URC Digital R50 universal remote with on-device programming

Nov 12, 2008
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Universal Remote Control have announced a new remote, the Digital R50, capable of controlling up to 18 different components through preprogrammed and learnt IR commands.  Unlike rival remotes, which require a computer connection or professional help to setup, the R50 can be completely programmed via the integrated 2-inch LED backlit display, including custom labels, logos and more. 

A database of thousands of IR codes is pre-loaded, and the R50 is also able to learn IR codes directly from existing remotes if the particular product cannot be found in the database.  A USB connection allows for firmware and database updates.  Each product controlled can have up to eight pages of controls, with six custom buttons per page; it's also capable of macros consisting of up to 255 steps, and has 32MB of onboard memory to store them.

In fact, the only real drawback is power.  The R50 relies on four AA batteries, and while URC try to spin that as a triumph for convenience and consumer choice ("if the user prefers rechargeable batteries and a charger, they are readily available from the retailer at additional cost") we imagine that most people would prefer a docking station.  Still, you can't ask too much for $149; the Universal Remote Control Digital R50 is available now.

Press Release:

UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL UNVEILS THE URC DIGITAL R50

Unlike other high-end remote controls, URC’s stylish new flagship device for the consumer retail channel can be programmed entirely on its bright color LCD screen. There’s no need for a PC or internet connection.

Harrison, NY – November 12, 2008 – Universal Remote Control®, Inc. (URC), the pioneer in control technology, today announces the release of the URC Digital R50, its new flagship universal remote control for the consumer retail channel. The URC Digital R50, which users program right on its brightly backlit, customizable color screen, delivers a high level of value, quality and simplicity to make home theater operation fun and easy.

“The URC Digital R50 delivers everything consumers desire in a do-it-yourself universal remote,” said Debra Sharker, director of sales, consumer products, for URC. “Its power lies in its simplicity. It’s a stylish, sophisticated device with excellent ergonomics and a beautiful, colorful interface at an affordable price. Even better, it doesn’t require a PC or an internet connection for set-up. At last, everyone in the family can operate and enjoy the home entertainment system.”

The URC Digital R50 greatly simplifies home theater enjoyment for its owner. It programs in minutes to provide infrared (IR) control of up to 18 home theater components, meaning that it can potentially replace 18 remote controls that come with various audio, TV, DVD, VCR, cable and satellite boxes from virtually any brand. Its bright, sharp two-inch TFT color LCD screen delivers engaging graphics for all home theater activities, customizable labels for every button, and fun, vivid logos for up to 48 favorite channels.

Unlike some universal remote controls, the URC Digital R50 does not require connection to the internet for programming, and no PC is required. Instead of struggling with a paper instruction manual, complicated software, a PC that may be in another room, and a TV in the home theater room, URC Digital R50 users instead employ an intuitive, easy-to-use setup wizard that is directly on the remote’s screen. The wizard includes built-in programming tips and step-by-step instructions; there is no software to install and no paper manual is necessary.

The URC Digital R50’s on-board ProPerfectDatabase™, proven in the course of millions of custom home theater installations via URC’s Professional products, enables setup within minutes. It contains thousands of built-in, pre-programmed control codes for a wide variety of components and brands, including iPod docks. If the database happens to be missing a code, the user still doesn’t need to worry: the learning-capable URC Digital R50 easily accommodates new devices as well as old, foreign or unusual devices as they are added to a home theater. This ability to “learn” functions and commands from any IR remote ensures the URC Digital R50 will never become obsolete. In addition, code database updates via a built-in USB connection are also available.

Just because the URC Digital R50 is simple to program doesn’t mean it’s a simple device; it also offers sophisticated features for advanced home theaters. Completely customizable, it features a powerful ARM7 microprocessor with 32 Mbits of non-volatile/NOR flash memory that enable it to record unique favorite channel buttons with color logos and macros of up to 255 steps. Each device the URC Digital R50 controls can have up to eight pages of its own custom-labeled buttons, and each page can have up to six custom labeled buttons, for a total of 48 buttons per device. Its SimpleSound™ feature provides total volume control over all of the components in a system, even those without their own built-in volume control, such as TiVo, DVD and VCR. A built-in sleep timer can turn off the entire home theater, not just the TV.

The URC Digital R50’s ergonomic design features strategically-located button clusters engineered for comfort and usability. All buttons and the screen feature LED backlighting for ease of use in dark rooms. The remote boasts an IR range of 30 to 50 feet, based on operational environmental conditions.

The URC Digital R50 never needs to be connected to a charging base or charger. Four AA alkaline batteries are included; if the user prefers rechargeable batteries and a charger, they are readily available from the retailer at additional cost. The remote, which weighs nine ounces with batteries, maximizes power in several ways, including Low Battery Warning; Sofa Mode, which prevents accidental battery drain if a button is pressed for a prolonged period of time (for example, if the remote is trapped under a sofa cushion); and unique PowerSaver™ circuitry that enables the color LCD screen to work with standard batteries.

The URC Digital R50 is available now through major retailers like Best Buy and online at BestBuy.com for an everyday price of $149.

For more information on Universal Remote Control, please visit www.universalremote.com.


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