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URC Floods CEDIA with New Total Control Products
A slew of 14 new offerings, from remotes to IP cameras to multi-zone audio.
RC News Story
At CEDIA 2010 held next week in Atlanta, Georgia, URC will be making it clear why they no longer want to be known as “Universal Remote Control Inc.” While URC normally has a number of nifty new things at CEDIA to show off, this year the now more generically named tri-letter company will be introducing an impressively large slate of new products, including ones that definitely don’t qualify as universal remote controls.

Yes, they still make controls...
Rest assured that URC hasn’t given up remotes cold turkey – two of the primary new items being released are actually a pair of advanced controls, along with a matching new network systems controller.

The premium MS-1200 WiFi remote ($600 MSRP) is a handheld hybrid touchscreen/hard button model featuring a bright 2.4” color display, plus a rechargeable lithium ion battery with docking station. The second model is the ZIgbee-based MS-780 ($250 MSRP), sporting a color OLED screen and an all-hard buttoned design. Both feature 2-way control through the new MRX-10 ($700 MSRP) advanced network system controller, which stores and issues commands and macros for IP, IR, RS-232, relay and sensor controlled devices (the MS-780 also supports the $150 ZR-01 Zigbee repeater for greater range). The MRX-10 features 8 infrared output ports, 4 sensor ports, 2 relay controls and 2 12-volt outputs. A major new feature of all three of these products is that they can be programmed off-site through the internet – so no more service calls for minor programming changes!

URC KP-100
Joining the existing color KP-4000 in-wall network keypad is the much more basic KP-100 ($200 MSRP). Don’t confuse this with the prototype KP-100 that URC showed us way back during CEDIA 2005; this entirely new version features 7 backlit interchangeable buttons with status indicators, and mounts in a standard single gang box with Decora cover plates. Two sets of buttons are included, for music and lighting, and custom buttons are also available.

Media streaming and multi-room audio expansion.
The company’s popular PSX-2 iPod A/V server is getting a bigger brother, in the form of the new SNP-1 streaming network player ($600 MSRP). This new rackmountable media player features an on-screen GUI, 2-way communications through the MRX-10 network system controller, plays all music from networked PCs or Macs, and supports online services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius/XM and internet radio. Other features include external IR input for backwards compatibility with other URC remotes, analog and digital outputs, and it can even be programmed off-site through the internet. It’s rumored to work with DLNA servers, although it is not (yet?) DLNA certified.

The big news at this year’s show will be URC’s new line of multi-room audio equipment. Two products have been revealed: first is the DMS-1200 ($2200 MSRP), an 8-zone network amplifier with 50 watts per channel for zones 1 through 6, and preamp output for zones 7 and 8. The unit features 4 analog-to-digital inputs that stream to other DMS amplifiers. Second is the DMS-100 single zone network amplifier ($600 MSRP), again with 50 watts of power, that can be mixed with DMS-1200 or other DMS-100 units to create a fully customized multi-zone system with up to 32 zones. The DMS-100 also features a streaming audio input, as well as preamp outs for connection to a local amplifier. As with URC’s other announced network devices, both DMS amps can be programmed off-site through the internet.

And to round things out... cameras!
Also new are a line of IP cameras – there’s the compact MC-70VC indoor CMOS model ($400 MSRP) with VGA resolution and minimum 4 lux operation, the MC-73CB CCD box-type model ($800 MSRP) with D1 resolution and 0.3 lux color and 0.002 lux mono operation, and the MC-75CD weatherproof dome camera ($1000 MSRP) with the same specs. All three models can be viewed directly on the MX-6000, MX-5000 and KP-4000 remotes, feature H.264/MJPEG encoding with dual streaming, 2-way audio, and optional WiFi dongles. Other new network devices include the MFS-8 and MFSPOE-8 MAC-filtering network switches, priced at $300 and $400 MSRP respectively.

Filling out the new product count to 14 is the PIR-1, an infrared learn and test tool.

So far URC is mixing this new “Total Control” brand with the existing “Complete Control” line, with several former Complete Control products shown in the brochures. Will Complete Control vanish now that Total Control is here, much like Home Theater Master was supplanted by Complete Control? Either way – total or complete – URC just wants to ensure absolute control domination!

Talk about URC products!

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