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Topic:
Disappointed with the URC R50 & Probably the MX-450 Too.
This thread has 44 replies. Displaying posts 31 through 45.
Post 31 made on Sunday February 6, 2011 at 22:41
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
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October 1998
27,974
Yes, there's no cloning on the R50. I'm not aware of any software changes that have been made to the R50. I really wish URC would push a bit more in this price range/market segment, because the R50 is a good remote, and close to being very good with some improvements.

The R50 spreadsheet isn't quite as "full featured" as the others, mainly because the R50 is so freeform. Though if you have any suggestions, I'm open.
Post 32 made on Sunday February 6, 2011 at 23:27
nomad8201
Long Time Member
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March 2005
11
Thanks for the response, Daniel. Too bad about no R50 cloning.

Just curious...is URC (or any other remote manufacturer) at all responsive to feature requests made by you or others on this web site? Seems to me they could take advantage of all the suggestions (aka " free market research") from the knowledgable people found here.

Regarding the R50 spreadsheet, some kind of macro worksheet, like in your MX-500 spreadsheet, would be nice. Of course, with every button being "macroable", a comprehensive worksheet may be a little unwieldy. However, I suspect that in addition to macros for the System On and Off hard buttons, macros in the traditional sense are most useful for the Main and Device LCD page hard buttons, because they can be custom labeled. So, some kind of template, that could be duplicated for a particular user's visible main and device pages, might do the trick. Obviously, if some clever person finds a legitimate use for complex macros on the other hard buttons, they can customize the spreadsheet for their needs.
Post 33 made on Monday February 28, 2011 at 18:44
tranx
Long Time Member
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February 2009
44
On February 6, 2011 at 23:27, nomad8201 said...
Just curious...is URC (or any other remote manufacturer) at all responsive to feature requests made by you or others on this web site?...

Yes I wondered about that too. It is several years from the review and, except for unlit soft buttons, when any buttons are pressed while the lcd is off my new R50 appears to respond normally to commands or macros.

Before and since getting MX500 five or six years ago, I have tried other makes of PC-programmed remote and remotes with no lcd. Eventually came to the conclusion that MX500 was preferable and just needed better access to macros, better labelling for the screen, and a few more buttons. I don’t like relying on a link to PC or a code list so R50 seemed to be a suitable upgrade.

Because of MX500’s macro limitations I had already been using its favourites to combine commands taught to dummy devices’ number buttons for use in extra macros. It was also more evident that R50 favourites would provide the coloured backgrounds for the ‘colour commands’, as well as the accustomed extra device-independent macros. The two lines of text are very welcome and having the possibility of a macro on any button is another substantial improvement.

The US channels do not correspond to any in UK so it would have been nice to be able to load other graphics, but several logos are suitable as illustrations for various macro buttons. I had wondered about going from ten soft buttons to six per lcd page but find that, especially with the multi-background and coloured favourite-macros, selection from just six can be done at a glance instead of needing to study the screen.

The four Colour Buttons are needed but otherwise the hard buttons are sufficient for the majority of single functions. Several can easily incorporate the secondary commands needed for normal operation of some functions like Favourites Guide, or to combine Mute, which involves more than one device. It took me several days of fiddling but even if uploading the data is a bit slow it is really much easier to learn, install, and test on the hoof without having to link to PC and negotiate an inflexible software program.

The improved flexibility has simplified viewing so much that we are already regularly using several TV, PVR, and PVR functions which were too much bother with the original remotes, or even with MX500. Getting to I-Player was not a bind with Mx500 but for some reason the macro seemed simpler to construct with R50.

Yes agreed about the deficiencies of the label editor and that a button shuffling function would help. We have got used to having a uni remote each, so another R50 is on its way and cloning will be missed, but on the whole we have not been disappointed.

PS
Yes with more experience we have...the overlaps and proximity of buttons around the thumbpad, and delay while lcd has to be lit up by pressing a button, are annoying. I have gone back to MX500 and my wife prefers Sony RM-VL610!

Last edited by tranx on April 3, 2011 06:16.
Post 34 made on Saturday November 19, 2011 at 03:06
lemketron
Founding Member
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July 2001
11
On February 28, 2011 at 18:44, tranx said...
Yes agreed about the deficiencies of the label editor and that a button shuffling function would help. We have got used to having a uni remote each, so another R50 is on its way and cloning will be missed, but on the whole we have not been disappointed.

PS
Yes with more experience we have [been disappointed]...the overlaps and proximity of buttons around the thumbpad, and delay while lcd has to be lit up by pressing a button, are annoying. I have gone back to MX500 and my wife prefers Sony RM-VL610!

SIGH... I have an ancient MX-500 (one of the first generation ones, which no longer lights up and has several parts rattling around inside as well as tape holding the battery door on -- kids are SO hard on these things). I'm about to upgrade some components, and so I have to decide whether to re-program my MX-500 or start over with an R50 or MX-450. Why did they have to mess with what was clearly one of the best button arrangements ever (MX-500) especially for TiVo users? I really like the color screen (though I don't understand why we can't set the colors for each device) and macro editing, but it sounds like the goofy recessed button layout (for critical TiVo transport buttons) is a deal-breaker for many folks.

If anyone from URC ever reads this, PLEASE talk to Daniel before you put out another MX-500 or MX-450 replacement! I'm sure he'd tell you how to make a killer device, once and for all.

Personally, I'd like to see a remote with the features and screen of the 450, the hard-button layout of the 500, four AA batteries, USB connection to a PC (ideally for PC editing as well as backup, save/restore, and updating of the pre-programmed IR database). Better still, let us edit the pre-programmed device button/page layouts on the PC and then load everything back into the remote...

Edit... OK, so I just learned about the R40, which is evidently a newer and updated version of the R50. Goofy naming scheme. But is there an MX-440? Or would that be the MX-880? Or MX-780?

Also, where's Daniel's review of the R40 which I'd love to read before I buy one? I just want to know which model is "the 2011 remote for MX-500 fans". :-)

Last edited by lemketron on November 19, 2011 04:17.
Post 35 made on Monday November 21, 2011 at 04:59
FargleBargle
Junior Member
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November 2011
5
I'd really like to get more information on the current crop of URC remotes. I've been looking for a replacement for my aging MX-500, which I bought when it first came out (after reading a favorable review here). I've been very happy with it, even if making changes to existing programming is a bit of a pain, but now things are starting to fail, and it's time to move on. Unfortunately, URC doesn't seem to have much information on their web-site on anything newer than the MX-450, and the information here in the forums is usually specific to one issue or another, and sometimes contradictory, depending on how much the poster loves or hates URC products in general.

I'd like to know how the MX-780 and R40 compare to the R50 and MX-450 specifically, or even to the older MX-500, since they seem to be the top contenders right now. I like the design, button layout, and OLED screens on the new models, but how does the R40 compare to the MX-450? Do the new OLED screens improve power consumption over the old LCDs? How about durability and longevity? This could be worth knowing for anyone moving from a B/W to a color device. Does the R40 have on-screen macro editing like the MX-450, or is it more like my old MX-500, where you need to enter it all in from scratch when you make a change? If it does, it could be the perfect replacement. If not, I'll be looking at something more like the computer programmable MX-780. Are there any other things that a potential buyer should know before deciding?

If I decide that the R40 isn't enough, and I set my sights on the MX-780, URC's sales prevention department has put a number of obstacles in my path. First, I live in Canada, and they apparently don't want to sell their products here. I had to order my original MX-500 from the US because there were no Canadian distributors at the time, and now Amazon doesn't seem to want to sell certain URC models to Canadian buyers either.

Then there's the pro vs. consumer model issue. If memory serves me, the MX-500 was intended for the pro market originally also, even though it was ridiculously easy for me, as an end user, to set up. I'm not a custom installer, but I do have an electronics degree, and I've set up every other piece of electronics in my home, without any outside help. I'm not going to pay a custom installer to set up my remote when I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself. And if I decide I want to change a macro at 2:00 on Sunday morning, I'm not waiting for a custom installer to make a house call to do it. I know they want to protect their pro market, but I'd never be a customer for them anyway, so it seems a bit counter-productive in my case. If they won't sell me the model I want, I guess I'll need to find another brand, which is a shame, since they pretty much had me as a loyal repeat customer after my experience with the MX-500.

Anyway, Daniel, if you're reading this, it might be time for another of your invaluable reviews, or maybe even a head to head showdown between some of these new models. What features will a former MX-500, 650, 850 user love or hate when upgrading, and what, if any, alternatives are there, that can provide the same sense of satisfaction the originals did?
Post 36 made on Tuesday December 6, 2011 at 17:59
arfadog
Junior Member
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December 2011
2
I'd be happy to take a look at your Excel planner efforts. Let me know how you wish to send such a file.
Regards,

arfadog
Post 37 made on Thursday December 29, 2011 at 16:36
sysmg
Junior Member
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December 2011
2
On January 26, 2009 at 23:12, fingershop said...
A thought on overriding preprogrammed hard and soft buttons with learned commands...

You can also override them with one-step macros. Using this method you can effectively copy any button to any other button, all without having to learn a single command. Very useful if you don't have the original remote, or if you want to rearrange preprogrammed buttons that don't exist on your original remote.

An advanced addition to this method is to add a second copy of a given device, but put that copy on a hidden Main menu page. The benefit of this is that you can copy and rearrange every button on that device, by macro-copying them from the hidden device to the visible copy of that device. With this method you can override every single button on a device, without any learning. Yes, its complicated, but this gives you the fullest flexibility possible to your button layouts, and leverages the preprogrammed database.

That's a fantastic idea. My R50 is on order and I think this is what I'll do. Although I may not hide the real remote page but put it on page 2 or 3 where no one but me will look. That way I can easily access those uncustomized remotes whenever I need to.
Post 38 made on Saturday December 31, 2011 at 12:38
RandyWalters
Long Time Member
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December 2006
23
On November 21, 2011 at 04:59, FargleBargle said...
Does the R40 have on-screen macro editing like the MX-450, or is it more like my old MX-500, where you need to enter it all in from scratch when you make a change? If it does, it could be the perfect replacement. If not, I'll be looking at something more like the computer programmable MX-780. Are there any other things that a potential buyer should know before deciding?

Well the R40 and older R50 do not give you the ability to edit a macro. If you want to make any changes to a macro, you have to erase it first, then re-create it with the new script. So if that's truly a deal breaker then you can scratch both of these units off your list. But i'm used to doing this with my stable of MX-500s over the years as well as MX-500s i've used on friends' and customers' systems so it doesn't bother me at all, and it is an acceptable flaw since i love my R40. This is the first consumer remote i've tried that can finally replace my beloved primary MX-500 (which i still use MX-500s in my other rooms - for now). I did briefly have an R50 but i returned it because of i didn't like the way it felt in my hand - it has an odd design and uncomfortable placement of the volume and transport keys. The R40 is way better in this regard and feels like a much more expensive and professional remote.
Randy
MX-500, URC R40, TC-P46G10, Tivo Series 3, SA8300HD, Onkyo 605, Panasonic 1080p DVD Recorder, Sony CD Player, Teac EQ
Post 39 made on Saturday December 31, 2011 at 16:05
Agrarian
Junior Member
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December 2011
3
On December 31, 2011 at 12:38, RandyWalters said...
Well the R40 and older R50 do not give you the ability to edit a macro. If you want to make any changes to a macro, you have to erase it first, then re-create it with the new script. So if that's truly a deal breaker then you can scratch both of these units off your list. But i'm used to doing this with my stable of MX-500s over the years as well as MX-500s i've used on friends' and customers' systems so it doesn't bother me at all, and it is an acceptable flaw since i love my R40. This is the first consumer remote i've tried that can finally replace my beloved primary MX-500 (which i still use MX-500s in my other rooms - for now). I did briefly have an R50 but i returned it because of i didn't like the way it felt in my hand - it has an odd design and uncomfortable placement of the volume and transport keys. The R40 is way better in this regard and feels like a much more expensive and professional remote.

I just setup my new R40 and, unless I'm missing something, found that it does have macro editing functionality. I created a macro to turn on power to three devices and then discovered I needed a Pause and Input command added. I went to Macros on the Advanced menu and selected Edit Existing Macro. I was then presented with the list of my macro's steps and was offered the ability to insert Pauses, delete steps or add steps. Seemed like full editing to me.
Post 40 made on Saturday December 31, 2011 at 18:30
RandyWalters
Long Time Member
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23
On December 31, 2011 at 16:05, Agrarian said...
I just setup my new R40 and, unless I'm missing something, found that it does have macro editing functionality. I created a macro to turn on power to three devices and then discovered I needed a Pause and Input command added. I went to Macros on the Advanced menu and selected Edit Existing Macro. I was then presented with the list of my macro's steps and was offered the ability to insert Pauses, delete steps or add steps. Seemed like full editing to me.

Oh wow you're right! I had the R50 first and wanted to edit a macro but discovered that it was not possible. I guess i presumed the R40 was the same way as my R50. I'll add that to my list of differences between the R40 and R50. Thanks!
Randy
MX-500, URC R40, TC-P46G10, Tivo Series 3, SA8300HD, Onkyo 605, Panasonic 1080p DVD Recorder, Sony CD Player, Teac EQ
Post 41 made on Monday January 2, 2012 at 04:53
FargleBargle
Junior Member
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November 2011
5
It's good to know you can edit the macros on the R40. Although I love my old MX500, I don't make changes to the programming on it often enough to remember all the steps on each macro. Whenever I do, I need to re-invent the wheel so to speak, with a lot of trial and error, before arriving at a working version. It's a small complaint, given how great everything else is, but one I hope to do something about on my next remote. Given the number of years that have passed, users should expect to see SOME improvements after all.

Another point I've noticed on the R40 is the "My Favorites" buttons. I originally thought these were just the standard colored buttons seen on other remotes, and I could use them to store additional macros. I now see that they have been labeled with favorite channel categories "Sports", "Music", "Movies" and "News". This seems a bit odd, considering it's being marketed as "My Favorite Remote". These categories may be somebody's favorites, but they're certainly not mine. What if I want "Educational", "Sci-Fi", "Porn" and "Reality" instead? What if I have some other way of organizing my favorites, or want to use the buttons for something else entirely? It seems a bit odd that a "universal" remote would impose this kind of arbitrary organization scheme on users. Can these buttons be used for something else, or are they only for favorites? If they are just for favorites, I'll probably use different categories than theirs, so I guess I'll find out how durable the lettering is on the labels. Does anyone have more information on what you can and can't do with these buttons?
Post 42 made on Monday January 2, 2012 at 10:45
RandyWalters
Long Time Member
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23
On January 2, 2012 at 04:53, FargleBargle said...
Another point I've noticed on the R40 is the "My Favorites" buttons. I originally thought these were just the standard colored buttons seen on other remotes, and I could use them to store additional macros......Does anyone have more information on what you can and can't do with these buttons?

We should probably continue the R40-specific discussions in the R40 thread so as not to dilute the R50 content:

[Link: remotecentral.com]
Randy
MX-500, URC R40, TC-P46G10, Tivo Series 3, SA8300HD, Onkyo 605, Panasonic 1080p DVD Recorder, Sony CD Player, Teac EQ
Post 43 made on Thursday January 5, 2012 at 14:26
sysmg
Junior Member
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December 2011
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On January 2, 2012 at 04:53, FargleBargle said...
...snip... Although I love my old MX500, I don't make changes to the programming on it often enough to remember all the steps on each macro. Whenever I do, I need to re-invent the wheel so to speak, with a lot of trial and error, before arriving at a working version ...snip...

I always write down all steps taken in customizing the remote (saved in an excel spreadsheet). It saves a lot of work if you have to make changes (for example a new cable box).

ie.
Receiver code 245
TV code 72

Renamed label 'Antenna' to 'Xbox360' on Main page 2
Added label '3D' on TV page 2

Learned 'TV' remote '3D' button on TV page 2 '3D' soft button

Coded Macro on TV 'Poweron' button
1 - TV On
2 - Receiver On
3 - Cable Box On
4 - pause x4
5 - TV HDMI1 input
6 - Receiver Sat/Cable input

etc...
Post 44 made on Wednesday January 18, 2012 at 10:05
FargleBargle
Junior Member
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November 2011
5
On January 5, 2012 at 14:26, sysmg said...
I always write down all steps taken in customizing the remote (saved in an excel spreadsheet). It saves a lot of work if you have to make changes (for example a new cable box).

Yah, that would make sense if I had done it however many years ago I originally set the remote up. I've got wiring charts for all my other equipment, so why not document the remote as well?

Unfortunately, I was a bit of a noob at this then, and didn't think of it. Going back and documenting the whole remote now smacks of effort, and I'd just as soon avoid it - especially if I can get a new one that has the ability to edit everything in software or right on the remote. No need then to document it, other than backing up the remote afterward.
Post 45 made on Monday January 30, 2012 at 11:58
snorkel
Junior Member
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January 2012
19

I'd like to know how the MX-780 and R40 compare to the R50 and MX-450 specifically, or even to the older MX-500, since they seem to be the top contenders right now. I like the design, button layout, and OLED screens on the new models, but how does the R40 compare to the MX-450?

Go to the R40 thread in a few days, I just got a mx-450 and a R40. I will do
a review of how they compare before I decide which one I want to keep.
I am pretty sure it will be the R40 as I don't need RF and the R40 has the ability to
relocate buttons on the OLED screen.
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