Why do we work with Crestron?

Back in 2007, after a 15 years in corporate IT and software development and a journey that took Sony PlayStation from a fridge sized prototype to the most popular console on the planet, Oliver Hall decided to move up north and set up his own business (Ultamation).  Initially he was toying with creating our own home automation product.  After considerable ‘tinkering’ and research, coupled with a visit to the CEDIA show down in London we quickly realised there was no need for us to create our own product – there were actually various brands already out there.  And so began the process of which one best suited us, our values and which we felt would deliver the best solution for our clients. 

Ten years ago, the main players were AMX, Crestron with a host of also-rans (RTI, ELAN, Pronto, etc.).  Of those, some have fallen from their pedestals, some have gone completely and relative new comers Control4 and Savant have entered the mix.  However, at the time the choice fell to which manufacturer fitted our skill set and the ultimate flexibility of the bigger players Crestron and AMX made them the only credible shortlist.  The final decision wasn’t based on business model or technology, it was ultimately a question of personalities and the support we got from Crestron made the choice an easy one – and what good fortune that was.  As Crestron have continued to innovate and grow, AMX have fallen off the map following growth through acquisition and a lacklustre product line-up rather than Crestron's approach of an integrated vision

Crestron has been established since 1971, so has pedigree in the industry.  They boast that they “create automation solutions that transform the way people live their lives, making their day-to-day tasks easier and improving efficiency and productivity.  We strive to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, constantly offering faster, better solutions that address the needs of customers the world over.  With Crestron, you aren’t just buying top-of-the-line electronics, you are investing in scalable and customised solutions, gaining 24/7 global service and support, and sponsoring products that are designed and manufactured in America.”

So, what are Crestron doing that makes them stand head and shoulders above the others?  It is undoubtedly a premium product, which when partnered with an experienced, innovative programming team delivers a truly unique system specifically tailored around our clients’ home or business, equipment and requirements in a way which uniquely benefits their lifestyles. We believe that the main advantage of Crestron is its customisability, which enables even the most unusual devices to be controlled through the system, for example we have integrated a full-sized car turntable into a home system to form the centre-piece of an incredible garage.    

Crestron are also at the forefront of innovation with their Digital Media (the most complete platform to transmit and distribute audio/video), Sonnex (Multi-room Audio Systems) & unique collaborations on the commercial side with the likes of Unified Communications (from small huddle spaces right through to the complete enterprise) which is an enormous success.  They are also pushing industry leading technologies such as the future planned move to HTML5 for user interfaces, which due to our heritage in unique UI and programming solutions, we are honoured to have been asked to be a part of the development process.   

Coming from a programming background, ultimately we chose Crestron because their innovative technology provided opportunities for us to employ our software engineering expertise.  It is the skill of the system designer, integrator and programmer which makes the difference in the system.  To become a Crestron dealer or programmer takes significant commitment in understanding the product and the possibilities.  So having a Gold Crestron Programmer (one of only a handful in the UK) heading up our team is a huge advantage, reinforced by the four Crestron awards that Ultamation have now won.

To add further weight to our programming repertoire we also write tools and modules for other developers to integrate into their systems.   We get a kick out of enabling devices which other people say can’t be controlled, to respond to commands and Crestron allows us to do this.  We have written various modules to control Heatmiser thermostats, Apple TVs, Sky Q, Philips Hue, Garmin watches and many more.  So, whether you are buying a whole system or just a module from us, you know it will work.  

In conclusion, looking back over the past 10 years, are we happy we made the decision to partner with Crestron? I put it to Oliver and his immediate response was “Absolutely no question”.  

To see some of our award winning projects click here.

For our modules, click here for our shop.