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Peer Review- Crestron ISYS I/O TPMC-15-CH

The Crestron Isys i/O TPMC-15-CH includes a Microsoft XP embedded operating system, which offers an array of embedded XP applications such as Windows Media Player, NetMeeting, Remote Desktop, and viewers for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat.

Jim Avetta

Jim Avetta

Peer Reviewer: Jim Avetta, CTS, integration professional, Dallas, TX. Avetta provides professional integration consulting, design, and programming services for commercial, residential, marine, and medical applications.

My Pick:

Crestron Isys i/O TPMC-15-CH 15-inch tilt touchpanel media center, $12,000 MSRP

What I Like About It:

I like that the Crestron Isys i/O TPMC-15-CH includes a Microsoft XP embedded operating system, which offers an array of embedded XP applications such as Windows Media Player, NetMeeting, Remote Desktop, and viewers for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat. The touchpanel's brightness and resolution looks great with graphics and video. It also offers two video inputs for dual video window display, as well as connectivity for USB devices such as a keyboard and mouse.

The panel is easy to connect to and configure. Once I had established serial or Cresnet communications and set the IP info, establishing an Ethernet connection was flawless. Setting up the panel on IP is highly recommended because uploading large graphics files over Cresnet at 38.4 kb/s takes longer to upload. The Ethernet uploads were extremely fast and reliable. Because the panel sends control data over IP, the control commands and dynamic serial text from devices such as digital audio and video servers is much faster. The panel also has a built in telestration function that Crestron calls MediaMarker, which allows users to make colored annotations over video images.

I Would Change:

I'd like to see the addition of some type of rotating base as an accessory for the Crestron TPMC-15-CH touchpanel. Because the panel is fairly large and heavy to move around, turning the panel toward you isn't any easy task — especially for clients with physical disabilities.

Another issue is cable management. There are essentially four connections (five, including Cresnet, or six, including the second video input for dual video display), so the degrees of rotation would be mostly affected here. I created one out of an old Lazy Susan and ran the cabling through the center.

I'd also like to see the headset jack and USB ports in a more accessible location because you can't access them when the input/output cover panel is on. I'd also suggest moving the placement of the left-most external button on the touchpanel's base, which is used for a hard reset of the panel, to the side of the panel. Because this button reboots the panel, it seems strange that non-technical users can easily access it.

Where I Used It:

A high-end residential home in Tyler, Texas.

My Results:

I installed the Crestron TPMC-15-CH touchpanel in the home of a client who is quadriplegic and uses a wheelchair. In this application, the panel not only provides the client with the ability to control and route AV devices, but also assists him with the physical challenges he encounters in everyday life. The panel enables him to easily open doors around the house, answer telephones, view security cameras, ignite fireplaces, activate outdoor mosquito misting, monitor the home's backup power generator and propane tank, control and monitor HVAC and lighting, and even open garage doors and entrance gates to the estate.

The client couldn't easily hold and operate various remotes because his precision of touch wasn't very accurate, but the Crestron touchpanel gives him the ability to do things he previously couldn't, and greatly simplifies the tasks it controls.

The Crestron TPMC-15-CH touchpanel wasn't overbearing in its environment. The panel was placed on a kitchen countertop for use as a computer interface and user interface and looked very nice on the dark marble countertop.

The touchpanel's larger screen size provided plenty of real estate for buttons, graphics, and text, which allowed for more functionality with fewer page and sub-page menus.

Using its speakers and built-in microphone, I integrated the TPMC-15-CH with Crestron intercom switchers and telephone interface cards to activate the panel's intercom station and ability to answer two separate phone lines. The audio quality was good, and I didn't experience any feedback issues in obtaining decent gain.

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