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Niles iC2 Remote Control Review

by December 12, 2008
Niles iC2

Niles iC2

  • Product Name: iC2
  • Manufacturer: Niles
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStar
  • Review Date: December 12, 2008 14:22
  • MSRP: $ 995.95
  • Buy Now

■ RF Section: 2.4-GHz frequency ZigBee wireless mesh technology
■ Signal Range: 75 to 100 feet open air (22.86 to 30.48 meters)
■ Wiring Requirements: RG59 CL Antenna Cable (included), CAT-5 cable, 3
conductor 22-gauge cable, and 2 conductor 22-gauge cable
■ Trigger Output Voltage: Three assignable outputs at 12VDC 150mA
■ Contact Closures: Three assignable Normally Open/Normally Closed contact
closures rated to handle 12V @ 5 Amps each
■ IR Ports: 8 Routed IR Flasher Ports and 1 Routable Global IR Output Port
■ RS232 Ports: 8 Routed RS232 Output Ports
■ Component Syncs: 8 Power Status Sync ports rated to sense 12V 150mA
input signals or video voltage
■ IR Bandwidth: Compatible with virtually all brands of remotes using carrier
frequencies between 26 and 105KHz
■ Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion 3.75 volts 3500 milliamp/hours
Dimensions
■ Tabletop Control: 7.5" L x 5.2" W x 3" H (19 cm x 13.3 cm x 7.5 cm)
■ HT-MSU: 10.5" L x 6" W x 1" H (26.7 cm x 15 cm x 2.6 cm)
Warranty: Two-year limited
Shipping weight: Approximately 7 lbs (3.18 kg)


In the box:

Table Top Remote Control,
Main System Unit, Two Power
Supplies, Master Key Labels,
ZigBee® Antenna And Extension Kit


Pros

  • bulletproof macros
  • simple to use
  • wife and babysitter friendly
  • Li-ion battery

Cons

  • no list button
  • heavy
  • requires two handed operation

Introduction

The Niles iC2 remote control offers an option for those of us who prefer hard button remotes over the sea of touchscreen-based remotes that have flooded the market. For years, the original IntelliControl remote from Niles was a reference standard for higher-end tabletop remotes. But as TiVo, DVR's, Satellite and Cable became the norm in most home theater setups, the venerable IntelliControl began to show it's age (and weakness) as it ran out of buttons for the new features found on the remote controls belonging to this new breed of electronics. Last year Niles introduced a completely reworked version of the IntelliControl, appropriately called the iC2, which answers the call for a bulletproof, hard-button remote control.

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About the author:

Over the years J. has constantly found himself to be an "early-adopter," spending way too much money on "new" technologies such as Compact Disc, LaserDisc, and DVD. He is one of the few people who actually purchased (and still owns) a CORE programmable remote control (bonus points if you remember this product).

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Recent Forum Posts:

birdonthebeach posts on December 13, 2008 22:12
Thanks Hi Ho. Great points - good overview of some of the competition out there. Lots of remotes, lots of opinions, lots of choice. Glad to see you have found your sweet spot. I am always interested in what people are using. Seems there is never a perfect remote - at least not an affordable one!
Hi Ho posts on December 13, 2008 15:47
The iC2 looks like a big improvement over the original IC system but it doesn't look like it would ever sway me away from my URC MX-900 or the newer MX-980. I too am not a huge fan of touch screen remotes. I prefer hard buttons. I think the MX-900/980 is the best of both worlds offering a completely customizable graphical screen with graphical buttons that are activated by hard buttons along the edge of the screen. I find this layout to be infinitely more customizable and useful. One handed operation is also a big plus.



One feature of the iC2 that I really like is the video sync feature. That makes programming rock solid macros much easier for components that lack discrete on/off commands (which are far too common). In order to get that functionality with URC one much purchase the MSC-400.
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