Crafting Solutions: The Art of Problem-Centric Software Design


At the heart of problem-centric software design is a desire to understand the complexities of the problem statement. This entails moving beyond surface-level descriptions and immersing oneself in the context of the situation. Whether it’s creating a new app to manage family finances or optimizing logistics for a global supply chain, great software design starts with a thorough understanding of the difficulties at hand.

Key advantages of problem-centric design

One of the key advantages of problem-centric design is its ability to foster innovation. Instead of jumping straight into coding based on assumptions or preconceived notions, developers take the time to conduct thorough research, gather requirements, and engage in meaningful conversations with stakeholders. This deliberate approach often leads to the discovery of novel solutions and inventive ways to tackle complex problems.

The creation of a medical practice scheduling application is a concrete example of problem-centric design in action. Instead of rushing to create a generic calendar solution, the development team will spend time shadowing employees, observing patient flow, and identifying scheduling trouble areas. This hands-on approach uncovered inefficiencies such as double bookings, high wait times, and coordination issues with other departments.

With these findings, the team set out to create a solution that would address these unique issues. This included not just creating user-friendly interfaces and robust backend systems, but also incorporating functionality specific to the needs of the medical practice. For example, the application provided automated appointment reminders, connectivity with electronic health records, and real-time notifications for schedule changes.

Throughout the development process, the emphasis remained on the problem at hand. This entailed obtaining feedback from end users, iterating on designs based on usability testing, and constantly refining the solution to better meet user requirements. By putting the issue front and center, the development team was able to create a scheduling tool that not only met functional needs but also provided concrete benefits in terms of efficiency, productivity, and patient happiness.

However, problem-centric design involves more than just fixing immediate difficulties; it is also about future-proofing solutions to ensure long-term success. In the case of the medical scheduling application, this entailed predicting prospective changes in healthcare regulations, shifting patient expectations, and developing technologies. Building a flexible and modular design allowed the application to easily adapt to new requirements and interface with other systems as needed.


In conclusion, The Art of Problem-Centric Software Design emphasizes the significance of beginning with the problem and allowing it to influence the whole development process. By adopting a pragmatic and user-centric approach, developers may create solutions that not only meet immediate demands but also pave the way for future innovation and growth. The proverb goes, “If you want to build great software, start by solving the right problems.”

Product Launch : LCD IR App

LCD launches IR App for configuration of devices in Crestron & Crestron Home

App configuration tool set to revolutionise IR device connections through Global Caché

Edinburgh, Scotland November 2023 – Custom programmers and software developers, LCD specialise in producing custom drivers and modules for extended connectivity in Crestron and Crestron Home. The company, based in Scotland and backed by qualified Crestron Service Providers (CSPs), also offer system development services, helping institutions and businesses build control systems to their unique specifications. LCD has just announced the launch of its latest product, the LCD IR App, which enables Global Caché IR product integration for Crestron and Crestron Home.

Global Caché produces hardware solutions that allow for the access, control, and automation of IR, serial and relay devices over an IP network. LCD’s IR App will enable CSPs and professionals who build Crestron systems to connect a multitude of devices to their control ecosystems via a downloadable software module or driver, further expanding the capabilities of Crestron and Crestron Home.

“We’ve been working hard to develop an overall solution for connecting non-native devices to control systems,” explains Neil Silver, Lead Developer at LCD. “With our collective background in the Creston and Crestron Home world, we have been able to work with Global Caché’s iTach product to create a unique solution for configuring devices in these environments; but this is just the beginning. The software we’ve developed is transferrable and has the potential to be used within other control systems, with the same effect.”

“Gone are the days of writing custom software for each install—thanks to the powerful middleware from LCD and Global Caché hardware,” says Robin Ford, Global Caché’s VP of Business Development, expressing enthusiasm for what this new product means for Crestron service providers and integrators. “It’s a game-changer. This not only streamlines the installation process but also reduces the need for specialised engineering. It’s a win-win for the folks setting it up and their users.”

The launch is based around LCD’s IR App, a control interface that facilitates easy connection between Crestron and Crestron Home control systems and IR-controlled devices. “Our IR App can be accessed via any web browser or even from a smartphone,” continues Silver. “The app allows users to configure the connection details of Global Caché’s iTach IP2CC hardware, browse and test the IR code sets available from Global Caché’s online IR database, Control Tower, upload custom code sets and modify IR codes for device commands.”

LCD’s IR App is compatible with both Crestron and Crestron Home systems via two separate software offerings. Firstly, a driver for Crestron Home allows IR devices, from home appliances to security cameras, to be connected to Crestron Home via the Global Caché integration. On the other hand, a module for SIMPL Windows allows for the same capabilities, but within a Creston ecosystem, and is therefore intended for use within corporate and professional markets, rather than residential. You can read more about Global Caché on our partners page

The launch of LCD IR App marks a significant milestone, not only for the LCD development team, but also for Global Caché, whose iTach product can now be utilised in a wider range of use cases in both Crestron and Crestron Home environments.

Introduction to Linux Syslog and What it Does

Because of its versatility, reliability, and security, Linux has emerged as the most powerful and well-liked platform in the era of operating systems. The Syslog system is a crucial part of the Linux operating system but is frequently overlooked by end users. Syslog is an essential component that saves and manages log messages produced by running services and other installed programs in a Linux system. In this post, we’ll talk about Linux Syslog’s creation and examine its purpose and features.


For application messages and logging systems, Syslog is recognized as a standard protocol in Linux. It enables the transmission of log messages from numerous services and applications to a single, central place. Those central locations are referred to as Syslog servers. These log messages must be gathered and stored by it for further troubleshooting and analysis. Other operating systems, including BSP, macOS, and numerous more, now frequently use Syslog.

How does Syslog Work?

Introduction to Linux Syslog and What it Does

Syslog consists of three vital components:

  • Syslog Server
  • Syslog Client
  • Syslog Protocol

Syslog Server

The Syslog server, often known as syslogd, collects all incoming log messages from a certain port while running in the background. Receiving messages from various syslog clients, processing them, and then storing them in log files for particular services or applications are its duties.

Syslog Client

This component works for generating and sending log messages to a Syslog server. Services and applications running on Linux systems can use system calls or syslog libraries to transmit log messages to the syslog server (syslogd). The Syslog client is responsible for transmitting crucial details such as hostname, actual log content, timestamp, and severity level. 

Syslog Protocol

The Syslog protocol contains a set of rules that are defined for effective communication between the Syslog server and the client. It also defines the format of log messages that can be stored in the Syslog server, responsible for specifying different severity levels such as starting from debugging to emergency, allows the admin to prioritize and filter the log messages based on their need and importance.

Key functionalities

Syslog is equally important for both system administrators and developers. Here are some of its key benefits and functionalities


The Syslog is flexible enough that it allows the administrators to configure the log actions and destinations as per desire and need. Log messages can be stored in files locally, transmitted to servers, trigger notifications, forward the log files to other Syslog servers, and can also work on scripts containing specific conditions.

Centralized Logging

Syslog offers a centralized approach to log management. This centralized-based approach helps the administrator to access the log messages and analyze them for multiple services and applications from a single place because all the log messages are stored in a single server. Therefore, it makes troubleshooting easier along with auditing and monitoring the activity.


Syslog is extremely scalable when it comes to scalability, which makes it more appropriate for a large number of devices and systems within an environment. Syslog is capable of handling many clients’ including services and applications log messages simultaneously and ensuring that no logs are lost or missed.

Long term Storage

The Syslog authorizes long-term storage and log file archiving. Administrators can easily control the size of log files by configuring log rotation policies and also retention periods, which can ensure the logs are properly retained for historical analysis and compliance.

Prioritization and Filtering

The Syslog enables the administrators to apply filters on log messages based on sources, severity levels, and other criteria. This prioritization and filtering allow the administrators to focus on critical events and reduce the number of less important logs.

Crestron Virtual Processors running on Linux with VC4

Crestron’s VC 4 documentation provides some guidance (and a configuration example) for non-Linux experts on how to filter entries from the main syslog into a dedicated Crestron log file. While this is useful information, users of VC4 in a server environment will soon find that this level of filtering is not suitable for quick review and the resultant logs are still too noisy to be useful.

Crestron Help Article ( Requires Login)

The team at LCD has some hints and tips below as to how to make the syslog filtering work for your vc4 architecture.

Filtering for Logic Engine and SimplPlus

Log entries coming from simpl Windows programs running on VC4 have two patterns, One is logging from the program Logic Engine and the 2nd is from the Simpl+ process. The entries below in the config file create two filtered log files and filter entries for each of the processes into the respective files.

The log entries below are from a room named “55” which is running a Simpl Windows program.

We can use the naming of different entries in the syslog to filter into more granular log files.

See the example below for details of how to create a single log file for Logic engine and Simpl Plus Logs.

The code below shows a snippet from the  /etc/rsyslog.d/ conf file.

Filtering per Room or Group of Rooms

One step further you can create a dedicated log with messages from the specific room logic engine or group of Engines you want to capture.

For example, if your rooms have a standard naming pattern in VC4 then you can leverage this to filter log messages from them into a single file.

In Summary

Setting up granular logging can make a great difference in the time to diagnosis. If you need help configuring your systems to make the most of modern logging then contact us to find out more.

Neil Silver Crestron CSP

Neil Silver

Lead Developer LCD – Crestron Programmer, CSP

Managing the Development and Custom Programming Teams on a day-to-day basis and responsible for Product Design and Project Oversight.

The Benefits of Configurable software

The Benefits of Configurable Software

Using scalable and configurable software for audiovisual (AV) room control offers numerous benefits compared to the traditional approach of implementing individual code per room. This modern approach empowers organizations to efficiently manage their AV systems, streamline operations, and deliver consistent user experiences across multiple rooms. Here’s why opting for scalable and configurable software is highly beneficial for AV room control:

Centralised Management and Consistency

Implementing individual code for each AV room can quickly become unwieldy and difficult to manage, especially when dealing with numerous rooms. Scalable and configurable software allows administrators to manage all rooms from a centralized platform. Changes, updates, and configurations can be applied uniformly, ensuring consistent functionalities, user interfaces, and experiences across all rooms. This level of control is invaluable for maintaining a cohesive AV environment.


Developing, testing, and maintaining unique codebases for each room is time-consuming and resource-intensive. Scalable software reduces development effort by utilizing a shared codebase that can be customized through configuration. This approach not only accelerates deployment but also significantly reduces development and maintenance costs. Organizations can allocate resources more efficiently and achieve faster returns on investment.

Adaptability to changing needs

AV room requirements can evolve over time due to technology advancements, organizational changes, or shifting user preferences. Configurable software allows for easy adaptation to changing needs without rewriting code from scratch. Adding new features, integrating with emerging technologies, or adjusting user interfaces can be achieved through configuration settings, ensuring that AV systems remain up-to-date and relevant.

Rapid Deployment and scalability

As organizations grow or expand their AV infrastructure, deploying individual code for each new room can be a time-consuming process. Scalable software streamlines this process by enabling rapid deployment of pre-configured setups. This scalability ensures that new rooms can be integrated seamlessly into the existing AV ecosystem without unnecessary delays.

Enhanced troubleshooting and support

Identifying issues and providing support in a diverse environment with individual codebases can be challenging. With configurable software, troubleshooting becomes more straightforward. Support teams can diagnose and address issues based on standardized configurations, reducing downtime and minimizing disruptions.

Future Proofing

AV technology is continually evolving, and scalability is essential for accommodating future upgrades. Configurable software architectures are better positioned to incorporate new technologies, protocols, and standards. Organizations can adapt to the latest trends and innovations without undergoing extensive redevelopment efforts.

Consolidated reporting and analytics

A centralized software solution offers the advantage of consolidated reporting and analytics. Organizations can gather data across multiple rooms to gain insights into usage patterns, equipment performance, and user behaviors. These insights inform data-driven decisions for optimizing AV room setups and user experiences.

Embracing scalable and configurable software for AV room control brings substantial advantages over the conventional approach of individual code per room. This approach ensures streamlined management, reduced costs, adaptability, rapid deployment, enhanced support, and readiness for future advancements. Organizations can create an efficient, flexible, and future-proof AV environment that meets their needs while delivering consistent and high-quality experiences to users across all rooms.

Maintaining a codebase

Maintaining configurable software for AV room control is imperative to ensure adaptability and efficiency. As AV technologies evolve, a configurable approach allows swift adjustments to changing requirements, preventing the need for time-consuming code rewrites. By maintaining configurable software, organizations can swiftly respond to dynamic AV needs, enhance user experiences, and optimize resource allocation, fostering a sustainable and effective AV ecosystem.


A release process and version control are indispensable for AV room control software. They ensure systematic updates, minimizing disruptions during deployment. Version control tracks changes, preserving a history of modifications, and allowing for easy rollbacks in case of issues. This safeguards against errors and maintains stability. A well-structured release process guarantees consistent configurations across AV rooms, reducing inconsistencies. It enhances reliability, user experiences, and simplifies support. Ultimately, a controlled release and version management strategy are vital for maintaining a robust, adaptable, and efficient AV control software ecosystem.

New Devices and Features

Adding new supported devices and features to AV room control software amplifies its capabilities. This expansion enhances user experiences, accommodates evolving technology trends, and addresses diverse requirements. It ensures the software remains versatile, competitive, and aligned with the dynamic needs of modern AV environments.

Neil Silver Crestron CSP

Neil Silver

Lead Developer LCD – Crestron Programmer, CSP

Managing the Development and Custom Programming Teams on a day-to-day basis and responsible for Product Design and Project Oversight.

Elevating User Experience: Designing Intuitive Software Interfaces for Audio-Visual Control


In this fast-growing digital age, audio-visual systems are becoming an essential part of our lives ranging from home setups for entertainment to professional presentations audiovisual systems are everywhere. As the systems are being enhanced and becoming more complex the need for intuitive software interfaces is also increased. A user-friendly interface is always crucial to enhance the overall user experience and ensure that the audiovisual system can be controlled easily. In this article, we will explore the key strategies and principles for creating eye-catching intuitive software interfaces that elevate the user’s experience

Reduce the Complexity of Systems

The audio-visual controlled systems are complex and normally include various inputs, multiple devices, and complex settings. The main challenge is to create an intuitive software interface reducing the overall complexity for the end user. For this purpose, progressive disclosure is an effective strategy that can be applied where the interface only displays the main menu with few options to select and then gradually reveal the advanced options. This approach will not stress the users at first look and the users will only explore the options of their interest

Unveiling User Requirements:

The initial step in creating an intuitive software interface is a deep understanding of the end user’s expectations and needs. This can be done by conducting user research in terms of surveys, usability tests, and interviews. This will help in identifying the overall user preferences, desired functionalities, and pain points. This data will play a crucial part in designing of interface catering to the preferences of the targeted audience

Information Architecture and Visual Hierarchy:

A simple and effective visual hierarchy is the key to grasping users’ attention and then providing relevant information. Using color, size, contrast, spacing, etc, designers can spotlight important elements and can also provide a clear information hierarchy. Intuitive software interface for audio-visual controls must present the main controls prominent and can be accessible to users easily

Consistency and Familiarity in Design:

Consistency and familiarity are two key principles in designing an interface that can provide a seamless user experience. The only purpose of this is to make users more comfortable and confident while navigating through the software interface. Well-established design conventions and patterns should be utilized such as terminologies, standard icons, and layout. This helps in creating a sense of familiarity. Also, the consistency in the positioning of controls and design can surely reduce the cognitive load, increases predictability, and also enhances the overall user experience

Smart Automation and Streamlined Workflows:

Efficiency is an essential aspect of users’ experience. Making software interfaces that can automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows can remarkably enhance end-user productivity. Designers can make workflows by understanding the basic user tasks and scenarios that reduce the number of steps required to get a desired outcome. Many smart automated features can be adopted such as intelligent device detection & personalized presets. Providing a personalized experience can be more attractive and eye-catching for the end user.

Feedback for End User and Error Handling:

Feedback should be provided clearly and timely to get user confidence and error prevention. The software interface should offer auditory and visual feedback when users interact with controls and should provide system responses by confirming their actions. In addition, error messages should be helpful and informative to guide users while troubleshooting the issues. A well-designed interface should always provide error information and potential solutions that prevent the frustration of end users and ensures a positive user experience.


Creating and designing a software interface for audio-visual control requires a thorough understanding of user expectations and needs. By applying these strategies and principles, designers can create an interface that can provide a seamless user experience. LCD works on user interface design across all of our business departments, internally we design interfaces for configuration and control using modern tools and processes to allow our product designers to work with our UX, graphical designers, and interface team in real time. In our custom projects business, we provide design workshops to our external clients involving our UX specialists using modern tools such as Figma and Adobe XD to facilitate collaboration testing and engagement.

Neil Silver Crestron CSP

Neil Silver

Lead Developer LCD – Crestron Programmer, CSP

Managing the Development and Custom Programming Teams on a day-to-day basis and responsible for Product Design and Project Oversight.

JetBrains Rider vs. Microsoft Visual Studio – The IDE Battle for Audio Visual Programmers

Once upon a time, in the realm of .NET development, a titan named Visual Studio stood a shoulder above the rest. Visual Studio was the supreme go-to tool for a long time, offering a vast and robust Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that even audio-visual programmers couldn’t resist in the epic showdown of JetBrains Rider vs. Microsoft Visual Studio – The IDE Battle for Audio Visual Programmers.

Seemingly, the honeymoon was over when a new contender emerged from the depths of innovation—JetBrains Rider! An upstart IDE shook the very dominance of Microsoft Visual Studio in the .NET world.

JetBrains Rider emerged as a worthy adversary, boasting a sleek interface, lightning-fast performance, and a host of cutting-edge tools.

Suddenly, developers were at a crossroads between loyalty to the tried-and-true Visual Studio and the allure of Rider’s modern charm. So, which side of the IDE battle should audio-visual programmers lean on?

While both IDEs are powerful and capable, distinctive differences can be a dealbreaker for some of us audio-visual programmers.

Microsoft Visual Studio: The Industry Standard

JetBrains Rider vs. Microsoft Visual Studio - The IDE Battle for Audio Visual Programmers

Microsoft Visual Studio has been a long-standing industry-standard IDE catering to a wide range of developers, including audio-visual programmers. Visual Studio Code is also a powerful tool in its own right!

With its rich set of tools, extensive documentation, and strong manufacturer support, Visual Studio provides a reliable and familiar environment for developers. Familiarity is good as it makes the work easier for audio-visual programmers.

One of Visual Studio’s key strengths lies in its robust ecosystem and vast community support. Its extensive documentation and tutorials make it easier for audio-visual programmers to find resources and solutions to common challenges.

Microsoft actively maintains and updates Visual Studio for compatibility with the latest technologies and frameworks. This is in addition to support for various programming languages, such as JavaScript, HTML, C#, C, C++, .NET, and others. Unfortunately, Microsoft removed the support for Java in 2017.

Visual Studio offers seamless integration with platforms like Crestron, and the developers can leverage the platform’s full potential.

JetBrains Rider: Unleashing Cross-Platform Power

JetBrains Rider vs. Microsoft Visual Studio - The IDE Battle for Audio Visual Programmers

JetBrains Rider, on the other hand, is a robust IDE with cross-platform capabilities. It is versatile to support various programming languages, including C#, C++, JavaScript, and more.

Rider supports plugins developed by ReSharper and IntelliJ platform and others, but the standout feature is Rider’s seamless integration with the JetBrains ecosystem.

This provides a consistent experience across the brand’s suite of tools.

A more notable advantage is Rider’s advanced code analysis and refactoring capabilities. The IDE bundles debugging tools, intelligent code completion, and a powerful search engine, allowing you, as the developer, more straightforward navigation through large projects.

Rider’s excellent support for Git version control is really usable (although we complement it with a tool called gitkracken), as it simplifies workgroup collaboration. But it’s not so simple as Visual Studio is the defacto standard Rider suffers.

The reason is that the majority of learning platforms and example code videos all use visual studio as their IDE and the same is true for audio-visual programming might fall short. Official documentation and support for specific platforms, like Crestron, may be lacking. These can cause issues with the development process for applications meant for those platforms.

The Showdown

Both Rider and Visual Studio allow the consumption of privately hosted NuGet packages in the epic showdown of JetBrains Rider vs. Microsoft Visual Studio – The IDE Battle for Audio Visual Programmers – which is beneficial for audio-visual programmers relying on customized project packages. Such flexibility enhances productivity by enabling efficient management of dependencies.

This broad support helps automate the programming process and extend the feature list – invaluable for audio-visual coding.

But that doesn’t mean Visual Studio falls short regarding plugins. It has its bunch to enhance the coding process, even though it may struggle to match Visual Studio in that way. Check your current project requirements before migrating.

Rider takes the day when it comes to code inspection. No doubt Microsoft Visual Studio can detect issues with a handful of languages, but JetBrains Rider stretches this to multiple languages. For instance, Rider’s code inspections are over 1600 compared to 800 for Visual Studio.

Rider also gallops ahead regarding user experience with a clean, intuitive, and responsive interface. Users can choose keyboard bindings and color schemes, among other customizing features. Rider is also a savvy pick for those that prioritize performance. The JetBrains IDE starts and codes faster than Visual Studio. On the other hand, there have been reports of a freezing Visual Studio, especially in the face of solutions with many projects.

Microsoft Visual Studio shines with its extensive documentation, robust ecosystem, and strong support for platform support with edge case examples ( which is where we sit in the Audio Visual world). But Rider gets one over Visual Studio for its compatibility with Linux.

Ultimately, the choice between Rider and Visual Studio boils down to individual preferences, specific project requirements, and the targeted audio-visual platforms. Performance and familiarity with the IDE also significantly influence your choice.

But whether you prioritize cross-platform power or comprehensive manufacturer support, both IDEs offer robust features that can fuel your audio-visual programming endeavors.

Neil Silver Crestron CSP

Neil Silver

Lead Developer LCD – Crestron Programmer, CSP

Managing the Development and Custom Programming Teams on a day-to-day basis and responsible for Product Design and Project Oversight.

Unveiling the Synergy of Sales and Technical Brilliance: Recap of the Crestron Event in Madrid

Last week, Madrid played the host to a groundbreaking event as Crestron, a leader in workplace technology solutions, brought together two exciting conferences under one roof. Unveiling the Synergy of Sales and Technical Brilliance: Recap of the Crestron Event in Madrid

The Modern Workplace Summit and Crestron Masters that ran between the 23rd and 25th of May seamlessly merged sales and technical expertise, showcasing what was in store for the future workplace.

Here are the event highlights, with a particular focus on the VC4 Under the Hood and the Extensibility in Microsoft Teams Rooms.

The Modern Workplace Summit

The Modern Workplace Summit, held as part of the event, offered a deep dive into the latest trends and innovations in workplace technology. The summit highlighted the digital transformation that is penetrating the workplace.

The event explored how people and new technology can work effectively in concert—a hybrid workplace.

Experts from Microsoft, Shure, Intel, and Zoom, among others, gathered to discuss the transformative power of technology and its impact on the modern work environment. Microsoft’s Ilya Bukshteyn and Craig Durr of Wainhouse Research were part of the presenters at the summit.

The Modern Workplace Summit also explored the various Crestron hybrid workplace solutions through the Crestron Solutions for Modern Work presentation. The focus was on three new products. The first was The Desk Touch and Desk Q, a desk scheduling solution that minimizes the physical footprint for organizations.

The other solution is Crestron Flex Pods, which provide audio solutions in multi-purpose spaces, and lastly, the Crestron Videobar 70 uses an intelligent video to track the speaker.

From collaborative solutions to intelligent automation, the Summit explored how organizations can augment productivity, boost employee experience, and adapt to the fast-evolving work landscape. Crestron presented a bevy of hardware and software solutions for hybrid work

Unveiling the Synergy of Sales and Technical Brilliance: Recap of the Crestron Event in Madrid

Crestron Masters – The Technical Marvels

At the same time, the Crestron Masters event catered to technical enthusiasts, offering a platform to refine skills and explore advanced capabilities. The new skills and capabilities are vital for the hybrid workplace.

Participants had the opportunity to attend various sessions, workshops, and courses designed to elevate their understanding of Crestron’s technology stack. The intention of the Crestron Masters was a focus on the core competencies of the people taking the courses.

The VC4 Under the Hood session was particularly interesting, as experts provided an in-depth examination of Crestron’s versatile VC4 platform and its potential to transform workplace communication and collaboration.

Empowering Microsoft Teams with Crestron The Modern Workplace Summit had the Extensibility in Microsoft Teams Rooms among the highlights.

This session shed light on the seamless integration of Crestron solutions with Microsoft Teams, a popular collaboration platform.

Participants gained insights into the power of combining Crestron’s cutting-edge technology with the versatility of Teams, enabling organizations to create immersive and engaging meeting experiences.

Notably, the course featured an exclusive Q&A session with Ilya Bukshteyn, a distinguished Microsoft representative who played a significant role in the Modern Workplace Summit and the event.

The Integration of Sales and Technical Expertise

The Crestron event was exceptional because of its successful technical brilliance and sales integration. This helped bridge the gap between visionary concepts and practical implementations.

By bringing together professionals from both realms, the event fostered a collaborative atmosphere where ideas could flow freely, resulting in innovative solutions for the modern workplace.

Crestron Masters was the perfect platform to explore the technical aspects of Crestron’s solutions and understand their real-world implications and value propositions.

By combining the Modern Workplace Summit and Crestron Masters, attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of the entire ecosystem, from high-level strategies to the nitty-gritty of implementation.

Unveiling the Synergy of Sales and Technical Brilliance: Recap of the Crestron Event in Madrid

The interaction between Ilya Bukshteyn and attendees during the Q&A session exemplified this synergy, as sales and technical minds converged to discuss the future of workplace technology.

Bukshteyn’s insights and expertise further emphasized aligning sales strategies with technical advancements, ensuring seamless integration and optimal customer satisfaction.

Looking Ahead: A Revolutionized Workforce

Crestron’s event in Madrid was a catalyst for innovation, leaving attendees inspired and eager to embrace the future of work. With its commitment to cutting-edge technology and seamless integration with popular platforms like Microsoft Teams, Crestron is poised to revolutionize how organizations collaborate and communicate.

The event provided a glimpse into the potential of the modern workplace, where intelligent automation, immersive experiences, and enhanced productivity converge.

Unveiling the Synergy of Sales and Technical Brilliance: Recap of the Crestron Event in Madrid


The Crestron event in Madrid was a resounding success, uniting sales and technical expertise to showcase the transformative power of workplace technology. Through the Modern Workplace Summit and Crestron Masters, attendees gained valuable insights into the latest trends and innovations. Unveiling the Synergy of Sales and Technical Brilliance: Recap of the Crestron Event in Madrid.

Spending time with peers in the software development community as well as meeting new and old contacts from the wider audio-visual community in person is always time well spent. Having my Masters Gold Level Certificate awarded during the leveling up ceremony was something special to share with my friends in the community!

The VC4 Under the Hood class and the Extensibility in Microsoft Teams Rooms were highlighted, offering a deep dive into Crestron’s cutting-edge solutions. As we move forward, LCD’s commitment to innovation promises along with Crestron’s new solutions to redefine how we work and elevate the workplace experience to new heights.

Neil Silver Crestron CSP

Neil Silver

Lead Developer LCD – Crestron Programmer, CSP

Managing the Development and Custom Programming Teams on a day-to-day basis and responsible for Product Design and Project Oversight.

Crestron Service Providers

The Crestron Services Provider program (CSP) is offered by Crestron Electronics, a leading manufacturer of advanced control and automation systems. The CSP program is designed to provide Crestron customers with access to certified services providers who can assist with the design , installation, programming, and maintenance of Crestron systems.

Crestron systems are widely used in residential and commercial settings, including homes, conference rooms, classrooms, and entertainment venues. These systems are designed to control and automate a variety of devices, including audio and video equipment, lighting, shades, climate control, and security systems.

The CSP program is intended to provide customers with peace of mind and ensure that their Crestron systems are installed and maintained by qualified professionals. To become a Crestron Service Provider, companies must meet certain requirements and undergo rigorous training and certification processes.

Crestron Service Providers are required to have a minimum of two years of experience in the audiovisual industry, as well as a strong technical background in computer networking, programming, and system design. They must also have completed Crestron’s extensive training program, which covers topics such as system design, programming, installation, and troubleshooting.

Once certified, Crestron Service Providers have access to a wide range of resources and support from Crestron Electronics. This includes access to the latest software updates, product information, and technical support. They also have the ability to participate in Crestron’s dealer programs and promotions, which can provide additional benefits and incentives.


Originally Crestron provided all progrmming services internally and when the company grew they started to involve trusted induviduals who were sub-contracted to provide their expertise on Crestrons behalf. To ensure theses induviduals had the required knowledge Crestron started a very small and exclusive training program which developed into what Crestron Masters has become today. From these first training programs the title of Crestron Authorized Independent Programmer (CAIP) was born , a program designed for independent programmers who were certified by Crestron. The first CAIP’s were introduced in 2003 and this formalised the position of an independant programmer for the first time and ran for over 10 years.

The Crestron CSP program was introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the CAIP program. The new program was designed to expand the scope of the previous program and provide more comprehensive support to Crestron customers.

“Our members have matured beyond the simple title of ‘programmer,'” says Jim Felderman, CSP Advisory Board Chair. “CSPs are developing truly creative and value-added solutions for the Crestron platform. The change in the identity of the programme better reflects the identity of the CSPs. They’ve experienced tremendous growth by embracing the power, flexibility and scalability of the Crestron brand.”

Crestron CTI


The community of like minded induviduals is a powerful one where the hive mind of Crestron Service providers get together then amazing solutions are the results. Crestron CSps organise to collaborate both professionally and socially. We have a hugely active Discord server where we keep in touch between in person events!

New Beginnings

In 2022 the first, Post Covid, In persons Crestron Masters was held in Florida. During the covid pandemic Masters like so many in person events was forced online into a remote setting. While every effort was made to maintain the community and networking elements of the in person event the return of real in person events was long awaited.

Crestron took this oppertunity of re-afferming their commitment to the CSP program. In our Masters summit presented by the Crestron CSP Advisory board new initiatives and focus were discussed for the program and announcements of new appointments.

Shelly Flynn – Sr. Program Manager, Crestron Service Providers

Jeff Hopkins – Technical Director, Crestron Service Providers


In 2016 the change of name from CAIP to CSP was designed to expand the scope beyond that of just programming. In 2023 the discussion in the AV control and software community is all around the difference between programming and development. A name change is not required but the cohort of current CSP induviduals and businesses are changing and evolving.

“When I as giving the opportunity to take on this new role as Technical Director, supporting the CSP organizations, I wasn’t aware of the vast diversity in services offered.  In retrospect, my view of a CSP was a Crestron programmer that can be contracted when something needed programming.  I quickly learned that this was an antiquated view of the program, and that this community has so much more to offer.  Providing services from system design and solution planning, to programming, driver development, commissioning, end user trainings, and even pro-active monitoring services for every vertical, CSPs collaborate with some of the most innovative minds and leaders, guiding our industry into the technology of the future.”

Jeff Hopkins – Crestron

Technical Director, Crestron Service Providers


For customers, working with a Crestron Service Provider can provide a range of benefits. These include access to trained professionals who can assist with the design and installation of Crestron systems, as well as ongoing support and maintenance. Crestron Service Providers can also offer advice and recommendations on the latest Crestron products and technologies, helping customers to stay up-to-date and make informed decisions about their automation needs.

In conclusion, the Crestron Service Provider program is a valuable resource for customers who are looking to install or maintain a Crestron automation system. By working with a certified service provider, customers can ensure that their system is installed and maintained by qualified professionals, with access to the latest resources and support from Crestron Electronics.

Staying Green in AV Software Development

In the past as a programmer in the Audio Visual industry when I thought about the environmental impact of my activities on the earth I would think about my Travel and immediately think of physical hardware like servers and devices.

Post covid the team at LCD rarely travel to sites to deploy code and that part of our impact has largely gone away although we still do travel and are always mindful of minimising the impact.

However, the software we use regularly also has a footprint on the environment. As we usher in the era of AI and our lives move futher online, it’s worth asking: how green is your audio-visual (AV) software development?

As AV software developers, we have earned a seat at the table in efforts to reduce carbon emissions to make the earth a better place to live in.

AV Software Development as an Energy Hog

The bulk of AV software developers rely on data centres to process and store user data. These data centres require copious amounts of energy to run and cool. They are energy guzzlers!

So, how can software development be made greener?

The typical approach is to shift to renewable resources. Ask anyone about what they think a company going green is all about, and they’ll mention solar panels and wind turbines.

Some companies are jumping on the bandwagon by investing in renewable energy projects like solar farms. While this may be a step in the right direction, becoming carbon neutral is more than solar and wind energy.

Perhaps the first step towards greener AV software development is awareness. Code writers play an essential role in determining the energy cost of the software. So, it’s vital to ask, how do coders fit in the grand scheme concerning carbon emissions?

How do you pick the most energy-efficient APIs without affecting performance? For example, choosing the correct API for a file reading with a focus on efficient use of buffer sizes can save as much as 76% compared to a less efficient solution. It all boils down to how much we know about green coding.

There are helpful resources such as Green Coding Berlin and Green Software Foundation developers can use as a starting point to better awareness.

Rooting for green AV software

Possibly the most practical way to make AV software development more environmentally friendly is to design it with sustainability in mind from the outset.

Consider the environmental impact of every functionality and feature during software development. LCD are towards greener software.

Google is leading the way by optimising its cloud infrastructure and data centres to be greener. Google’s goal is to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions.

With AV software development, it should initiate with articulating strategy. Establish targets and boundaries in the AV software development cycle.

Of course, there are obviously some trade-offs to consider between business and environmental objectives. Therefore, establish the limit beyond which the development process cannot cross. For example, does increasing product quality warrant the extra energy demand? This is a higher-level management decision.

How you measure the success of the green AV software development process is part of the strategy. Determine the metrics such as energy savings through dynamic code analysis, Scaphandre, and Kepler. Next, establish a threshold and leave room for flexibility. Green software is a largely unchartered territory and some flexibility comes in handy.

You can then keep reviewing and refining. There’s always room for improvement.

But apart from the software architecture and development, delivery must also be carbon neutral. The intermediary services you use to deliver the complete AV software to the client can support your green software efforts, as well.

We at LCD use Github for DevOps and delivery. Github has achieved net-zero carbon emissions and is working towards 100% carbon-negative operations.

Choosing green cloud and hosting

Of course, not every AV software firm has the resources or expertise to design software with sustainability in mind. But steps can still be taken to reduce the carbon footprint in software development.

For instance, companies can prioritise optimisation, energy-efficient hardware, and cloud services. Keep your development environment clean by deleting any “zombie VMs” and clusters you no longer need. Efficiency begets less energy use.

Indeed, cloud services are vital for developing and deploying modern applications. But these services use data centres that require large amounts of energy.

Some web hosting firms, such as GreenWeb, have gone carbon neutral, and others, such as Flywheel Hosting (who LCD partner with ), are working towards a net-zero goal . While most of the effort by the data centres is in optimising hardware and reducing energy consumption, most of the meat in the bone is in sustainable interventions.

For example, virtual servers can conserve energy while supporting rapid scaling for data centres. AV software development firms can adopt serverless computing to go green. So far, providers such as Microsoft Functions use a pay-as-you-use cost model, which can motivate coders to focus on efficiency.

At LCD we leverage Azure Cloud for some of our SaaS. This allows us to use serverless computing to support our carbon reduction efforts.

Admittedly, staying green in AV software development is not easy. It requires inter-organisational collaboration between developers and their service providers. However, AV software developers must have a strong will to go green and stay green.

Neil Silver Crestron CSP

Neil Silver

Lead Developer LCD – Crestron Programmer, CSP

Managing the Development and Custom Programming Teams on a day-to-day basis and responsible for Product Design and Project Oversight.

Crestron Home 3.19 HotSwappable

Crestron Home 3.19 was released today.

This release has as one of its headline changes the ability to Hotswap drivers.

Here is the description of the new feature from Crestron’s Blog

“Hot-Swapping” Crestron Extensions

Prior to this update, upgrading extensions was not as quick and easy as it could have been. “We’d see extension developers add new features, and dealers would then want to upgrade that extension in existing systems,” Oster explains. “If one wanted to swap version 1.0 to 2.0, it was more painful in the past.” For example, suppose the driver brought a specific feature to every keypad in a home. As soon as the original version of the extension was deleted to make room for the 2.0 upgrade, all of the configurations, quick actions — name it — would disappear from every keypad. “With ‘hot-swappable’ drivers, a dealer can replace that extension without losing any of the programming,” says Oster. “All the quick connections, all the sequences, all still connected — which can save a dealer hours of labor.”

Another positive of the “hot-swap:” There’s no reboot required. Oster explains, “In the past if driver developers just changed one line of code to fix a bug or to test something, they would have to send their file again, reboot the processor, wait for a few minutes, and then finally test their line of code.” The update eliminates all those inefficient steps.

LCD produce a host of extension drivers and we have been working very closely with Crestron on Hot-Swap support for our drivers the since feature was announced to the developer community in June 2022. Some of the changes to the architecture behind the scenes meant that we had to re-invent a large portion of our code to achieve parity features for our driver ecosystem. This work went on throughout the end of last year alongside extensive testing of Crestron’s multiple beta versions of the hot-swappable solution.

After a thorough assessment of the readiness of the hot-swappable feature for production systems and our own position, we have made the decision not to implement the hot-swappable solution as at the release of 3.19. Our existing drivers will still work on a system upgraded to 3.19 however the process of upgrading or removing our drivers will remain as a manual process.

Although we have been anticipating the Hot-Swap solution being released we have discovered just today through Crestron’s blog post that the c.27th of March was the release date for 3.19 and indeed the Hot-Swap feature has been included. At this point in time we have not been able to confirm the final release candidate used for testing against our existing drivers. So where you have existing systems running our drivers in production we would recommend not upgrading them immediately to 3.19 until my team and I have had the opportunity to do further testing on the production release.

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