Wondering where Sony would go next with its high-end line of ES receivers? The answer is apparently home automation. As we’ve seen the segment heat up with competition from companies like your cable TV provider and even Google (does anyone remember Android@Home?), Control4 and Sony have announced at CEDIA 2012 that they are partnering up to create a simpler option for the custom install market. While it doesn’t address our main gripe with Control4 — that it needs an authorized dealer to install it or tweak the setup, with all the associated costs — it does make the STR-DA5800ES (announced last week at IFA) and STR-DA2800ES receivers an easy choice for custom builds by integrating the company’s software directly into them. That means less wiring and complication for setup, and not only do the receivers themselves tie in with the system, Sony’s ES control apps for iOS and Android can also control the home’s automated features.
The necessary license to activate the software costs $ 300 if you buy it along with the receiver, which will cost $ 2,099 for the STR-DA5800ES and $ 999 for the STR-DA2800ES. Still want the ES-level build quality, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and AirPlay support but aren’t keen on home automation? Opt for the STR-DA1800ES, priced at $ 699 — more details are in the press releases after the break.
Gallery: Sony, Control4 ES reciever @ CEDIA