Someone once told me it's not bragging if it is factual, okay I am bragging a bit. I will not buy an A/V device (component) that needs user control unless it has a TCP/IP interface which is fully described. Remember HTTP is just a specifically formatted instance of TCP.
All of my A/V components are IP based with full disclosure either at the manufacturer's web site or within their user manual for the component.
I chose a small footprint PC with all the capabilities I need. I can program any component interface so when new equipment comes out I can handle it. All my components take commands and provide status feedback. There is an IP to IR converter (Global Cache iTach) that is unused at the current time. There is a device with 8 RS232 ports that takes IP commands, also unused at this time. There is an IP based set of relays (Form C) which control the window shades.
Knowing nothing about the URC-MRX2, I googled it. It appears to me to be dumbed down PC. The PC provides infinite flexibility, with total reliance on me for programming it. I program it in Microsoft Visual Basic. I have often toyed with the idea of re-doing it in Node-js, but I tend to leave what works alone. I do not need the services of any "Company" to provide code for the PC. In your case, URC wants to charge you for the module they developed which is fair although a bit pricey. If you are able to write code then a general purpose PC that you can program yourself might end up being a better long term solution.
My theater has been evolutionary in nature. It started with a small Benq projector and IR as the major control paradigm. It has evolved through RS232 to IP. Over the ten or so years of its existence, just about every component has changed, but there has always been a PC as the main control point. The IRUSB dongle is a perfect example. I started trying to use ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to control the Android-based devices (FireTV and Shield). Got it to work but it was slow and inelegant. With the IRUSB it took just a couple of hours to code up a TCP/IP handler on the PC to deal with any number of IRUSB units. The response is identical to that of the native remotes for the FireTV and Shield.
There is only one HID (Human Interface Device), a Philips Pronto Pro 9800. I like the buttons. My iPad and iPhone are also programmed to act as the Theater HID, but seldom used.
I can turn on the entire theater with a simple Alexa voice command ("Alexa, turn on the theater") from anywhere in the house. The PC has a "script" that invokes various functions to perform the theater turn on. A random (1 of 100) music file starts playing. The window shades are closed. If it is still light out the theater doors are closed. The necessary components are turned on in the correct order so as not to confuse HDMI. The AVP is told to select the Tivo DVR as the current input and set the system volume to the correct value for that device. All from a single input that could have come from any one of several devices.
I own the domain "the-gordons.net". You know my name. You can send me an email at the obvious address using my first name and my domain. If you want to continue this discussion I do answer emails. The domain has a web site which you may find interesting.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Barry Gordon on February 6, 2019 13:51.