Hometoys Interview - Crestron's Vision for 2010
Jeff Singer, Crestron Electronics, Inc.
What is your product focus for 2010?
We now live in a digital world and Crestron is focused on transmitting, distributing, controlling and displaying digital HD content in the home. We will continue to integrate popular formats and devices, such as Apple iPod® and iPhone®, and provide intelligent “green” solutions.
Digital HD content presents new challenges for home owners and integrators. What new technology will Crestron offer to improve the user experience?
Digital HD delivery is more complex than traditional analog AV distribution. Digital signals carry embedded data such as HDCP, EDID and CEC that must be properly managed. Crestron DigitalMedia™ (DM) is a complete source to display solution that includes software, cables, wall plates, switchers, transmitters and receivers. New V-Panel HD touchpanels feature DM connectivity and can control and display full 1080p content from any room. Crestron is also introducing HD sources and amplifiers, including the new ADMS Intermedia Delivery System™, PROCISE ™ 7.3 Surround Sound Processor and the DVPHD high-definition digital video processor.
The ADMS features exclusive WorldSearch™ technology that collects, displays and plays any type of content from various providers instantly. Music, movies, TV shows and other streaming media are displayed in full 1080p. PROCISE features exclusive QuickSwitch HD™ technology providing fast, uninterrupted HDMI source switching and 7.3 HD surround sound. The PROCISE amplifier handles uncompressed HD audio and pumps out 400 watts of pristine sound through seven channels. DVPHD is a HDCP compliant multi-window digital video processor. DVPHD accepts up to 8 analog or digital video sources and displays up to 8 scalable HD video windows simultaneously.
How is Crestron integrating the popular iPod and iPhone into home systems?
Crestron is integrating Apple® products into home systems. Now, touchpanel interfaces can be displayed on the iMac and MacBook to take full Crestron control from any Mac. Crestron iServer is a dedicated audio server that uses an iPod as its internal hard drive. Communicating on the home computer network, iServer is recognized by iTunes as a connected device and automatically syncs. The CEN-IDOCV is a docking solution for personal iPods – just dock to instantly charge, sync and listen to the iPod from any room in the house.
Crestron Mobile™ and Crestron Mobile Pro™ are iPhone apps that enable full control and monitoring of all devices and systems. Using the power of the 3G and EDGE cellular networks, real-time Crestron control is at our fingertips from the car, beach, airport, office – anywhere.
How is Crestron addressing the “green” movement?
The green movement drives the desire to save energy to reduce costs. Home owners benefit from a complete integrated control solution by providing unified communication among disparate systems that often counteract each other. For example, daylight harvesting reduces the use of lights, but may heat rooms during the summer, which cause the air conditioning to run all day. Most people don’t realize how much energy home electronics such as TVs, cable boxes and amplifiers consume – even in standby mode. Lights, shades, thermostats and installed AV equipment can automatically turn on, off or to pre-set levels to conserve energy. Also, research has shown that if people can see the effects their lifestyle patterns have on energy consumption and costs, they will modify their behavior accordingly. Crestron touchpanels graphically and numerically display current energy usage and costs, and even predict total energy and cost savings over time based on different settings. Crestron intelligently manages all environmental systems to provide maximum comfort, convenience and savings.
Many home owners are choosing to upgrade their current homes rather than purchase new homes. How is Crestron addressing the retrofit market?
About four years ago Crestron developed infiNET™, the first truly reliable wireless solution for residential lighting control. Since then, we’ve extended that technology to include a wide array of home control solutions, and this year we’re introducing the next generation of wireless technology. Crestron infiNET EX™ is a wireless mesh network that provides the ultimate speed, scalability and reliability to meet the highest expectations. There is very low tolerance for delay in home systems. When you flip a switch, you expect the lights to turn on immediately. When you press a button you expect the volume to adjust instantly. Each device in the system is both a transmitter and a receiver, so the wireless network actually gets stronger and faster as devices are added. Crestron infiNET has been the worldwide standard in wireless home control for years. This has made a tremendous impact on retrofit market, and as technology develops, more and more devices and systems will be added to the network. This is a trend that will only grow in the future.
What motivated Crestron, a company known for its high-performance, customizable system solutions to develop a more cost-effective system solution for a broader consumer demographic?
Demand. Our dealers indicated that there were clients that wanted Crestron home control, but only needed a basic system and were looking at a different price point. So, this year we introduced Prodigy. It’s a very simple, easy-to-use, affordable home control system. Bringing the best home technology to more people than every before is very gratifying.
Many economists expect the affects of the recession to last for the foreseeable future. With that in mind can Crestron dealers expect to see the company continue to engineer more products to enable them to capture sales within the growing value class consumer demographic?
We are very optimistic about the future of our country, our industry and our company. We will continue to invest heavily in R&D and introduce hundreds of new products and innovative technologies every year. We will release 200 new products this year including new touchpanels, lighting control, amplifiers, audio and video processors, media servers, software for Mac and iPhones and wireless solutions.