One of These Things is EXACTLY Like the Other

Chuck-Van-Gogh-0713More and more organizations are clamoring for ways to wirelessly share their Android tablet or iPad content up on the big screen (in their conference rooms, classrooms, etc.), but the available solutions are still few and far between. So I jumped when I got a chance to demo a promising solution from a little-known company called Qomo a couple months ago. It worked well, and was inexpensive. So far so good, right? Then a couple weeks ago at InfoComm, Crestron announced its AirMedia gateway. The more I heard about it, the more its features and specs sounded strangely familiar. Upon closer inspection, the similarities became inescapable.

crestron-qomo-0713

Let me be very clear at the start… I have no inside information to back up my conclusions. I’ve simply looked at publicly-available information and drawn logical conclusions based on observation and experience. Let’s start with the similarities.

  1. The dimensions are almost exactly the same: Crestron: 1.10×6.15×2.39″ vs. Qomo: 0.94×6.1×2.0″ (HxWxD).
  2. The weight is exactly the same: 8.4 oz.
  3. The shape is the same.
  4. The back panel is the same (except for the antennas, which might stem from Crestron’s unit not doubling as a Wireless Access Point).
  5. Many similar features, including simultaneous viewing of up to four computers in quad view, full screen mirroring from Windows/Mac laptops, and mirroring only from a special app on Android/iOS mobile devices.
  6. Same max output resolutions: UXGA (1600×1200) from VGA out, and 1920×1080 from HDMI out

Now, the differences

  1. Customizable “Welcome” screen
  2. Automated on/off control of certain “Crestron Connected” displays
  3. 32 (Crestron) vs. 20 (Qomo) max connected source devices, and
  4. LIST PRICE: $1,600 (Crestron) vs. $499 (Qomo)

Please let that last point hit you on the way out. Crestron’s price is OVER TRIPLE that of the Qomo unit! So even though OEM’ing another company’s product is a perfectly normal business practice, do the differentiating features warrant that kind of price hike? What do you think?

Question: Are the Crestron name and added features worth it if you were the customer? Let me know what you think by scrolling down.