Savant Unveils Music Server, Controller, Software Upgrades

Savant overhauls beta testing as part of wave of new smart home product release, dubbed Savant 8.3, including $1,000 music server and $500 controller.


Savant is laying the foundation for its new smart-home roadmap with the release of several products and software upgrades. The releases, which cover a wide range and are dubbed the Savant 8.3, include a new more powerful single-room controller, garage door entry system and music server. In addition, Savant has increased the flexibility for both integrators and end users to customize the interface.

“Quality is king… it is the most important thing. We will delay the release of a product if it does not meet our standards. This is just the first step, and the first step is often the hardest step.”

— Bob Madonna, CEO, Savant

“This is the first major release since I returned as CEO,” says Bob Madonna. He outlined how the Cape Cod, Mass.-based company overhauled its entire beta testing processes to get even more dealer investment in testing.

“The goal is to produce the highest quality luxury home automation products in the marketplace,” says Madonna, noting that many of the products spent months in beta tests with hundreds of integrators. “Quality is king… it is the most important thing. We will delay the release of a product if it does not meet our standards. Lots of guys worked very hard on this 8.3 release. This is just the first step, and the first step is often the hardest step.”

Savant 8.3 Products

Among the 8.3 releases are:

Savant Simple Host + Pro Remote – Savant has created a $500 control system that is configurable in Blueprint for up to two zones. It includes the controller and a Pro Remote, which is the same hardware as the 1.x consumer remote from Savant but with Pro level software in it.  

Madonna says the solution is ideal as a single-room solution and “at $500 it is a perfect price point.” The Simple Host fulfills a Good/Better/Best scalable platform for the company.

The $1,500 Savant Smart Host is the step-up product configurable for 12 to 20 rooms and with a built-in single-stream music server. At the top of the scale is the $6,000 Savant Pro Host that is configurable as an advanced pro system with unlimited zone capacity for lighting, shade, camera and security system control. The Savant Pro Host also has remote access diagnostic tools for integrators.  

As an additional new feature, the Pro Remote base now can act as an IR blaster.

Music Server 1 – The Savant Music Server 1 has an MSRP of $1,000 and supports multiple streaming services, including Spotify, Tunein, Pandora and SiriusXM, at 24-bit/96KHz.  The unit has six IR, two RS-232, two GPIO and two relay ports and is fully integrated with Savant User Interfaces. It has TosLinka nd PCM digital audio outputs and supports AirPlay. The server goes hand in hand with the recently announced Savant Pro Audio 4 IP-based switch and is powered by the Autonomic Mirage OS.

Dedicated Garage Door Entry UI – The new dedicated garage door entry interface was derived from feedback directly from the dealer base, according to Tim McInerney, director of product marketing. The UI not only controls the door, but also indicates the status of the door (open/closed), accommodates a surveillance camera view of the garage, and sends notifications to the homeowner.

savant 8.3

The new Savant 8.3 release includes a dedicated UI for garage doors. 

Software Upgrades

On the software functionality side, Savant also unveiled some new options, including:

Ability to Reorder Scenes – Users can now reorder the scenes in their UI without having to contact the integrator to do it for them. Madonna says this feature is one of the lessons the company gleaned from its DIY remote experience. Dealers no longer have to be bothered to do a service call just to reorder the sequence of the buttons on the interface for their clients. “It’s a small feature, but an important customization,” he adds.

Ability to Reorder Services in Blueprint – At the integrator level, integrators can now reorder the sequence of the services, whether it be lighting, cameras, Apple TV, etc. There is also now an indicator in Blueprint showing the integrator which subsystems are currently active.

Ability to Customize Savant Pro App – Integrators can now create custom screens for the Savant Pro app. Previously, the ability to change the look of the app was locked down because Savant wanted to maintain consistency. Madonna says there are still some constraints relative to good UI design in just how much the app can be changed.

Madonna outlined back in January for CE Pro a new product roadmap that will include a new touchpanel, a touchpanel thermostat, an MDU door entry system, smart bulbs and a new electrical energy measurement and control system. He says that product release 8.4 coming up in the next few months will include some of those hinted-at products. 

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's 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.


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