CEDIA Find: BlackWire Targets Commercial Installs with New Control4 App

You could always use a Control4 home automation system to control commercial environments, but it wasn’t necessarily elegant.

Now it is. BlackWire Designs has developed an app called Quick Control meant for bars, restaurants and other commercial venues. The software is “a massively upgraded version from what we have been selling since last year,” says developer Kevin Luther. “It makes it much easier for a dealer to sell a Control4 system to a bar.”

One of the standout features of the redesigned GUI is a “Favorites” section that lets users jump to their most-used pages, like a specific room, source, device or macro. Control4 enables a similar Favorites feature but you have to toggle back and forth to get there. The “Favorites” in the BlackWire design can be ever-present on the screen, alongside the main controls.

Another good move by BlackWire is that the designers hijacked the horizontal bar at the bottom of Control4’s traditional GUI to allow more data.

“Our favorite feature is DirecTV feedback built in,” says Luther, adding that BlackWire’s DirecTV IP driver is included with Quick Control.

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Check out BlackWire’s sports bar and video wall in the Control4 booth (4949) at CEDIA Expo 2012. (Psst … use #cediacepro to get our attention.)

“This is an amazing Control 4 app with a lot of flexibility that we will use on large distributed video jobs for both residential and commercial jobs,” says Michael Dobb, an integrator with Today’s Home & Leisure Products in Mechanicsburg, Pa. “It’s super easy to finally control multiple TVs on the fly without having to change rooms in the system. Being able to stay within the app itself and not navigate away into other menus while being able to provide DirecTV channel feedback all on one page … amazing!”

Similarly, Tyler Copeland of TEC Communications in Reno, Nev., says Quick Control saved the day for a brewpub with seven TVs, four audio zones, eight video sources and 11 audio sources. That particular client wanted to view on the touchpanel what channel was playing on each TV.

“Quick Control Plus was the answer,” Copeland says. “It has exactly what my customer was asking for with the ZONE STATUS button.”
Available in Control4’s 4Store, Quick Control is available in two flavors: Plus and Pro. The Pro version gives you the same A/V features in Plus, along with controls for lighting, thermostats and blinds.

These apps, along with BlackWire’s other Control4 modules can be found here in the 4Store.

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TEC’s Copeland says, “I like it as a dealer because now Custom Buttons/Favorites are located within the app so the end user does not have to switch between the app and the control4 home screen to access the custom programming.”

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Quick Control hijacks the bottom bar of the control4 screen to provide metadata (DirecTV feedback in this case) and other features. Hit the “Source Controls” button to launch a pop-up with device controls.

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The Zone Status feature shows the current source, volume, volume controls and DirecTV feedback. Touching one of the room names takes you to that room to control other items in the space.

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BlackWire has added 23 custom icons to its GUI library, available with Quick Control

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