Inside Savant’s New SmartSystems Platform

Incorporation of streaming digital media and a new 'fan-less' design are two big changes in new control platform that is replacing Rosie and Protégé

The new Savant SmartSystems controller has removed the Mac Mini from inside the controller, which allows the system to run much cooler.
Jason Knott · April 18, 2011

Advancements in digital media and a new system design are just two of the big reasons why Savant announced its new SmartSystems platform last week, replacing Rosie and Protégé.

“It was created based on the desire to build the next generation platform for new media, incorporating smart streaming content and HDMI 1.4,” says Jim Carroll, president of Savant.

Check out this short consumer-oriented video to give you a glimpse.

The system now allows integrators to create a robust digital entertainment system based on the embedded iTunes digital media server to draw content from Apple TV, Airport Extreme, Internet radio, iTunes, Time Capsule, Squeezebox, Pandora, Rhapsody and other digital platforms. The SmartSystems controller can also manage a range of home functions, including lighting, HVAC and security.

“The key differences are that we have separated the host from the control and taken the fans out of the boxes. The new platform is completely fan-less,” Carroll says. “The Protégé and the Rosie System 2 both tended to run hot and loud because they had embedded hosts (Mac Minis) inside. They could not be in the room outside of a cabinet. Now we have separated out the host and with the same quality industrial design. The SmartSystems controller along with the new amplifier we recently released can be placed on a credenza. They don’t have to be hidden.”

Other differences are the ability to add a redundant host, the incorporation of HDMI 1.4, reorganized I/O ports in the back and the elimination of power warts. Instead the system has just a single clean power cord. The host itself stacks 2U in a rack. A complete system with the amp, and other devices can be stacked to 8u.

“This change was really customer driven. We have had no quality problems with Protégé or System 2 and we continue to support those products. Our failure rate is under 3 percent, which is phenomenal,” comments Carroll.

The unit also comes at a slightly lower price point (MSRP under $5,000 vs. System II MSRP of $5,100, with even more dealer margin built in, according to Carroll.

Savant has been taking pre-orders on the product for several months and units are already shipping.

“We have gotten nothing but kudos from the dealer base so far,” he adds.

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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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  Article Topics

News · Apple · Digital Media · HDMI · Home Control & Automation · Internet Radio · iTunes · All Topics
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