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 Post subject: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:15 am 


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Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 182
Location: Canada
Thanks to this forum I've bought a swack of Extron gear and have been very happy with them. I've recently outgrown my Extron Crosspoint 12x4 (need more outputs!) and while surfing eBay I ran across this:

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Image

Crestron CEN-RGBHV8X8


I mean DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN! I bought it without a second thought ( < $100) and now while I wait for it to ship I'm pondering if there's a reason this unit is barely mentioned on shmups. Is it only because they're typically more money than a similar performing Extron, or is there more?
Is there lag? Does it not handle 15kHz? Is it the hurdle of their automation language? (I've read you can operate this unit by the front panel alone)

I love my Extron, but having a display--and possessing a higher WAF--the Crestron really seems...amazing? Why is no one talking about this? What am I missing? Or are my search abilities really this poor?


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:41 am 



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 341
You might find this to be interesting reading.

https://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=ao-11

Where I live, there is this big mother waiting for someone to pull the trigger:

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/x592947937

I have half a mind to take it since it's so dang cheap (~$30 shipped) and it's got a generous 16x16 inputs and outputs. However, there is ZERO information about it on the internet, and it looks like it might only be controllable with an external unit. It also has no support for audio.

In Japan and the US alike (and I assume Europe as well) there are a few matrix-switch makers, and there might indeed be some scores to be had with lesser-known brands. I'd certainly be interested in a cheap Crestron or Kramer.

PS: Does WAF mean wife acceptance factor?


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:55 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1146
That Creston/Kramer unit looks like it has the same capabilities, as far as accepted input goes, to your Extron CrossPoint, so you could very well just daisy-chain them for even more inputs. The linked Extron article about Kramer gear not being as good as Extron gear is probably true, but I doubt it'll really be an issue for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:05 pm 


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nmalinoski wrote:
That Creston/Kramer unit looks like it has the same capabilities, as far as accepted input goes, to your Extron CrossPoint, so you could very well just daisy-chain them for even more inputs. The linked Extron article about Kramer gear not being as good as Extron gear is probably true, but I doubt it'll really be an issue for you.

wait, are Crestron and Kramer the same company? or does Crestron just rebrand Kramer AV gear?


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:15 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1146
maxtherabbit wrote:
nmalinoski wrote:
That Creston/Kramer unit looks like it has the same capabilities, as far as accepted input goes, to your Extron CrossPoint, so you could very well just daisy-chain them for even more inputs. The linked Extron article about Kramer gear not being as good as Extron gear is probably true, but I doubt it'll really be an issue for you.

wait, are Crestron and Kramer the same company? or does Crestron just rebrand Kramer AV gear?

According to the above link to Extron's site, the specific Creston matrix switcher the OP bought (perhaps the entire line? I didn't read too closely) is simply a Kramer unit with a Creston faceplate, not unlike the badge-engineering the auto industry has seen for decades.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:02 pm 


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Location: Canada
SamIAm wrote:
You might find this to be interesting reading.

https://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=ao-11

PS: Does WAF mean wife acceptance factor?


Thanks for this--and yes, I meant Wife Acceptance Factor. :)

Truthfully I suspected it might be a re-badged Extron, but looking more closeley the back panel doesn't line up.

That article touches on some valid points, though I could stand a bit of excess heat (it's winter here 8 months of the year--currently -40 degrees Celsius).

I'm guessing it will be fine for my purposes. I'll report back when I've run it through its paces.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:09 pm 


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AFAIK, Extron is the only major video gear company that doesn't sell any "turn key" IP, rebadge gear from other companies, or license their IP to other companies.

Of course, that's not always a good thing. Some of my best machines were sold under more than one brand name.
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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:45 am 



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 8
Be aware, Crestron gear usually requires an annoying amount of configuration, and their software is not easy to find. That said, it may be fine if you only intend to use the front buttons. I've only used their control system gear, but please keep us updated on how easy they are to use ;)

I think the reason that Extron is preferred is because they're usually cheaper (Extron is a less expensive brand), and there isn't really much difference between them. Crestron stuff usually costs a fair bit more, and requires you to have a dealer to configure it, which means more money.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:22 am 


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Since there seem to be some pretty knowledgeable people chiming in here, I'll ask the following:

I need to hold the ESC button every time I turn on the Extron to enable me to route anything. It seems to have some configuration loaded that survives resets and extended power outages. If I don't hold ESC (reset) then there are pre-existing routes at play upon power-up.

I get by, but it would be nice to be able to program a few of the routes...


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:37 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 832
HDgaming42 wrote:
I need to hold the ESC button every time I turn on the Extron to enable me to route anything. It seems to have some configuration loaded that survives resets and extended power outages. If I don't hold ESC (reset) then there are pre-existing routes at play upon power-up.


You're talking about an Extron Crosspoint? Look in the manual how to reset it - there's usually 3-ish different levels of reset. If that fails I would reinstall the firmware and start from scratch.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:30 am 


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Posts: 182
Location: Canada
Dochartaigh wrote:
HDgaming42 wrote:
I need to hold the ESC button every time I turn on the Extron to enable me to route anything. It seems to have some configuration loaded that survives resets and extended power outages. If I don't hold ESC (reset) then there are pre-existing routes at play upon power-up.


You're talking about an Extron Crosspoint? Look in the manual how to reset it - there's usually 3-ish different levels of reset. If that fails I would reinstall the firmware and start from scratch.


Well that's just it. The only mention the manual makes of reset is described as below:

Code:
To reset the switcher to the factory default settings, press and hold the Esc buttonon the front panel while AC power is being applied.  Continue to hold the Escbutton until the power up sequence is completed (all LEDs turn off, the Video andAudio LEDs turn on, the Esc LED blinks, and the Power LED (if equipped) turnson).  System reset clears all ties and presets and sets all audio gain levels to unitygain (+0dB).


I can't see any reference to another level of reset. The firmware update procedure seems to require removing the chip. That's waaaay out of my league. :oops:

Edit: Seems I'm not alone, though it doesn't seem like a solution was reached...
https://www.reddit.com/r/crtgaming/comm ... your_help/

Edit 2: Oh, this manual is different from the one I got off the Extron website. Indeed it details a different reset method. I'll report back...
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/71903 ... =60#manual


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:04 am 


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Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 182
Location: Canada
No. None of those procedures work. There is a preset where 1 outputs to 1,2,3,4 and unless I power on with ESC held, that is the only routing possible. Tried toggling all 3 (0,1,2) levels of lock to no avail. I wish someone had come back to the reddit thread with the answer... :(


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:44 am 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 1138
Location: Australia
From memory there are 2 levels of security on the extron units.
You need to have top level to reset defaults and I think you can only do that via software and pc link.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:48 am 


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Posts: 182
Location: Canada
Splozion wrote:
Be aware, Crestron gear usually requires an annoying amount of configuration, and their software is not easy to find. That said, it may be fine if you only intend to use the front buttons. I've only used their control system gear, but please keep us updated on how easy they are to use ;)

I think the reason that Extron is preferred is because they're usually cheaper (Extron is a less expensive brand), and there isn't really much difference between them. Crestron stuff usually costs a fair bit more, and requires you to have a dealer to configure it, which means more money.


You're not kidding. It appear you need a password to even enter the menu system. Wow.

The inputs don't line up on the LCD. I press #1 and it reads input #3. They all ascend from there. Can't fathom why or how that would be helpful. Oh well--won't have time to wire it up for a day or two--will report back then!


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:47 pm 


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Location: Canada
I'm not a fan. Not a fan at all. I can only conclude my unit is defective. I've factory reset it (thank god the password was the default "12345") and yet still:

1. The inputs are incremented by 2. For instance, physical input 1 registers as input 3. 2 as 4 and so on.
2. It forwards no composite video.
3. It forwards no component video.
4. It forwards RGBS but with altered video (colors are shifted and overdriven, even with proper termination)
5. It doesn't detect sync from *any* source--claiming both populated inputs and empty inputs are all sending 0.0Khz Hsync and 37Hz Vsync.

It has to be defective. Kramer/Crestron stuff isn't *this* bad is it? Or am I overlooking something obvious?

HALP! :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:08 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 1146
HDgaming42 wrote:
1. The inputs are incremented by 2. For instance, physical input 1 registers as input 3. 2 as 4 and so on.

Pop it open and see if the front panel was miswired?


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:31 pm 



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 8
HDgaming42 wrote:
I'm not a fan. Not a fan at all. I can only conclude my unit is defective. I've factory reset it (thank god the password was the default "12345") and yet still:

1. The inputs are incremented by 2. For instance, physical input 1 registers as input 3. 2 as 4 and so on.
2. It forwards no composite video.
3. It forwards no component video.
4. It forwards RGBS but with altered video (colors are shifted and overdriven, even with proper termination)
5. It doesn't detect sync from *any* source--claiming both populated inputs and empty inputs are all sending 0.0Khz Hsync and 37Hz Vsync.

It has to be defective. Kramer/Crestron stuff isn't *this* bad is it? Or am I overlooking something obvious?

HALP! :shock:


What info does the crestron toolbox show you? There's a good chance the existing program (if it can act as a control unit as well as a switcher) is setup strangely/specifically.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:34 am 


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Posts: 182
Location: Canada
Splozion wrote:
What info does the crestron toolbox show you? There's a good chance the existing program (if it can act as a control unit as well as a switcher) is setup strangely/specifically.


This looked like a good resource but only a bit of it was crawled:
https://web.archive.org/web/20180129004 ... ernet.html

Here's what comes up:
Image

nmalinoski wrote:
HDgaming42 wrote:
1. The inputs are incremented by 2. For instance, physical input 1 registers as input 3. 2 as 4 and so on.

Pop it open and see if the front panel was miswired?


That's a great idea. I've verified with Crestron Toolbox that 1 is 1, etc. It also identifies as a 16x16, when it is infact an 8x8. I'm wondering if someone flashed the wrong firmware...

I'm at a bit of a loss. Nothing within easyconfig jumps out at me as this being a control unit. Should I opt for the "File Initialize"? Is that the same as the factory reset performed via the front panel, or deeper?

Edit: Filesystem-->Initialize results in "unknown error" and Compact results in a timeout.

Edit 2: Took the lip off (there always has to be one stripped screw!). I don't think the mis-numbering is a wiring issue.

Lots of LEDs on the inside. All green except a flashing DS42.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:11 am 



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 8
HDgaming42 wrote:
Here's what comes up:


Can you post a screenshot of the System Info screen? that's usually more detailed.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:13 am 


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Location: Canada
Splozion wrote:
HDgaming42 wrote:
Here's what comes up:


Can you post a screenshot of the System Info screen? that's usually more detailed.


Sure thing. Tried to grab everything potentially pertinent. The file system seems to be empty. I wasn't expecting that...

BTW, I contacted Crestron True Blue support and they said the unit was discontinued and not supported for repair. They did mention a firmware flash might fix it and suggested I get in touch with my local Crestron agent. I did that, and initially she told me "we don't service what we didn't sell", but when I mentioned it was 15+ years old she ran it past the techs to see if they would be willing to take a look. Apparently the techs said "nope".

So here I am.

Spoiler: show
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:51 am 


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Location: Canada
I hate to beg, but--I'm begging. Does *anyone* have access to the Crestron FTP or website downloads section? I firmware flash is about the last hope for this thing before it becomes scrap metal.

Local dealers blew me off. True Blue support blew me off.

Contrast that with Extron who have called me twice, and have escalated an issue with a 10+ year discontinued piece of hardware to their engineers as their first two levels of support didn't have the answer. For a unit I paid $10 for on eBay.

At this point I don't have much good to say about Crestron, that's for sure. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:25 pm 



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 8
Those screenshots do suggest that there's some reporting going wrong, since as you've mentioned sync is reading the same (and weird) on all channels.

There is a user on here that has access, but they've not been on the forum since December, so I'd imagine that they don't check much. I forget the name, but I believe you posted in a thread on it. I'm in much the same place, having used torrented 10y+ old versions of the software to program my Crestron system, thankfully everything I use was functioning correctly. I just don't think Crestron cares, which makes sense given the business model. Target audience of Extron vs Crestron seems to be different.

I do mean to try and act as a company IT department at some point and ask for them to make an enterprise partner account for me, but I've not been had the time to call during normal business hours. I'm not a fan of the restriction personally, nor the way that every dealer I've seen talking online seems to act about giving it out. Seems you need to know somebody.

I appreciate that this probably isn't a useful response, but it may be a bit of a fight, with some reward at the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Crestron vs Extron?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:25 pm 


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Splozion wrote:
I do mean to try and act as a company IT department at some point and ask for them to make an enterprise partner account for me, but I've not been had the time to call during normal business hours. I'm not a fan of the restriction personally, nor the way that every dealer I've seen talking online seems to act about giving it out. Seems you need to know somebody.

I appreciate that this probably isn't a useful response, but it may be a bit of a fight, with some reward at the end.


I'm happy for *any* response this thread gets! :D

If you do find the time to get an account, drop back by and let me know. I believe I have everything needed other than the specific firmware.

I wonder if it could be cross-flashed to the Kramer unit it is a clone of...


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