Crestron PROCISE PSPHD Surround Sound Processor Review

In the realm of home automation, Crestron is well established as the leader in the space, with a brand name that well-heeled consumers associate with Sub-zero, Wolf, Miele and the like. In the past few years, Crestron has been making progress in expanding its business beyond the world of touchscreens, control systems, shades and lighting control and into products like media servers and now home theater components. The subject of this review is Crestron’s PSPHD processor, which retails for $11,000 and is part of the PROCISE product line. Along with the processor, Crestron sent the PROAMP 7×250 amplifier ($7,000 – review pending); the two products are designed to work in concert with one another via an Ethernet connection, which is a unique detail in the world of AV preamps and multi-channel amps.

I’ve had the opportunity to play around with a fully integrated whole-home Crestron solution at a friend’s house in Orange County, California, and I can safely say that it is pretty awe-inspiring. Having that much control from a single touch-panel (or iPad) is astonishing. Beyond the stereotypical shades-up/shades-down, lighting control and multi-room audio control, today’s home automation systems can control HVAC and pool temperatures, manage wine collections and do pretty much anything else that you can dream about. There are certainly haters in the world of home automation, and most of them either object to the price and or have encountered a less-than-excellent programmer. Let’s be really clear about the success of any home automation system: it’s as good as the person programming it. With that said, the reason why consumers and custom installers alike love Crestron is not just the system’s functionality but, more importantly, its reliability. Crestron products are rock solid, and that counts for a lot when you are making a five- to six-figure investment in home automation or, in this case, shopping for a top-performing high-end AV preamp.

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