Apple and Crestron Join Hands for New Apple TV and HomeKit Integrations

The TSR-310 touch screen remote from Crestron has attracted many positive reviews and opinions since its debut in the ISE 2018. With a 3-inch screen and backlit buttons, the TSR-310 can be the first remote to fully support Apple TV and HomeKit integrations. Along with that, you will be now able to use Siri to control your home appliances through the remote.

Crestron announced the news at the beginning of August, and the new remotes are expected to hit the market soon. The TSR-310 will be undergoing several updates which also includes an update of the firmware and device databases.

After the new remotes hit the market, users will be to control a single Apple TV or multiple ones connected by device name. You will also be able to route voice commands to the TV linked with the remote. You will also be able to link the remote with HomeKit app and control other smart devices in your home.

The support from Apple is also expected to extend to Crestron Home, the premium control device for home automation systems. Users will be able to enjoy the benefits of the partnership with the coming of OS 3 update to Crestron Home.

The First Fully Supported Apple TV Remote

For a long time, various home automation companies have been trying to incorporate Apple TV into home automation systems. Apple showed no such interest in this regard, and tech companies were left to fend for themselves. As a result, we got some unsupported IP tweaks and IR controls that were able to function with the Apple TV and create an A/V ecosystem.

Things began to change when Apple released an API for two-way IP control in 2018. Crestron, Savant and Control4 were the first companies to jump on the bandwagon that became Apple partners.

Out of the three partners, Crestron was the first to demonstrate the prowess of the TSR-310 at ISE 2019.

The TSR-310 behaves like a native Apple remote with Siri. You can use voice commands to access services and content from Apple TV in a seamless manner. VP Residential of Crestron, John Clancy, said during the demonstration that the response of the remote was really fast and cool. He also added that he was really blown away by the speed and responsiveness of the Apple Crestron integration.

The partnership between the two companies is full and final, and there were Apple logos on Crestron controllers and signage demonstrated at the ISE. Clancy noted that everything was fully sanctioned and okayed by Apple.

Clancy also lamented the fact that it took so long to integrate Apple TV into the smart-home ecosystem. He said that while they were doing Apple TV installations, they had to kind of eliminate the feature of voice control. Now Apple TV users can get the function back.

Till now, Crestron depended on its own voice server for issuing commands using the remote control. But after the integration, the voice commands for the selected Apple TV will be “commandeered” to Siri. You will also be met with an Apple logo on the remote screen instead of the Crestron logo when you press the voice button.

Seamless Integration with HomeKit

The Apple HomeKit ecosystem has been growing steadily since it was introduced in 2014. Now it has become much mainstream with many companies coming out with HomeKit-enabled devices.

HomeKit is one of the most easy to use and secure home automation platforms that could be controlled by iOS devices. Now you can use the TSR-310 remote to connect to HomeKit framework and issue commands by voice and remote.

The new features will be available on the Creston Home with the OS 3 update that is expected to come soon. After the update, you will be able to use IP control and voice control through Siri via the remote. You will also be able to control the user interface of any HomeKit-enabled device via TSR-310.

Crestron aims to enhance the lifestyle and user experience of its customers through the Apple partnership. Global Residential Marketing Manager of Crestron, Michael Short, said that the partnership offers their residential integrators another powerful tool to enhance the lives of Crestron smart home customers.

How to Enjoy the Benefits of the New Technology

The new integration is available to users of TSR-310 via Crestron SIMPL Windows programming software. You can now take advantage of the SIMPL Windows release by following the steps mentioned below-

  • Update to the latest version of the Crestron Database
  • Download the latest software and firmware update of your TSR-310 remote

You can enjoy the new functionalities in SIMPL Windows by updating your device and Crestron databases. You will also be able to use a built-in help file to configure your HomeKit integrations.

The Windows firmware update includes-

  • Support for TSR-310 to provide the new functionalities
  • TSR-310 extender and SIMPL Windows module
  • Documentation detailing how to utilize the new features in SIMPL Windows

After the update, you will get the following features-

  • Ability to control Apple TV with your TSR-310 remote
  • Connect HomeKit and TSR-310 securely
  • Control a number of Apple TVs through TSR-310 linked by device names
  • Direct voice commands through the TSR-310 microphone to chosen Apple TV

If you wish to control your TV or HomeKit appliances through other devices, including the HR-310 remote, you will need some secondary means of control like CEC or IR.

The new capabilities of the TSR-310 make it one of the premium-most touch-screen remotes available in the market. It's also not cheap, and the price varies based on customer needs. That being said, the TSR-310 improvements make it far better than other Crestron remotes like the TSR-302 or HR-310. It should make sense for Apple TV owners and Crestron home automation customers if they can pay the price!


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