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Nevo Remotes Focuses On A/V Installs, PC Networking

DENVER — Two handheld touchscreen controllers unveiled here at the CEDIA Expo by Universal Electronics under the Nevo brand feature Z-Wave and IR to control home A/V systems, and one adds Wi-Fi control of digital media content stored on a wired or wireless home network.

Z-Wave uses wireless RF to control components that might be tucked behind closed-door cabinets and media closets. The components would be connected to an optional Z-Wave base station that converts Z-Wave’s non-line-of-sight RF commands into IR.

Both models are the company’s first Z-Wave-enabled remotes for sale under Universal’s Nevo brand name. Both are also targeted to the custom-installer channel. The company previously sold Z-Wave remotes on an OEM basis.

The remotes are the $699-suggested Q50 and $1,199 S70, both with touchscreen, hardbuttons, rechargeable batter, and PC programmability. They will replace the NevoSL, a Wi-Fi/IR remote that lacked Z-Wave.

The Q50 ships in the fall, and the S70 is due in the first quarter of 2008.

Both remotes incorporate IR for controlling any A/V system, but the optional $299-suggested NevoConnect NC-50 base station with embedded Z-Wave can be used to control IR- and RS-232-controllable components hidden from view.

 Like the current NevoSL, the Nevo S70 adds wireless Wi-Fi and universal plug-and-play (UPnP) technology to access content on a Wi-Fi-networked PC from any room in a house. The remote finds content stored on a UPnP-enabled media server, displays thumbnails of the media server-stored content on its 3.5-inch QVGA touchscreen, and sends audio, video and digital images from PC to multiple UPnP-equipped digital media adapters (DMAs). The content is reproduced on DMA-connected audio systems and TVs. Audio and video content can’t be reproduced on the remote itself.

 The NevoS70 is 7.4 inches by 3.1 inches by 1.2 inches and sports 19 hard buttons, 1,880mAh lithium-ion battery, charging dock and 128MB total memory. Compared with the NevoSL, the NevoS70 adds 802.11g Wi-Fi with dual antennas, a browser for control interfaces, Z-Wave for non-line of sight A/V control, the ability to control serial and IR devices, video and power sensing, a higher capacity replaceable battery, speaker to play back WAV files and a spinning jog wheel.

The NevoS70 can control media server content even if the networked media server and DMAs are connected via wired Ethernet; the home network simply has to have a wireless router, a spokeswoman said.

The 8.0-inch by 2.9-inch by 1.2-inch Nevo Q50 features IR and Z-Wave control, 2.5-inch color touchscreen, 31 hard buttons, 128MB total memory, 880mAh lithium-ion battery and charging dock.