Internet of Things

Building the Ultimate Smart Home with URC

The name Universal Remote Control may stir up images of a slim device built to control both your TV and your Blu-ray player, but many users don’t know the full capabilities of URC’s product line. With the new Total Control 2.0 system, URC goes beyond the family room to put a premium level of whole-house automation and control in the palm of your hand—or just about anywhere else that would be convenient. As a rapidly-growing world of smart devices finds its way into every part of our homes, URC’s Total Control unites all of them under one streamlined, easy-to-use system.

urc remote controlsTotal Control relies on a combination of custom software and a suite of system-specific hardware. Command central is the TDC-7100 Tabletop Controller, which sits conveniently on your kitchen counter or bedside table, or can be held like a tablet. Control from any room with in-wall touchscreens, simple keypads that can take the place of a common wall-switch, or handheld remotes not bigger than the one that ships with your LED TV. Graphics on any of the touchscreen devices can be customized with your favorite photos, helping them blend into your decor when not in use. 

There’s also an app for iOS and Android devices, and full integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart speakers means that when you’re elbows deep in dinner preparation but need to turn on the lights or adjust the thermostat, help is only a voice command away.

As a home automation system, URC’s Total Control 2.0 offers all of the standard options you’d expect of any home smart home control system—like being able to turn off your lights, play your music, or adjust your thermostat while you’re physically away from any of those devices.

But Total Control 2.0 supercharges your home automation by offering the ability to perform what are known as “scenes.” A scene collects multiple functions and combines them into one sequence, based on your predetermined settings, a particular event or just the time of day.

For instance, you might set up a “Good Night” scene. Every time you choose to set this scene, Total Control 2.0 could do the following: turn off all of the interior lights while it switches on the exterior lights, close your shades, arm your alarm system, and turn down the temperature in your home. The system does this with the touch of a button—or less. Users can set their URC system to automatically trigger Good Night when placing their smartphone on a NFC-equipped bedside stand.

How about a “Welcome Home” scene, prepping your home for your return from work? In this scene, Total Control can unlock your front door, turn on the kitchen lights, hit play on your relaxing evening soundtrack, turn on the AC, and even preheat your oven. Like every scene, this can be triggered with single button touch on your smartphone. But it can also leverage one of the very cool tricks available in Total Control—and one that comes in handy for a scene like this—the geofencing option. Set a virtual perimeter around your home, perhaps a one-mile radius. Once you cross that boundary, your smartphone (via GPS) automatically alerts Total Control that you’re nearing home, welcoming you to a home that’s all set up for your return.

urc smart home

And even though Total Control is much more than a TV control system, it does still excel at just that. Your URC remote can be customized to control every one of your A/V devices and display your favorite TV channels or media apps, while also performing shortcuts to any of your other home tasks. Ready for movie night? Create a scene that turns down the lights, closes the shades, and fires up your Blu-ray player. And the remote still serves as a portal to the Total Control system, so you can see who’s at the front door without leaving your recliner.

Wondering if your devices are compatible with the Total Control system? The answer is probably “yes.” URC has built the largest library of control codes in the industry, thanks to partnerships with many of the world’s top electronics brands. Their recent SONOS certification means that SONOS users can enjoy full integration of their wireless audio systems into a whole-home automation system.

We’ve covered just a few of the myriad options that a URC Total Control 2.0 system can offer you. If you’d like to find out more, head to Abt.com to get free quote for your home or business. And if you’re an existing URC user, trade in an old MX remote for a $300 credit towards your new system.

 

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