In a CE Pro Europe exclusive, Doug Jacobson, director residential technology Crestron, explains what the company will launch at ISE 2018, revealing a line-up of products designed to feel and look elegant in the home and the hand, as well as deliver the performance installers and end users are looking for.

The company will also up the ante on its Pyng platform with video control and offer new ways to cope with signal distribution and control.

Shading products have seen loads of growth recently and not just in sunnier countries, multi-functional shading has proven popular in northern Europe delivering more than just light control. With this phenomenon in mind, Crestron will launch a new line, Horizontal Sheers, which delivers different levels of light control as well as a privacy settings in one unit. The products have been created to do the job which often takes two sets of shades to achieve, saving space and also delivering an elegant solution that delivers strong functionality and aesthetics in one package.

Crestron’s new blinds provide different levels of ambient light control

A really key part of the Crestron’s line up for ISE will be a set of wall mounted keypads and handheld remotes that have had as much thought go into their look and ergonomic feel as the functionality they deliver.

First up, the sleek looking 310-Series handheld remotes. The HR 310 is a push button model with nine custom buttons at the top of the device that can be engraved to suit whatever function they are assigned to. Three AAA batteries should deliver six months of life and there is also an automatic backlight to increase the functionality as well as the aesthetic performance. Moving up the range, the TSR-310 offers a three inch touchscreen with 93% more pixels and 50% higher pixel density than previous models such as the TSR-302. Also included is an integrated mic to take advantage of Crestron voice control compatibility. Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n2.4/5 GHz) performance should deliver fast reaction times and the unit is designed to run for three-four days without needing a charge, but of course comes with its own holder/charger unit.

The new remotes are designed to feel good as well as look good

New wall-mounted keypad options are due to be showcased at ISE 2018. That word elegant comes up again, and as Doug explains the aim is to really deliver a feeling of style and quality every time the user interfaces with the system.

Doug says, “Crestron products should feel special when you touch them, the aim here was to create interfaces that look and feel positive when you touch them and underline to the client that Crestron is a high-end proposition.”

Four button styles will be available; side-to-side rocker, small up-down rocker, large up-down rocker and the units will have a multi-colour backlight to indicate different types of functionality or importance. Rows of up to four can be used together. There is also a special system which means when grouped together the keypads are in perfect alignment. There are matching top and bottom trims which can be customised if needed for a particular look. The trims are easy to swap out as they are magnetic. There will also be a matching range of connection accessories for audio connection or charging. This range will launch spring 2018.

Bespoke looks can be created with the new keypad lines

Signalling the future

Also new for the European market and launched at ISE will be the DM XiO Director, designed to deliver enterprise provisioning and management of the Crestron DM NVX Series Network AV Solution. Crestron has been keen to show how the DM NVX Series can deliver strong performance particularly in getting 4K60, 4:4:4, and HDR video over a standard 1Gb Ethernet network.

The new product takes this concept a step further by moving away from a physical matrix to manage and distribute AV signals and control to a software controlled system where the intelligence moves to the network. A ‘virtual switcher’ if you will, the concept of software led intelligent networks has been used in very large commercial networks for some time now.

The DM XiO Director acts as a centralised virtual switcher, delivering the configuration, control, and management of large-scale DM NVX Series AV networks. Offering a new dimension to the DM NVX Series, the product has been designed to deliver a new level of scalability and flexibility. Doug also says that the concept makes it much simpler to manage large systems made up of DM NVX endpoints, all still over a standard IP network.

Models in the range offer control of a varying number of end-point devices, supporting 80 is the DM-XIO-DIR-80, 160 the DM-XIO-DIR-160, or if the project is really large, unlimited with the DM-XIO-DIR-ENT.

Ease of use is offered as the products auto discover each DM NVX endpoint and allows each one to be assigned to a ‘domain’ using a simple UI. A domain is a logical grouping of endpoints that work together as a single switching entity, allowing individual rooms and other subsystems to be arranged and controlled independently.

System control, config and maintenance is delivered over a web-based UI interface and there is a search box to easily find domains, endpoints, inputs, and outputs by name or address. A system overview screen is also available, showing the video and audio signal status for every input and output in a graphical layout.

Another signal solution featured at the show will be DSC Compression, developed in house by Crestron to help legacy systems cope with the higher demands being placed on them and offering an up-grade path for installers to return to existing customers with.

Doug underlines that HDBaseT tops out at 9Gbps, fine for for 4K30, 4K60 4:2:0, but what are you going to do when sources are starting to support 4K60 4:4:4 and HDR? That is where DSC Compression is designed to step in, a technology which is included in a new line of products, DM 4KZ. These products can be used with any legacy DM Crestron system and they are priced at the same level as the products they replace, the DM4K. These products will roll out gradually over 2018 and allow 4K60 4:4:4 HDR content to flow over existing DM systems.

Pyng into life

Pyng has been out in the market for some time now and Crestron is keen to keep improving and adding to the system.

Doug says, “Whilst we are happy at how Pyng has been evolving, the missing part was always video control, we are now ready to deliver that from within the Pyng app.”

Pyng will now be able to control TVs, video sources and AV receivers and will also support the ‘traditional’ Crestron DM product family and DM NVX product lines.

The Pyng app will also offer increased customisation options for larger macros for all-on all-off or special event type scenarios.

Doug adds, “We also wanted to deliver on third-party compatibility, so will offer 100s of the most popular AV devices at launch, however we will also announce our Rapid Agile Drivers (RAD) certification programme, so installers of third party driver writers can create connections between Pyng and AV products.”

Pyng will also be able to self populate with auto-channel line-ups, all the system needs to know is where it is and what content provider is being used and it will do the rest. The system can store favourite channels for a given set of different users.

So all in all a pretty packed line-up for Crestron’s next ISE adventure, rest assured CE Pro will deliver all the major news as the show gets nearer.

The Pyng platform will feature several important up-dates at ISE 2018