At Last, Just-Add-Power HD-over-IP Integrates with Savant Home Automation
Just-Add-Power's popular HDMI-over-IP systems now work with Savant smart-home systems without complex programming, thanks to free online tool from BlackWire Designs.
As a pioneer in the category, J-A-P is one of the most popular HDMI-over-IP systems for the custom channel. Yet the company hasn't been able to work with Savant on an official driver ("profile" in Savant parlance) for easy integration.
So the folks at BlackWire Designs, a software developer and J-A-P distributor, went it alone, crafting a J-A-P Profile Generator for Savant-based automation systems.
BlackWire principal Kevin Luther says the new online tool allows dealers to create Savant profiles for any sized J-A-P system “in a matter of seconds, saving dealers hours of complex programming and configuration.”
It’s not that J-A-P or Savant is that complex to set up on their own, “but gluing them together has been difficult because of the complexity and customization,” says BlackWire software development manager Seth Johnson.
He explains that traditional HDMI switches have a set number of inputs and outputs, so they can be easily mapped into a Savant system (if Savant choses to support them). But HD over IP poses a unique challenge in that the number of sources and zones is fluid, and the command sets more involved (and evolved) than traditional matrices.
“Since Just-Add-Power is so flexible, each system will have a different number of inputs and outputs, and each system is going to require a different Savant Profile,” Johnson says. “With Savant there isn’t a way to write a generic or one-size-fits-all profile.”
Unlike typical Savant profiles, J-A-P’s configuration files are generated outside of Savant’s Blueprint programming environment. Johnson explains the process:
- A dealer configures a Just-Add-Power system using J-A-P’s standard programming software.
- That program gives you a configuration file, which you upload to the BlackWire site.
- BlackWire parses through that file and converts it into a Savant Profile that is customized to that particular J-A-P configuration.
- The dealer then loads that unique profile file into Blueprint, where they make all of their connections for programming.
“Some of the more complex Just-Add-Power configurations can be megabytes in size and quite literally hundreds of thousands of lines of intricate XML and network commands,” Luther says. “Our tool turns the nearly impossible exercise of writing these files into a two-click process.”
The Profile Creator is compatible with J-A-P systems that run over Luxul networking gear.
The service, available now at the BlackWire online store, is free of charge to authorized dealers.
This isn't the first time BlackWire has saved the day for integrators. Last year the company created software to integrate Ring doorbells with Control4 automation systems.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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