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Inside the MSC-400 Master System Controller

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Inside the MSC-400 Master System Controller

The versatile new MSC-400 Master System Controller by Universal Remote Control, a premier manufacturer of high-performance audio solutions for use in home music and audio/video systems, is a component-style controller for automating Home Theater and A/V systems.

The MSC-400 controller has the brains to handle even the most elaborate systems. It can be expanded to cover multiple rooms and A/V systems, and incorporate several controllers and varying user interfaces — customized as needed for each room, even each user.

The MSC-400 is designed to operate with any of four powerful, compatible URC remotes — new system versions of the MX-3000 and MX-950, and the new MX-900 and TX-1000. An important difference between the MSC-400 and other systems is that the MSC-400 can store as many macros, or command sequences, as needed. The commands are triggered by a compatible remotes, instead of transmitted in a long stream by the remote. Once triggered, the commands are executed without interruption or further interaction with the remote. No pointing is necessary.

As a result, the MSC-400 delivers unmatched levels of flexibility, automation power, and installation speed. It delivers programming and diagnostic capabilities to enhance even the most sophisticated, complex entertainment systems, and provides installers with options and advantages not otherwise available.

The MSC-400 sends no unnecessary commands, and perfectly controls every device and component, including those triggered by infrared (IR), RS-232 (serial), Relay (contact/voltage trigger), and USB keyboard commands. The MSC-400 even automates legacy components that lack discrete codes by sensing whether they are on or off.

Today’s sophisticated components require system controllers to do more than merely repeat signals. The MSC-400 also tests the status of devices it controls, and issues commands accordingly. It’s the difference between shouting at someone as you drive past his or her house, and simply calling on the telephone to make sure they’re home.

The MSC-400 can control up to 12 components using IR commands, detect the on/off status of six devices, control six devices using the RS-232 ports, control projection screens, drapes and lifts, and allow a connected remote to serve as a PC keyboard on any WinPC with a USB port. Unique Master/Slave programming options also enable installers to combine two MSC-400 Controllers into a single system that can automate up to 22 components.

The MSC-400 comes with an RFX-250 RF Receiver, which allows professional installers to completely conceal all of a system’s hardware and still maintain flawless connectivity even at distances approaching 100 feet. If needed, the MSC-400 can support up to three RFX-250s to provide robust, reliable RF coverage for huge estates using a network of receivers.

Numerous features combine to make troubleshooting the MSC-400 efficient and definitive. The controller is optimized for installation in an equipment rack or cabinet. Softly glowing blue and green LEDs on the front panel indicate connections, sensor status and the RF environment, so that a professional installer can diagnose the system at a glance.

When programming is needed, the installer simply connects a laptop via a USB cable to the front-panel programming port. The MSC-400 and all four compatible remotes are equipped with fast USB connections so that it takes the MSC-400 less than four seconds to download a full software configuration. No controls are accessible to the homeowner.

MRF Editor software offers extensive control options, RS232 Two-Way Diagnosis, IF/ELSE nesting logic, and a channel-favorites tool that lets installers quickly program dozens of numeric keypad macros. Video sensors can be installed quickly by using a Y-connector to split video signals without degrading picture quality. The MSC-400’s internal load impedance is greater than 10,000 ohms, ensuring perfect video.


Microprocessor: Advanced ARM7TDMI microprocessor enables the MSC-400 to perform sophisticated logic operations, with nested IF ELSE statements and tests of sensors and variables.
Memory: 32 Megabytes of SDRAM and 64 Megabytes of NAND Flash Memory enable the MSC-400 to support vast, complex configurations.
Macro Capability: Supports up to 32,640 macros of 255 steps in each macro. Since Macros can be nested as one step inside another Macro, there is no realistic limit for macro steps.
Learning Capability: Standard frequencies (15kHz to 460kHz)
RF Range (Radio Frequency): 50 to 100 feet, depending on the environment.
RF Frequency: 418 MHz
Weight: 77.6 oz.
Size: 17.25 x 8.5 x 2.5 inches, W/D/H

The MSC-400 Master System Controller will be available in July 2006 from authorized Universal Remote Control dealers at a suggested price of $799. Individual remotes controls are additional.

About Universal Remote Control, Inc.

Headquartered in Harrison, New York, Universal Remote Control, Inc. is a world leader in the design, engineering, manufacture and distribution of high-quality remote control devices. Since its establishment in 1991, the company has shown explosive growth and won numerous industry awards. It supplies millions of remote controls each year to consumers around the world through four primary distribution channels: consumer retail, custom professional, subscription broadcast and OEM.
Over the years, clients have included many leading high-end audio and video manufacturers, and consumer electronics and subscription broadcast companies, including Adcom, B&K, Bright House, Cablevision Systems Corp., Charter Communications, Comcast, Crestron, Denon, Faroudja, Harman/Kardon, Klipsch, Krell, Lexicon, McIntosh, Motorola, NCTC, Rotel, Parasound, Polk Audio, Time Warner Cable, Toshiba, Xantech and Zenith.
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