There are so many reasons I love going to EXPO, from meeting old friends and new; seeing and hearing the coolest new products; talking to manufacturers about what they see coming; sending my team to training classes; and just walking the show flow and absorbing the energy. But last week something else happened too.
For the first eight years that The Source Home Theater existed, we were a URC house. Projects big and small were controlled with URC remotes, base stations, and system controllers. Then we got into Total Control when it was first released, and we dealt with some major issues with the system’s performance and reliability. But Total Control had shown me the way of the future with more automation and IP based control, and that led to me exploring other brands in the category. Eventually I selected Crestron as my main integration partner.
Back to EXPO 14. I was having drinks at the hotel bar and who should be next to me but URC president Doug Cole. We started talking about our businesses, then eventually got around to the elephant in the room: why my company had moved away from URC. When Doug and I really delved into it and I explained my reservations with Total Control, he acknowledged that there had been some growing pains but that the new components released (the MRX20 and SNP2), as well as firmware updates, had made the system much more robust and stable. He even offered to send me a system to demo for a few weeks to get my thoughts.
I took him up on his offer and recently set up an MRX20, DMSAV, SNP2, and a few other Total Control pieces. Being completely honest, I was impressed with the progress the company has made. The system was as easy to set up as it had always been, and performance has been flawless. Streaming is clean and free of buffering and drops. Control is seamless with no rebooting of control devices.
URC has done a great job addressing the initial shortfalls of Total Control and making the system robust, flexible, and easy to install. Kudos to the entire team in Harrison, NY, for all their hard work and what they have accomplished. If you haven’t settled on an automation system yet, or are looking for another line to add to your arsenal, give Total Control serious consideration.
+Todd Anthony Pumais president of The Source Home Theater Installation, Powered by Fregosa Design, in New York City.