URC to Debut Subsystems for Home Control
During CEDIA Expo, URC will introduce its own "Total Control" brand of subsystems including networked audio, as well as Accelerator programming platform.
Over the past couple of years, URC has worked hard to reposition itself as a whole-house control company – not just a maker of remotes.
In a symbolic gesture, the company even changed its name in March from Universal Remote Controls to just plain URC, which is what everyone has always called it anyway.
The name-change sets the stage for CEDA Expo 2010, where we’ll see URC’s most ambitious play in the home automation space.
CE Pro was able to grab this image from a URC Flash presentation, but who knows what the the hardware is?
The company promises a “monumental unveiling” of a new line called Total Control, which pushes URC “beyond controlling the home theater and becomes the whole house control company of choice,” according to a CEDIA teaser.
Of course, we’ve heard that claim from URC before. Likewise from virtually every manufacturer of higher-end remote controls.
So what makes this particular unveiling so monumental?
Today, “We offer whole-house control, but to a large extent it’s with third-party products,” URC marketing director Jon Sienkiewicz tells CE Pro. “Now, we’ll have URC-branded products.”
URC branded products? As in subsystems?
It wouldn’t be a first. With help from Lutron, URC developed its own line of natively compatible lighting controls in 2008. Could thermostats, multiroom audio, IP cameras and other subsystems be far behind? URC isn’t saying.
However, you can read what you want into the cryptic descriptions of URC’s CEDIA training courses, obtained by CE Pro (emphasis added).
Super Secret Course #1: Applications & Programming the NEW URC Whole House Controller!
URC introduces our first whole house network controller! Learn to build a small mulitroom system using your favorite IP-controllable AV Receiver, leveraging the home theater and its remote zones. Check out our new, low-cost 2-way system remote controls and our powerful single gang keypad; program them with our speedy new Accelerator program, which automatically generates layouts and macros across all of the remotes and keypads in the home; and deliver your customers a complete multizone system that synchronizes the new 2-way remotes and keypads while fully automating any IP-controlled AVR.
Super Secret Course #2: The NEW multizone system from URC
So you’ve taken our Super Secret Course #1. Good move! Now we’ll show you how to turn a Home Theater into a full-blown, whole house music system with our new multizone system. See how our design flexibility and Native to the Network architecture enables you to blend any combination of centralized and remote room locations, tying together a full house of networked music & 2-way control. Check out our incredible new network source component and many more hot new products that will enable you to deliver a true multizone system that integrates perfectly with a home theater. We’ll show you the applications and how to program these new tools with our new, super-fast Accelerator!
Super Secret Course #3: Advanced applications, programming and TOTAL integration
Now that sessions 1 and 2 are under your belt, learn how you can upgrade your customers into full, rich 2-way control by adding MX-5000s, MX-6000s and KP-4000s to your new URC multiroom system. Build upon your whole house music system by adding 2-way control of lighting, security, IP cameras, thermostats and energy management. See how to customize Accelerator with options in generating macros, using graphics and more.
Sienkiewicz says URC will introduce 10 new products at CEDIA, of which eight are related to home automation and only two are traditional remote controls.
All of the products are expected to ship this year.
Networked audio client device
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at email@example.com
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