Posts tagged Crestron Masters

Crestron Masters and the Architecture Session

Today’s post is part four of David Thorson’s look back at the Crestron Masters event. David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture, and a recognized expert within the AV industry. Read part three of his entry here.

Crestron Architecture
The final session with Crestron was conducted by John Pavlik, Crestron Director, Architecture & Design. This session was designed to provide a deeper look at the underlying software and hardware programmers use every day. We started with talking about strategies in for efficient programming on large scale projects. Then covered multi-slot programming guidance and best practices. AVI-SPL’s Larry Kuehner walked everyone though a massive project he’s undertaking in a code-review format.

We also learned more about processor task switching to understand the underlining processor behavior in greater context. I learned that in the 3-Series processor, all the Simpl+ code is compiled to S#.

There was more information about Crestron’s Auto Update that will be extremely helpful when deploying software in the field.

We concluded the architecture session with Crestron’s .AV Framework. This topic may have been mistakenly overlooked by a lot of those that attended Crestron Masters this year. The .AV Framework is a tool to save time for programmers or can be used in simple systems as a WYSIWYG tool (What You See Is What You Get) or a configuration-based type of systems deployment. This is viewed by many programmers in the industry as encroachment on their turf. I don’t see it that way. A well-versed programmer uses any and all tools at their disposal.

The most exciting part about Crestron’s .AV Framework is it will be published in SIMPL# code. This object-oriented language is being levered to build very robust programming. Even if a programmer is not interested in using the out-of-the-box .AV Framework programming, don’t overlook this approach. The work that Crestron is doing to obscure the underlining SIMPL# code, design the classes and methods, and provide a foundation for code reuse for AV systems is a roadmap to creating the Crestron programs of the future. Those looking to bridge the knowledge gap from introduction to object-oriented programming to SIMPL# libraries or SIMPL# Pro will be well served to focus their time learning more about the underlining code in the .AV Framework.

In the fifth and final part of my Crestron Masters recap, I’ll share the conversation around programming methodologies in the AVI-SPL session that concluded the event.

Crestron Masters and the Spaghetti Challenge

Today’s post is part two of David Thorson’s look at the Crestron Masters event. David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture, and a recognized expert within the AV industry. Read part one of his entry here.

This year at Crestron Masters, AVI-SPL extended the momentum to bring all of AVI-SPL’s 32 Crestron Certified programmers together. The time together consisted of team building, programming awards, panel discussion, targeted Crestron training, and AVI-SPL specific topics and an open discussion.

We kicked things off just after the Crestron Masters closing ceremony. As programmers we’re queuing up for their Crestron give away AVI-SPL was just getting started.

Team building
To break up the classroom overload that we just survived, we started with a fun teambuilding activity: the Spaghetti Tower Challenge! If you’re not familiar with this activity, let me set the scene. Each team consisted of three programmers, one Crestron technical director and 30 minutes on the clock. Each team had to gather the following supplies and given a limited set of instructions.


  • 20 sticks of spaghetti
  • One yard of tape
  • One toothpick (flagpole)
  • One piece of paper (flag)


  • Build the tallest tower
  • Create team flag
  • Tallest tower wins

Each team gave their best shot at building the tallest tower. We saw a lot of creativity and ingenuity. As the clock approached the deadline teams were still feverishly working. A few did not hold up to test, others pushed the rules, and the majority constructed a tower to be measured. The winners of this challenge went to:

  • Kevin Rusch (AVI-SPL Detroit)
  • Mario Roman (AVI-SPL Detroit)
  • Stan Pawlowski (AVI-SPL TSG Crestron Developer)
  • Jason Moulden (Technical Director Crestron Midwest)

So why a tower made of dry spaghetti? This exercise was more than just way to bring people together. This was about building something fast. Demonstrating that it’s important to learn from mistakes early. And proving that continuous iteration to improve a solution pays off.

In part 3 of my recap of Crestron Masters 2016, we’ll look at the winners of the first-ever AVI-SPL programming awards, and touch on the joint discussion panel between Crestron and AVI-SPL.