Earlier this year, URC became the official new name for Universal Remote Control, reflecting the brand’s broadening focus beyond remote controls. At CEDIA EXPO later this month, the company will offer a litany of new products to go along with its rebranding as a manufacturer of “Total Control” solutions.
The rack-mountable SNP-1 Streaming Network Player
“URC has always been known as a premier provider of top-flight remote controls,” stated Doug Cole, senior vice president and general manager at URC. “With the unveiling of our new Total Control line..at CEDIA EXPO 2010, we now have truly arrived as a premier provider of top-flight whole house control solutions.”
The company’s products build on its previous introductions that have moved URC beyond traditional IR/RF home theater remote control, among them the URC Lighting by Lutron product line; three “Native to the Network” controls (MX-6000 touch screen, MX-5000 wand remote and KP-4000 in-wall keypad, along with the MRX-1 network base station); modules for Macs, PCs and Apple TV that bring iTunes audio and video content into the living room and other locations in the home; RSS-like information feeds for news, weather, stocks and sports; and, most recently, a TED 5000 energy monitoring interface for the network controls.
The rollout of the Total Control line enables URC to now offer solutions that deliver whole house audio, lighting, climate control, and IP-based surveillance.
Advanced Network System Controller: MRX-10
The engine of the Total Control line, the rack-mountable MRX-10 stores and issues all macros and commands for all IP, IR, RS-232, Relay, and Sensor controlled devices in one whole-house system. It also can route macro steps to IR, RS-232, Relays and Sensors to up to eight MRX-1 Network Base Stations on the network. The MRX-10 provides two-way communication with Total Control remotes and keypads, and is expandable via LAN and MRX series sub-base stations.
All told, the MRX-10 includes eight IR ports, four RS-232 ports, four Sensor ports, two Relay ports, and two 12-volt outputs. It is also compatible with URC’s RFTX-1 RF transmitter, enabling Total Control to operate URC Lighting by Lutron systems.
Total Control whole house audio: multi-zone and single-zone amplifiers, streaming network player, network switches
URC’s eight-zone DMS-1200 Digital Multi-zone Amplifier delivers 50 watts of audio to up to six zones, as well as pre-amp outputs for two additional zones that require increased power, such as patios. The rack-mountable DMS-1200 also includes four analog-to-digital inputs that stream to other DMS-1200 amps, making the system expandable to up to 32 zones. There is no limit on the number of sources that can be added to the system.
Also new is the DMS-100, a single-zone (“add-a-room”) amplifier that delivers 50 watts per channel to local speakers, as well as a pre-amp output for connection to a local amplifier or receiver. The DMS-100 also offers an audio input that streams to other DMS-1200 or DMS-100 amplifiers. A scalable solution, DMS-100s can be installed as additional zones with a DMS-1200 system, or multiple DMS-100s can be installed to create a customized multi-zone system.
The rack-mountable SNP-1 Streaming Network Player outputs 44kHz streams of digital audio to DMS-1200 and DMS-100 amplifiers; analog outputs for third-party amplifiers are also included. The SNP-1 can stream music and photos from network-attached compatible PCs, Macs and network storage devices, satellite radio, and Internet-based services such as Rhapsody and Pandora. In a typical installation, each family member in a household will have his or her own designated SNP-1 in order to avoid usage conflicts and enjoy an individually personalized experience that plays all of his or her purchased music, no matter where that music resides on the network or in the home.
The SNP-1 can be controlled in full two-way fashion by any URC network remote, touch screen or keypad; via its IR input, the SNP-1 is also compatible with traditional IR/RF URC remotes and base stations.
Total Control whole-house audio eliminates the need for a conventional analog matrix. Its audio streams can deliver CD-quality or FLAC-quality audio to any area of the house; the system does not compress original audio files, or convert them to MP3. The system also delivers perfect synchronization between adjoining rooms, and enables users to link rooms for party scenarios, as well as access any zone or source anywhere in the home via any URC Total Control remote, keypad or touch screen.
To prevent multiple audio streams from consuming excessive amounts of network bandwidth, URC also announced two network switches that provide MAC filtering: the MFS-8 and a Power over Ethernet (PoE) version, the MFSPOE-8. Both of these eight-port network switches also provide one LAN port, Activity and Status LEDs, and Connectivity indicators. The smart PoE ports on the MFSPOE-8 support devices like keypads and cameras, but also are compatible with non-PoE devices.
“Total Control whole house audio solves some of the category’s traditional problems,” said Jim Novak, URC senior product manager. “It’s attractively priced, but delivers features other systems don’t have. It’s highly scalable, all the way up to 32 zones. And perhaps most importantly, it’s easy to use. End users no longer need to do a lot of thinking to find and play the music they want, wherever it is, wherever it comes from, wherever and whenever they want. We designed this system so that any user can walk up to any keypad, and listen to music without interrupting anybody else’s enjoyment.”
Total Control remote controls: MS-1200 and MS-780
URC is introducing two aggressively priced Total Control remote controls at CEDIA EXPO. The two-way WiFi MS-1200 and MS-780 are companion remotes for use with the MRX-10 controller.
The two-way WiFi MS-1200 (top) and MS-780 (bottom)
The MS-1200 offers a large color touchscreen that can display cover art and other graphic feedback. It includes a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and charger base. The battery-powered MS-780 combines a color OLED screen with a hard-button layout and provides 2-Way communication with the MRX-10 network system controller. Both provide line-of-sight IR control for greater versatility, and can be programmed off premises via the Internet.
Total Control Network Keypad: KP-100
The KP-100 is an in-wall 2-way Power over Ethernet (PoE) keypad with seven interchangeable, customizable, backlit hard buttons and status indication. While the KP-4000 remains URC’s premier in-wall network keypad for use in areas like the kitchen, the KP-100 is useful in less-frequented areas like hallways and powder rooms for basic control of music, lighting and more. The KP-100 installs in a standard single-gang box and accepts standard Decora plates (cover plates are not included).
IP Surveillance Cameras
URC’s first branded IP cameras can be monitored on URC Total Control remotes, keypads and touch screens, as well as from remote locations via web browsers. The cameras offer a range of mounting options and accessories, and allow for both wired and wireless installation. All three models feature H.264/MJPEG dual encoding and transmission, simultaneous dual streaming, 2-way audio communication, and optional WiFi dongles.
The MC-70VC offers a CMOS sensor, 4~10,000 Lux operation, and live video up to 30 fps at VGA resolution; a PoE adapter is available as an additional option. The MC-73CB is a box-type camera, while the MC-75CD features a vandal-proof, weatherproof dome; each of these cameras features a Super HAD CCD sensor and D1 (720x480) resolution at 30 fps, and are usable at 0.3 Lux (color) 0.002 Lux (mono).