Caavo‘s Control Center, a set-top box that employs a combo of AI, deep linking, APIs, HDMI-CEC, IP control, Bluetooth, and IR to unify entertainment consoles, now plays nicely with Sonos speakers. Alongside a new parental monitoring feature and a price cut, Caavo today announced that Sonos integration — which will allow users to control music playback and view playlists on their televisions — is rolling out to Control Center units this week.
“Control Center transforms the TV into the first-ever shared home interface,” said Caavo CEO and cofounder Andrew Einaudi. “We want everyone to be able to use the TV and everything connected to it. As we expand the Caavo ecosystem of TV and Smart Home, it is an honor to partner with exciting entertainment brands like Sonos.”
Starting Monday, Control Center will gain a Sonos tile through which owners will be able to play, pause, or skip to the next song on every speaker registered with their Sonos accounts. They’ll see which room is associated with each speaker, and view album cover art on the TV when a tune is playing.
That’s not all that’s heading to Control Center. The companion smartphone app for Android and iOS will soon be able to power-toggle TVs, switch sources, tune to channels, launch apps, and play movies even when users are beyond the confines of their home networks. And Caavo is launching a suite of parental monitoring tools — Family Care — that will allow folks to set mobile alerts for content. (For instance, they can opt to receive a notification when an R-rated movie is launched through Control Center, or when a TV turns on late at night.)
Additionally, Family Care includes a messaging feature that lets parents send full-screen or pop-up texts from the Caavo mobile app to a Control Center unit, and to view a live feed of a TV’s screen via the recently launched Telescope tool.
Caavo also announced that Control Center, which previously cost $99, is now $59.95. However, the company is doubling the base price of its premium service plan, which enables universal search, content deep linking, access to guides and recommendations, and more. It now costs $40 per year ($4 per month), or $129 for a lifetime subscription.
For the uninitiated, Control Center is basically an AI-powered, souped-up HDMI switch. It automatically detects which boxes, receivers, and dongles are plugged in, and a built-in picture-in-picture menu obviates the need to switch inputs manually. Perhaps best of all, Control Center’s universal search feature pulls up titles across live television, network-attached storage devices, and storefronts like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, and it automatically chooses the best devices from which to play said 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.