Historically, Crestron has allowed XPanels to run on Mac computers, but it usually takes a lot of extra work to build both a PC-compatible XPanel application and one to run on Macs. That’s changed now with the advent of Crestron’s Core3 UI and Smart Graphics; in fact, done correctly the same XPanel file can run across both platforms without the need for any rework.
The past few years have seen the release of several changes in Crestron’s products, programming tools and techniques and the emphasis placed on Certified Crestron programmers, now called Crestron Service Providers. All this to say, a substantial push is being made to expand both the capabilities of Crestron’s platform and the technical advancement it incorporates.
We’re now deep into this transitional period. Crestron continues to release more 3 Series products, revamp the Crestron programming tools and further solidify their position as a clear market leader. But with all changes come new challenges and some resistance. Online forums include Crestron dealers and programmers looking for solutions to meet project requirements and integrate a lot of new Crestron pieces.
But these new Crestron products are producing immediate benefits. The cross-platform XPanel capability is one such example. During a recent technical support call with Crestron we learned that the XPanel application can run on both PC and Mac computers for Core3 products without having to recompile for one or the other.
For the purposes of testing and rapid prototyping, a rename of the compiled VTPro file from .VTZ to C3P will provide a program to test your Smart Graphics panel as an XPanel. For a production XPanel release it is recommended to save your project as a Core3/Smart Graphics XPanel. Surprisingly this capability is not often mentioned, but we’ve reviewed the documentation, performed some real-world testing and confirmed that it works. Here’s a summary of the process to easily test your panels as an XPanel applications for Mac and PC use. We used Crestron’s TSW-750.
- Create the touch-panel for TSW using VTPro-e using Smart Graphics
- Change the file extension of the compiled VTPro-e file from .VTZ to .C3P
- Assuming Adobe AIR and Crestron’s Application (XPanel Version 1.7.1) are installed on the computer, you can simply run the new C3P file to access the XPanel. That’s it, and it works on both Mac and PC machines.
Again for a production XPanel release it is recommended that you save the project as a Core3/Smart Graphics XPanel. To deploy the XPanel to other computers (regardless of computer type) simply provide the C3P file and installers for Adobe AIR and Crestron’s Application (XPanel Version 1.7.1). Basically, your XPanel program runs in the XPanel application, which runs in Adobe AIR, which provides for cross-platform operability.