crestron home system

C

calgarianperson

Junior Audioholic
i have been looking at this crestron stuff and it seems quite interesting and capable of doing what i want to accomplish... only problem is there is no listed prices. there are a few local dealers who will do the install programming etc but i was wondering how much you would guess a system like this would cost.

*the digital audio processor (for the theater 7.1 sound)
*the 7x200 watt amp
*someting to get video from at least 4 sources (dvd, vcr, computer, and other)
*something to send the audio to speakers in at least 4 rooms (perhaps the proffesional audio distributer)
*the intelligent audio amplifier for sending the audio to the rooms
*the control system
*2 5.7 inch lcd control panels (1 for each level)
*the ability to get the image on to either a bigscreen or projector as well as 2 tvs in a sportsbar and 1 other elsewhere
*the"crescat" cables to hook it all together if the lcds are 50-100 ft away from the server rack and the tvs are a total of 500 ft away between the 4

now this is most likely out of my pricerange but i was just wondering what it would cost.

(also crestron doesnt have it but i would put a music server with dual 250 gig drives to play audio through the house if that has any big cost effects) :)
 
jaxvon

jaxvon

Audioholic Ninja
I'd say that you could do most of what you want with a good AV Reciever from B&K or Denon. For the extra rooms and video sources, you may want to look at using the Crestron system. At the moment, you're looking at spending a lot on electronics alone. I personally don't have any experience with Crestron, but someone else here might. I know there is more than one pro installer lurking on these forums.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Let me begin by saying: Crestron is the ONLY way to go on audio distribution, but you are probably better off spending your A/V gear cash on other stuff.

Do you want/need 2-way communication for anything you own? Digital music management system? Other really high end two-way gear? If not:

Crestron: CP2-PAK-C17 - about $4200.00MSRP - Includes processor, 1-touchpanel (ST-1700c), 1-RF receiver, 1 (small) power supply, a few IR emitters

1 - ST-1700C - like $2,800.00 5.7" RF touchpanel
1 - PAD-8 - 8 zone, 8 source audio preamp/volume control/switcher (analog) ($1,800MSRP)

1 PER ZONE - For each stereo zone in your home (music only) use a 12 button Crestron keypad in the wall ($260 MSRP each - ish) Controls volume, source selection, and limited control of source. Far superior w/programming than any IR keypad on the market. Keypad is hard wired.

Non-Crestron:

For surround rooms - Denon or Yamaha A/V receiver w/RS-232 - Excellent choices with top notch control will provide years of rock solid use.

Amplifier: Sonanace 1250 if you really want to kick some butt... 12 channels at 50 watts per channel make it awesome for good audio distribution - Or, two Rotel RMB-1048 amps at 40 watts per channel times 8. The Rotel amps match up nicely with a Pad-8

Video distribution: Appropriate Extron switcher - depends strongly on where all video actually needs to go.

Now - if you have a good digital music server that you want to know artist/track/search info from something like an Imerge or Audio Request music server, then going with a two-way wireless panel will add a fair amount to the price - about $1,000 or more per panel.

Recommendations to save cash and make you happier: GET THE ML-500 REMOTE - and hardwire a couple of TPS-2000L touchpanels. The ML-500 isn't as snazzy as the ST-1700 touchpanels, but at about $700.00 each, they cost a ton less. The hard button remotes also are easy to use in the dark which makes them much better for daily theater watching and they are far less fragile which means they are kid friendly. But, they are still Crestron which means that when you press "DVD" - everything necessary to watch a DVD is automatically setup for you, or whoever needs it.

My home uses a lot of Crestron with several 10 inch wired panels, a couple ML-500s about 8 (now) 12 button keypads and over a dozen separate zones with an Imerge music server and the more typical audio sources as well as thermostat control, security camera monitoring, and some lighting control.

Of course - this is how I earn my paycheck... So, if you are interested in more details you can shoot me a PM. Let me know where you live, not sure how much I can hook you up, but there are things that may help you out that I know. I'm in the Washington DC area.
 
C

calgarianperson

Junior Audioholic
Thanks very much...i was looking at prices of this equipment and it is far more reasonable then some of the Crestron AV room stuff i was looking at....

a few questions:

how much would it cost to have a extron switcher to recieve signals from a HDTV decoder, DVD, VCR, PC and send them to a big screen or projector (25 feet away and 2 sports bar tvs (both 75 feet away) ?

how much would it cost to bring up playlist, track info in the rooms because this is a must if i put in a music server?

how much would an imerge server cost with around 200 gigs of storage?

Thanks in advance.
 
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BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
iMerge can probably be had on eBay for a much more reasonable price than new - but I think they are about $2,000.00ish. Depending on hard drive size and how many zones you want. One of the cooler things about the iMerge is you can get 1-3 zones (or more) from the single box. So, your ENTIRE CD collection is available to multiple users at the exact same time. You like one song from an album, your wife likes another... no problem, you listen to what you want.

There are several options for 2-way feedback.
1. Use the television. Any television plus a 1-way touchpanel can navigate through the setup screens of the audio server. If you have 2 1-way touchpanels and screens available on 2 floors, then you really don't need to go 2-way.

2. Use a in-wall touchpanel that is hard-wired like the TPS-2000 which is $2,000.00 It's almost identical to the ST-1700c except that it is hard wired, and can receive 2-way information (disc name/artist/title/etc.) It also can be wired into home intercom systems and has video inputs so you can watch TV on it... Been seriously considering one for our master bathroom. ;)

3. If you are willing to put up with a few bugs as Crestron works out the details and you are wired... or more accruately unwired with wireless networking (802.11b) then Crestron's new panel, the TPMC-10 is incredible with a 10" screen and great graphics and integration for MSRP: 3800 bucks. Expect to pay less than prices I am listing - sometimes considerably.

SWITCHING: Switching is a major pain in the neck... It sounds good, until you realize that you want to send composite, s-video, component, and RGBHV to multiple locations, then the question becomes: how much do I REALLY want to send video to multiple displays? Going strictly component & high res requires no less than a 4x6 RGBHV matrix switcher... about $2,000 or so. I would expect about $4,000.00 or more spent on switching to really handle all you video switching needs with some audio possibly as well - though the PAD-8 should do a bang up job of switching your audio as long as you have no more than 8 audio sources.

Check some photos of a 2-way panel I recently sold: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=61323&item=5737053847

It shows that you can pick stuff up cheap on eBay - but are stuck dealing with paying for repairs if it breaks or doesn't work on arrival. Crestron has a 3 year warranty which may be worth it as they are really good about dealing with customers who have bad product.

Anyway - once again - WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED? I can help where I can but if you are local we could really get down to some serious talking and I could likely get you decent pricing from my company.
 
C

calgarianperson

Junior Audioholic
rather than pay that much for a switcher it appears i am probably better off to be just running the component staight to the big screen for dvd as well as the hdtv/pvr and the dvi for the computer. then either running normal television or a shaw digital terminal (about 100 bucks each) to each of the sports bar tvs. the other tv already has a dvd/vcr machine and i dont think intigration of it is necessary.

i'm located unfortunately in Calgary, alberta (Canada) and that is rather along way from DC.

im not sure i understand one thing though....if i have a karaoke machine or video camera and i want to plug it into the big screen is it possible to get the sound running integrated through the 7.1 or would it be the speakers on the tv only?
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
I agree - it is much less money to hook video sources directly up to a display device directly. Almost all residential mid-level installations I did used Crestron primarily as an audio distribution system - which is far superior to almost any other system on the market as the control system actually can monitor equipment status, turn off what is not in use, and reliably control equipment from anywhere in the home and allow, pretty much, unending upgradability.

Now, if you have only composite video sources, like karaoke, security cameras, standard cable, vcr, digital jukebox, etc. You can pick up a 8x8 video switcher for around $1,000.00 which allows any of the sources to be sent to any of the displays using composite video.

Audio would loop through the PAD-8 via analog RCA then would be terminated into the 7.1 receier. The TV speakers would never be used unless there was some strange reason that you wanted them to be used.

In my home I put the A/V receiver in the basement, and ran auxialliary inputs from the basement to the family room (my surround location) for audio and video and those connections are next to my DVD and VCR. So, when I want to plug in a game system, camcorder, or anything with composite, S-video, or component - that uses analog or digital (coax) audio, I have easily accessed connection points and just press a couple of buttons on my remote to access the aux input and show it on screen.
 
C

calgarianperson

Junior Audioholic
thanks again for wour help

if i set up my hdtv-pvr in my electrical/server room and ran 20 foot components through the wall to the bigscreen is there a way to remotely control the PVR capabilities from the theater room considering a wall is in the way?

i heard about these IR reciever/transmitter things but im not sure how they work.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
You can use an IR repeater...

Think about it - when you point the remote at your TV, there is a little IR receiver on the TV (or VCR, DVD, cable box, etc.) That IR receiver then sends electrical IR pulses to a computer chip inside the TV which converts it into some sort of command.

IR repeaters just allow you to put the IR receiver anywhere you want in your home - up to hundreds of feet away from the device you want to control. Then, the IR is sent as electrical pulses down a wire, then at the end of the wire, is a IR emitter that repeats the exact signal that it received on the other end. Works very well and is much less expensive than a control system.

The down sides: 1-way, not 2-way. You better know how to use your equipment and if it isn't on, then you may get a little confused when you go to use it since everything may not come on correctly. It is a dumb system - can't be programmed or maintain any logic.

This is the way that is most often used - but something like a Crestron MLWPAK will run about 2000 bucks (yes, expensive) and will allow 100% Crestron control of your system which is a great way of doing things down the road. It's all about if you can afford it or not though.
 
C

calgarianperson

Junior Audioholic
with the internet explorer control of a crestron system could i program my pvr remotely if i am away from home?
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Yes... and no.

You would need a video server (Axis makes some good ones) that would take the video feed from your PVR and allow you to see the on screen menus. Almost no PVRs have any interface beyond IR and the on screed display.

So, while you would have 100% control of the PVR, you would still need to see the screen to figure out what is going on by using a video server. Heck, you could just set a web cam up pointed at your TV and turn your TV on via eControl and see things happening live in your home.

I'm still working out exactly how I will be doing all the finer details of my system like serving video AND audio to the web. I want to be able to access my digital jukebox anywhere in the world.
 
C

calgarianperson

Junior Audioholic
if i were to hook up a composite video out from my PVR and into a WintTV card and i brought it up on screen and then enabled remote access software (like citrx's go to my pc) could i log on to the PC remotely to watch what was going on on the WInTV card and then control the PVR using the Infared on Crestron?
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
You should be able to.

Depending on how the software works, it may be possible to actually program it so when you remotely access the Crestron, it will look access the video server in a little window on your screen so it will appear right on the page with the controls on it for your PVR. I did this once about 6 or 7 years ago wiht someone who had a dedicated video server and he could see anything in his home from anywhere in the world with a broadband connection. Nifty.
 

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