JD Systems may be one of the top systems integration firms in Staten Island and the New York tri-state area, but we don’t do it alone. Our supply chain partners and vast vendor network give us the opportunity to specify the right AV gear for any commercial installation project.

In the coming weeks, we’ll recognize some of those organizations in a series of posts that reveal systems integration trends and explore some of the year’s hottest products.

We’d like to thank Sean Goldstein, Crestron’s VP of Marketing, for being the first interview in our Manufacturer Spotlight series.

Crestron Company Overview

About Crestron

For more than 40 years, Crestron Electronics has provided AV control systems and automation systems for corporate offices, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, houses of worship and more, as well as whole home automation systems. The company is committed to creating systems that work together to save energy and make audio visual control intuitive and user-friendly creating a seamless experience for the end user.

JD Systems: Control systems have become an integral part of nearly every commercial audio visual installation. Can you quickly review some of your bestselling product lines, particularly for restaurant and hospitality markets?

Sean Goldstein, Crestron: Crestron DigitalMedia is one of our best-selling product lines, particularly in restaurant and hospitality markets. The cornerstone of success for hotels, casinos, restaurants or bars is to entertain their guests. These facilities incorporate several displays into their spaces as a draw to get guests to their venue and keep them there. Whether displaying a sporting event, concert, or digital signage, DigitalMedia (DM) can handle all these sources and distribute them to multiple displays throughout the facility. Guests can watch the same football game from wherever they are seated in the room, or they can watch different games throughout the venue.

JD Systems: Control via iPad, tablet or smartphone is one of the next big things for commercial applications. How is this accomplished with a Crestron system?

Crestron’s Goldstein:
Now iPhone®, iPad® and Android™ users can get the same interface from one app. Crestron Mobile Pro® merges Crestron building control innovation with all platforms, turning tablets or smartphones into a powerful Crestron touchscreen. From any device, facility managers can enjoy reliable and complete building control from virtually anywhere in the world.

An intuitive graphical interface provides real-time status of room temperatures, lighting levels, shade positions, streaming security camera video, distributed audio systems (including metadata), and other connected building systems.

JD Systems: What are some of the biggest current trends you see in control system technology, on the professional side, right now?

Crestron’s Goldstein: There are three major trends happening in the world of AV. The first is the transition from analog to digital. As advancements in technology continue to distribute digital content as opposed to analog, organizations must be have an integrated infrastructure in place that can manage and distribute digital copy protected content such as video with HDCP encryptions. These encryptions can cause problems, especially for users who want to connect multiple displays to a single device. These issues are magnified as the content is distributed over fiber. We see a transition from traditional copper CAT5e/6 to multimode and even single mode fiber. This will happen over several years, of course, so the ability to seamlessly manage and distribute these sophisticated digital signals over both copper and fiber is critical.

The second major trend is enterprise global networking and cross-platform communication. Clients are no longer thinking of an AV system in terms of a single room. The project must now be thought of an enterprise-wide solution. AV systems must now have complete visibility to facilities and IT management on the LAN or WAN. These internal organizations (facilities and IT) want to monitor, manage and control all systems through their own third-party software solutions. Building Management Systems communicate BACNet/IP and IT systems communicate over SNMP. AV, lighting and other systems need to speak these languages to integrate on the network or clients will reject them.

The market also demands a consistent management and control platform across multiple operating systems. So, control of all of these systems needs to look and function the same Windows, Mac and even IOS and Android devices.

The third major trend we see is the changing role of the end-user. Facility managers, IT managers, real estate managers, and owners are taking a much more proactive role in defining the building technology to be used in their environments. Customers expect manufacturers to provide more than just an “AV” solution. They require an integrated technology solution for the entire building to maximize productivity, efficiency, energy savings, and reduce operational costs. They want all equipment on the system to be engineered from the ground up to work together. They want to work with and buy from a single manufacturer and an expert dealer to ensure a flawless implementation.

JD Systems: Looking ahead, what are some of Crestron’s plans and goals for 2013?

Crestron’s Goldstein: We plan to educate our customers around the value of a completely integrated building solution. The amount of technology in rooms, buildings and across organizations continues to increase. Now, AV, lighting, HVAC, voice and data, security, room scheduling, and window shades are all connected to the network. And each new technology on the network adds another layer of complexity. More and more staff is required to manage all of it. As a result, the ability to integrate and intelligently manage all of these disparate building technologies has become a necessity.