News / Media

Crestron Product Spotlight: MC3 3 Series Control System

Today’s larger, more sophisticated networked systems require more processing power, speed and memory. Multiple control systems are required to handle Ethernet intensive communication, and programming these complex systems takes a long time. Updating the program is also challenging. There’s no such thing as a simple change when you have to track layers of logic and manage ongoing file revisions. We live with these realities only because there hasn’t been another viable alternative.

The MC3 is the first of the new Crestron 3-Series control systems, which is designed and performs like a network server rather than a traditional AV processor. MC3 delivers much more power, speed, memory and network communication. Now, just one control system can manage the all the systems throughout the entire home or office. The expanded memory provides the storage needed to host projects for iPhone and iPad, and XPanel for Mac and PC. There’s even enough room for audio files and database files of codec phone numbers. The enhanced power and speed can easily handle all the meta data from iPods, media servers and security systems.

MC3 stores and executes up to 10 different programs, and each program is compartmentalized.

The new 3 Series control systems are engineered for the digital age.

Posted by chantal Wed, 13 Apr 2011 16:05:00 GMT

Yamaha Makes Networking a Priority for RX-V671 Receiver

By Rachel Cericola

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With so many of today’s A/V products tapping into the web, it would make sense that you’d want the brains behind your system to play nice, and be able to connect as well. Yamaha is making the web a major focus of one of its new receivers, the RX-V671.

The newly announced 7.1 channel RX-V671 includes both DLNA 1.5 and Windows 7 certification. That means you can use the receiver to tap into streaming music on any web radio station, as well as services like Napster, Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio, and content stored on all of the DLNA devices around the house.

The RX-V671, as well as the 7.1 RX-V571 and the 5.1 RX-471, also feature a new front-panel USB port, designed specifically for iPod and iPhone playback. This direct connection allows users to view song info and cover art right on the respective receiver’s screen, as well as flip through everything via the included remote.

Other features on all four include CINEMA DSP 3D technology, Yamaha’s Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO), and the Compressed Music Enhancer. The Compressed Music Enhancer is an interesting feature, promising to restore all of the detail in your compressed digital files.

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Posted by chantal Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:16:00 GMT

Ways to Enhance Your Home Theater

by Rachel Cericola

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When it comes to home theater, there are a few standards. We expect a big HDTV or a projector and screen, speakers and a receiver as the bare minimum. Then, there are the items that are just the icing on the cake.

D-BOX Motion Technology

Years ago, we went on a pretty wild ride. It didn’t involve a theme park or lines; instead, we watched an entire movie using the D-BOX Motion Code system. Yes, it does make a difference. It could also spoil every movie without it. Thankfully, more Blu-rays are being released with motion code features. All you need is the equipment to experience it. Multiple manufacturers have seating with the D-BOX option. However, if you already like what you’ve got, you can still add in the experience via a Motion Platform (pictured).

IOGEAR GUC2025H USB to HD Adapter

In case you haven’t noticed, the web is an endless source of entertainment. There are certainly a lot of manufacturers trying to bring that experience to the big screen. However, there really is no substitute for what the web can offer. Sadly, not everyone has a dedicated home theater PC or the know-how to hook a laptop to the TV. The GUC2025H adapter makes those connections possible, by hooking USB to HDMI. Could it get any easier than that?

THX Optimizer

Having a THX setup is truly something special—if you know how to set it up properly. Instead of purchasing a test disc, THX has made the process more enticing by including Optimizer technology on some of your favorite THX-certified DVDs. Star Wars is one of the many titles that offers this extra. (Well, the SD, since the Blu-ray isn’t coming until September). However, consider THX to be your true Jedi Master, as it walks you through a series of test patterns and signals to tune you into the best audio and video possible.

APC Power Conditioner J-Type Battery Backup

There are a lot of tasty fried treats. However, A/V equipment isn’t one of them. APC offers two J-Type devices that can save devices as well as data from all sorts of outages. However, even when things are running smoothly, these products promise to boost performance by eliminating electromagnetic interference (EMI) and cross contamination. Look for the J25B and J35B, which each have eight outlets (six battery with surge and two surge-only), 1500VA capacity, COAX and phone protection jacks, as well as lifetime equipment protection policies.

Boxee Box by D-Link

Still trying to hook that PC to the TV? D-Link is making it easy via the Boxee Box, um… box. This compact device hooks up to any TV to offer up Netflix, VUDU, and almost 200 other apps. The box also offers search across the web and the ability to network in your own content. One other nifty feature is Watch Later, which allows you to bookmark content during computer time for later viewing on the big screen.

LED Lighting

LED can do a lot of different things in a home theater. It can create the most gorgeous array of stars you’ve ever seen, announce the end of your feature presentation, and even guide viewers to the snack bar. In the project seen here, lighting and interior design firm Gramophone used LED Source fixtures to create one killer sci-fi theme. The possibilities are endless, and can be very energy-efficient as well.

Sennheiser Wireless Headphones

It may be hard to believe, but not everyone wants to hear you watching The Expendables for the umpteenth time. Sennheiser has three sets (the RS 160, RS 170 and RS 180) of wireless headphones that allow you to enjoy movie-theater-quality audio inside your movie-theater-quality home theater. Features include dynamic transducers, a frequency response from 18 to 21,000Hz, a sound pressure level of up to 110 dB, and a signal-to-noise ratio of 85 dBA. Also, thanks to Kleer technology, these babies boast cable-free sounds at up to 328 feet, depending on the model.

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Posted by chantal Fri, 08 Apr 2011 16:09:00 GMT

Featured Product: CinemaTech Theater Seating iPad Holder

iPad Holder for Home Theaters

CinemaTech Seating is pleased to announce the latest add-on to their product line, the iPad Holder. This well crafted holder mounts directly into any of their ACT I seats and provides the seamless integration of technology with convenience.

Posted by chantal Tue, 05 Apr 2011 16:30:00 GMT

Crestron Prodigy Streamlines Home Control

The new line of keypads eliminates the need for a separate wireless gateway.

February 16, 2011 by Rachel Cericola

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It’s time to cut out the middleman. Crestron just announced the P-CBDEX and the P-KPLEX, two new wireless keypads that connect directly to the Prodigy home control system. That means there is absolutely no need for any type of gateway.

That’s because all Prodigy control systems, such as the new PMC3 and PMC3-XP, feature a built-in wireless gateway. No separate network is needed, making for a cleaner, easier installation process.

Of course, it’s pretty cool as well. The P-CBDEX offers both lighting and multiroom audio control inside one Prodigy keypad. It has access to on/off functions, as well as audio source selection, volume, lighting presets, and more. Featuring six green pinhole LED lights for 2-way feedback, this model can accommodate up to eight buttons.

The P-KPLEX is more of a rocker—meaning it provides rocker-type control. Designed specifically to do lighting, the P-KPLEX is all about simplicity. That theme runs through the installation, the design, and actual use of the unit.

Crestron’s Prodigy systems and keypads are available now, exclusively through the Crestron’s dealer network…

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Posted by chantal Fri, 18 Mar 2011 16:32:00 GMT

Crestron Press Release: New DigitalMedia 8G Room Controller

Crestron Press Release - March 04, 2011

New DigitalMedia 8G™ Room Controller Adds Built-In HD Video Scaler And Audio Amplifier For Best Digital AV Experience In Every Room

DM-RMC-200-C Scales Any Video Signal to Match the Native Resolution of Any Display, Enables High End Sound Quality in Any Room

Crestron today added the DM-RMC-200-C DigitalMedia 8G™ Receiver & Room Controller to its revolutionary line of DigitalMedia™ 8G distribution technology. Featuring a built-in HD video scaler and 30-watt stereo amplifier, DM-RMC-200-C provides a single HDMI® output, plus speaker and line level audio locally to each display, delivering optimal high-definition display resolutions and audio performance in any room on a DigitalMedia 8G AV network. DM-RMC-200-C accepts any video source from standard 480i to HD 1080p60 with Deep Color, plus all computer sources, and scales them perfectly for the best possible experience in every room.

“Displays today have built-in scalers, but some can’t handle non-standard resolutions from laptops or standard def 480i. Or what about when you want to send a 1080p signal to an older display that can’t handle it?” explained Crestron Director of Marketing, Vincent Bruno. “The new DM-RMC-200-C is the perfect solution to manage all signals to any room display for the best possible experience.”

DM-RMC-200-C extracts the audio from the HDMI signal for easy connection to high-quality external speakers or an amplifier rather than relying on the speakers built into projectors and displays (or for room displays without speakers). The built-in 30-watt stereo amplifier conveniently provides power to drive a pair of local speakers, or the line output can be used to connect directly to an input on the display device, a pair of amplified speakers, or a local AV receiver, amplifier, or sound system.

“HDMI makes cabling easier because all the audio and video is carried on one wire”, explains Bruno. “But what happens when you’re connecting to a display that doesn’t have speakers, or you want better sound than you get from the projector speakers? How do you get the audio out of the HDMI? Now you can.”

For custom applications such as video walls, DM-RMC-200-C provides zoom capability on its output to display just a portion of the source image. Using this feature, multiple units may be combined to configure a high-definition video wall composed of up to 16 individual displays. All that is required is a separate DM-RMC-200-C for each display. Also, 3D to 2D conversion allows 3D content to be fed simultaneously to separate 3D and 2D displays for added flexibility and video performance in settings where multiple screen types are installed.

The only true one-wire high-output AV network, DigitalMedia 8G distributes all analog and pure high-definition digital content - including 1080p with Deep Color, 3D high-definition video, 1920x1200 computer signals, digital AV, control, data, and Ethernet - long distances over a single DM 8G™ cable or CresFiber® 8G, without any need for compression or repeaters.

Posted by chantal Mon, 14 Mar 2011 17:31:00 GMT

Crestron Press Release: New DigitalMedia 8G Fiber Receiver

Crestron Press Release - March 04, 2011

New DigitalMedia 8G™ Fiber Receiver Adds More Audio And Control Options For Maximum Flexibility

DM-RMC-150-S DigitalMedia receiver and room controller accepts all signals over a single fiber strand and outputs HDMI and analog stereo; provides multiple control options plus USB port

Crestron today released the DM-RMC-150-S DigitalMedia 8G™ Fiber Receiver & Room Controller. The room controller receives all analog and uncompressed HD audio/video signals, control, data and Ethernet from a single multimode fiber strand and outputs standard HDMI to the display device. In addition, this latest DM fiber receiver also provides a separate analog stereo audio output to connect to a line input on a display, an AV receiver or an audio amplifier such as the Crestron MP-AMP30.

“Fiber is the infrastructure of the future and the best way to transmit AV and control long distances,” said Crestron Director of Marketing, Vincent Bruno. “CresFiber can carry all signals, including HDMI, up to 1,000 feet. The DM-RMC-150-S takes the fiber in and outputs standard HDMI to the display.”

In addition to the RS232, IR and Ethernet ports, DM-RMC-150-S adds relays, closure sensing and USB ports for additional control options for maximum design and programming flexibility. The slim profile DM-RMC-150-S installs neatly behind a flat panel display or above a ceiling mounted projector.

“HDMI makes cabling easier because all audio and video is carried over one wire”, explains Bruno. “But how do you get the audio out of the HDMI when you want to connect directly to powered speakers or an external amp or receiver? With the DM-RMC-150-S controller, we’ve made it simple.”

The DM-RMC-150-S also functions as a keyboard/mouse extender, allowing a USB HID-compliant keyboard and/or mouse to be connected at the display location. Controlling a computer located at the central equipment rack or in another distant location is no longer an issue, and provides added convenience for teachers, speakers and presenters.

The only true one-wire high-output AV network, DigitalMedia 8G distributes all analog and pure high-definition digital content - including 1080p with Deep Color, 3D high-definition video, 1920x1200 computer signals, plus control, data, and Ethernet - long distances over a single DM 8G™ cable or CresFiber® 8G, without any need for compression or repeaters.

Posted by chantal Thu, 10 Mar 2011 17:16:00 GMT

Apple announces the iPad 2

by Bill Stiteler on Mar 2, 2011 at 02:22 PM

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Today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the iPad 2. The device features front and rear cameras for picture and video, as well as a new A5 processor. Like its predecessor, it comes with 16, 32, or 64 GB in hard disk space. The iPad 2 comes in both WiFi and 3G (GSM and CDMA) configurations. The price point remains the same as the original iPad, with the base model starting at $499 (up to $829 for a 64GB 3G model). All models will be available in black or white on March 11th.

[Update: the Apple store lists the wifi models as being available on March 11. 3G models are “coming soon.”]

The iPad 2 has a slightly different form factor than the iPad, with beveled edges, and it is thinner with a weight of 1.3 lbs. Apple claims the device has an average battery life of 10 hours, same as the original iPad.

There were a few surprises in today’s iPad 2 event, however:
- Jobs announced that with the new processor, the iPad 2 would have up to 2 times the processing speed, and 9 times the graphics power. Resolution remains the same as the original iPad.
- An HDMI out accessory for mirrored video.
- The device is available in both black and white, a coloration problem which still plagues the iPhone.
- There was no mention of 4G upgradability for the device.
- There is no SD card slot, as some sites had rumored.

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Posted by chantal Thu, 03 Mar 2011 18:38:00 GMT

Electronic House Names Product of Year Awards: Part 13

Best products in 35 categories unveiled at CES 2011 in Las Vegas.
January 06, 2011 by Steve Crowe

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Electronic House has announced the winners of its 2011 Product of the Year Awards during an awards presentation at CES 2011 in Las Vegas.
Covering 35 different categories, the winning entries were chosen by a panel of industry experts, integrators and the editors of Electronic House. Judging criteria included creativity, innovation, incorporated equipment, obstacles overcome, aesthetics, and lifestyle benefits.

Video Distribution Systems

ATEN Media Distribution Solution (MDS)

Comprising the ATEN Media Distribution Solution (MDS) are the VS1504/VS1508 and VB552. ATEN’s MDS is designed for all types of digital signage installations. The ATEN VS1504 and VS1508, offered in four- and eight-port flavors, are CAT5 video splitters/extenders ideal for digital signage. The VS1504/VS1508 allows a single 1600 x 1200 video source with audio to be distributed to four and eight monitors up to 490 feet away. When connected to an ATEN VB552, a VGA over CAT5 repeater, the VS1504/VS1508 may be cascaded to three levels of additional VS1504 and VB552s providing audio/visual data to potentially hundreds of displays.

Wireless Networking Devices

Actiontec Electronics MI424WR Wireless N Gigabit Ethernet Broadband Router

Actiontec’s MI424WR Gig E next generation Wireless Broadband Router is a powerful home gateway designed to simplify how HD video and other media-rich content are distributed throughout today’s home. The next-gen MI424WR features industry leading performance, Gigabit Ethernet and MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) support to give consumers, Custom Installation professionals, and broadband service providers an easy, high performance solution to satisfy increasing demand for streaming HD broadband video.

Media Servers

Autonomic Controls, Inc Mirage Media Server

Autonomic’s Mirage Media Server is a five source streaming media server that combines traditional media server functionality with Internet cloud technology that provides users with global access to their content and streaming media services. The Autonomic Mirage Media Server stores its content on a private, secure digital locker on the Internet. This enables the device to automatically synchronize multiple units in remote locations, as well as provide customers with access to their media on virtually any portable or web enabled device. The server also maintains a local copy of media for reliable, local playback. Content can be uploaded from anywhere and instant access is available with mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Google Android, Windows Mobile), consumer devices (Nintendo, Wii, Sony Playstation, Tivo), or though home control systems such as Crestron, AMX, RTI and URC. The Autonomic Mirage Media Server is built upon the field-proven and industry acclaimed Mirage Media Control System technology. The Mirage Media Control System is the most comprehensive control solution for integrating digital media and streaming Internet content.

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Posted by chantal Tue, 01 Mar 2011 17:19:00 GMT

Featured Product: Crestron ADMS Intermedia Delivery System

Crestron ADMS Intermedia Delivery System

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The ADMS Intermedia Delivery System dramatically revolutionizes and simplifies the way home entertainment is acquired, managed and enjoyed, by removing the boundaries between movies, music, TV and the Internet once and for all. ADMS is much more than a mere media server with a bay of hard drives that store whatever you rip to them. ADMS is a dynamic, real-time entertainment delivery technology that brings any media you want right to your home theater, all from your Crestron touch screen or remote. To access the voluminous but fragmented flood of online music and videos available today, homeowners have to search each source independently through its own proprietary interface. Until now. For the first time, the universe of digital entertainment can be captured and enjoyed right from your couch. And ADMS doesn’t just serve the audio and video content you own. Exclusive, WorldSearch® technology locates and displays anything the homeowner desires. Search online movies, TV, & videos through Netflix®, Hulu™, Metacafe®, Vimeo™, YouTube™, ESPN, CNN, ABC News, Comedy Central and many other online sources The new paradigm for managing media, ADMS consolidates and streamlines home and online source information, saving precious time when seeking a music file, new blockbuster release, video clip or online TV episode. A beautiful, intuitive menu guides you along the way, displaying cover art and metadata for music and movies, with multiple ways to find the precise content you want, fast. ADMS brings all your digital media together into one attractive solution, incorporating an audiophile-grade multimedia server, Blu-ray Disc-compatible DVD player, Web browser and streaming media player.

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Posted by chantal Mon, 28 Feb 2011 18:25:00 GMT