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Topic:
Coming from MX-500, will I like MX-650 or MX-450 better?
This thread has 11 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at 14:49
blgentry
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My old MX-500 was a great remote. But the coating got all sticky nasty and then when I tried to clean it, I made it really ugly. Plus a BUNCH of the keys stick now. So it's time for a different remote.

I bought a Harmony 665 as a test. It works OK. The computer based programming is a pain. The remote is slow. Pressing an arrow key 5 or 6 times in a row, it doesn't send the commands right away. I watch the on screen display keep moving for a second or two after I'm done. Adjusting volume on my receiver is the same. Press up 10 times and wait 2 seconds for it to catch up. I've adjusted a bunch of different delays and it's better, but still slow.

The layout of the 665 is ok, but I can't easily locate common keys by touch like I could with the MX-500.

The MX-650 looks to be pretty much exactly what I want. Unless it's going to age poorly over the next few years? Someone recommended the MX-450 to me and it looks quite good. But the shape and button layout are questionable to me. I'm not sure if I'll be able to easily find Volume, arrow pad, and "back" by touch on that remote as easily as the 500 or 650.

I'm assuming that both the 450 and 650 are "instant" in terms of sending commands with no pause in between. If not I would be a bit frustrated.

One thing I do like about the Harmony 665 is that the color LCD lights up via motion. Pick up the remote and the screen comes on. Shortly after setting it down, it turns off. I would guess that the 650 is on all the time like the 500. What about the 450's screen?

I'm planning to keep the Harmony 665 and use it as a "database remote" so I can get discrete codes and things like that to teach to whichever URC remote I get.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Brian.
Post 2 made on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at 15:07
Daniel Tonks
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The MX-650 is basically the same thing as the MX-500, just RF and a *slightly* newer keypad design. And yes, I love those old remotes, they just work.

As far as ergonomics go, the MX-450 is probably as good as it gets from the current generation of remotes. You should probably like it.

I recently switched to an MX-890 in one of my primary systems, and I've been having a heck of a time using it by feel alone coming from an older MX-900 with very well defined buttons. Those flat, hard button remotes look great but do lack something in usability.
OP | Post 3 made on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at 15:13
blgentry
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Hmm. The price of the MX-650 and 450, used on Ebay, are similar. The 450s seem to be in better shape overall. Do you think the feel of the 650 is noticeably better than the 450 in terms of finding buttons without looking?

Any concerns about the screen turning on and off and being able to send commands from the soft keys on the 450? I thought I read something weird about one of the URC remotes not sending soft key commands when the screen was off.

BTW, you name seems really familiar; I think I've read a bunch of your posts way back when I originally shopped for the MX-500. Were you affiliated with BlueDo? After I bought my MX500, something like 4 or 5 of my friends and coworkers bought the same remote from there.

Thanks for your help. :)

Brian.
Post 4 made on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at 18:00
edmund
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Daniel Tonks is the owner of Remote Central. Look at the bottom of any page.
Post 5 made on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at 19:46
Daniel Tonks
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The main issue with an older design remote like the MX-650 is the lack of "new" function buttons. For example, there are no skip +/- hard buttons. Granted there's the screen area, but they all have that.

If you're the kind of guy that just likes to find a button blindly and hit it without thinking about what it is, the older MX remotes deliver that in spaces. The MX-450 is kind of a halfway measure between that (now visibly dated) style of remote, and the newer flat/smooth/sculpted keypad designs a la Harmony and others.

If you want some further impressions, check out my review of the URC R50: [Link: remotecentral.com] which is the "consumer" version of the MX-450.
Post 6 made on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at 21:25
edmund
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I wouldn't trust the mx650 from ebay, my own original mx650 lasted only three months before the keys started to fail, unlike mx500's that are built like a tank.

Last edited by edmund on September 10, 2019 22:41.
OP | Post 7 made on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at 09:39
blgentry
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Mr. Tonks owns remotecentral! Ok, wow. I guess that's why your name is so familiar. :)

I just re-read the review of the R50. I'm glad I did because the "delay behavior" of the soft keys may or may not be a deal killer for me. That combined with the sunken transport, volume, and channel keys probably are a deal killer. Well... presuming that the R50 and MX450 are identical in those respects.

Now Edmund tells me that the MX650 has very poor quality buttons. Darn it.

So what to do? Keep my Harmony 665? Take a $60 chance on a new-ish MX-650?

Is there some other remote from any company (does not have to be URC) that is closer to what I want?

Thanks for all the help guys. I appreciate it.

Brian.
Post 8 made on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at 12:56
Daniel Tonks
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Edmund's problem may have been a one-off? I've used MX-500, MX-700, MX-800 and MX-850s of various ages and don't recall the MX-850 (which has the same keypad style as the MX-650) differing in lifespan, although they all do eventually tend to have issues around often-used keys. So don't get any "well used" ones for sure.

Sadly the "prosumer" remote market is pretty much limited to Harmony and some URC models, especially if your budget is limited.

Otherwise, I've found MX-900s to be decent despite its odd-looking keypad style, and they're older now, but you would need to get from someplace that would also give you software.
Post 9 made on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at 13:26
edmund
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These all remotes that had key problems:



The 3 on the end were mx650's.
Post 10 made on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at 17:03
Daniel Tonks
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Yeah, that's pretty standard for URC (and most remotes in general). All of my in-use URCs have, eventually, developed contact issues under daily use, including most recently 3 x MX-900s. Typically a keypad cleaning will get them going for another couple years - or kill things even faster, as happened with my last MX-900!

Still, I keep coming back to them...
Post 11 made on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at 17:25
edmund
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Me too. Although recently I've been using Roku remote and TiVo remotes, if I need universal it's been ofa urc7880 or urc-7935 streaming remote. They work great with Roku TV's are in the house.
Post 12 made on Monday September 16, 2019 at 11:55
JoeFlabitz
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As the MX-450 is the only remote supported as it's still current, it's very unlikely you'll get any new codes (for current equipment) into a MX-650. You can learn on all MX platforms, but it's always best to try the embedded coding first.


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