I am not the first person to write about this and surely I won’t be the last. But, heck it is too tempting to leave alone. In January,Crestron posted a video on their website that they purported to be a fair comparison of digital switching. In the video, they blew away the comparable Extron switcher in both timing and stability. The video seems to have sat on their site, in relative obscurity until rAVe’s Gary Kaye wrote and posted about it on this site.
I don’t know whether Extron knew of the video before this and took a marketing stance of not talking about their competitors, or if therAVe article was the first time it was brought to their attention. Either way, Extron President Andrew Edwards came out swinging. Between his article and the video by Engineer Steve Somers they landed some serious punches. Edwards lambastes the Crestron video as “smoke and mirrors” and points out several problems with both the video and with the “shootout”.
The first round of this fight (Crestron’s video), which almost went by without anyone noticing was well done. However, when I watched it, before Extron’s reply, I immediately noticed several of the things that Mr. Edwards later pointed out. In particular, the sources were not the same, and that the video was highly edited and we were left to believe that someone was off screen doing what they say they were doing. However, without a response from Extron, Crestron had landed a blow in the first round.
When I read the letter from Extron, I was stunned by the level of detail they went into in researching the Crestron video. Then, making their own video and letting us watch everything they did, they may have landed the knockout punch. Not only did they show their product to work just as well, if not better, they showed Crestron to be deceptive and dishonest.
I am left with two questions. First, why did Crestron start this fight and rig a video in such obvious ways? Particularly, when it seems they are being petty over things that don’t really matter. Does it really matter whether a switcher takes .5 or 1.3 of a second? Not to me. And not to any professor I have ever worked with. My second question is whether this was a two round featherweight match-up, or if it will turn into a real heavy weight 12 round brawl.