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Crestron Electronics, Inc.

Crestron offers the only complete end-to-end solution with a complete line of hardware and software. Crestron not only connects and controls devices; we integrate and automate all the building systems to provide a connected experience. We deliver integrated solutions for audio, video, IP, lighting and climate control making wiring and installations easier and promoting system integrity.
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Crestron Home OS 4.1: Audio, Lighting, and More
Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Crestron Home OS 4.1: Audio, Lighting, and More

The first tweaks to Crestron Home OS 4 are here, and they include support for more lighting solutions, a range of great DM NAX audio-over-IP devices, and improvements to ?the platform’s configurator.

April 30, 2024 - After rolling out a massive update to the most powerful smart home platform in the world, we’re once again improving the software as new devices and solutions are added to the Crestron portfolio. Now that the incredibly intuitive Crestron Home OS® 4 has replaced OS 3, another update has arrived — 4.1 — again, at no charge to the customer.

“These updates are integral to the platform’s success,” says Jason Oster, Crestron’s director of product management: software solutions. “And we’ve been developing a bunch of new audio-over-IP solutions that we’re integrating into the platform with 4.1.”

DM NAX Technology: The Amp and the Processor

This latest update to the Crestron Home OS includes support for the DM-NAX-4ZSA-50 amplifier. A “little brother” of Crestron’s immensely popular DM-NAX-8ZSA, this four (plus one) zone amplifier with built-in streaming services, a terrific onboard DSP (and much more), comes in a half-rack-width 1RU package — at a lower price point to match. It’s perfect for adding an expansion amplifier to an existing system, outfitting MDUs, or smaller residential projects. 

Another aspect that sets this amp apart: The DM-NAX-4ZSA-50 is the first Crestron amplifier to feature GaN Class D technology, which allows higher output power to fit into small form factors without sacrificing efficiency or audio performance. It further means that the amp runs cool, so its fanless operation is perfect for installs where quiet is a must.

Version 4.1 also offers support for the new DM-NAX-XSP Audio Return Processor, Crestron’s first surround sound decoding DM NAX® digital signal processor. This latest innovation offers yet another significant benefit for your clients: The DM-NAX-XSP can bridge streaming TVs to Crestron’s DM NAX multi-room audio distribution system.  

Streaming TVs have become an increasingly popular audio source, hosting popular apps such as Netflix®, Hulu®, Amazon® Prime® streaming services, and the like — their ease of use is often preferred over external boxes or dongles. The DM-NAX-XSP bridges this with an audio distribution system for premium in-room or multi-room audio and pairs seamlessly with any Crestron DM NAX amp or preamp to bring HDMI® connectivity, eARC, and ARC audio video support and immersive audio from Dolby Atmos® or DTS:X® formats.

The Audio Edge Devices

Crestron’s drive to give your clients as many options as possible led to the development of several DM NAX Audio Edge devices. “These are great new ways to bring ‘entertainment everywhere’ to any installation,” says Oster. The Crestron DM NAX Audio Edge Devices offer a versatile range of solutions to fit nearly any AV environment, all in two form factors, offering straightforward installation and connectivity, and compatibility with DM NVX® AV-over-IP, DM NAX® audio-over-IP, AES67, and Dante® audio-over-IP systems.

The Crestron Home OS 4.1 update offers support for four of these solutions:

The DM NAX Wall Plate with Bluetooth® Connectivity and Unbalanced Analog Audio Input and Output: DM-NAX-BTIO-1G — This device allows any wired or wireless audio source to bridge to a DM NAX network. It’s the closest one can get to a truly universal solution.

The DM NAX Wall Plate with XLR Input and Balanced Analog Audio Output: DM-NAX-2XLRI-1G — Should a job call for a connection to pro audio, high-end components, or even karaoke or DJ gear, this is the answer.

The DM NAX Converter with Balanced Analog Audio Input and Output: DM-NAX-AUD-IO — Perfect for a client with a physical media library they’d like to bring into their digital system, this device connects CD players, cassette decks, turntables, and so on.

The DM NAX Converter with USB and Unbalanced Analog Audio Input and Output: DM-NAX-AUD-USB — As more and more clients stream from phones and laptops, here’s an easy way to get PC or mobile device audio onto your DM NAX® technology network via USB connectivity.

Third-Party Additions — and More Configurator Power

Dealers will immediately note another key benefit of Version 4.1: The ability to import scenes from select third-party lighting ecosystems. Oster explains: “We released Digital Lighting drivers for third-party lighting devices, including the Phillips Hue driver— but it hardly stops there. With 4.1, we expanded the Digital Lighting driver framework, so now Crestron Home is also able to import lighting scenes directly from the Hue hub.”

It’s all part of an overarching philosophy when it comes to the Crestron Home platform: It’s designed to “work and play well” with others. “The more, the merrier,” says Oster. “We're known for control, so the more drivers, the more manufacturers that support lighting and other products, the better.” Another of those manufacturers is Lutron, and with this update, there’s also support for the HomeWorks® HQP7-RF-2 wireless processor.

Those familiar with past updates know that there’s another aspect of the OS that Crestron is constantly evolving: the power of the platform’s configurator. “We’ve expanded the Crestron Home Configurator even further, allowing for the setup of digital inputs and outputs before the dealer even hits the job site, for example,” says Oster. “This makes it a snap to include devices such as door sensors or occupancy sensors, so when a door is opened, or motion is detected in a closet or some similar space, you can have the system automatically turn on those lights.”  (That’s just one example of the many updates Crestron has made to the configurator — watch this space for an update soon.) “On the output side, dealers can also now preconfigure relay-controlled devices such as gates, garage doors, and more,” says Oster.

“The whole point of the pre-configuration tool is to get your work done ahead of time. You can do all the data entry for your lights, for your keypads, for the engravings, and now you can also add your digital inputs and outputs as well,” he adds.