You won’t find a more passionate evangelist for Crestron‘s new DigitalMedia initiative than PR chief Jeff Singer, and he presented an interesting case to me that the history of Crestron’s development of the initiative, and resulting family of products on display this week at InfoComm with more coming shortly thereafter, represents a mission to be on the bleeding edge of the industry’s current paradigm shift into the digital universe.
Jeff’s point was that Crestron has been developing the initiative for five years, far earlier than when it was fashionable, as company founder George Feldstein, according to Jeff, recognized that what Jeff calls “the analog sunset” was looming. In 1998, he reminded me, Feldstein approved inserting an Ethernet board into a control system at a time when he was widely considered crazy for doing so.
“They used to say such things were IT, not AV,” Jeff told me. “But George knew everything would be networked, and I consider him a visionary.”
Thus, the DigitalMedia initiative arrived at InfoComm this week with a big push garnering a lot of attention with a suite of products aimed at helping installers and AV professionals gain control over, and seamless management of, all the various flavors of digital signals flowing in and out of various systems. There is way too much product involved to describe here. You should check it out for yourself. But Jeff’s point is that what Crestron is calling DigitalMedia is really about a unified chain of products that includes, among other things, switchers, transmitters, receivers, repeaters, controllers, input and output cards, cables, and perhaps as important as all of those, software, a creature that no longer belongs exclusively to the IT world anymore.