A control server, or similar central processor, manages the distribution of data (including audio and video), voice, and control signals among a plurality of system components (such as, televisions, monitors, PDAs, portable stereo, lighting, ovens, alarm clocks, etc.) connected via a wired and/or wireless communications network. A portable controller allows a user to access and control the system components from any location within a controlled residential and/or non-residential environment, including its surrounding areas. One or more control macros can be established to control the operations and/or functions of the system components. A control macro includes commands for enabling the control server to control the system components. The control macro can be manually activated by a user, or automatically executed upon the occurrence of a commencement parameter. The control macro can also be automatically particularized for application in a specific context.