Crestron could be the first home-automation company to integrate fully with Apple TV, taking advantage of a new API announced by Apple last year.
At ISE 2019, the smart-home leader demonstrated how a Crestron remote could be used to access content and services from Apple TV as if it were a native Apple remote with Siri.
The response is “so fast and so cool,” John Clancy, VP Residential, told us in a pre-show interview. “I was blown away at the speed.”
So was I.
At ISE, Clancy held a Crestron TSR-310 remote to his mouth, pressed the mic button, and said, “Play YouTube videos of Amsterdam.”
In a split second, the videos appeared on the TV, ready to be played.
It might not seem like a huge feat, but home-technologists have been struggling to integrate Apple TV into home-automation systems for years. Apple wanted nothing to do with it. So we survived on IR controls and unsupported IP hacks for users who absolutely, positively needed Apple TV in their A/V ecosystem.
Last year, Apple relented and announced an API for two-way IP control. Control4, Crestron and Savant were to be the first partners.
Yesterday, we posted a piece about Savant’s new on-screen display (OSD) available through Apple TV; however, that particular demo was not the one illustrating two-way IP control. Savant has shown that implementation elsewhere.
Crestron did show its implementation at ISE, where the Apple logo appeared on signage and Crestron controllers, and everything was “completely sanctioned and OK’d by Apple.”
Recalling his years as a home-technology integrator, Clancy lamented the inability to integrate Apple TV into a smart-home ecosystem.
“When we were installing Apple TVs for customers,” he says, “we kind of removed that great feature of voice control. This gives that back to them.”
Crestron uses its own voice server for system-wide controls via the remote. Now, when a user selects Apple TV as a source, voice commands are “commandeered” to Siri. Onscreen, an Apple logo appears, rather than a Crestron logo when the voice button is pressed.