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Crestron Spring DDMC Session

By: Richard Mitchell

Hosting a Crestron DDMC session can be a bit of a challenge at times. Crestron has a dozen new or updated products since their last visit in November and one could explore each device for an hour… GO! The February Crestron DDMC started with Ryan Berndt from Crestron providing an overview of their newest offerings and how they may be deployed at a university/enterprise level.

XiO Cloud
XiO Cloud is a cloud-based deployment, provisioning, and management platform designed for enterprise environments. I know what you are thinking, “but isn’t that kinda what Fusion does?” Yes, errr, not really, well no… I’ll explain. At launch, XiO will have basic control/monitoring of devices… that’s it. But, I’d expect that over time, additional components of Fusion will be transitioned over to XiO Cloud. “Oh no… my Fusion install is worthless!” No… that’s not accurate either. Fusion isn’t going anywhere in the short or mid-term, and Crestron has committed to security updates for the foreseeable future. Also, XiO Cloud will be far from a “Fusion replacement” come summer as XiO will only work with a select number of more-modern Crestron devices. XiO Cloud may never fully replace Fusion, but as time marches on, it may not need to as the way organizations manage devices has changed since the launch of Fusion. We’ll be keeping an eye out on this service.

AirMedia 2.0
AirMedia just got ONE better! (insert laughter). But seriously, AirMedia has transformed from a device you would purchase, say an AM-101, to a platform. AirMedia is here to stay, and it will most likely be a part of more installs going forward. Specifically, the Crestron DMPS3-4K-350-C has AirMedia built in… so it’s one less device to buy, and this is a trend that is sure to trickle down to other products.

For simple meeting or huddle spaces, Crestron has launched their CCS-FF-2, the first in their FreeForm Presentation System line of offerings. Think of this as a headless Crestron Mercury, with a few features added and stripped out. It offers HDMI and DM wired input, AirMedia 2.0 wireless sharing, and can offer calendar scheduling. This looks to be a rather flexible unit.

Crestron AirBoard
Details on the Crestron AirBoard were thin (pricing, availability, functionality, etc) but it looks to be a “short throw” camera that can capture a standard whiteboard either via HDMI or USB. While this may seem somewhat simple, it’s a regular request from faculty, staff, and students that whiteboard notes be captured as clearly as possible. This is particularly important when working with mathematical formulas. With software, it looks as if the hand is removed from the video, but I hope this is something that can be disabled.

Sending AV over the network is the future of AV. While Crestron was a bit late to the AV over IP game, their NVX device has proven to be a compelling offering. If you’re quoting a classroom upgrade, and the AV installer recommends a 16×16 switcher, you should probably consider NVX as a modern alternative.

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