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  #1  
Old 12-20-2020, 04:05 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Any Control4 users out there?

I have written an IP based SageTV driver for Control4. This driver uses the commands from the WebUI to control SageTV from Control4 remotes and/or other Control4 input devices and it works quite well. Please contact me if you are interested - there is one other person using this as well.

FYI - for those wondering, Control4 is a Home Automation system that can control many aspects of your house, including AV. It is a pretty good system with one downside - it has a dealer model so you need a dealer to make additions or deletions to your system although you can do almost all of the programming yourself.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2021, 05:22 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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I have a friend who had a local company set up his AV system with Control4 about 10 or 15 years ago. His 15 year old TV just went out and I'm planning to help him get a new TV going.

What am I facing here?

As I understand it, he has a Control4 remote that turns on the entire system (receiver/TV/cable box) when he hits a button, so I assume I'll need to set up his new LG OLED TV to integrate it somehow?

I've never seen the control4 system, so any tips/tricks would be much appreciated.
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2021, 05:40 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Control4 is a Home Automation system that can control AV, lighting, and pretty much all smart devices in a home. It is a fairly high end system that works particularly well with homes that have centralized audio and/or video. It is less high end that Crestron and is more user-configurable Control4 has a bunch of their own hardware (controllers, light switches, remote controls, AV matrixes, amplifiers, etc) but it also works very well with pretty much any devices that can be controlled by Infrared, IP or serial. You generally need a Control4 driver written for a device. But you can automate all sorts of stuff - like when you push a button your TV can turn on, switch to Netflix, the lights can dim, blinds go down, etc. Or when you unlock your Control4 lock on the front door it can turn on your TV, lights, etc.

The system is technically dealer based, in that you need a dealer to add any new hardware to your system. It is not a DIY system - you can't buy C4 hardware or software other than through a dealer, but you can buy it used on ebay. If his system is 10-15 years old then he likely has a lot of obsolete hardware and I am surprised that it still works properly as some of the controllers of that era had power supplies that tended to fail, likely due to capacitor plague. The systems are generally pretty expensive to get installed, a $10,000 system would likely be considered a pretty small system, and most C4 dealers will install all of your home AV including TVs, ceiling speakers, networking, etc. Most dealers prefer a turnkey model where you tell them what you want (automated lighting, 8 TVs - 3 of the room with surround sound, ceiling speakers in 15 rooms of the house, etc, etc) and you pay $50k for everything. Dealers don't like troubleshooting existing systems since they won't make much money from that.

The normal process would be for him to call his dealer and have his dealer add the TV to his system - this would likely require a site visit. In an ideal situation the new TV is controllable via IP, but then the TV has to be set up to have a static IP address. Then he dealer could set up things like mini-apps to allow him to easily use services like Netflix, Disney+,etc.

But if his system is that old, and hasn't been upgraded then he may be out of luck. He could get the system updated but that will probably cost at least a few thousand for a new controller and some other new hardware, plus labor.

There is a Jailbreak for the system that is available but the easier to use Jailbreak is for the latest Control4 operating systems - which is OS3 which came out a couple of years ago. The Jailbreak allows you to do everything yourself, but you need to have some familiarity with how Control4 works to be playing around with the system.
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  #4  
Old 07-22-2021, 04:59 PM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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The system was upgraded in 2017.

Doesn't sound like a very friendly system if it takes more than 10 minutes to swap a television.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2021, 06:34 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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He is pretty current if he was updated in 2017. He is probably on OS 2.9 or 2.10. There was a major change with OS3 so there are some things that he can't do.

It wouldn't take 10 minutes to change TVs if you know what you are doing. It may take longer if you are adding a bunch of functionality via mini-apps. For example, if you wanted to add mini-apps for a number of streaming services then that will take a bit longer.

The other thing that could take time is finding the correct driver for your TV because there are so many model numbers for TVs - sometimes unique model numbers for a certain store, like Best Buy. That is the case when using IR or IP to control the TV.

The other thing that can take time is good network practices which don't necessarily have anything to do with Control4. For example, setting a static IP or a DHCP reservation. If you don't do that very often then it can take a few minutes to do that. If you don't do that you run the risk of everything not working if there is a power outage and your TV gets a new IP address.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2021, 10:01 AM
sic0048 sic0048 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KryptoNyte View Post
I have a friend who had a local company set up his AV system with Control4 about 10 or 15 years ago. His 15 year old TV just went out and I'm planning to help him get a new TV going.

What am I facing here?

As I understand it, he has a Control4 remote that turns on the entire system (receiver/TV/cable box) when he hits a button, so I assume I'll need to set up his new LG OLED TV to integrate it somehow?

I've never seen the control4 system, so any tips/tricks would be much appreciated.
I don't use Control4, but another automation system. When looking at TVs, your friend will probably want to look for one that has RS-232 control. In the "old days" this was done through a serial port on the back of the TV. Today, it is generally done through the network connection (even wirelessly). But the key is making sure the TV has the control software imbedded in it. Unfortunately, most TV manufactures have done away with this control software. Sony and LG still offer it on their higher end models, but I think that is about it. When I replaced my main TV last year I ended up with a Sony model (Bravia x950h) because it does have RS232 control.

Manufacturers haven't changed their control protocol language in years, so I think it is safe to assume that Control4 has both a Sony and LG TV "plugin" that would interface the software with the TV, but he should check to make sure. Without this RS232 control protocol built into the TV, he will probably have to resort to IR control of the TV which isn't as reliable as the two-way communication that RS232 offers.

(I use Charmed Quark Controller - also known as CQC - as my automation control system. It is a very robust system that was used in paid installations, but also had a robust DIY community. It was recently released to open source and is now available for free in case anyone is interest in trying something like this out. There is also a SageTV plugin to allow CQC to control Sage. I've used it for years without issue).
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Last edited by sic0048; 07-23-2021 at 10:04 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2021, 10:42 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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These aren't necessarily RS-232 protocols any more although they can be. Ideally they will use a REST API for control, not unlike the SageX API as the TV will have a webserver of sorts built in to receive commands via IP. For example, on my Sharp or TCL Roku TVs I can use a command like
Code:
curl -d '' http://192.168.1.138:8060/keypress/VolumeDown
to turn down the volume.

In the Control4 world you have drivers for each device, rather than plugins. You can find all of the LG TV drivers here - http://drivers.control4.com/solr/dri...turer:%22LG%22

That returns 3927 drivers. Hopefully the model that you are looking for is in that list. It may not be and then you have to guess and try to find what you think is a similar model. Then to install the driver you need a dealer as the software used, Composer Pro, is only available to dealers. Unless you use one of the Jailbreak hacks.
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2021, 11:48 AM
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KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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Thanks, guys.

I may end up verifying which TV is compatible with a local dealer, then physically install the TV myself and have the dealer come in and make the final hookups and programming.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2021, 11:53 AM
wayner wayner is offline
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As long as you keep the same connections (ie HDMI1 continues to be connected to the same cable box, HDMI2 continues to be connected to the same Xbox, etc) then the dealer may be able to do his work remotely. You would also have to move over any IR buds and place them over the IR receiver on the new TV, if they are used.
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