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System Integration for the Connected Home

Control and Home Media Systems

Extron Brings Python Programming With Global Scripter

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Extron brings installers the option to program control systems using one of the most popular languages around with Global Scripter, an integrated development environment based on Python.

Extron Global ScripterPython is described as a dynamic and intuitive programming language. It is object-oriented, meaning users can quickly start programming through libraries, modules and functions, without need to learn awkward syntax. It is also very commonly taught to high school and college students, making it a path to both entry in AV while allowing AV-based Python programmers to branch outside of the AV industry.

Global Scripter works with the Extron ControlScript Python library, and uses familiar AV terms to make it easier for installers to program AV control system projects. It combines with Extron Pro Series control hardware to create fully programmable custom systems. Customers can also get further resources through the Extron Qualified Independent Programming (EQIP) program, with certified companies providing expert support for Extron control system projects.

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Crestron Intros Handheld Remotes

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Crestron remoteCrestron announces the HR-310 handheld touch remote and the TSR-310 handheld touchscreen remote-- both combining features from previous Crestron remotes with a better ergonomic design, button feel and voice control.

The HR-310 features backlit tactile buttons and a long battery life using standard AAA batteries. It offers 9 custom-engravable buttons to display the most frequently used functions, and connectivity comes through the Crestron infiNET wireless gateway.

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Google Rivals Echo Show With Smart Display

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Google clearly means business at its first CES 2018 appearance, with a massive booth hosting the reveal of Smart Display, the search giant's take on the Amazon Echo Show devices.

Smart DisplaySmart Display is, essentially, a platform for Google Assistant-powered smart speakers featuring a display. Google insists such devices are not mere Android tablets, since they use a full voice interface and actually run on Android Things, a variant of the OS designed for IoT. Smart Display devices cannot run apps and present traditional assistant functionality using what appears to be a card-based UI.

YouTube support comes out of the box-- unlike the Echo Show, following the recent Google-Amazon kerfuffle-- while a built-in camera allows for Google Duo videoconferencing. It can also act as a home automation hub when paired with other Google Assistant-compatible devices, such as Nest cameras or thermostats.

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Xbox One X Streams 4K YouTube

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Xbox One XThe Xbox One X handles 4K video out of the box-- and after an app update it can also stream YouTube in 4K at up to 60fps, providing owners of 4K TVs to invest the latest Microsoft console.

Technically Microsoft has been supporting 4K video since 2016 with the launch of the Xbox One S, the smaller version of the Xbox One with 4K and HDR playback capabilities. However Google took its time to roll out support for the format. Currently only the Xbox One X handles 4K YouTube, but the Xbox One S should receive an update soon enough.

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The RTI Custom Control Kit

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RTI presents a custom control kit-- the C2K1, a package integrating Pro Control solutions into the RTI control platform for the first time, providing customers with a jump start into home automation.

RTI Control KitThe kit bundles an XP-3 control processor, Pro Control Pro24.z remote and an unlimited RTiPanel license. The processor features a built-in ZigBee RF transceiver to allow bi-directional communications with compatible RTI and Pro Control remote controls. In addition to control options (including IR, RS-232 and relays) the XP-3 uses two-way drivers to provide uers with feedback from 3rd party devices and event scheduling.

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An xPRESS Keypad for Sonos

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iPort announces an alternative means to directly control Sonos devices-- the xPRESS, described by the company as the first wifi keypad dedicated to the wireless speaker platform.

iPort xPRESSThe xPRESS keypad pairs with any Sonos device via wifi. It has play/pause, track forward, volume and Sonos favourites buttons, and can control an entire Sonos home sound system when grouped in party mode. The actual device is portable, and powered via rechargeable lithium battery promising 4-6 months of use on a single charge.

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RTI Ships White T3x Remote

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RTI WhiteRTI announces a special edition of the T3x handheld system control-- one with a white finish, part of a 25th anniversary celebration allowing dealers to vote on their favourite finish colour.

The T3x remote was first shown off in different finishes back at ISE 2017. In the aforementioned special edition colour vote, the white finish won by a landslide, leading to the white version of the flagship remote.

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