Product Spotlight: Crestron Digital Media

There’s no question that the digital age is here today. Analog television is off the air; practically every device that plugs into a display has an HDMI port; the latest MacBooks only provide DisplayPort outputs; laptops now include built-in Blu-ray players; and the latest video conferencing systems feature HDMI/DVI outputs exclusively. Crestron DigitalMedia™ (DM) is the only solution that answers the challenges of tomorrow – today.

Whole-house multimedia distribution offers several conveniences including having the ability to access your sources at all television locations (Set top boxes, Kaleidescape, Game Consoles etc.) which allows greater installation flexibility, but more importantly offers access to all of your content at every television. In many instances, RMS installs and configures multiple Digital Video Recorders (DVR) for each user in a home. This gives great flexibility and convenience by allowing per-user recordings and also the ability to monitor what the children are watching at any given time (by switching to their cable box).  Multimedia distribution also allows you to start a program in one room, and finish it in another, without missing a second of it.  The Crestron Digital Media system provides the backbone for new and upcoming multimedia technologies such as HDMI, USB, and ETHERNET. This system is “card-slot” based, meaning it can be expanded and adopted to work with future technologies at a later date.

In many cases, the majority of the system is installed in a rack located in a mechanical room, out of site.  At each television is a Crestron DM-RMC (Digital Media – Room Media Controller) device that is small enough to be easily concealed.  This provides the link to the system and all of the sources available, at every television.  This type of system design places all of the source components in one central area for installation flexibility, and eliminates redundant components in the system.

The difference between Crestron Digital Media, and every other video distribution system, is its “future-proof” design.  The system was engineered specifically to tackle the difficult distribution of today’s high-definition broadcasts (with its encrypted HDCP system), and also allows upgrading and expansion for new formats and technologies.

RMS is a leader in Crestron installation and programming with many satisfied clients utilizing this great new technology.  Contact us for more information or for a consultation to see if this technology is right for your needs!

Apr 20, 2010 / Features

Now Available: Crestron XPanel control for Apple Macintosh

Mac Users Can Now Enjoy Remote “Virtual Touchpanel” Control of Crestron Systems


Now available, Crestron XPanel for Mac® enables system managers and end users to access and control Crestron systems from any connected Mac computer or laptop. XPanel for Mac transforms an iMac® or MacBook® into a virtual touchpanel, and is a great complement to other Apple® products that are integrated with Crestron, including the iPhone®, iPod® and iPod touch®.


XPanel for Mac

“XPanel was built on the industry’s first IP-based control technology, which Crestron developed more than 10 years ago,” said Vincent Bruno, Crestron Director of Marketing. “Originally designed for PCs, we are now pleased to offer the same capabilities to Mac users, particularly in schools and residences where Macs are in frequent use.”

XPanel for Mac replicates the Crestron touchpanel experience on a computer screen, so a client can remotely check to see if lights were left on and turn them off, or arm/disarm the security system from any location. System managers can take control of a classroom and help an instructor get a presentation up and running quickly, without physically going to the room. With XPanel for Mac, the screen graphics are designed with the Mac user in mind, making remote access simple and intuitive.

For more information on XPanel for MAC or if you are interested in having XPanel for MAC added to your Crestron system, please contact Residential Media Systems Ltd. now.

Jan 29, 2010 / New Products

Bethlehem Residence 1


This 10,000 sq. ft. custom home truly offers its occupants the conveniences of home automation and entertainment.

Creston provides the back-bone for the whole-house audio distribution with speakers in the family room, kitchen, formal living room, office, billiard room, master bedroom, master bathroom, exercise room, back patio, and pool.  Various keypads, remotes, and touch-panels in convenient locations, provide easy control of the XM Satellite Radio, Kaleidescape media server, iPod, and FM radio.  Sonance in-wall and in-ceiling speakers throughout the home integrate nicely for a clean installation.  In the formal family room, Sound Advance “disappearing” speakers were integrated into the walls, for a completely seamless installation, while providing great sounding music.

The family room offers a theater experience, with a 50” High-Definition plasma integrated into the beautiful custom cabinetry.  RBH left, center, and right channel speakers are cleverly concealed behind custom designed speaker grills in the cabinetry.  RBH in-wall speakers provide the surround channels, while an RBH 12” subwoofer is in the front cabinet with barely visible vents in the toe-kick.  A Marantz digital surround receiver powers these speakers with ease.  The Kaleidescape movie server provides the family with their entire movie collection in an easy-to-use graphical interface.  The server can also make “recommendations” on what to watch, based on the current movie selection.  A local iPod dock gives the users the ability to watch any iPod video on the system.  An RTI T2b RF remote provides easy, one-touch control of the entire system.  Lutron Lighting and Shading is also integrated, and is easily controlled either by the touch-panels and keypads, or the RTI remote.  Setting the room up for a movie is a simple “one-touch” operation, lowering the lighting and the shading for just the right ambiance.

All of the televisions in the home are connected to a unique central video-distribution system, so all of the client’s content is available at every television.  DirecTV DVRs provide the parents, children, and guests with their own recordings, channel preferences, and parental control. The Kaleidescape movie server can also be viewed on any TV allowing the clients to start a movie in one room, and finish it in another.

There is as much fun outside as there is inside. A covered patio provides entertainment with a weather proof Sunbrite TV mounted above a beautiful stone fireplace for those nice evenings for sitting outside.  In-ceiling speakers provide great sound for any of the various sources in this space.  The open air pool house is also home to a discrete TV available for viewing even from the Hot Tub.

Lutron provides the lighting and shading control for the entire home.  This system allows the users to select various “scenes” for each of the rooms.  Since each room features multiple lighting loads, this saves the homeowners from having to fumble for various switches and dimmers in each space.  Also, the Lutron lighting control system greatly reduces the amount of unsightly switches and dimmers, providing access to multiple loads from a single keypad, greatly improving each room’s visual appeal.  The Lutron shades are provided in the family room and in the breakfast nook to allow just the right amount of sunlight based on the user’s preference.  In the summer time, they can be lowered during the day to reduce the cooling costs, while in the winter they can be raised, to allow the sun’s natural warmth to help heat the large home.

The Crestron system also provides access to HVAC and security systems as well, greatly reducing the amount of unsightly keypads and displays throughout the home.  The large easy-to-read touch-panel located in the kitchen acts as the “control-center” for the entire home, providing access and control to the whole-house music system, Lutron lighting and shading, heating and cooling, and security.

This family of 4 uses their RMS system every day, and truly appreciates the convenience it provides them to fully enjoy their large home, and its complex systems.

Jan 14, 2010 / Features

Lancaster Residence 1

A finished basement quickly turned into much more, once the homeowner saw what technologies were available. The local Lancaster PA residents decided they wanted much more than just a home theater in their basement but with two children, they knew they would need a system that also fit their daily needs.

A Crestron Digital Media system provides the backbone for the various televisions around the house. The Crestron DM system gives each user access to the various video sources at every television location. The children can watch recorded High-Definition television shows from the Comcast HD-DVR, while Mom and Dad watch a movie on the Kalaidescape system. Apple TV and Boxee are additional sources which can be viewed at every television location and provide access to streaming HD video content.

Crestron was also used for the whole-house audio system with architectural speakers located in the Family Room, Kitchen, Sunroom, Office, Master Bedroom, Master Bathroom, and the Outside Deck and Patio. The family can listen to a variety of audio sources including; iTunes, Pandora, Rhapsody, and the family’s local music collection. A Crestron TPS-6X wireless touch panel gives control of the entire system and can be carried throughout the home. Easy access is also available on the owners Apple iPhones and iTouches. This control even extends to the Lutron Lighting and HVAC systems via the Crestron control iPhone app.

The Family Room features a Pioneer 50” HD Plasma display concealed behind a Seura Mirror and Frame so when the system is off, there isn’t an unsightly TV taking away from the décor. Flanking the Plasma are ARTCoustics DF100-75 speakers providing the front stage of sound and are easily mistaken for framed artwork. In-wall speakers to the right and left provide surround sound, while blending seamlessly in with the walls. An RTI T2+ remote control offers simple, one-touch control for the entire system.

The basement Theater system provides High-Definition viewing for the entire family. A Draper 96” screen is flanked by KEF Q-Series speakers and powered Subwoofer. A Pioneer D-ILA digital High-Definition projector provides beautiful life-like images from a variety of different sources. A Kaleidescape DVD server allows access to all of the family movies from an easy on-screen interface. AppleTV allows access to HD movies and TV shows on demand. A Boxee server also provides on-demand video, and access to online video services such as Hulu and YouTube. The entire system is controlled by an RTI T2-C remote control. The remote also allows control of the Lutron Lighting and Shading as well as the Color Kinetic LED system allowing the user to change the color of accent lighting in the space to set just the right “mood”.

This family truly understands what it means to allow home automation and Audio/Video to work for their lifestyle.

Jan 14, 2010 / Features