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-   -   SIP Intercom Server that gets along with Crestron? (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/162-home-automation/1469027-sip-intercom-server-gets-along-crestron.html)

maxmeyers 04-19-2013 03:26 PM

I'm working with a Crestron dealer to design a home automation system in a new home. I want an intercom system, which doesn't seem to be an item of interest these days, as there's not a lot of information about it on the Internet. The touch panels we're getting have Rava, Crestron's SIP-compatible intercom system. Ideally, though, we want an intercom in most or every room -- not very cost effective with touch panels (we're only getting three or so).

This application diagram shows that you can use an SIP server to let IP phones and Rava intercoms coexist. Does anyone have any experience doing this with an free PBX server like Asterisk or FreePBX? I'm having trouble figuring out where to get started here.

By the way, by intercom, I'm referring to the ability to call one or more other rooms and instantly enable a speakerphone on that room's unit -- without the other room having to pick up. I grew up in a home with this type of system and it does wonders for locating people in a multi-story home.

Neurorad 04-19-2013 04:59 PM

Programming might be a challenge. Who is doing the programming? Ask the dealer, nicely, for you to speak with the programmer, and ask for his experience. The dealer can tell you it can be done, but the programmer will give you specific recs.

EHolovision might be a good option for a SIP door station for the front door, and historically eHolovision plays very well with Crestron. The guys at eHolovision may have some suggestions for you too, in the house, if you use their door station.

I don't think it will be a big deal, integrating RAVA with your SIP server, but you and the programmer need to discuss options, if you want to have some control later yourself.

Let us know what you end up with.

weddellkw 04-22-2013 09:17 AM

I have seen Asterisk and 3CX listed as good options by Crestron programmers. Crestron Tech Sales might be able to confirm or make a recommendation.

*Have not had an opportunity to try this personally.

Neurorad 04-22-2013 01:17 PM

RAVA is still pretty new, not many discussions online yet.

sic0048 04-23-2013 12:41 PM

Certainly a SIP phone system like Asterisk (I suggest PBX in a Flash as a great option) or 3CX (which runs on a Windows OS machine) can have intercom functionality. You can create ring groups that have multiple extensions in them, or ring individual extensions by themselves. The systems themselves have the ability to force the phone to auto-answer in speaker mode which is usually the default option on the "intercom" functionality. However, ultimately it is up to each phone to comply with the auto-answer request. Some phones do not have that ability built into them and will not work as an intercom (they will ring, but not auto answer in speaker mode). Just be careful when selecting phones and make sure they offer the intercom/auto answer ability. This intercom functionality is a big advantage to these digital systems and one of the features our family really likes with our system.

However, it will take some research on your end to make sure the phone solution that you choose will work with the Crestron hardware you might already have. Each phone/device must be provisioned (basically programmed) into the phone system and there are devices that a particular phone system simply will not support. If the phone system doesn't support the Crestron hardware, it might be very hard or impossible to get it to work. For example, Cisco is notorious for locking down their phones and it has been historically very hard to get those phones to work with the different phone systems. While it has become much easier in the recent past to integrate Cisco phones, I'm using it as a warning because Crestron also locks down their hardware which may prevent it from working with anything other than a Crestron phone system (if there is even such a thing - I'm not up to date on Crestron).

Hopefully what I've said makes sense. There is certainly a big difference between it working on paper and it working in real life. As long as the system is designed to work together, it shouldn't be hard to implement. But you need to do your research and make sure the system you end up with is designed to work together.

maxmeyers 04-24-2013 09:37 PM

I'm technically minded enough to be able to set up an Asterisk server, but I'm curious as to how well it will work with the Crestron panels. The current plan is go with the Crestron CP3N, with an eHolovision gate panel.

Do you have any specific brand recommendations in terms of IP phones that easily work with SIP systems like Asterisk and PBX, as well as Crestron?

slash76 04-26-2013 04:53 PM

Hello maxmeyers...i've just finished an integration with a tsw-750 and a 3cx sip server....Well...bad experience!!! I found the new tsw line very slower than tpmc-4 serie, and if you don't work with Rava native hardware, you'll always find issues...we used an tsw-750 with an mc-3 for the whole house automation, but for intercom and the surveillance with h.264 ip cameras the tsw line touch panel is not what you expected to get....

weddellkw 04-29-2013 09:47 AM

Slash,

Was the problem with the TSW performance overall, or something specific to the 3CX / SIP / RAVA integration? I'm familiar with some of the birthing pains and limitations of the current TSW models, but have not heard about specific problems with SIP.

Thanks for sharing, I'm trying to get a baseline on what to expect before we actually install such a system.

slash76 04-30-2013 02:26 PM

Thanks Weddellkw...i'm glad to share with you all....i live in Italy, and probably i'm the one who started with the tsw line...i used one with a 3cx server as a door phone station...audio signal has a delay after 5,6 seconds talking....i used the panel for viewing 7 ip camera and i found it very slow....i had to use 320x240 resolution just for having a reasonable delay....
Simply in the page flip, the panel doesn't work like a tpmc-4 for example.....slow...slow...
I think Crestron thought to design a low-cost panel, but in this way i rather use Ipad or mini, so that i can say. My clients pay for what they get....This is my experience

weddellkw 05-01-2013 10:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by slash76 View Post

Thanks Weddellkw...i'm glad to share with you all....i live in Italy, and probably i'm the one who started with the tsw line...i used one with a 3cx server as a door phone station...audio signal has a delay after 5,6 seconds talking....i used the panel for viewing 7 ip camera and i found it very slow....i had to use 320x240 resolution just for having a reasonable delay....
Simply in the page flip, the panel doesn't work like a tpmc-4 for example.....slow...slow...
I think Crestron thought to design a low-cost panel, but in this way i rather use Ipad or mini, so that i can say. My clients pay for what they get....This is my experience

That's all in line with what I've heard (except for the voice delay). General take seems to be that they under-spec'd the hardware, and Core3 is a bit of a pig when it comes to hardware resources right now. Hopefully they can continue to optimize Core3 to achieve some improvements.

Have recent firmware/software updates improved the situation at all? Also, have you tried disabling transitions on your graphics project?

slash76 05-02-2013 03:33 PM

I have updated both panel and processor with last firmware, because it was the first thing i thought...but i think the main problem is the hardware....the tsw line is not ready for a whole integration...the simple feedback itself in an analogic ramp, is not so reactive....in the technical guide, you read about the h.264 streaming video to use with surveillance camera....but in which way?? Just try to visualize 4 ip magapixel cameras and then let me know...for intercom applications you must use hardware with Rava built into it....with SIP only and with best settings in text console you'll get an ibrid and not reliable system....i used a 3cx sip server...
The graphic project is very very light....
I'm not saying The tsw line does not work, but i'm still waiting a low cost panel as alternative to the iPad..
The little tpmc4 remain for me the best solution in residential application...

bravonoj 05-02-2013 10:06 PM

+1 for PBX In A Flash - we have that with Cisco phones all over the house and I will never go back. Took a bit of doing to get the phones working but once they do, it's a piece of cake...Other than that, Grandstream, Yealink, are good inexpensive brands that support full SIP protocol.

BackRowBob 01-16-2014 02:13 PM

Slash - Lots of great info, thank you. Have you had any experience with the TPMC-9L in comparison to the 4L and the TSW panels? Just wondering how that stacks up?


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