When a Remote Suffices over a Touchpanel
Homeowners present a convincing case to choose remotes over fancy touchpanels, as installed in systems by custom electronics pro DistinctAV.
The homeowners in this case were perfectly happy with everything programmed into an RTI T2C.
August 17, 2009 by Lisa Montgomery

Tops on Russ and Vivian Fessel’s electronic wish list was a system that could deliver music and video to every room of the house, wouldn’t require any special training to operate and would fit into their budget of $60,000.

“We wanted to be able to pick up one remote and operate any of the 12 TVs in our house. Their custom electronics professional, Derek Cowburn of DistinctAV of McCordsville, Ind., chose two identical T2C RTI color handheld remotes—one for Russ and one for Vivian—for the task. 

“It’s crazy to spend a lot of money on controllers when you can just use a handheld remote to operate the systems in your house,” he explains of his decision to forgo expensive touchpanels.

Each remote was programmed by Cowburn to provide one-button activation of an AppleTV server, Blu-ray player, two high-def satellite receivers and an MP3 player from anywhere in the house. By pressing a few more buttons, the Fessels can tells the SpeakerCraft MODE whole-house music system and Borrego high-def video matrix exactly where to deliver the music and video.

For example, they could choose to direct photos stored on their AppleTV server to the 52-inch Sony TV in the family room, music from an Escient iPod dock to the in-ceiling SpeakerCraft speakers in the kitchen and a satellite TV program to the 46-inch Sony flat-panel display in the garage.

That’s a lot of audio and video for two remotes to juggle. So what happens when the Fessels misplace their clickers?

“Are you kidding me?” says Vivian. “We never, ever lose our remotes. We keep them with us wherever we go and at night we dock them so that they’re charged and ready to go the next morning.”

Looking for more reasons to go with a handheld? Also check out:
5 Remote Controls for Your Home Theater
6 Unique Remote Control Technologies

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

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