iPad as a remote control
I have used a Crestron system to control my home theatre / 2 channel system for a couple years ... this morning, my installer setup my iPad so that I can now control my system (as opposed to using the Crestron touchpanel).
First impressions are very positive ... much more responsive, brighter screen, color ... especially considering the Crestron touchpanel was close to 4K originally. Had to spend $100 on the required app ... you can get by with the free app if your system is not too large ... still, well worth it.
The upshot of this is that most of the home automation/audio companies are adopting the iPhone/iPad ... Crestron, AMX, Sonos, Olive, Sooloos, etc, etc ... it makes these systems much more affordable ... especially for multi-room/whole house installations. Certainly, this is not mainstream ... but there is a need to make all of this stuff simpler to use.
A couple years ago ... I really struggled with whether to get the system ... I know how to operate the system ... even with the 10+ remotes ... after having everything accessible with one panel ... I can’t go back.
I also use a Harmony remote in a second system ... this will also work well for many ... the biggest benefit of Crestron, AMX, etc ... is that they are expandable and have 2 way communication so that the system knows the status of each component. The Harmony (and others like it) simply send a series of commands and it can sometimes get out of sync.