The company also plans to launch, early in 2011, a new black box control device that will sit in a home automation network allowing integrators to deliver better control of devices on a network.
At the upcoming CEDIA event in the USA next week Philips will showcase a new TSW9500 in-wall touchscreen, a new ProntoTunes iTunes controller and a new version of Pronto Edit Professional (PEP3).
According to Michael Henriksen the Managing director of Qualifi who distribute the Philips Pronto range in Australia, Philips are well aware of the “the threat that the iPad and tablets could have on their business” he said .
“At this stage a lot of the automation software on the iPad is immature, the devices lack things like trackballs but having said that Philips are aware of the threat and have moved to improve their software as well as launch new network capable products that sit in a home automation network allowing installers to do a better job of integration control and devices into a home automation setup”.
In an effort to replace the need for a Crestron control device Philips has announced a Crestron emulator that eliminates the need for a “premium” priced controller said Henriksen.
The new TSU Series remotes and the companion ProntoEdit Pro configuration platform supports numerous automation subsystems, including most of the IP automation and proprietary systems currently sold in Australia.
Their new in-wall product, the TSW9500 which is designed to be flush mounted into a wall operates much like the Philips pronto TSU9600 and TSU9800.
In an effort to deliver a more streamlined European look Philips has eliminated the traditional A/V hard buttons (channel/volume up/down, left/right/up/down, mute, home, power) on either side of the screen.
Instead they have introduced five new configurable soft keys -which change as users scroll through the screen.
The TSW9500 has a smaller screen (3.5 inches) than the TSU9600 (3.7 inches) and TSU9800 (6.4 inches). To accommodate the need for different screen sizes Philips has designed the software to scale to the different sizes so that the resolution stays constant.
“If you created something in the -9600 or -9800, with one click you can convert it to the in-wall panel,” says Philips product manager Dick Mol. “In the conversion, extra information is dropped into an additional page for the installer to do what he wants.”
The TSW9500 supports two-way ProntoScript modules. It requires only one Cat 5 cable for both power and IP communications to existing Pronto extenders. It also offers an IR output for universal control of IR devices.
A USB port is easily accessible from the front panel.
Wall boxes are sold separately so that integrators can rough-in the system long before a home is ready for touchscreens. Face plates come as a set of five in four standard colours and can be painted to match the dÃ©cor.
The touchscreen will retail for around $1,200 in Australia.