Crestron ‘Perfects’ 1GB AV-over-IP, Bows First DM NVX for Residential

Crestron to show first 1G NVX system appropriate for residential 4k-over-IP applications; New Pixel Perfect Processing codec faces stiffest competition ever at ISE 2019.

Crestron ‘Perfects’ 1GB AV-over-IP, Bows First DM NVX for Residential

Crestron's new DM NVX-E30/D30 encoder/decoder delivers 4K/60 4:4:4 HDR over 1G in a scaled-down package for potential residential applications. Features new Pixel Perfect Processing codec.

Crestron’s new “Pixel Perfect Processing” for the DigitalMedia NVX line of A/V-over-IP systems are sooooo perfect … you’d think your display was wired straight to a PC.

The company will prove it at ISE 2019, with side-by-side comparisons of NVX video-over-IP vs. direct-to-PC configurations.

Did we mention NVX works over standard 1 GB Ethernet networks?

Only two years ago, Crestron introduced us to the remarkable new NVX line, which could deliver 4K/60 4:4:4 HDR video over standard 1G networks, and with “no latency” to boot – evidently an industry first.

Instead of relying on beefy 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks – child’s play! – the new DigitalMedia NVX products worked with less expensive and more ubiquitous 1 GB infrastructures installed in so many buildings today.

Integrators loved it, deploying more than 120,000 DM NVX systems since the product’s 2017 launch.

DM NVX-E30 / D30 Specs

Crestron DM-NVX-E30 Encoder 

  • Incorporates Crestron's Pixel Perfect technology
  • Supports video resolutions up to 4,096 x 2,160 (4K), as well as the HDR10 high dynamic range format, and 4:4:4 chroma subsampling
  • Supports up to eight channels LPCM multichannel audio or 7.1 HBR encoded audio
  • Crestron builds in 128-bit encryption to ensure high levels of data security
  • Supports HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI input signals

Crestron DM-NVX-D30 Decoder 

  • Capable of receiving 4K signals at 60Hz and 4:4:4 chroma subsampling
  • Incorporates HDCP 2.2 compatibility, and HDR10 high dynamic range compatibility
  • Capable of integrating into its System 3 Series control system
  • The PoE+ compliant decoder also provides support for Dolby Atmos, analog audio, and it offers AES 128-bit security encryption

NEW! Pixel Perfect Processing for all NVX Products

Integrators will love it even more with a new firmware update that includes Pixel Perfect Processing – a new codec that produces dramatically improved video, particularly for static images.

Crestron had already improved upon industry-standard JPEG 2000 in its first-gen NVX products. Gen 2 is even more pixelly perfect.

In the past, Crestron demonstrated how its 1 GB solution compared favorably to 10 GB competitors that require more expensive, less popular 10 GB Ethernet networks. But sticklers noted NVX faltered on static images, say, from an Excel spreadsheet.

Not that a whole lot of consumers or even CFOs stare at Excel spreadsheets on their TVs – or at least care if the sheets are presented in all their 4K60 4:4:4 HDR glory – but Crestron doesn’t like criticism, so it set out to make those static images (spreadsheets, puppies or otherwise) look just as lovely over 1G NVX systems as with 10G AV-over-IP solutions, and gosh darnit even over direct-to-PC connections.

“We have to be as good as the PC directly out to the display,” says DigitalMedia product manager Alex Peras, in an interview with CE Pro’s sister publication Commercial Integrator (below). “That’s our new comparison.”

For the new processing technology, Crestron continued to work with its original partner intoPIX. Crestron tells us they enjoy exclusivity on the implementation for quite some time.

New for ISE 2019! DM NVX for the Home

Crestron’s DigitalMedia platform is expensive. DM NVX is particularly expensive – less so when you consider infrastructure costs, but prohibitive for all but the most discriminating homeowners.

Crestron is working on that. At ISE, the home-automation giant is launching the first DM NVX product that makes sense for residential applications.

The new DM-NVX-E30 encoder and DM-NVX-D30 decoder cost about 1/3 less than today’s lowest-priced NVX product, says John Clancy, Crestron VP, Residential, in an interview with CE Pro.

To scale down the existing NVX line, Crestron eliminated several elements that might be necessary for commercial but “sometimes overbuilt for residential,” such as superfluous switches for fiber, Ethernet or HDMI, Clancy explains. 

Most homes, for example, don’t need to switch every single connection type on the planet including fiber, and jillions of HDMIs. Crestron scaled back on those. Also, existing NVX units can serve as either receivers or transmitters—a pricey and often unnecessary proposition—but the new solution calls for separate RX and TX boxes.

There are other consumer-friendly accommodations with the D30 and E30. For example, the fan shuts off when the decoder is inactive, which is especially nice if installed in a bedroom.

Visit Crestron at Stand #C20 at ISE 2019.

Read on for Commercial Integrator’s take on NVX and the 1G vs. 10G debate.


Next-Gen Crestron DM NVX Adds Pixel Perfect Processing, ‘Ends 1G vs. 10G Debate’

While the A/V industry has been embroiled in an AV-over-IP 1G vs. 10G debate, Crestron product developers have been doubling-down on 1G. The result is a next generation of Crestron DM NVX network A/V that includes newly-developed Pixel Perfect Processing technology.

“With Pixel Perfect Processing in the new DM NVX product line we really think the 1G vs. 10G debate is dead,” Nic Milani, executive director, commercial product marketing, Crestron, tells CI.

“We can get a quality image that’s as good as a PC direct over a standard 1G network. What more do you want?”

Attendees at A/V tradeshows — such as upcoming Integrated Systems Europe (ISE 2019) where next-generation DM NVX will be on display – have become accustomed to av-over-IP 1G vs. 10G side-by-side demos at Crestron competitors’ booths, but the Rockleigh, N.J.-based manufacturer maintains that Pixel Perfect Processing foils those comparisons.

Crestron press release on Pixel Perfect Processing:

Working with partners such as Intel and intoPIX, Crestron made image quality even better – so much better, you can’t tell the difference between DM NVX video and a direct video feed. Like the previous generation of DM NVX, there’s no latency, and it supports more video formats than any other manufacturer.

Crestron, with its next-gen DM NVX line, isn’t shy about addressing competitors’ criticism. It will even acknowledge that there were some issues with displaying static images, including spreadsheets, in extremely high resolution with the previous generation of DM NVX.

“If you can have flawless video in every format and run on existing networks, that’s a big flag to plant on the mountain.”

— Nic Milani, Crestron

“Whether that’s a real-world application or not,” Milani says, “we’re going to respond to it.”

Pixel Perfect Processing, which essentially improves JPEG 2000 encoding and decoding, is that response. Crestron says it has raised the stakes for itself; rather than side-by-side comparisons with 1G DM NVX with 10G competitors, it invites comparisons with direct-to-PC.

“We did find that there were some deficiencies with 4K60 4:4:4 on still images,” Alex Peras, product manager, DigitalMedia, tells CI. “You’ve seen competitors pull out where deficiencies are in JPEG 2000 with the Excel spreadsheet and the static images.”

Now, however, “we have to be as good as the PC directly out to the display,” Peras says. “That’s our new comparison.”

Beyond that, Milani adds, is his contention that improving the performance of JPEG 2000 via Pixel Perfect Processing results in “the best motion video performance in the industry.” Being able to offer that in a 1G platform is a key differentiator, he says. “If you can have flawless video in every format and run on existing networks, that’s a big flag to plant on the mountain.”

Next Generation Crestron DM NVX Line and Free Updates

The Pixel Perfect Processing is available on existing Crestron DM NVX products via a free firmware update.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve shipped 120,000 NVX units onto the market,” Peras says. “We expected it to ramp but it has scaled much faster than we foresaw.” All those units, he reiterates, get the free upgrade to Pixel Perfect Processing.

However, Crestron is also announcing new DM NVX products that include Pixel Perfect Processing and will be on display at ISE 2019:

Each support HDMI connectivity and analog audio, delivering additional flexibility for basic endpoints when only video, audio, and control are needed, according to the company.

The DM-NVX-352 with Dante audio networking and AES-67 audio is also now shipping.

“We have an unwavering commitment to make DM NVX the best network A/V solution in every way,” says Fred Bargetzi, Crestron CTO, in the press release.

“This new generation is the culmination of an immense investment in both dollars and engineering man-hours.”

Crestron: DM NVX Will Continue to Evolve

One of the challenges with any network A/V solution is anticipating evolving custom needs. Milani maintains that this next generation of Crestron DM NVX is developed to address the evolving demands for video content as well as IT infrastructure.

“Over the years we will be able to take this technology and evolve it with emerging technologies on the network to provide 8K over existing Cat 5e networks,” he says.

“We really think that at the end of the day that’s what a customer wants — a superior image with an unbelievably good quality output working with the infrastructure in the IT service and the support services that they already have.”

Is 1G vs. 10G Even the Right Debate?

Milani is clear that he doesn’t think the 1G vs. 10G debate advances the A/V industry. In fact, he sees it as holding back an industry that is increasingly tasked with providing solutions for network administrators of large enterprises and campuses.

“It’s really simple. If the image quality is great, who cares how it got there?” Milani says. “Do you care what size pipe the hot water that came out of your faucet came from? No, you care if it was hot. We’ve got to get away from that debate.”

Crestron engaged with research firm Gartner, in part, to make sure it was on the right path in its network A/V product development including its focus on 1G. “We figured, let’s talk to the experts on networks,” Milani says.

The company learned that the majority of AV-over-IP network deployments on campuses are 1G and “10G is barely shipped,” Milani says.

“If you look at the future, that’s where the really big ‘ah ha!’ is. Instead of 10G taking over 1G what we see is the introduction of 2.5G networks. We are a speck in the sea of this IT world and we’re not the only ones with bandwidth issues. The industry is responding, not by pushing everybody to 10G but with 2.5G running on existing Cat 5e cable. We know we can’t pull up the trillions of miles of Cat 5e cable that’s out there.”

Next-Gen Crestron DM NVX Sets Standard in Network A/V (via press release):

More than just distribution of flawless 4K60, 4:4:4, and HDR video, DM NVX is a complete, infinitely scalable solution. It also pushes audio, control, and USB 2.0 through a single encoder/decoder, significantly reducing system costs and adding flexibility. DM NVX delivers all this over existing 1Gb infrastructure, eliminating the high cost and disruption of running new cabling.

Next-Gen Crestron DM NVX Offers Advanced Network Security, Easy Deployment (via press release):

DM NVX leverages 802.1x authentication, AES encryption, and Active Directory® technology to provide enterprise-grade security at the product level. And with the DM NVX Director™ network appliance, you can literally configure and deploy a thousand DM NVX endpoints in the same time it used to take to configure just one A/V device the traditional way.

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

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


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