As more and more companies adopt the remote work or hybrid work model, being able to control hardware from a central location is convenient and cost-effective. Crestron Electronics recently released the Crestron New Virtual In-Room software. This solution addresses the needs of companies looking to coordinate activities in multiple rooms without additional hardware.
What Is It?
Crestron Virtual In-Room software complements your current Crestron hardware systems. From a single server, you can control multiple AV systems. These systems can be in multiple rooms in one building or different parts of the country entirely. Compared to the traditional way of controlling AV systems, this alternative is more scalable and retains the same functionalities.
Virtual Control Benefits
At Pro AV Systems, we know that making the switch from hardware to software is a significant mental shift, but there are both time-management and financial benefits to using a software-controlled platform.
Run simultaneous meetings: In the past, technicians would have to configure the systems in each room individually to run simultaneous meetings in rooms located on different floors. With Crestron Virtual In-Room software, one technician can deploy customized or standardized configurations with one push of a button. Now, everyone at the meetings is seeing and hearing the same message.
Hotels and colleges or universities are other examples of organizations that can benefit from a centralized server. As long as their spaces have a network-connected AV, VTC, or UC system installed, they will be able to manage and control everything from a single location.
Scalable: As your company grows, you might expand your offices to more floors or acquire another building altogether. Some companies may even open working spaces in another town, state, or country for their remote hires. Controlling the systems in all these rooms from one server means you can scale up quickly and efficiently.
Less hardware: Adding more spaces to your current layout is easier without needing a physical processor. One server can run hundreds of rooms (up to 500) with the Crestron Virtual In-Room software. Having this central control makes coordinating devices more manageable, and it decreases the points of failure, reducing overall costs and maintenance. Fifty rooms can now run simultaneously without the need for 50 processors!
Lowers costs and saves time: Hardware prices and availability depend on global markets and events. Currently, hardware is more expensive than ever. A virtual control system saves your company the cost of purchasing new hardware, plus there’s no wait time for delivery and installation. In addition, without physical processors, technicians won’t need to update code or firmware on every single processor, which saves time and allows them to work on other projects.
No new training: Crestron Virtual In-Room software integrates with standard programming languages such as C# and SIMPL. Technicians can design and configure a room’s AV system and save those configurations for future uses. The initial setup may take time, but AV system control for each room takes a fraction of the time once automated. The former is used by IT departments while the latter by AV professionals. Don’t have your own in-house SIMPL technician? Pro AV has a Master CSP (Crestron Service Provider) and additional Crestron experts that can program and debug systems for all your remote-control needs.
Setup and Integration
There’s no need to upgrade your current system to use the Crestron Virtual In-Room software. Your IT team can use the existing infrastructure to set everything up. Technicians can control the devices if there is an Ethernet connection in each room. For devices that require some sort of hardware interface, integrate through decentralized ports on Crestron’s:
- DM NVX encoder/decoder
- A transmitter or receiver
- CEN-C13 series interface
For Wireless Crestron devices, you can integrate them with an infiNET EX® wireless gateway. Traditionally, AV systems are air-gapped to ensure quality performance and security. Still, with the Virtual In-Room software, Pro AV can access get access to all devices via a VPN connection. It is easier for us to manage your devices remotely since they will all be on the same network.
Other Things to Consider
The initial setup is the most significant time expense when switching to virtual control. Depending on the complexities of the system, the quality of the network, and many other variables, setting everything up might take some time and effort. Our experts at Pro AV know that every situation is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so we’ll work with you to help integrate your rooms and systems to work best for you and your situation. Contact us today for a free quote.