Apparatus, methods, and systems for centrally and uniformly controlling the operation of a variety of devices, such as communication, consumer electronic, audio-video, analog, digital, 1394, and the like, over a variety of protocols within a network system and, more particularly, a control system and uniform user interface for centrally controlling these devices in a manner that appears seamless and transparent to the user. In a preferred embodiment, a command center or hub of a network system includes a context and connection permutation sensitive control system that enables centralized and seamless integrated control of all types of input devices. The control system preferably includes a versatile icon based graphical user interface that provides a uniform, on-screen centralized control system for the network system. The user interface, which includes a visual recognition system, enables the user to transparently control multiple input devices over a variety of protocols while operating on a single control layer of an input command device. In an alternative embodiment, the control system also enables gated signal pass-through control while avoiding signal jamming.