Crestron, Rockleigh, N.J., announced that the new Network Stream Player (CEN-NSP-1), which it says “gives each member of the family complete audio freedom,” is now shipping. The new player provides both wired and wireless options for streaming music from iPod®, iPhone®, or iPad® to a Crestron audio distribution system. Anyone in the home can access all their iTunes® music while controlling the listening experience with a Crestron app or touch screen. With the new player, homeowners get an all-in-one streaming solution in a compact, budget-friendly package, according to the company.
Listeners can use AirPlay to instantly connect with their own dedicated network stream player, turn on the home audio system, and enjoy their favorite music from any app — all with just a single tap on the device in their hand. When integrated with a whole-house audio system, such as Sonnex®, the family member can use the Crestron app on their device (or a Crestron touch screen) to direct that music to any room or every room in the house. This opens the door to literally any Internet radio service with an iOS® app.
In addition to wireless AirPlay connectivity, the network stream player enables connecting an iPhone, iPad, or iPod to a player via USB 2.0 using any Apple dock and/or cable. Wired connectivity opens up additional possibilities with Crestron control and Apple services, including integration with iCloud® and iTunes Match®. One application is an iPod touch® connected to each CEN-NSP-1 in the rack, syncing to iCloud via Wi-Fi®. Now, the other iOS devices are free for personal use while listening to iTunes music. Use the phone or tablet instead for texting, emailing, browsing the Internet, playing games, or taking photos, Crestron described.
Homeowners can browse, search, and select among songs, albums, artists, and playlists from either the Crestron app on their Apple devices or Crestron touch screens. Since the content is on the wired device in the rack, homeowners don’t have to carry around their personal device if they don’t want to, and the music never “drops out” due to inconsistent Wi-Fi connectivity or when the phone rings.
Traditional music and video servers require third-party management and ongoing programming and GUI design updates. The Network Stream Player takes care of all of that automatically. There is no programming or GUI design work required. Once the firmware is upgraded by the Crestron dealer, homeowners can sign into their accounts as they normally do to activate the new services — right from the touch screen. Crestron will update dealers and their customers as subscription services become available.