Image Design Technology (IDT) has launched a world-first professional AV device set to blaze a path into the entry-level control system product category: the Calypso Control Systems’ Control Pro I/O.
The Control Pro I/O (RRP $1812) is an “open-architecture” control product targeting the small-room control market. IDT touts it as “The most versatile and affordable professional AV control solution available anywhere.”
The Control Pro I/O converts inbound control commands to outbound relay and IR commands, allowing control for video sources, video displays, routers and motorised devices.
The device uses an integrated web server and built-in web application called c_Web. A technician can place the Pro I/O on an existing network, type its IP address into a web browser and configure the unit for a specific application. IDT describes it as a simple ‘forms fill-in’ concept that requires basic technical, but no programming knowledge.
IDT’s managing director, Gerry Wilkins, elaborates: “Because it’s a web browser, it’s basically sitting there looking for whatever links that come in. You can drive it from html, Microsoft Word, or invent link. Via the interface you can create all types of layouts and commands. For example, you can set it up to call in to your PC from your PDA and instruct it to turn on the air conditioning or other linked electronic home appliances.”
Wilkins says the Control Pro I/O is a response to complex, high-cost proprietary solutions and that it will “Enable people to get into control at a cost level they were previously unable to. For example, we can do a small meeting room for $2000, whereas with AMX or Crestron it would cost you $10 000.
We’re getting under our competitors because we can do IR, serial and contact closure control – which is basically what all the big guys do – and do it cleverly, and inexpensively.
As you get into the more complex systems there’s going to be stuff we can’t do with Control Pro I/O, but we’re not aspiring to be operating at that level.”
Wilkins says distribution for the Control Pro I/O will also differ to that of his competitors. “The other guys have very strict distribution for their product but we’re not going to limit or control who has access to it. We’re offering it to any reseller or integrator who wants it to buy it – our entire customer base.”
He is already encouraged by the market response: “The feedback from resellers and integrators to this point has been really fantastic. They’re excited about where it fits the market and, of course, its price point.”
Also on offer is an entry-level version of the Control Pro I/O, the ION/E, which offers less connectivity (1 x serial, 2 x GPI inputs, 2 x GPO outputs, 2 x IR inputs, 4 x IR outputs, plus Ethernet) at a lower price (RRP$1100).
Both products can be daisy-chained to suit expansion requirements.
[pullbox] Control Pro I/O specs:
· Ethernet connectivity
· (2) RS232/422 Serial ports + front panel status LED’s
· (4) GPO’s (Relays) + front panel status LED’s
· (4) GPI’s (Inputs) + front panel status LED’s
· (8) IR outputs (back panel)
· (4) IR inputs (back panel) + 1 front panel
· (1) IR universal learning input (front panel)
· 1/2 Rack width
· 1 RU high