When entertaining outside, you don’t want to juggle multiple remote controls or constantly have to run back into the house to check on things. Sure, you could use a regular universal remote, but sooner or later it’s gonna get dropped into the pool or have a pitcher of mojitos spilled on it. Just like with other outdoor A/V components, your best bet will be a solution that fits the old “right tool for the job” mantra.
One perfect outdoor control solution is URC’s MXW-920. This isn’t some basic source-select and volume up/down-only model, but a full-featured, totally capable remote that can control up to 40 devices with 40 customizable programming pages per device. It takes 4 AAA batteries and runs an estimated 6-to-8 months between battery changes. The remote also operates on URC’s 418-MHz narrowband radio frequency spectrum, so it’s compatible with the company’s line of RF base stations and lighting controls. In practical terms, this meant that I could be outside in my lawn chair controlling my cable box and Kaleidescape while they remained safely indoors in my A/V rack. Nice.
The MXW-920 is essentially a redesigned version of URC’s older MX-900 model, but with a sealed battery compartment and a slick, Mylar-feel button area. Programming the URC MXW-920 isn’t a job for consumers but rather for installers trained in the company’s Complete Control Program (CCP), a platform that allows for tons of options.
While URC calls its remote “weather resistant” and resistant to “splashing water from any direction,” it doesn’t recommend “full submersion.” However, I did put the MXW-920 to the test by plunging it into my pool. The result? It weathered the ordeal like a champ.
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