Pack a closer look – Part II: Back End
What makes Pack unique is not so much the in-room experience. As I said, we can easily re-skin and re-layout that interface based on the customer needs. But as I said before, Pack is a web application that allows you to fully document your Crestron installation. As such, we do not only define rooms and touch-panels, but we also define devices, inputs and outputs of certain devices, and then even the cable path connecting those devices to orders. So what that allowed us to do is in fact, we do not have to program these sources anymore. We have a algorithm in our Crestron processors, that when you press a source based on the data, it will find the cable path and it will switch all of the switchers in between to route that certain device to a certain TV. Now, this has really helped us to speed up deploying a Crestron installation because as runtime changes occur, during delivery or after install, a certain device gets placed in a different location, we can now very easily, by adjusting the documentation within Pack, we can re-allocate a certain device to a different switcher and the Crestron runtime will automatically change the switching behavior for that source. Now, after we have been speeding up our deployment time, we were thinking about different features, and now, we came up with the idea, since we do not have to program these sources anymore, we can in fact just add them at runtime. Let me give you a quick demo of that.
“At runtime, no Crestron programming required, no resetting of your Crestron processor required.”
As you can see, we are in the Master Cabin. Now we have certain sources available. Now suppose today there is a football match and we have some guests on board that really want to see this match. I can go into our Pack database, go into the Master Cabin and from within this page, I can do some basic functionality. I can maybe rename that room, let’s call it Master Room. I can reorder my sources, I want Apple TV to be the first source within the room. And I can rename the source to show it differently on the touch panel. Let’s call Apple TV, Apple. So this is all pretty basic functionality within a room. But as I said, there’s this football match going on and we want to provide our guests with that extra source. I can add a source. Press new source. I’ll give it a name, I’ll just call it Match. And I’ll get a list of all the devices in our installation. For this match, I will select the Central Sky source. And as you will see, we will get now, at runtime, no Crestron programming required, no resetting of your Crestron processor required. We have this extra source. Give it a minute to load. We have an extra source in the Master Room called Match. Okay?
“Users watching those match will be taken away the control over this source.”
Now I’m not done. This is a match, so I would like to have that match not show up with a Sky icon. Let’s go into that match and let’s call it, give it an icon called Football. Save those changes. And you will see that on the touch panel, again, at runtime, that source will be updated with a football icon. Now, since a lot of people will be watching that match, I don’t want them to have control over that SkyBox. They would be able to change the channel and disrupt the user experience for other guests. So, I can go into Pack and choose any of my sub-pages programmed within the Crestron environment, let’s give it sub-page 1704, save those changes and again, at runtime, you will see that the users watching those match will be taken away the control over this source and will be provided with a sub-page that says, “You have no control over this source.”
“Web application that intuitively allows you to fully document your installation.”
By solving these problems, let’s say, these challenges, on such a low level, on the source level, we have actually solved all of the questions regarding boss on and boss off functionality. Depending which guests you have on board, you can easily set up your system on a room per room basis, with the appropriate sources, and the functionality required in that room. So no Crestron programming required. No resetting of your processors. Just a quick and efficient way to manage your Crestron installation. So again, Pack is a rapid Crestron deployment tool. It’s a web application that intuitively allows you to fully document your installation, to assist you and efficiently and rapidly rolling out your Crestron products, your Crestron installation and then providing you with easy maintenance over that installation.