URC Controllers Help Turn a Bad Integration Around


Home owner turns to The Source Home Theater when a bad integration leaves him frustrated.

Aug. 12, 2011 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Burnt out from difficult and complicated systems, a homeowner rediscovers passion for home electronics with a handy remote.

How many bad experiences does it take to sour a homeowner’s love of electronic gadgets? As you may have guessed, the answer is one. One installation that is too convoluted or difficult can turn someone off professional integration forever.

This New York City penthouse owner had high hopes for a fully integrated audio and video system, but a poor installation and non-intuitive remote made his products too difficult to use. Luckily, we didn’t give up and instead turned to The Source Home Theater to clean up the mess. 

As part of a comprehensive overhaul of his entertainment system, they introduced him to the MX5000i, from URC (Universal Remote Control).

This is a remote control that will probably be the last one anyone will ever own. It can transmit its instructions along either RF or Wi-Fi, as well as receive feedback from the devices. Professional programming allows for advanced control over every device; you can have it replace every remote you own, and then still extend its functionality with programmed macros. It does everything- the only downside is it’s $1200 pricetag. The homeowner went with this remote at The Sources’ recommendation, knowing that his key requirement of the entertainment center be ease of use.

Complementing the MX5000i is another remote, the MX900. This is a workhorse of a remote control that provides extensive functionality and simplicity with a much friendlier price tag; about $300 each. This model still has both IR and RF functionality allowing it to control devices from another room, and for this homeowner this was all that was needed.

So what kind of systems did these remotes control? A basic but thorough entertainment system consisting of a DVR, a Sony 3d Blu-ray player, and Apple TV feeding Sony TV in the living room and bedroom. Custom remote programming integrated the component’s functions so anyone can pick up one of the remotes and enjoy the system. 

By using these URC remotes in the entertainment center, this homeowner was able to go from jaded to joyful in a single installation. While they can’t cure bad integration, they were a key part in this homeowner’s rediscovered joy for home electronics.

Click on the slideshow to view more of this installation.

Installation and system cost:


URC MX5000i
Apple TV
Sony 3D Blu-ray Player
Millenia 20 Hybrid Speakers
Marantz N1602 Receiver

Todd Puma, of The Source Home Theater, explains why integrators need to have a proper knowledge of what they bring in. This homeowner lives in New York City and needed the MX5000i version of the remote, as compared to the MX5000. While they are identical in form and function, they operate on different wavelengths.  In large cities, remotes can often encounter interference from other devices. By switching to the MX5000i, The Source ensured the homeowner wouldn’t deal with any electronic interference while enjoying his system.

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