URC goes beyond universal remotes with Total Control home automation

urc goes beyond universal remotes with total control home automation ccedia

urc goes beyond universal remotes with total control home automation controlsUniversal Remote Control doesn’t just make remotes anymore. After years of integrating its remotes with other home automation systems, like Crestron and Control4, the company that now prefers to go by URC has finally taken the plunge and started producing a complete home automation ecosystem of its own. At CEDIA 2010, URC announced Total Control, a line of 14 products designed to do everything from play music and movies to tinker with HVAC and lighting.

The Total Control line encompasses everything from network system controllers, to network switches, multi-zone audio amplifiers, a streaming network player, surveillance cameras, keypads, and not surprisingly, two new remote controls.

But leave that stuff for home theater installers to figure out. More important: What you can do with it. The Total Control system allows homeowners to control up to 32 different zones within the house, and eliminates the need to purchase a different remote for every room. You can use your bedroom remote, for instance, to turn on the stereo in the living room, and vice versa.

Unlike some competing systems, URC also claims its home audio systems retain totally uncompressed sound – a boon for audiophiles – and keeps perfect synchronization between rooms. In other words, blaring the same football game in two adjacent rooms won’t create an audible lag between the two.

urc goes beyond universal remotes with total control home automation ipad appSimilar to most other big-name home automation companies, URC has also had to jump onboard with iPhone and iPad apps for remote control, even though they apparently negate the need for the company’s own products – dedicated remote controls. Or do they? Ultimately, consumers will vote with their wallets, but the company has faith that hard buttons for channel flipping and other home theater controls will always win out against cold, hard touch screens.

Although URC will continue to make consumer-level universal remotes for home theaters, its Total Control line will remain in the hands of custom installers. The company hasn’t announced firm roll-out dates for its Total Control hardware, but it will launch its iPad and iPhone apps by early 2011, with pricing – or lack thereof – to be announced later.

Movies & TV

The show cost how much?! The priciest original series on Netflix

Netflix has spent big bucks on original series, which might be part of the reason why its subscription pricing is going up. Here's a look at some of the priciest series from the streaming service.

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Home Theater

Ikea’s Symfonisk Sonos speaker coming in August, priced to “reach many people”

If details in a newly released video are true, we could be looking at Ikea's new Symfonisk speaker collaboration with Sonos to be in stores as soon as August. And the price? Within reach of "many people."

Netflix’s rate hike is a good thing. Wait, wait, hear us out

Upset at Netflix for raising its rates? We don't blame you. Nobody likes to pay more for anything -- even if they love that thing. But you really should be thanking the streaming entertainment giant. The hike in prices is a necessary and…

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for January 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Home Theater

Spotify adds artist-blocking feature, despite its denials

Though it continues to claim you can't do it, there is plenty of evidence that Spotify added an artist-blocking feature to its platform, making it easy for users to never hear a specific musician or band.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in February 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for February 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…

Save up to $100 on the Sonos Beam, Sub, and Playbar before game day

With the big game less than two weeks off, now is the perfect time to upgrade your home theater. Whether you're hosting a party or kicking back by yourself, Sonos is offering nice deals right now on a few of its top-rated audio devices…
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Don't need sports or local channels? Philo can save you some dough

Philo is a super-affordable live TV streaming service, with an impressive channel list and feature set. With more hardware support and greatly improved TV Everywhere features, the service is now even easier to recommend.