phillip pini Crestron superyacht technologyExpert Piece by Phillip Pini, Head of Residential Development, Europe at Crestron

Crestron’s Head of Residential Development for Europe on the biggest upcoming tech trends

In the R&D pipeline

Innovation is key at Crestron and we traditionally announce major product launches at Integrated Systems Europe in February. This year, we will demonstrate our latest home solutions, focussed on the speed and efficiency of deployment whilst showcasing customisation and incredible user experience.

Alongside product innovation, we have focused our efforts on developing partnerships with like-minded brands. We are only as good as the systems we sit alongside and fully integrate with. Crestron is committed to finding and working with technology partners to ensure that what is paired with Crestron works with Crestron.

New marine-specific products

We have recently launched our new video distribution solution DigitalMedia NVX, which is full of features that the marine market has been eagerly awaiting. It offers incredible image quality delivering stunning 4K60 4:4:4 and HDR over a standard 1G Ethernet network. This means it’s suitable for refit projects as well as new builds. Utilising a transmitter at the source, a 1G network switch in the middle and a receiver at the display ensures scalability. Offering zero latency, total security and encoding and decoding in a single unit, we feel it is a game changer for distributing entertainment on board.


Our horizontal sheer roller blinds are also relatively new. Shades and drapes have been available from Crestron for some time now, but we are always looking for new technologies to enhance natural light on yachts. What makes the sheer roller blinds an exciting product for superyacht clients is the space (and weight!) they save onboard. This is because roller shades normally require enough space for two sets of blinds, a blackout and a regular one, the combination of which covers all bases for the amount of light an owner may want to let in. Life on a yacht needs more options than just full sunlight or complete blackout, but choosing regular blinds over the blackout can mean saying goodbye to your privacy. Most yachts have both so that they can allow light in dependent on mood, but this takes up double the space by the windows.

We have designed an all-in-one version. A single sheer fabric with ‘veins’ which the user adjusts to choose exactly how much light they want to let in, this blind can reach almost complete blackout, full translucency, or somewhere in between. This means the perfect amount of natural light can be achieved in rooms where space is at a premium. The blinds can be controlled manually using a remote or can be automated to customisable settings and programs, with the opacity scientifically measured by percentage. What’s more, these smart blinds can also record typical lighting preferences onboard so that if needed it can replicate this with no effort from the user. We believe there aren’t any other options like this on the market currently, and are very excited about how it is improving natural lighting options for owners.

Major challenges that arise in marine installations

Crestron itself does not install, but we do have a network of Crestron Technology Partners across the globe who provide this service. Through this network, we see and hear of what can cause hurdles on projects. Here are a few to be wary of:

  • Rack Location – where to put the equipment on smaller vessels? This can be a problem, often solved by splitting racks to enable smaller height units to be used.
  • Weight – how much does all this equipment weigh? This has to be taken into account by the yard for displacement purposes.
  • Power – how much does it all consume? This again is taken into consideration by the yard before build to ensure there will be enough power to seamlessly run all the equipment.
  • Serviceability – what happens if something goes wrong? It’s important to understand what support is on offer from the very beginning, so you know who to contact if the worst does happen.

2017’s most shocking tech

LED has allowed us to create some incredible things. In a recently procured project, the entire floor of the swimming pool is one big LED video screen. The availability of this technology makes it feel like anything will be possible in 2018!

I have also been amazed by daylight ceilings. Created using LED panels, this technology really makes you believe that you are experiencing natural daylight. This is perfect for those rooms in which there is no way if getting much natural light due to location, or for those hidden away for privacy reasons.

On board entertainment demands

The market is shifting with big demands on streaming entertainment. The problem with a yacht is it relies heavily on satellite delivery for this content. Owners and guest are using a variety of input sources, such as iPads, and pushing this content to screens as they would within their own homes, but this puts significant strain on the available bandwidth.

Owners and guests are also very much interested in the highest possible quality of content and this again makes distribution interesting. High fidelity audio and HDR video content is one thing, but actually enabling that content to be enjoyed as intended presents a number of challenges. This means that those operating in this market who know how best to do this are in high-demand to achieve this on most new builds.

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“Superyacht Technology News is my go-to place for all things marine. If it’s worth knowing, Jack and the team put it out there for everyone to read and review.” – Phillip Pini

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