e-Control 2 (IP control via a computer) is not actually "discontinued," but effectively updated and is now referred to more commonly as "XPanel". Please see the XPanel product page for latest information.
With its introduction in 1998, Crestron e-Control revolutionized the control system industry and quickly established itself as the standard for IP-based control. Continuing its thrust as the leader in control system innovation, Crestron pushed the capabilities of e-Control to the next level with the development of e-Control 2. Utilizing a Microsoft® ActiveX® foundation, e-Control 2 provides a fully transformable platform through Crestron VT Pro-e® GUI design software. The result is a suite of inspired solutions called XPanel.
Within VT Pro-e, Crestron touch screen GUI design software, there are four XPanel options: XPanel EXE, XPanel IE, XPanel PDA and XPanel Emulator. All are compatible with any Ethernet-equipped 2 or 3-Series control system, which support DHCP/DNS for the ultimate integration of IT and AV.
XPanel IE provides web browser based control using ActiveX to attain true Crestron touch screen behavior. XPanel IE web pages are hosted on the control system, allowing on-the-fly control from any connected PC simply by launching Internet Explorer® and entering the IP address (or URL) of the control system.
XPanel IE files are created just like touch screen files using Crestron VisionTools® Pro-e GUI design software. Touch screen files can be converted directly to XPanel IE in one easy step. The look and function of touch screen files created in VT Pro-e are replicated precisely in XPanel IE. Even subpages, multi-mode buttons, animations, object effects, transparencies and fonts appear and behave identically to those on an Isys® touch screen. For the end user, this means a consistent control experience whether using the system touch screen or the web browser on a remote computer.
XPanel IE is designed for speed, employing embedded "Smart Loading" technology. When a computer connects to the control system web server for the first time, the complete XPanel IE project is downloaded and stored in the computer's cache memory. All subsequent connections are resultantly instantaneous. XPanel IE files are not lost when the temporary Internet files folder is cleared. Smart loading also checks for updates upon each new connection, and downloads new files only when an update is found.
All ActiveX objects downloaded as part of an XPanel IE Web page are digitally signed for security. And like all e-Control applications, XPanel IE is fully compliant with firewalls and other common network security measures.
XPanel EXE provides ultra fast and secure control through an executable application rather than web pages. The runtime executable loads directly onto one or more specific computers and runs from the desktop or start menu. Just like XPanel IE, XPanel EXE files are created using VT Pro-e GUI design software so they look and function just like an Isys touch screen. Since the executable resides and runs on the controlling PC, there is no load time so all functions are instantaneous. Even over the Internet, XPanel EXE offers the fastest IP-based control solution available.
XPanel EXE eliminates the hassles associated with web browsers, eliminating any chance of accidentally surfing away from the critical control screens or being interrupted by pop-ups. The "Always On Top" option prevents the XPanel EXE GUI from getting lost behind other applications.
If necessary to support mobile usage, the executable file may be hosted for download by authorized users from a secure server.
XPanel Emulator allows the control system programmer to easily generate an executable file that emulates the entire flow and function of an Isys touch screen or e-Control 2 XPanel project right on any Windows® PC. Button presses, page flips, subpages, and feedback can all be simulated to provide a complete real-time demonstration, fully navigable by any untrained user. There's no special "viewer" software required. An XPanel Emulator file can be delivered through email and run easily from the Windows desktop, providing a convenient instrument for sales demonstrations, consultant submittals, user training, and final signoffs.