Your Universal Remote Control Center
Virtual CEDIA Expo 2005 Report
Previous page Next page Up level
Up level
The following page was printed from

2005 CEDIA Expo Report

...Continued from Page 6.

Click to enlarge.
First up URC was showing their new MX-900 “Genesis” remote control, something designed to fill the price and feature gap between the MX-850 and MX-950. The MX-900 could almost be considered an “MX-950 light” – it’s smaller and naturally has more limited resources, but is designed in the same style as the MX-950 (and MX-3000) and also sports the same basic capabilities. The MX-900’s LCD screen supports 7 lines of text with 7 characters each and has 6 adjacent hard buttons on one side. Its buttons also include [Watch] and [Listen], plus dedicated channel, transport, chapter skip and 5-way menu keys, making it particularly well suited to DVRs. It includes a USB interface, uses regular AAA batteries, and is expected to retail for $399.

Click to enlarge.
The company’s new R5 and R7 consumer-level remotes may not have received much attention yet, but they could end up making some major waves in the low-end universal remote market. These $30 and $40 remotes support 5 and 7 devices, respectively, and also include macros, a preprogrammed code database, full learning capabilities and a 5-way menu cursor control. The R7 upgrades the R5 with a backlit keypad and 4 PIP buttons. And since they both have dedicated Skip/Page keys, they’ll be ideal for DVR users.

Click to enlarge.
But the “biggest” new remote from URC at the show was the TX-1000 “Aegina”, their answer to the large horizontal touchscreen remote format pioneered by Sony. Although the USB-enabled TX-1000 won’t be winning any awards for being sleek or lightweight, it does offer quite a bit of remote control power and has especially bright backlighting. The large and spacious LCD touchscreen has room for 12 custom labeled buttons with up to 6 text characters each, and is flanked on either side by volume, channel and power buttons. Beneath the screen are the now-familiar [Listen], [Watch] and [Page +/-] buttons, along with 17 other buttons including a 5-way menu cursor pad and transport controls. Although the unusual outline of the TX-1000 tends to make it look something like the center of a technological coat-of-arms, it will be interesting to see exactly where URC takes this product. The interesting mix of large touchscreen with numerous useful hard buttons is certainly promising.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Finally there’s the $499 MRF-500, which just goes to show that each time URC improves their RF extender it gets bigger – and this time it’s full component width. The new MRF-500 includes 12 IR ports (6 can be RS232), 6 “sensing” ports for adaptors that sense current, voltage or video, 2 relay outputs, along with interfaces for their $100 KP-100 backlit in-wall keypad control. The MRF-500 stores up to 1024 macros internally, so they’re always transmitted reliably over RF with no glitches.

Also from URC is the new PCL-300, a wireless IR transceiver for use with the MX-350 and MX-650 remote controls. Although those two models do not feature a serial or USB port, by purchasing this accessory dealers can use the remote’s built-in infrared-based remote-to-remote cloning capabilities to simulate a true PC interface. Don’t expect MX-700 or higher class capabilities: the press release only mentions upgrading the remote’s firmware, archiving remote configurations and downloading sample templates. No price was disclosed, and the PCL-300 will not be available to end users.

That’s it for this show – see you next year in Denver, which promises to be the biggest and best show ever!

Previous PagePrevious page
Return to the index...Next Page

Hosting Services by ipHouse