Review: Savant 8.0 for a Smarter Smarthome
Savant is in the top ranks of home automation and audio/visual technology providers, so when they release new software, it’s always worth a close look. This spring, Savant released Savant 8.0, a new software version. It includes the usual suspects, things like firmware, but here’s what most people will really care about:
- Improved licensing plans
- Sonos integration
- Media streaming from Autonomic
- A new Pro Remote
- User interface improvements
Let’s take a look at each one of these to see what they could mean for your connected home.
Improved licensing. What does this mean exactly? Well, in the case of Savant 8.0, it means you’re going to get more for your money. With 8.0, each Savant Smart Host license gives you up to eight rooms of entertainment and four rooms of environmental control, one stream of Savant music, 64 lighting loads, and … the list goes on.
Sonos integration. Savant has made a practice of working with what it calls “elite manufacturers”—other leaders in the home automation/AV world who create the most in-demand technologies. Working with those elite partners, Savant is able to ensure seamless integration between Savant’s systems and those technologies. Now, Sonos, the whole-home music streaming leader, has become the latest of those elite manufacturers.
Autonomic media streaming. With the introduction of 8.0, Savant is adding a big new capability: the Savant Smart Host with 8.0 will also serve as an Autonomic media player. Through Autonomic, you can access music from streaming partners, including Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora, SiriusXM, Rhapsody, Slacker, Napster, Tunein and iTunes.
Pro Remote. The new Pro Remote works a lot like Savant’s smartphone app—allowing you to control audio, video, lighting, thermostats, etc.—but it is also voice controllable, which lets you operate anything from your home theater system to your climate control with just a few simple spoken words. Beyond using the standard commands, you can also add custom phrases to the remote, such as “It’s Dad’s turn to watch TV,” a magical phrase that can transport you automatically from cartoons to ESPN.
User interface improvements. Savant’s earlier user interface was intentionally simplified, which had its good points for users, but the company also discovered that the super-simple interface required too many button presses to get to the desire function. Savant 8.0’s user interface now allows you to see every option in the house from the home screen. In each room, you can easily see and access every connected device in the room. It’s a simple as one or two touches, and you’re done.
Savant is also always adding new capabilities, like the Savant 4K video distribution technology, which came out in May 2016, and we’re your local experts with all the details. For more information about how you can upgrade your smarthome with Savant, give us a call at Jackson Hole AV.