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Today’s Show:


In the continuation of our ongoing series on home automation we discuss Crestron.  Perhaps the biggest name in home automation, Crestron is the standard by which other automation products are measured.  Crestron solutions are found in the home, corporations, hospitals, education and more. Like other solutions, Crestron home automation packages give you control over your lighting, climate, and entertainment. Here is a little of what Crestron supports.

Lighting and Climate Control

Like other home automation system Crestron  can execute pre-programmed scenes to enhance the mood of whatever you are doing.  If you are not starting from scratch Crestron has a line of products that work wirelessly.  According to Crestron, Crestron’s infiNET Mesh Network technology utilizes all 16 channels on an embedded 2.4 GHz RF wireless network, providing more stable, reliable wireless communications over larger areas.  Products include:

  • Dimmers and Switches
  • Keypads
  • Table Top Controllers
  • Thermostats
  • other devices used to extend the network

Audio and Video Distribution

Crestron’s distributed audio solution lets you enjoy music in any room in your house. Everything from a movie with digital surround sound to listening to your favorite music while you entertain or just lounge around. Control the music from any room in the house.

Crestron can bring your movies, music and all forms of digital media together in a single system that you can access from anywhere in the house. Their Adagio® Media System combines home theater, audio distribution and home control in one solution. You plug all your video sources into Adagio and it provides the video and audio to all your connected rooms.


  • 7.1 surround sound processing
  • Audyssey MultEQ® XT surround sound equalization
  • High-definition analog and HDMI/DVI
  • digital video switching
  • Professional video scaling and deinterlacing
  • Audio distribution for 4 to 6 rooms, expandable up to 24
  • Accepts up to 3 dual tuner cards for AM/FM, XM and SIRIUS® Satellite Radio
  • Plug-and-play connectivity with Apple® iPod® via CEN-IDOC
  • Powerful Crestron control system

iThing Support

Crestron fully supports Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Crestron Mobile™ keeps you connected to the home or office via the internet. You can view alarm status, adjust lights and room temperature from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet connectivity. Crestron Mobile Pro® provides even greater power and flexibility to control your whole house, including pre-set audio and lighting scenes, home entertainment and more. Both apps are compatible with the iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3G, iPhone, and iPod touch.


As you can see the Crestron system is quite impressive and powerful. This is not just for anyone. You can’t just go to a store buy the gear and set everything up your self. Crestron integrators are highly trained  and will work with their clients to define a system that meets their needs. But in order to get this level of support you can expect to pay quite a bit of money.

Crestron does not advertise pricing so its hard to estimate prices. We checked eBay for new Crestron products to get an idea of what the hardware costs. But this is now where near what the final price would be since you have to pay someone to install and configure it. Here are just a few components. The used prices will be denoted below:

Adagio® Media System AMS-AIP Media System APAD CSSTK 3 AMFM $10,000
Crestron TPMC-8X Isys i/O 8.4 WiFi Touchpanel $1900
Crestron Adagio Audio Server AAS-2 $2000 (Used)
Crestron C2N-DAP8RC 7.1 Surround Sound Processor $2100
CRESTRON CNX-PVID8X3 CAT5 Video Distribution Switcher $999 (Used)

Remember that most custom integrators will start to with MSRP or close. You are not only paying for the product when you buy an item, you are paying them for their knowledge in selecting the right product for your needs.

In general Crestron customers don’t price shop, at least not most of them. They look for the Integrators they like the most and go with them. They don’t have time to research, design, and implement a system.

Low(er) Cost Solution

If you really like Crestron, and why wouldn’t you cost not withstanding, the have a solution that may fit your budget. Crestron has developed a new line of product called Prodigy. Again we had to go to eBay for pricing but a 4 ZONE package with 12 lighting controls (6 Dimmers and 6 Switches , 4 audio keypads, ipod dock, am/fm/ sirius/XM tuners, amps, Touchpanel, Touchpanel Remote and Thermostat is going for $5700 on eBay. The system is expandable and can be installed by a somewhat qualified DIYer.

Final Thoughts

We all want the coolest smartest house! Its no doubt that with Crestron you would have just that. Unfortunately, most of us who read this won’t be able to afford a home automation system that uses Crestron components. But it sure is something we can dream about for when we make it big!

Download Episode #438

Posted by The HT Guys, August 12, 2010 10:53 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.