Product Review (January 2014)
RTI Remote Technologies Inc.
SURFiR Companion Remote

By Kevin Nakano


SURFiR Companion RemoteRemote Technologies Incorporated (RTI) has introduced the new SURFiR companion remote designed for the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch® user. While all of us love our tablets and phones, they are not always the most convenient for controlling simple A/V tasks such as changing volume or switch channels. The SURFiR remote allows users to incorporate the Apple® devices that they already own as the main graphical interface for their control system, while adding the convenience of tactile control with hard buttons, and eliminating the numerous screen swipes needed to control frequent and simple tasks. To further enhance the experience for the user, the SURFiR can track which electronic device is being controlled by the RTiPanel app and automatically control the same component. This offers powerful and intuitive control in an inexpensive remote. It's a clever idea that was missing from the powerful capability of the RTiPanel. Without it, I often found myself reaching for the original IR remote to perform simple tasks, but now that is not necessary and it is all in one simple device. Now users can have both a rich and powerful graphical interface for advance functions and a simple, user-friendly ergonomic remote for basic controls fully integrated.


RTI SURFiR AccessoriesDesign
The SURFiR remote comes with a Quick Reference Guide, button label cover, rear cover screw, 200 preprinted names for the user defined buttons, and 49 remote ID labels. The installer can define the eight top buttons and place the preprinted names under the button label cover. The back of the remote has a place for the user to put one of the 49 labels identifying the location of the remote. This helps prevent confusion if more than one SURFiR remote is installed at a location.
Unlike some of the more advanced RTI remotes, the SURFiR does not include any backlighting.

The SURFiR remote is designed to work with any of RTI's powerful XP control processors, and requires minimal programming for the installer, lowering overall cost and making it simple to integrate into any system. The SURFiR offers support for Apple devices as well as Android®-based smartphones and tablets. Some might think that the word "iR" in the name implies that the SURFiR operates using IR or infrared to send commands. This is not to say that it cannot support sending IR commands through the XP6, just that the device itself does not use IR for communication due to unreliable line-of-sight issues. Instead, the SURFiR remote requires an RM-433 or the two-way ZM-24 2.4GHz Zigbee Transceiver Module to communicate with an XP series control processor. One of the advantages of the two-way ZM-24 is that users can user the remote finder beeper feature. It is not compatible with the RP-1, ZRP-6, MRP-64, or RP-6.


SURFiR ProgrammingProgramming
The SURFiR remote is easy to program using the Integration Designer software. We used the latest version (9.1.2) available during this review period for our testing. Keys can be defined as global or based on specific components selected. Each button is completely programmable by the installer. Once the keys are defined, the remote is ready to be programmed for operation. Unlike other RTI devices, the SURFiR remote does not have a USB or ethernet interface for updating functions, but instead requires the integrator to enter a 10-digit code generated by the Integration Designer software based on the programmed features. The installer simply selects the Communications->Send To Device option and the 10-digit code is displayed on the screen.

The SURFiR worked perfectly in our system, adding the familiar look and feel of a conventional remote with fully customizable buttons. While it is not intended to replace the more powerful tablet-based user interfaces, it does offer convenient control of commonly used functions.


Conclusion
RTI’s SURFiR is a low-cost companion remote designed for use with an iPad™, iPod touch™, iPhone™, or Android® device running the RTiPanel app. The design allows users to incorporate graphic rich user interfaces for the main control system, while adding the convenience of tactile buttons on the SURFiR.
RTI's addition makes it easier to use the powerful RTiPanel by giving users a simple remote option.

- Kevin Nakano





OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Projector: Anthem LTX-500v (aka JVC DLA-HD950) 1080p LCoS Projector
Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
A/V Receiver: Denon AVR-5308CI THX-Ultra2 A/V Receiver
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Thermal Management: Active Thermal Management Cool-it II Equipment Cooler
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Dish Network Hopper with Sling HDTV Satellite DVR
Blu-ray Player: OPPO Digital BDP-95 Universal Audiophile Blu-ray Player
Media Streaming: Roku 3 Streaming Media Player
Control System: RTI XP6 Control Processor with RTiPanel iPad User Interface
HDMI Cables: Accell 45-meter UltraRun HDMI Cable
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables


Review - At a Glance

RTI - SURFiR Companion Remote

Key Features

  • Provides a companion remote for use with the RTiPanel and Virtual
    Panel apps.
  • Tracks page changes to stay in sync with one or more apps.
  • Dual RF transmission capability uses 433MHz and 2.4GHz (utilizing
    Zigbee® technology).
  • Remote finder beeper allows user to easily locate SURFiR by pressing a
    button on their smart phone or tablet.
  • Ergonomic design permits effortless, one-handed operation.
  • Completely customizable and programmable.
  • Security screw on battery door for hotel applications.
  • Inexpensive and requires no direct programming.*
  • Includes eight buttons that can be custom labeled.
  • Select between 433MHz and 2.4GHz RF operation.
  • Works with any XP series control processor.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Uses 4 AAA batteries.

* There is no USB port on the SURFiR. Programming is done in Integration Designer which generates a "code key" that is input on remote keypad.


Specifications

Power 4 AAA Alkaline batteries
Power Management Automatic On/Off
Radio Frequency Control Range Up to 100 feet (30.5 meters)
(with optional System Interfaces/Processors)
Radio Frequency Carrier 433 MHz & 802.15.4 @ 2.4Ghz (Zigbee® technology)
Operating Temperature +32°F to +122°F (0°C to +50°C)
Operating Humidity 5% to 95% Non-condensing
Standby Time on Full Charge 365 Days
Total System Memory 256K Bytes Flash (non-volatile) memory
Device Capability Total number of devices determined in control app (ex. RTiPanel)
Macro Capability All programming stored in RTI XP control processor
Macro capability on every button
Dimensions (L x W x D) 9.5 in (240mm) x 1.8 in (46mm) x .8 in (22mm)
Enclosure High-impact molded ABS plastic
Weight 8.0 oz. (228g) with batteries
Warranty One Year (Parts & Labor)
90 days on the battery

SURFiR Brochure


Company Information
RTI Corporate Headquarters
5775 12th Avenue East
Suite 180
Shakopee, MN 55379
Phone: 952-253-3100
Fax: 952-253-3131

URL: www.rticorp.com


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