May 19, 2021 - For more than a decade the user experience in thousands of conference rooms, from basic to custom, has been enhanced through the seamless integration of industry leading technologies from Crestron and Cisco. Throughout this time, integration methods have evolved, effortlessly and automatically, to meet the most common challenges designers face.
1. More inputs. It's common for a system designer to need to expand the number of sources that can be connected to a Cisco WebEx® Room kit. While some of Cisco's codec's, such as the SX80, offer four inputs, more cost-effective solutions, such as the SX20 are limited to just two.
2. Input extension. Even for Cisco models that have multiple HDMI® inputs, there's very often a need to extend input signals from the conference room table or a wall plate out to the codec, while still maintaining signal integrity.
3. A single point of control. When wrapping technology around a Cisco telepresence solution to solve the above use cases, customers still want a single point of control. These design needs are being addressed through the Crestron and Cisco partnership in three ways:
Plug-n-Play solutions are enabled through built-in auto-switching automation on Crestron switchers with HDMI® connectivity and DM Lite® and DMPS Lite™ products. For basic huddle room spaces these solutions provide everything you need to extend signals and expand the number of inputs, while adding nothing extra. This reduces complexity. They just work right out of the box with nothing but an HDMI cable to connect to the codec. Through built-in automation the last source connected is routed to the codec. This is as simple as it gets.
Configuration-based solutions running on Crestron control systems enable a larger variety of video switching and signal extension options. The Cisco® Routing and Control example program offers a "no programming" solution that's enabled through an easy web-based configuration page.
Using the provided XPanel configuration project, the installer simply chooses the switcher model and the codec model. You name and select icons for each input and then define the connection method and settings (RS232 or IP) and you're done. After this, the Cisco Touch 10 interface will display the new source select options and control the switcher. It's foolproof and scalable. Configure your first room and then simply copy the configuration file generated by the XPanel WebUI to all similarly designed rooms. If you have hundreds of rooms, manage them through the Crestron XiO Cloud® service and/or using scripting to distribute the configuration file and settings. One control system, such as the RMC4, can easily support ten rooms, making it cost-effective and efficient to manage and deploy across the organization.
Walk through a demonstration of the simple setup utilizing the Crestron Routing and Control program to configure room control via a Crestron AV switcher and a Cisco Touch 10. This gives you an efficient solution that requires no custom programming, no major upheaval.
The Crestron and Cisco partnership also provides the power to deliver unparalleled levels of customization and integration for those bespoke spaces that demand it:
Fully custom solutions. Bespoke conference rooms can still take advantage of a streamlined and simplified integration. Crestron Certified Drivers and Control Modules enable tight integration with the codec and offer UI customization through the Touch 10 API or any Crestron interface of your choosing. Start with the configuration-based demo program described above and add other room control capabilities such as lighting, climate and shade control. Or add the Cisco drivers and control modules to your standard programming template to build the system your way.
Crestron DMPS Lite products natively employ the Cisco API , enabling seamless integration and direct communicate with the WebEx room kit and Cisco Touch 10 interface, without any complex programming. And you won't even need a control system. This solution works similarly to the configuration-based solution described above, but when using a DMPS Lite switcher with a supported firmware version, you'll no longer need a control system. For a system configurator that will be hosted on the Crestron website, simply choose the model of Cisco codec and the DMPS Lite switcher model, name the inputs and pick a source select icon for each. Download the config file from the website and load the file to the DMPS switcher itself. Finally, set the connection method (RS232 or IP) and your system is up and running with the Cisco Touch 10 displaying the expanded and extended source inputs and controlling the switcher.
With no programming and no control system, native integration makes it straightforward to deploy dozens or even hundreds of rooms simply and easily. And since the DMPS Lite product line supports enterprise security features and XiO Cloud, it's the perfect solution to bring peace of mind to Infosec and IT professionals.
by Andrew Ludke, Director, Product Management AV Solutions