 HTC now, correct?

if this is the case, is there any type of program that i would pull up thats kind of like a designer software, where i can make "buttons" and have that button emit a specific IR code?

sounds like alot of programming, but very do-able....any recommendations on a IR emitter for a pc?

the programming doens't bother me so much if it ends up more what i want. actually a good thing as i really want to learn the C4 programming

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this product looks very promissing...but it looks to be a product to replace control 4, right? if i wanted to intergrate, id not only need the programs but there global cache to blast IR commands even if the computer is in my HT rack

if you have any input on this let me know, this product is very confussing right now and im trying to find out its possibilities and uses, whats needed...etc.

thanks for the recomendations guys!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Is it possible to create a custom C4 232 module or TCP/Telnet module so I can control the C4 gear using a Crestron or AMX? SOAP/XML would work also, but just wondering if it's possible. If not via network commands, can we setup some macros with an IR command, and launch the Macro's via IR from our universal remote?

Basically, we would do all of the macro's and programming in C4, and be able to call them using our own interface. Any suggestions would be helpful.


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