Control & Automation

Crestron is Unabashedly Luxury, but Affordable Options Emerge

While other home automation companies look to go down-market, Crestron clings to high-end but intros some affordable new devices at CEDIA Expo.

Crestron is Unabashedly Luxury, but Affordable Options Emerge
Crestron Infinet stick-on module extends home automation reach without wires.

Photos & Slideshow

Julie Jacobson · September 28, 2013

While Savant, Control4 and other home automation companies are looking to broaden their markets, Crestron is “focused on luxury,” says CTO Fred Bargetzi.

“Some dealers come to us asking for a $500 remote,” he says at CEDIA Expo 2013, “but we want to stick with what we do best.”

That “best” is having the highest performance of any home- and commercial-control system period, says Bargetzi, and that means products may cost a little bit more than the competitors’.

Even so, Crestron is demonstrating a few new (more) affordable options at CEDIA.

For example, the company has launched a line of “stick-on modules” that bridge Crestron’s Infinet RF protocol (a version of ZigBee) to IR, RS-232 or relay (press release).

The peel-and-stick devices can be affixed to a TV, garage door motor or other components for extending Crestron control wirelessly, creating an even larger ecosystem for Crestron’s Infinet wireless solutions.

On the controller side, Crestron is showcasing at CEDIA the DIN-AP3, which Bargetzi calls “a full-blown Series 3 controller” with Ethernet, serial and wireless Infinet communications.

The unit, which includes multiple I/Os, is “a faster version of the MC3,” says Bargetzi.

It retails for less than $1,000.

DIN-rail devices are largely relegated to Europe, but Bargetzi (who’s a big fan) says, “They’re starting to use it in the U.S.”

Elsewhere at the Crestron booth, you can see Crestron’s completely new motor for its shades (more on that later), as well as “native” control of Autonomic servers, Tivo DVRs, Denon/Marantz receivers.

The company also is teasing the CEN-NSP1 Network Stream Player, which is awaiting final certification from a popular wireless streaming provider and several of the most popular streaming service providers.

“Call it a multi-tuner box,” says Bargetzi, who demonstrates how it can replace pricier components for about $700 retail.

In addition, Crestron is showing a streaming media card for its DigitalMedia multiroom series for streaming to mobile devices.

Crestron CEN-NSP-1 at CEDIA 2013

  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

Control & Automation · Lighting · News · Media · Slideshow · CEDIA · Crestron · All Topics
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