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Why is URC Getting into Surround Sound Business?

Networked TSP-2000 receiver streams audio throughout the house; features 9.2 surround at 125 watts per channel.


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URC’s networked TSP-2000 receiver as demonstrated at CEDIA 2011

The company formerly known as Universal Remote Control – as in, “We make remote controls” -- showcased its first surround-sound receiver during CEDIA Expo 2011, the 9.2-capable TSP-2000 with 125 Watts per channel.

Why bother? Same reason URC bothered with its own whole-house audio system: It fits seamlessly into the Total Control ecosystem, both in integration and programming.

“It’s easy to program with URC Accelerator,” says URC’s Peter Pittner, referring to the company’s popular platform for configuring, yes, remote controls.

And here’s another reason, according to Pittner: “The TSP-2000 gives the ability to send and receive multicast audio streams via its Ethernet port.”

Thus, there is two-way audio sharing between anything connected to the receiver and anything connected to URC’s multizone audio system -- analog sources included.

Pittner says URC decided to get into the surround sound business because it can be otherwise challenging to integrate third-party receivers into a home control system.

Putting a receiver into the Total Control ecosystems lets integrators generate macros and GUIs on the fly and “cut their programming by a third,” Pittner says.

The TSP-2000 (no price, no ship date) joins URC's forthcoming 7-inch iPad-looking touchscreen as the latest members of the Total Control family.

Get all the details in the video and image below.

VIDEO: Peter Pittner demos URC TPS-2000 surround receiver at CEDIA 2011


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Article Topics

News · Product News · Videos · Audio · Receivers · Events · CEDIA · Urc · Total Control · Cedia 2011 · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

15 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by OhMyGod  on  09/22  at  07:59 AM

Stupid!  Just stupid!  They’re basically saying that programming their remotes to work with certain ecosystems can be too complicated…. so now you can buy our AV receiver to make this one ecosystem less complicated.  Well, this is the one ecosystem that is getting less complex by other manufacturers now that they have built in GUI’s and can easily be programmed to work with iOS or Android.

There’s no mention of price.  I suspect URC probably thinks they can charge a bit of a premium for this receiver considering the ease of programming.

Just stupid!  As they say, idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

Posted by Details Matter  on  09/22  at  10:15 AM

So…. who is the OEM for it?  That back-plane looks all too familiar, but I can’t place it.

Posted by Brian  on  09/22  at  01:34 PM

Looks like an Onkyo to me. Joy!

Posted by pcompton  on  09/22  at  01:51 PM

I don’t understand why OhMyGod thinks it’s stupid.  Let’s look at it a different way.  URC may realize that the writing is on the wall for wand style remote controls.  So they’ve come up with Total Control and now this new AV receiver.  I think it’s great, I’ve seen too many companies in this industry wither and die because they weren’t willing to diversify, change, and grow.  This industry is all about change.  You can’t let time pass you buy and hope customers still buy your products because of your past. (A big shout out to Russound and Niles).  This is a “what have you done for me lately business”.  The way I see it, URC is doing their best to compete.  On top of that, if it works and works well, I’ve got an AV receiver that will be dealer only, and I don’t have to worry about the BestBuy shopper.  Good for them and good for us.

Posted by Steven Sherwood  on  09/22  at  02:30 PM

This is a Sherwood unit.
Sleek, Sexy, and looks like it has about 5 inputs on it.
Hope they get HDMI 1.4 in it so when they ship it in in 2015 it might pass video wink

Just poking fun.
I hope they sell lots of them!!

Posted by Tuck  on  09/23  at  06:42 AM

When I first saw this at CEDIA I thought it was a silly idea. However, after understanding its real purpose it makes sense! We are starting to do multiple surround sounds in one home. URC stated they are not looking to replace the MAIN surround units in customers homes but looking for a way to have a SECOND surround and this is a perfect fit!

It is cumbersome to get all sources of a rack into more than one surround system or into a whole house audio distribution set up (Y cables, splitters, programming, etc).  This eases that pain with its network streaming capabilities into other URC DMS products. Brilliant.

My HUGEconcern is price. It was thrown around at under $2k list which means $1995. That WONT fly. When I brought this price point up to another URC employee I was told thats wrong and it will be under $1.5k. That STILL wont fly. This needs to be $1k or even $800 LIST. Then it could easily go into every install. Otherwise another $600 or $800 Integra will continue to be used as secondary surround zones. Over $1k will not bring success to this product IMO.

Posted by MoonM  on  09/23  at  11:39 AM

It is referred to as a receiver, but has no tuner. I guess that makes it a surround processor/amp (?)

Posted by Tuck  on  09/23  at  11:48 AM

Exactly Moon. Nothing on front except a volume knob, nothing for customers to mess up. It “receives” all the other input signal including other sources attached to DMS amps, no radio.

Posted by SignatureSV  on  09/23  at  06:41 PM

@Details Matter

It looks too much like a Harmon Kardon receiver.

Nope, no way anything over 1k will fly. I see the point, but at the same time i dont. Manufactures like denon/Marantz etc make drivers for crestron/amx/RTI etc. It needs to be competitively priced. Dual stream network audio doesn’t seem like that big of deal and something that other companies can easily take that idea and run with it.

Like OHMYGOD said receivers are getting less complex to “install” and “Program”

Posted by 39 Cent Stamp  on  09/27  at  11:47 PM

Very smart. Anyone who has to use AVR’s in a distributed scenario will get that. I have wished that Crestron would come out with an AVR in the $1500-3000 range for years.

It will make programming easier and allow you to offer more for less (money saved dealing with 3rd party products).

@ OhMyGod. One thing that you are missing…which is huge in multi-zone applications…

“And here’s another reason, according to Pittner: “The TSP-2000 gives the ability to send and receive multicast audio streams via its Ethernet port.”

Thus, there is two-way audio sharing between anything connected to the receiver and anything connected to URC’s multizone audio system—analog sources included.”

Having this built in is a big deal. It will be expensive to try and reproduce this with a hodge podge of 3rd party products & programming.

Posted by Whitevan Lifestyle  on  09/28  at  10:13 PM

I’m with Sig, That piece has Harman written all over it.

That would actually be a good thing if it was HK upper end guts with some proprietary URC technology.
I’m going to give them a shot regardless but I really want to take one apart.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  09/28  at  10:16 PM

Whitevan, or we could just ask.

Posted by Whitevan Lifestyle  on  09/28  at  10:27 PM

I already did Julie but I dont have the kind of pull you guys do so I got the shrug followed by “look at this”.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  09/28  at  10:30 PM

You asked for it WhiteVan. Want to do the first review? I know people.

Posted by Whitevan Lifestyle  on  09/28  at  10:49 PM

I’m all over it.

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