January 11, 2010
| by Julie Jacobson
The Difference between RTI and Pro Control
While the Pro Control products technically have much of the same capability of RTI remotes, not all of the functionality will be “turned on,” so as to preserve RTI as the uber-custom brand.
The Pro Control remotes, like their RTI counterparts, are PC-programmable, but the Pro products incorporate a more wizard-based approach.
Despite the programming differences between the two brands, the Pro Control programming platform has a style that should be familiar to existing RTI dealers, Baker says.
And while you can customize some graphics for the Pro, you “won’t have the breadth of programming,” that you get with RTI, according to Baker.
Similarly, the Pro Control products will communicate two-way with some of the most popular subsystems like lighting controls and thermostats, “but you won’t have as many two-way device drivers as the RTI products,” says Baker.
In addition, while RTI offers a range of options for extending and optimizing the RF network, the Pro Control radios and antennas are built into the hubs and cannot take advantage of external RF devices.
Another key differentiator is that you won’t have nearly as many accessories with the Pro Control as you have with RTI. RTI has a complete ecosystem of solutions and Pro Control does not, so “RTI is much more scalable,” Baker says.
He thinks the new products will make the most sense for control systems in the $5,000 to $8,000 range.
Although Pro Control products are launching with some features that are not widely available on RTI products—the five-way jog, swipe-enabled interface and iPhone control, for example—Baker says it is “safe to assume” that the best new features of Pro Control will be brought to the RTI line.
Pro Control Distribution
Pro Control is a new division for RTI, well known among CE pros for higher-end remotes. RTI formed the division to open its technology to broader markets without undermining the RTI brand.
“It allows us to go into other markets were maybe RTI products didn’t fit,” Baker says.
RTI has been rather restrictive in its distribution, selling its products only through AVAD until recently, when it opened up Volutone and other specialty A/V distributors.
Pro Control products will go broader than that, although Baker declines to comment on potential new distribution partners.
He does say, “We don’t have any plans right now to sell directly to consumers.”
The Pro Control products are expected to ship in Q3 of this year, with the expected retail prices:
Republished from Electronic House’s sister publication, CE Pro.
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.