Have you ever watched a little child’s eyes when they walk into a huge toy store and take in the sky-high piles of toys? That was my expression when I walked into Crestron and Sapphire Marketing’s holiday party last week in New York City.
The entrance of the building featured a ceiling beautifully decorated with rows of holiday lights and garland all the way up to their floor in the building, which was lined with striking window displays from all of the architects and designers in the building. And I wasn't disappointed when greeted in the Crestron showroom, which re-created a fully loaded NYC apartment.
Ken Vanemon, my Crestron rep from Sapphire Marketing, met me at the door. Because I was the first to arrive, he gave me an in-depth tour of the space before the party began. His knowledge of Crestron products was so profound that there was hardly room for questioning after he was done with the tour. His enthusiasm of the new lines was contagious, as well.
We started in the “living room,” where he showed me their tabletop iPad dock and MLX3 remote that controlled an 80-inch Sharp TV, as well as the shading and lighting in the entire room.
As he walked me through the kitchen area and the bedroom, it brought to life one of my favorite things about Crestron: their aesthetically pleasing components and controls. The kitchen had a V-Panel—a 24-inch, thin-framed touch panel—on the counter where the security cameras could be seen, and an in-wall iPad dock where a client could easily mount their iPad to be used as a keypad.
The bedroom had a small, sleek, 10-button HT-TB10 handheld keypad that sat on the bedside table and actually added to the aesthetics of the room instead of distracting the eye from the decor. The keypads not only controlled the system, but the lighting and shading as well.
Ken also introduced me to some of the components in their line. SWAMP is an 8-zone audio distribution system that can connect to as many as 24 sources. Another unit was the ADMS, the company’s “Intermedia Delivery System,”—Crestron’s version of a media center.
One of the most impressive parts of our tour was Crestron’s new line of shades, which are just starting to ship. They have the entire showroom exhibiting their shades, and in the back, they have the different styles displayed as well as a book of all the fabrics available in the line. I am told that their pricing is comparable to established brands in the category and will fit right into the home of any Crestron client.
Crestron is working on becoming more user friendly not only to the client, but to the integrator as well. They are developing new software solutions called Crestron Studio that do not require such an elite programmer, but are catering to a more “drag-and-drop” interface that will make the installation and programming of their products a much easier transition.
Click here for a video documenting the party.
After working with Ken for a few months now and getting to visually see the direction of the company, I am impressed and excited to be a part of what Crestron has to offer. Their designs suit my NYC clientele, and I appreciate how the company is working to design their systems with the end user in mind.
Todd Anthony Puma is president of The Source Home Theater Installation in New York City.