Crestron's new Network Stream Player is now available to ship. The new player provides both wired and wireless options for streaming music from iPod, iPhone, or iPad to a Crestron audio distribution system. Anyone in the home can access their iTunes music while controlling the listening experience with a Crestron app or touch screen. With the new player, homeowners get an all-in-one streaming solution in a compact, budget-friendly package.
Listeners can use AirPlay to instantly connect with their own network stream player, turn on the home audio system, and enjoy their favorite music from any app – all with just a single tap on the device in their hand. When integrated with a whole house audio system, such as Sonnex, users can use the Crestron app on their device (or a Crestron touch screen) to direct that music to any room or every room in the house. This opens the door to literally any Internet radio service with an iOS app.
In addition to wireless AirPlay connectivity, the network stream player enables connecting an iPhone, iPad, or iPod to a player via USB 2.0 using any Apple dock and/or cable. Wired connectivity opens up a world of possibilities with Crestron control and Apple services, including integration with iCloud and iTunes Match. One great application is an iPod touch connected to each CEN-NSP-1 in the rack, syncing to iCloud via Wi-Fi. Now, other iOS devices are free for personal use while listening to iTunes music. Use the phone or tablet instead for texting, emailing, browsing the internet, playing games, or taking photos.
Homeowners can browse, search, and select among songs, albums, artists, and playlists from either the Crestron app on their Apple devices or Crestron touch screens. Since the content is on the wired device in the rack, homeowners don’t have to carry around their personal device if they don’t want to, and the music never “drops out” due to inconsistent Wi-Fi connectivity or when the phone rings.
The Network Stream Player will natively stream Internet radio sources—so the tunes don’t stop every time the phone rings! This feature will be available soon, requiring a simple remote firmware upgrade as popular sources become available. Traditional music and video servers require third-party management and ongoing programming and GUI design updates. The Network Stream Player takes care of all of that automatically. There is no programming or GUI design work required. Once the firmware is upgraded by the Crestron dealer, homeowners can sign into their accounts as they normally do to activate the new services – right from the touch screen. Crestron will update dealers and their customers as subscription services become available.
The compact player simplifies integration with multi-zone audio systems such as Sonnex. It significantly reduces the hardware, installation, and configuration required by earlier solutions. With its stereo and S/PDIF outputs, the player supports both digital and analog audio interconnection. Multiple units can be positioned throughout a home to provide a modular, scalable solution with independently controlled outputs—to accommodate every listener.