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Topic:
MX-1200: initial thoughts
This thread has 29 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Wednesday January 25, 2012 at 18:59
netarc
Senior Member
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1,271
I'm surprised that there isn't more traffic about the mx1200 on the forum; figured I'd chime in with my .02.

fwiw, this is my first foray into programming via CCP, prior to this I'd always used the standalone editor (yah, I know, I know, spare me the whipping). I had ordered a 1200 several weeks ago to demo, figuring I'd replace my aging demo mx950 (again: I know!) w/the new remote. Only had a chance to start playing with it last weekend.

Initial impression, out the box, was that this is one swank remote. Far more compact than the 950, and smaller even than the 980. Much more cosmetically pleasing - the mx900 was a reliable beast, but imho had a terrible cosmetic design.

FIT: The MX1200 fits in your hand quite naturally (fwiw, I have smallish hands) and is quite lightweight, yet solid at the same time. I'm still adjusting to the smaller spread of the keys on the 1200 vs. my 950, but I don't really see that as an impediment, jsut a learning curve.

SCREEN: The screen is nice & bright when dialed up, though I find it usable in daylight at ~40%. Battery life seems quite good - I've had it undocked for 4 days with very light use, and it still shows 4 bars.

KEYS: the keys are solid-feeling, with little travel ... probably a touch less than I'd like, but workable (definitely seems like less travel than the mx900). Overall the key layout works well, and as I mention above has a somewhat smaller spread than the mx900. One beef - I think the unsymmetrical VOL and CHAN +/- keys was a terrible mistake; keys which perform diametrically opposed functions should be symmetrical, so that at a glance or, more importantly, touch, one can immediately discern their nature.

The other issue I have is with the SELECT surround. All of the keys feel solid, save for the up/down/left/right ring around the SEL button; while the SEL button is solid, the ring around it feels very loose. e.g., just sliding my thumb over its surface causes it to rattle alarmingly?!?

PORTS: I'm not a huge fan of the downard-facing USB port in the battery compartment, which makes it awkward to program/test; but I suppose that's better than an exposed one. There's a circular port on the bottom, just above the recharge contacts, of which I've not been able to figure out the purpose??


So overall I'm quite impressed with the MX remote - my only concern is the rattle-ish SEL surround, which _may_ be specific to the one I have. If anyone else has a moment to check the mx1200, would appreciate your thoughts on this key - does it feel solid, or loose to you?
OP | Post 2 made on Wednesday January 25, 2012 at 19:06
netarc
Senior Member
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May 2004
1,271
oh, one last thing - going back my mx900, I do wish that the mx1200 had retained the GUIDE and MENU buttons on the _left_ side of the remote. So where MENU is, should be GUIDE; and where INFO is, should be MENU.

reason? well when holding the remote, your thumb falls naturally to the left of the SEL surround, right over MENU. Yet since GUIDE & MENU are imo among the most frequently accessed functions on a remote (more than EXIT, and definitely more than INFO), it would've made more sense from a usability perspective to keep the GUIDE/MENU combination to the left, e.g. as is the case w/the MX900.

As it is, I find myself having to compress my thumb back somewhat awkwardly to access the GUIDE button :(
Post 3 made on Wednesday January 25, 2012 at 20:47
jsuarez
Long Time Member
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November 2006
40
Nice review. Just recently saw the 1200 at a BestBuy near me but didn't get a chance to play around with it.

Button placement and size(similar to the R40 I had), especially the VOL+/- and CH +/- was an issue to me. I prefer my mx980 in that regard. I also didn't care for the "plasticky" feel but I'm sure the 1200 feels velvety smooth in comparison considering the price difference. Might go back to BB this weekend just to see....
Post 4 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 10:03
Darnitol
Universal Remote Control Inc.
Joined:
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June 1999
2,026
Thanks for the compliments and comments on the MX-1200. I don't post on Remote Central as often as I used to, but I do pay attention to comments about the products I help design. Sometimes I can respond, other times I can't. Sometimes I can say why I'm responding, other times I can't.

The orientation of the Menu/Guide/Info/Exit keys is something we standardized on a little while after the MX-900. If I recall, the MX-980 was the first to use that orientation. Our studies of button use indicated that although Guide is a really important button, on devices that have both Menu and Guide, Menu is used more frequently. Exit was put where it is specifically to make it harder to accidentally press.

I understand your concern about the asymmetrical Vol/CH keys, but it was a conscious decision. Although part of it involves the look of the remote, we also take into account that the asymmetrical form makes it much easier to identify the buttons by feel. For most people, location isn't enough tactile information, so the shape makes it much easier.

The port on the bottom is a power port. If you should ever run out of battery, you can unplug the power cord from the charger base and use the remote with the power plugged in directly.

I'm surprised to hear that your 5-way is really loose. You may want to double check against another MX-1200 to make sure yours is built to tolerances.

I made ergonomics a big priority on this remote. I always felt that the 980 is a very "manly" size, so I wanted the 1200 to be more compatible with the hands of wives and children. The contours on the back were designed to create natural resting spots for your thumb to land on the touch screen, the navigation cluster, and the transport cluster.
I'm a member of the Remote Central community, just like you! My comments here are my own, and in no way express the opinions, policies, or plans of Universal Remote Control, Inc.
OP | Post 5 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 11:38
netarc
Senior Member
Joined:
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May 2004
1,271
thx for the comments & info - yes, u guys did a fantastic job w/the ergo, imo.

EXIT button placement makes sense, but my .02, fwiw, is that menu/guide are used more often than info/exit, and hence should both be on the left side of the remote, where they are both a bit more accessible to the thumb than on the right. e.g., it'd be better even if MENU remained where it was, but INFO/GUIDE were swapped.

The asymmetrical Vol/CH keys I think one can get used to, no worries; it definitely does contribute to the look & flow of the remote as is.

oh, one more bit of feedback re: the remote beep: currently the beep vol setting is global to all keys. May I suggest a RFE where the beep can be selectively enabled for JUST the LCD soft keys, while disabled for the hard keys? e.g., a toggle parameter on the beep configuration screen along the lines of "Beep only for soft-keys".

I find the beep not useful, and even a bit annoying, for the hard keys - you don't need the feedback, as the tactile button has already give you that. But for the soft-keys, the feedback of the button changing color is hidden by your finger; so it'd be VERY useful to have an option allowing the beep to be enabled for the LCD, yet disabled for the hard buttons.

I'm hopeful that this is something that may be addressed in a future firmware upgrade?
Post 6 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 16:41
goldenzrule
Super Member
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July 2007
4,300
On January 26, 2012 at 11:38, netarc said...
thx for the comments & info - yes, u guys did a fantastic job w/the ergo, imo.

EXIT button placement makes sense, but my .02, fwiw, is that menu/guide are used more often than info/exit, and hence should both be on the left side of the remote, where they are both a bit more accessible to the thumb than on the right. e.g., it'd be better even if MENU remained where it was, but INFO/GUIDE were swapped.

The asymmetrical Vol/CH keys I think one can get used to, no worries; it definitely does contribute to the look & flow of the remote as is.

oh, one more bit of feedback re: the remote beep: currently the beep vol setting is global to all keys. May I suggest a RFE where the beep can be selectively enabled for JUST the LCD soft keys, while disabled for the hard keys? e.g., a toggle parameter on the beep configuration screen along the lines of "Beep only for soft-keys".

I find the beep not useful, and even a bit annoying, for the hard keys - you don't need the feedback, as the tactile button has already give you that. But for the soft-keys, the feedback of the button changing color is hidden by your finger; so it'd be VERY useful to have an option allowing the beep to be enabled for the LCD, yet disabled for the hard buttons.

I'm hopeful that this is something that may be addressed in a future firmware upgrade?

Personally, I use Info and Exit a LOT more then Menu or Guide. I almost never use either for cable, and use Menu only for Bluray and AppleTV. What I do wish would change is the layout of the Play button. It used to be in between the fast forward and rewind buttons. Now the Pause button is between the fast forward and rewind buttons, while the Play button is above the Pause. When fast forwarding through commercials during DVR playback for example, I find myself hitting Pause all the time as it is easy for my finger to slide right over, while it takes a little more attention paid to place my finger on the Play button.
Post 7 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 17:19
Darnitol
Universal Remote Control Inc.
Joined:
Posts:
June 1999
2,026
Golden, the irony is that I almost never use Info or Exit, but I use Menu and Guide all the time. I basically never use FF or REW, because I use the Skip commands instead. However, the design isn't optimized for meŚwe gather a lot of usage data to make these decisions. If I had my way personally, we'd have a hard button for "DVR List," but I doubt I'll ever get it.

Having said that, feedback here on Remote Central is definitely part of where we gather our data.
I'm a member of the Remote Central community, just like you! My comments here are my own, and in no way express the opinions, policies, or plans of Universal Remote Control, Inc.
Post 8 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 17:27
goldenzrule
Super Member
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4,300
On January 26, 2012 at 17:19, Darnitol said...
Golden, the irony is that I almost never use Info or Exit, but I use Menu and Guide all the time. I basically never use FF or REW, because I use the Skip commands instead. However, the design isn't optimized for meŚwe gather a lot of usage data to make these decisions. If I had my way personally, we'd have a hard button for "DVR List," but I doubt I'll ever get it.

Having said that, feedback here on Remote Central is definitely part of where we gather our data.

It's not a huge deal for me either way, I just adapt. I just got used to the old layout of buttons after years of use. I find myself having to look down a lot more with the new layout, but attribute that to the fact that I am so used to the old layout.
Post 9 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 17:38
CFoote
Long Time Member
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January 2009
14
On January 26, 2012 at 17:19, Darnitol said...
Golden, the irony is that I almost never use Info or Exit, but I use Menu and Guide all the time. I basically never use FF or REW, because I use the Skip commands instead. However, the design isn't optimized for meŚwe gather a lot of usage data to make these decisions. If I had my way personally, we'd have a hard button for "DVR List," but I doubt I'll ever get it.

Having said that, feedback here on Remote Central is definitely part of where we gather our data.

The '1200 is a BEAUTIFUL remote -- you guys did a superb job with the design and engineering. I can't imagine all the hours and work that go into a product like this. My '980 is jealous :)

Are you allowed to talk about the technical differences between the '1200 and the '980 from a hardware standpoint? i.e. Proccessor, memory, battery, etc.

I'm sure more of this is forthcoming on the URC website but I admit I'm anxious to get details.

Chris
Post 10 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 18:05
JoeFlabitz
Senior Member
Joined:
Posts:
December 2008
1,279
On January 26, 2012 at 17:38, CFoote said...
The '1200 is a BEAUTIFUL remote -- you guys did a superb job with the design and engineering. I can't imagine all the hours and work that go into a product like this. My '980 is jealous :)

Are you allowed to talk about the technical differences between the '1200 and the '980 from a hardware standpoint? i.e. Proccessor, memory, battery, etc.

I'm sure more of this is forthcoming on the URC website but I admit I'm anxious to get details.

Chris

You should be able to find what you are looking for in the Owners Manuals, towards the end of the manual.
OP | Post 11 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 18:56
netarc
Senior Member
Joined:
Posts:
May 2004
1,271
+1 to the DVR List hard button idea, definitely! Also, was disappointed that the 1200 lacks the RGBY buttons from the 780, as many devices appear to be using that model.
Post 12 made on Thursday January 26, 2012 at 23:42
TVAddict
Long Time Member
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June 2002
90
I'd like to add my thoughts. I love the stick form factor. And I think the size is perfect. Everything just fits together.

Found two issues so far though:

1. If I try to hide button text but unchecking "Show Text" box, it looks fine in CCP but still shows up on the remote. Had to actually delete the text. No big deal really.

2. For some reason, MRF-350 base does not send IR from blaster, only from the emitter ports. Pretty sure the settings are correct. Could be bad base but I have a feeling it's a software issue. I'll try it with another base when I get a chance just to be sure.

Other than those two issues, I'm very happy so far.

BTW, if someone want Boxes Box graphics, let me know. I've made proper regular and pressed button images and they have translucent background. Everything is the way it should be. I do not believe I can provide VFD file but I can give the png and it's easy enough to add to VFD.
Post 13 made on Friday January 27, 2012 at 10:58
JoeFlabitz
Senior Member
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Posts:
December 2008
1,279
On January 26, 2012 at 23:42, TVAddict said...
I'd like to add my thoughts. I love the stick form factor. And I think the size is perfect. Everything just fits together.

Found two issues so far though:

1. If I try to hide button text but unchecking "Show Text" box, it looks fine in CCP but still shows up on the remote. Had to actually delete the text. No big deal really.

This has been reported, and should be corrected shortly.

2. For some reason, MRF-350 base does not send IR from blaster, only from the emitter ports. Pretty sure the settings are correct. Could be bad base but I have a feeling it's a software issue. I'll try it with another base when I get a chance just to be sure.

Worth checking into!
Post 14 made on Friday January 27, 2012 at 19:57
KCThirstyEar
Active Member
Joined:
Posts:
January 2003
546
Issues:

I can't actually put an image as a background using the "Background" layer. It just doesn't show up

Creating a new button, and then going to the color properties of the button and checking the "hide" box, doesn't actually hide the color once the remote is loaded.

The docking stand is super-sketchy. the remote never seems to actually get in there and dock.
Got Graphics? Get MX3000 Templates including Gemstone here: [Link: proremotes.com]
Post 15 made on Sunday January 29, 2012 at 13:24
TVAddict
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
June 2002
90
On January 26, 2012 at 23:42, TVAddict said...
2. For some reason, MRF-350 base does not send IR from blaster, only from the emitter ports. Pretty sure the settings are correct. Could be bad base but I have a feeling it's a software issue. I'll try it with another base when I get a chance just to be sure.

I've confirmed it with another MRF-350. Same thing. Doesn't send anything out of blaster. Glad the base is not defective.

Edit: Ok, I've figured it out. Apparently, when configuring RF, ALL options turns on all 6 ports but not the blaster. So, effectively, the blaster is off by default. However, if I select "Blaster 1" option, then the blaster works. Sorry for any confusion I might have caused.

Last edited by TVAddict on January 29, 2012 23:05.
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