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Caavo, the startup behind Control Center, a set-top box designed to unify disparate streaming devices, today detailed an upcoming firmware update that will enable support for Google Nest camera viewing, integration with Sonos speakers, and universal search on smart TVs like Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV (including Dolby Vision models). Caavo also announced a new Control Center SKU that packs in its premium service plan, which previously retailed separately for $4 per month or $129 for a lifetime subscription.
“Control Center puts all of your content in one place, and now everything else in your connected home as well,” said cofounder and CEO Andrew Einaudi in a statement. “You can now watch your Nest camera, search your Sonos playlists, and watch all your favorite entertainment across live and streaming TV on the best screens in your home.”
When the software update rolls out in earnest in the coming days, Control Center users who have a Nest Cam handy will be able to watch a live feed either in windowed or full-screen mode. As for Sonos customers, they’ll be able to connect to any Sonos speaker and launch playlists and favorites, as well as playing and listening to music directly from Control Center, thanks to Caavo’s newly secured Works With Sonos certification.
In other improvements, Control Center’s Telescope, an in-home monitoring tool that lets parents use a Control Center to view what’s playing on a TV connected to another Control Center, now lets users speak to each other via the Control Center remote and send on-screen messages and replies. A new feature — Dictation Mode — taps computer vision to enable users to say what they’re searching for in any app or device across Roku, cable and satellite TV, and Apple TV by pressing and holding the remote’s Share button. And in addition to enhanced content discoverability, device set-up, and general navigation experiences, Control Center now boasts the DirecTV On Demand catalog and direct linking to that content.
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As for the revamped pricing structure, Control Center is still available starting at $60 with the aforementioned service plan, which enables universal search, content deep linking, access to guides and recommendations, and more. But it’s also now available in a bundle starting at $150, which includes lifetime service.
For the uninitiated, Control Center is an AI-powered, souped-up HDMI switch that automatically detects which boxes, receivers, and dongles are plugged in. Its universal search feature pulls up titles across live television and storefronts like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, and Control Center automatically chooses the best devices from which to play these titles. Niftily, it offers built-in voice search and works with both Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, with support for Dolby Atmos and HDR standards, including HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
Control Center has gotten a steady stream of updates since its launch last year. In early April, it gained support for external OTA tuners, TiVo DVRs, and new TV models from Samsung Smart TV, Sony, Android TV, Roku TV, and LG Smart TV. And earlier this year Caavo added integration with IFTTT, a web-based service that lets users create chained rules to trigger actions in Facebook, Telegram, Fitbit, Slack, Skype, Pinterest, and over 600 other services.
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