This is one of Tom Barnett’s last interviews as Crestron’s director of marketing communications.
Before Barnett stepped away from the Rockleigh, N.J.-based automation manufacturer he talked with TechDecisions Editor-in-Chief Tom LeBlanc about Crestron‘s integral role in some of the most important tech trends including 4K standards, evolving AV distribution demands and IT-friendly solutions.
TL: A year into the launch of Crestron’s 4K certification program, how’s it going?
TB: [Now] that the program has been in market for a little bit over a year [display] manufacturers are coming to us. They want to send us displays before they’re introduced to the market because the systems integration vertical market is a very valuable one to their business and they know that the Crestron certification is valuable to the integrators.
TL: How has popularity of streaming and inexpensive AV distribution options changed how Crestron and its dealers bring DigitalMedia to market?
TB: DigitalMedia has continued to grow through that and it has benefited greatly from the expectation and the home experience. If I have a picture I just took [on my phone] in the house and I have an Apple TV in my house as well, I’ve got the expectation that of course I can take anything from anything and get it anywhere … That same expectation is there with everybody in [a client’s] organization because it’s so democratized.
So that, of course, has driven us to come up with things like our AirMedia products and apps because as we all know just taking Apple TVs and putting them in 50 conference rooms is not really going to solve the problem because not everybody is going to be carrying an Apple device … There’s a market there to capitalize on the desire but deliver something that really belongs in the enterprise.
TL: What are some best practices for 4K distribution system installation?
TB: There’s this expectation that everything on the network is going to be as managed and as manageable as all the IT equipment … So we’ve introduced a program or really just a way of doing business that we call Crestron Certified Design.
[An integrator] sends us a proposal or request for quote, we’ll look at it and say here are all the parts you asked about, here’s your quote … But we’ll also [choose to] send them back a Crestron Certified Design [indicating] other components that are managed equivalents from Crestron that could make this into a single-platform system along the lines of the single platform network structure that you’re likely putting in.
There are also benefits that we add to that system because we can stand behind it because we helped design it, like additional warranty, service contracts and in fact we’ll add an enterprise license for Crestron Fusion for that customer if they elect to take that certified design.
Video: Watch Tom Barnett speak with Tom LeBlanc.