On AVoX: Crestron

Michael DiBella, Director of Commercial Product Marketing at Crestron
(Image credit: Future)

AVT Question: Please share insight into the current state of networked AV and control; what you see as barriers to entry; and what advice can you offer on how AV/IT managers can overcome limited resources or a lack of buy-in.

Thought Leader: Michael DiBella, Director of Commercial Product Marketing at Crestron (opens in new tab)

Honestly, I think the biggest barrier is one of mindset, given the technology we’ve developed. There’s a resistance to migrating from a processor—a piece of hardware, a device one might perceive as easier to manage and control—to a network that can expand.

I’d be willing to bet that most IT professionals would be more comfortable with an on-premises software solution." — Michael DiBella, Director of Commercial Product Marketing at Crestron

If there’s a determination that a company is willing to entertain a software solution, there’s another variable: Is it on-premises or off? I’d be willing to bet that most IT professionals would be more comfortable with an on-premises software solution; it’s less of a “giant step,” especially given the importance of data integrity, security, and so on. 

I think that once one understands the benefits of a software solution, it’s an easier sell. These solutions come with incredible cost savings in terms of the ongoing management of that control system. Instead of managing tens, if not hundreds, or even thousands of individual processors across individual rooms, floors, and buildings, now you’re managing a few servers (or even just one) controlling hundreds or even thousands of rooms.

It’s vastly easier to update that single server with a general software update than pushing out firmware updates to all of these different processors as well. Additionally, with the right software, one can integrate existing hardware into the overall solution.

Here’s an example: We’re seeing more and more deployments of video walls and signage. You might have an existing Crestron control processor in a conference room, but now you want to interact with that video wall. You could now use a solution such as VC-4, Crestron’s virtual control; it’s easier to deploy, and as that processor hits the end of its life, you merely buy an additional license for that room and retain all the functionality.

AV Technology's Thought Leader Series on AVoX

Check out what other industry thought leaders have to say about the state of networked AV. A full list with links can be found at the bottom of the On AVoX, the Intro Article (opens in new tab)

Cindy Davis
Brand and content director of AV Technology

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 20 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. From 2000 to 2008, Davis was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Electronic House. From 2009 to present, as the principal of CustomMedia.Co, Davis developed content plans and delivered content for associations such as IEEE Standards Association and AVIXA, content marketing for Future Plc, and numerous AV/IT companies. Davis was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.