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        New for the Crestron Smart Home: Audio Gear, Shading Options, and Crestron Home OS 4
        Here’s a look at the solutions that were on display in the Crestron CEDIA® Expo booth, including new audio and shading solutions and a huge step forward for the Crestron Home® OS.
        August 24

        With five new products and a major OS evolution, Crestron’s residential offerings are growing dramatically

        The residential technology team at Crestron has been busy. We’ve shown CEDIA® Expo attendees the chance to experience firsthand our new platforms and products, but if you were unable to attend, here’s a tour through five new products and one massive update to our Crestron Home® OS.

        Did you miss the live stream of Crestron’s “Innovation Ignited”?

        Here are the main highlights:

        Crestron Home OS 4 (Expected Release September / October 2023)

        Version three of the Crestron Home® OS has gone through many, many updates since its introduction roughly four years ago. In fact, that version of the platform saw nearly two dozen of those updates — and all the while, the Crestron team was working on a new version of the software, a version that represents both a foundational and experiential evolution to the most powerful home automation UI in the world.

        There’s a point, after all, in the development of any operating system when incremental updates give way to a bigger “jump” in a system’s evolution. In the case of Crestron Home OS 4, that step was driven by two major developments:

        • A platform-wide improvement to the look, feel, and overall experience that the UI presents to the user, and,

        • A complete overhaul of the digital lighting portion of the platform.

        The Details in the Update

        Some of the experiential changes in this version of the Crestron Home platform include:

        • The room list that allows homeowners to control various parts of their residence — or monitor usage and other elements of their systems — has been completely refined and updated. Now “compact” views allow the user to see multiple rooms at once, and a quick toggle function can switch the view from a “grid” to a “list” layout.

        • Touch screens in the Crestron Home platform can now provide whole-home paging to make announcements to the entire household or a select group of rooms with one touch.

        • The end-user schedule feature allows homeowners to schedule events and automate tasks without a call to the dealer. This is the most granular system customization that has ever been made available to the end user. Coupled with the recently introduced “password session” feature, the Crestron Home platform now allows the homeowner to rapidly customize any of their smart homes’ functions, room by room or throughout the residence, by entering their personal password once.

        • Xfinity® voice control has also been added to the suite of VUI products available in Crestron Home, and control via THE Apple® Siri® voice recognition software has been dramatically improved, too, with the addition of Apple Shortcuts.

        In fact, this user experience is now so refined that a quick demo virtually sells the system to a prospect — Crestron Home OS 4 pushes the “wow factor” to new heights.

        When it comes to lighting control, this part of the update almost functions as a “platform within a platform” — it’s that advanced. It allows access to both the front- and back-end experience of a lighting system, regardless of the digital protocol used in the fixture type, giving you the power to blend a broad range of luminaires. One can now mix and match Crestron tunable white or color lighting using DMX-C, DALI® 2.0 lighting, Philips® Hue® smart lighting, and many more — regardless of the protocol. The system allows for unparalleled simplicity and ease of configuration, customization, and control.

        As with previous updates to the Crestron Home platform, this update will occur automatically at no charge to the clients with smart homes running the Crestron Home OS.

        Because Crestron Home OS 4 was built with both dealer and client in mind, improving the user experience extends to the installation — an integrator can deploy and customize this version more rapidly than ever before, making for quicker “ready-to-use-results” to keep the customer happy.

        Learn more about Crestron Home OS 4 

        Made in the Shade

        Crestron’s shading solutions are constantly being updated — after all, shading is a critical part of any whole-home lighting and climate solution.

        The QMT® 3 Series Shade Motor Décor Hardware Collection (Available October 2023)

        Crestron’s offering what amounts to an aesthetic overhaul of its QMT 3 Series shade motor Décor shading with a redesign of the hardware system. Part of that update includes a range of modern end caps that mirror the modern aesthetic that Crestron’s customers demand. They’re available in six color options, including white, almond, light grey, dark grey, brown, and black. These elegant additions to our shading hardware line transform a project’s windows with a sturdy, safe, and sleek end cap design that elevates any room's aesthetic.

        The updated hardware includes black brackets and a black motor head to help conceal the inner workings of the shade, reinforcing that upscale look. The brackets themselves provide the second half of this solution — namely, an incredibly durable and sturdy design that ensures long-lasting quality and safety.

        Crestron’s New Lithium-Ion Battery-Powered Roller Shades (Available December 2023)

        Beyond those instances where a retrofit demands cable-free installation, wireless shades provide many benefits. They’re perfect for hard-to-reach windows, replacing manual corded products to enhance child and pet safety, or simply a solution for customers seeking motorized shading without wires. What’s more, Crestron’s Lithium-Ion Battery-Powered Roller Shades are attractive to your eco-friendly customers because they run on rechargeable batteries.

        These shades offer battery-driven motor technology that ensures enduring performance for years to come with a long-lasting, rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can provide uninterrupted performance for up to 12 months. Available in sizes up to 120" in width, these shades include three adjustable motor speed options, allowing you to manage their functions as a client dictates. Charging is a snap — it’s as simple as charging a cell phone. Just take the USB-C® charging device, attach it to the motor, and then plug it into the power source.

        It’s an elegant way to control light and temperature without wiring that works perfectly with Crestron’s new QMT 3 Series shade motor Décor hardware collection and our Architectural 3 Series collection. In fact, this is the same hardware used in all of Crestron’s low-voltage motors. That means customers can combine battery (lithium-ion) and low-voltage systems to cover all the windows in the home and enjoy a consistent look throughout.

        Other key features of Crestron’s New Lithium-Ion Battery-Powered Roller Shades include:

        • An extremely quiet, powerful 1.75Nm motor

        • A 5V power supply and USB-C® cable for recharging

        • SG Wireless communication that provides a cable-free interface for programming, monitoring, and control

        • Seamless integration with the Crestron Home OS

        These shades are available in our Designer and Heritage fabric collections, with a variety of opacity options including sheer, light-filtering, and blackout fabrics. Their openness factors range from 0% - 15%. 

        The Audio Angle — A Look Ahead

        Crestron’s also putting the finishing touches on three new audio products — additions to our successful DM NAX™ Audio-over-IP technology line that will be available early next year.

        The DM-NAX-4ZSA-50 4+1 Zone Streaming Amplifier (Coming Soon)

        The DM-NAX-4ZSA-50 is the spiritual successor to the C2N-AMP-6X100/4X100 — it’s an amplifier that truly delivers DM NAX technology at a lower price point. This 4+1 zone streaming amp (that’s four amplified zones with a bonus line output for an audio-visual receiver) offers incredible performance, with streaming, cutting-edge GaN amp technology, and local inputs, all wrapped up in an elegant, passively cooled, surface-mountable half-rack box that’s a mere 1 RU tall. With eight channels rated at 50W (RMS) each, this silent, fanless amp features five dedicated media players, four audio inputs (two for analog sources and one each for coax and digital), and two network ports.

        The DM-NAX-4ZSA-50 is perfect for adding a few extra zones to a large DM NAX deployment — or bringing multi-room audio to MDU spaces. Offering native Crestron Home platform integration, this latest addition to the DM NAX line of amplifiers will fit nicely in structured wire enclosures and allow developers and dealers to offer a compelling smart home system with AV integration by coupling this with a Crestron Home processor.

        The DM-NAX-XSP Audio Return Processor (Coming Soon)

        This surround-sound eARC solution — our first decoding DM NAX digital signal processor — can bridge streaming TVs to a multi-room audio distribution system. By leveraging ARC/eARC, the device can grab the high-quality audio content from smart TVs and tie that to your DM NAX solution. By linking two of these units together, the first can extend the ARC/eARC signal over IP to a rack where a second unit can feed a traditional AVR from there. The device really shines when it’s coupled with a DM-NAX-8ZSA (or the new 4ZSA-50): Now you can enjoy your streaming content with your in-ceiling speakers that are connected to your DM NAX amp — and it all just works seamlessly when coupled with the Crestron Home OS.

        Simply put, the DM-NAX-XSP pairs seamlessly with any Crestron DM NAX amp or preamp to bring HDMI® connectivity, eARC, and ARC audio video support and immersive audio from Dolby Atmos® or DTS:X® formats. The device offers multi-channel audio inputs with a two-channel DM NAX downmix out with 8K HDMI inputs and outputs, along with two network ports, one with PoE.

        The DM-NAX-BTIO-1G Bluetooth Wall Plate (Coming Soon)

        The first of a number of audio accessories coming to the DM NAX platform, the DM-NAX-BTIO-1G is a wall plate with Bluetooth® communications and analog input/outputs that allows you to easily add Bluetooth audio to any DM NAX® Audio-over-IP, DM NVX® AV-over-IP, Dante® audio network, or AES67 AoIP system. The DM-NAX-BTIO-1G acts as something of a “wildcard,” as it supports any audio source to bridge to DM NAX technology. As you’re likely aware, Android™ OS users don’t have the benefit of something like AirPlay® software, so Bluetooth connectivity is a fantastic option to source audio to this wall plate. What’s more, we’re hearing from younger Crestron customers who really prefer Bluetooth communications as their audio interface — which we can now deliver in a high-quality manner that leverages DM NAX technology.

        The DM-NAX-BTIO-1G’s flexible form factor can be either put in a wall plate or surface mounted and hidden away — just a single network connection allows you to control and manage the device through the Crestron Home OS. Other features include an onboard DSP for tone shaping and signal optimization, all delivered via a single network cable that powers the plate as well.

        Want more info on all of Crestron’s new products? Check out the Crestron CEDIA Expo Series of Webinars here — and find all of our webinar offerings here.

         

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