The true measuring stick of a home automation system is the controller—not the visible touchpanels or keypads. “The controller is the mind, heart, brain, and soul of a home automation system,” says Anson Fogel, chief technology officer of ESC, an electronics integration company in Aspen, Colo. “The user interfaces are nothing without it. They are useless limbs with no brain.” The Crestron MP2E hardware, specifically designed for home theater, increases the flexibility of the home automation leader’s Pro2 controllers. Homeowners can now segregate their theater control from the house’s other subsystems. “People don’t necessarily want the big honking single-control system for the whole house,” says Jason Frenchman, Crestron’s corporate communications manager. “They want to have a bunch of smaller systems around the house so they can isolate the home theater.”
The MP2E features a dual-bus design, which enables one processor to control lighting, drapery, and less complicated applications while the other processes audio/video, Ethernet, and other complex systems.