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Topic:
URC-R40 - "My favourite remote"
This thread has 78 replies. Displaying posts 31 through 45.
Post 31 made on Sunday January 22, 2012 at 13:06
RandyWalters
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On January 18, 2012 at 10:24, FargleBargle said...
One 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.

Yeah it is odd that they'd label these four buttons so specifically when they don't know the owner's viewing habits. Something like A B C D or even having no labels at all would have been better. I don't use the favorite channels feature at all as i have all my channel numbers memorized and just do directly to them (or scroll through my Tivo's and 8300HD's guide to select a channel).


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?

You don't have to use them as favorites. I use them for either macros or learned commands, depending on which device i'm in. One example is when i'm "Watching Tivo" mode, i created a macro on the far right green/News button to switch my TV to the 8300HD's input and leaves the R40 in "Watching 8300HD" mode. To switch back to Watch Tivo mode, i press the far left yellow/Sports button which activates that macro. But when i'm in Panasonic Plasma TV mode (using the TV's internal tuner over antenna), i use these buttons for learned commands (Sleep, Input, Viera Tools) instead of putting them on the 6 screen buttons where i'd have to press the button twice to send the command.

I'm kinda using these four Favorites buttons like my MX-500's M1/M2/M3 macro buttons, but the difference is that on the MX-500 the M buttons are "global" and performs it's macro regardless of which device i'm in. But with the R40 these Favorites buttons only perform their macro when i'm in particular device, they're not global. For instance, for my far right Tivo-to-8300 green/News button's macro to work, i have to be in Tivo mode. If i press this button while in 8300 mode it does nothing. Same goes for the far left button - when i'm in Tivo mode it does nothing. It could be like this because i created these macros while in Tivo mode and 8300 mode and there may be a way to create the macros from the "Main" menu where they would operate globally. I haven't experimented with this so i don't know if it's possible. But actually like them being device-specific for now. I may do some global vs device-specific macro experimenting when i set the remote up to run my bedroom TV setup.
Randy
URC MX-890, MX-780, MX-450, R40, MX-500, Sony XBR-55X900E, Panny TC-P55ST60, Tivo Roamio Pro & Premiere, TWC Arris DVR, Onkyo 333 AVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray . . . .
Post 32 made on Sunday January 22, 2012 at 16:23
FargleBargle
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@RandyWalters: I use the M1-M2-M3 buttons on my MX-500 virtually the same way, and was hoping I'd be able to do something similar with the colored buttons on the R40. If the macros are function specific, rather than global, it could be a good thing. Instead of tying them up doing just one thing, they can be used as 4 more hard buttons, with a different set of macros, for each activity. This gives you lots of flexibility, and helps you avoid using the 6 screen buttons for anything you need instant access to. This remote is sounding more and more like the one I want. Thanks for the info.
Post 33 made on Sunday January 29, 2012 at 10:21
snorkel
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Question for R40 owners, does the R40 have the ability to move LCD buttons or swap with the ones next to them? I kind of got that from some of the reviews at Amazon. I just got a MX-450 and then found out about the r40 and it seems to be a better unit (minus the RF, which I won't ever use).

Also does anyone know if the pause as first step in a Macro works on the hard buttons? That trick only works on the LCD buttons on the mx-450.
Post 34 made on Sunday January 29, 2012 at 15:49
RandyWalters
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On January 29, 2012 at 10:21, snorkel said...
Question for R40 owners, does the R40 have the ability to move LCD buttons or swap with the ones next to them? I kind of got that from some of the reviews at Amazon. I just got a MX-450 and then found out about the r40 and it seems to be a better unit (minus the RF, which I won't ever use).

The R40 has the ability to relocate Device icons on the Main Screens and relocate Function icons on the individual devices' screens, but in both cases the icon can only be swapped with another existing icon and cannot be moved into a blank space on the screens so you should carefully consider exactly where you want to place your device icons on the Main Screen before you begin programming the remote. Some users may want to place their primary devices on the first page of the Main Screen, while others will create their devices on page 2 or page 3 of the Main Screen then use page 1 to store their activies and/or macros.

Once a device has been created in a blank space on the Main Screen, the only way to make that space blank again is to delete that device completely. A work-around for restoring a space to blank is to create a "fake" device on page 2 or page 3, swap this new fake device with the device that's occupying the space you want to make blank, then delete that new fake device and that will now leave the space blank. And inside a device, just create a fake function in a blank space then you can interchange it with another real function within that device.



Also does anyone know if the pause as first step in a Macro works on the hard buttons? That trick only works on the LCD buttons on the mx-450.

You can add pause (in half-second increments) as your first step and that forces you to press and hold to activate the macro. I know this works at least on my four colored Favorites buttons on my R40, but i haven't tried it yet on any of the other hard buttons on the body so i'm not sure if it also works on those other buttons, but i presume that it does. I have my delay set to 1.5 seconds. I experimented and edited these to 5 second press-and-hold macros and i did have to hold the button for 5 seconds before it would send the macro.

But like i said in post #31 above the macro will only work when you're inside the device that you were in when you created the macro so they are device-specific (which i like). I don't believe you can store a macro on these buttons when you're in the Main Screen.
Randy
URC MX-890, MX-780, MX-450, R40, MX-500, Sony XBR-55X900E, Panny TC-P55ST60, Tivo Roamio Pro & Premiere, TWC Arris DVR, Onkyo 333 AVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray . . . .
Post 35 made on Sunday January 29, 2012 at 21:50
snorkel
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Thanks for the info Randy,
I may just go for the R40 and return the mx-450.

On the mx-450 the pause trick as the first step of the macro does not work on the
physical buttons, it sends the original command and then if you hold it for whatever the pause was set to, it executes the macro.
If the pause trick works on the physical buttons of whatever device you are in that would be idea, as then I could have the channel up and down also work as the page up/down if held for a second.
Post 36 made on Sunday January 29, 2012 at 22:23
snorkel
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I pulled the trigger on a open box R40 for quite a discount, so I will have both the Mx-450 and the R40 for awhile. I was thinking about doing a review of the two and how they compare.

I know the mx-450 has the archiver app which can also update the database and firmware, but I really wonder how often URC is going to update the firmware on a 4 year old remote, anyway once you have the codes for your hardware, it's not a big deal to program these remotes.
Post 37 made on Monday January 30, 2012 at 09:19
RandyWalters
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On January 29, 2012 at 21:50, snorkel said...
Thanks for the info Randy,
I may just go for the R40 and return the mx-450.

On the mx-450 the pause trick as the first step of the macro does not work on the
physical buttons, it sends the original command and then if you hold it for whatever the pause was set to, it executes the macro.
If the pause trick works on the physical buttons of whatever device you are in that would be idea, as then I could have the channel up and down also work as the page up/down if held for a second.

Well unfortunately the R40 (and R50) apparently does the same thing as your MX-450. I read one comment on an Amazon R40 (or R50?) review that mentioned this "trick" but i think that reviewer was wrong. I tried overlaying a one-second-delay macro on my TWC DVR's Menu button but as soon as i press and hold the button the menu immediately pops up, then after holding the button for one second the macro activates leaving the menu still up on the screen. I also tried it on one of the colored Favorites buttons (where i'd taught the DVR's List command) and the List came up as soon a i pressed the button then the macro came a second later and the List remained on my screen. I haven't done any more experimenting so i don't know if there's some trick to making this work or not. Maybe we're leaving a step out when creating a macro on an existing learned button? Lemmy know if you can get this to work.
Randy
URC MX-890, MX-780, MX-450, R40, MX-500, Sony XBR-55X900E, Panny TC-P55ST60, Tivo Roamio Pro & Premiere, TWC Arris DVR, Onkyo 333 AVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray . . . .
Post 38 made on Monday January 30, 2012 at 09:45
RandyWalters
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On January 29, 2012 at 22:23, snorkel said...
I pulled the trigger on a open box R40 for quite a discount, so I will have both the Mx-450 and the R40 for awhile. I was thinking about doing a review of the two and how they compare.

Aside from the physical difference, the R40 adds four extra buttons (the colored Favorites buttons) which can be used as extra learning buttons or for storing device-specific macros. The R40 also has the ability to edit macros while the R50 does not. The R50 has a setting to hide screen icons while the R40 does not. The R40 has the ability to move icons around by interchanging it with another existing icon, but i didn't try this on the R50 during the week i had it so i don't know if the R50 has this feature or not.


I know the mx-450 has the archiver app which can also update the database and firmware, but I really wonder how often URC is going to update the firmware on a 4 year old remote, anyway once you have the codes for your hardware, it's not a big deal to program these remotes.

I wouldn't want to have to count on URC updating anything (or allowing access) or deal with programming via software (i've had two Harmonys that i couldn't get to do what i needed them to do), and since i've been using an MX-500 for several years i really don't mind teaching the remote purely from scratch, so for me the R40 ended up being perfect for me and my needs.

But one of the most glaring omissions on the R40 (and R50) is the lack of a printed or online list of device codes as well as the inability to input said numeric device code directly even if they published them (like we could on the MX-500). Their new slow clunky method of selecting and testing dozens of stored codes one after another in the hope of finding one with a scene that actually matches the original remote is very time consuming and sometimes even maddening. I tried a few dozen codes for my Onkyo AVR and didn't come across one scene that matched my original remote so i gave up and just created my own function icons and taught it everything from the original remote. For Lulz, i scrolled through the onboard list of codes and counted 62 different codes for Onkyo receivers. If i had it to do all over again, i would completely skip trying their onboard codes and just go straight to creating my own devices and function icons, then teach it from my original remotes.

Last edited by RandyWalters on January 31, 2012 10:19.
Randy
URC MX-890, MX-780, MX-450, R40, MX-500, Sony XBR-55X900E, Panny TC-P55ST60, Tivo Roamio Pro & Premiere, TWC Arris DVR, Onkyo 333 AVR, Panasonic Blu-Ray . . . .
Post 39 made on Monday January 30, 2012 at 12:09
snorkel
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I agree on the code thing, It took me awhile to find the right code for my samsung plasma where the HDMI discrete codes worked properly.

You know the newer time warner remotes are URC based and I thought it came with a list of codes, I wonder if they are the same?

It does seem that it should be a trivial thing for URC to provide a online list of codes that map to actual model numbers.
Post 40 made on Monday January 30, 2012 at 21:31
hdtvluvr
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323
On January 30, 2012 at 09:19, RandyWalters said...
.... I tried overlaying a one-second-delay macro on my TWC DVR's Menu button but as soon as i press and hold the button the menu immediately pops up, then after holding the button for one second the macro activates leaving the menu still up on the screen. ....

Try inserting "Exit" between the 1 second delay and the rest of the macro. This should make the menu go away. I'd play with the delay time, because you may only need 0.5 sec or less and it may be so fast that you never see the menu when you hold the button down.

On January 29, 2012 at 21:50, snorkel said...
... If the pause trick works on the physical buttons of whatever device you are in that would be idea, as then I could have the channel up and down also work as the page up/down if held for a second. ....


It should still work although the selection would move down 1 channel and then 1 page. If we are talking DirecTv, it won't move a page, it moves to the channel at the bottom of the guide and then the guide scrolls up so that channel is at the top. Not sure about cable boxes, etc.
Post 41 made on Thursday February 2, 2012 at 17:43
flash214
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73
Also does anyone know if the pause as first step in a Macro works on the hard buttons? That trick only works on the LCD buttons on the mx-450.

You can place a macro on most of the hard keys as well as any LCD key on the MX-450. It is best to use a hard key that is not needed or not used for a particular device.

If you create an instant or non delayed macro for a hard key it will override the programmed function of the key. However, if you create a delayed macro it will execute both the programmed key function as well as the delayed macro if you hold the button for the prescribed delay.

If you don't need the programmed function of the key chosen for the macro, you can override it with a dummy learned command since learned commands always override programmed commands. For example, you can get a DVR or VCR command from another remote for use on the HDTV device mode on the MX-450. The learned command will override the programmed command and do nothing on its own before the macro is executed.

I use such a setup for the record key on my DVR device. I do not want to accidentally press the record button so I entered a dummy learned command to override the programmed record command and placed a one second delay macro on it referring to the actual record button on a hidden page. I must now hold the button if I want to actually record something.

I assume that all of the above will also work on the R40 & MX-780.
Post 42 made on Thursday February 2, 2012 at 17:59
flash214
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Funny thing going on with my R40. I find that some commands did not save during my initial setup so I "relearn". What's weird is that after relearning, other command(s) would get mysteriously erased somewhere in the device. Happens randomly but mostly on the cursor pad. I'm not imagining it because I write them down. Most times it would take 5-6 tries to get all the commands saved. Memory is only at 50% with only 4 components. Anyone else run into this???

One thing about the MX-450 that I really appreciate is its ability to learn. It always accepts anything that I throw at it. It has never rejected a learned command to date and holds on to the information.

My previous remote, the URC-300 was an excellent remote but it was extremely sensitive to learning from some other remotes. This included the angle that you held the original remote. To put it simply, the URC-300 was a pain in the a-s for learning commands. The MX-450 is actually a pleasure in the learning area.
Post 43 made on Friday February 3, 2012 at 12:06
snorkel
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Well, I just got my R40 and I think I will be keeping it as well as the MX-450 as in a few months I will need two good remotes anyway.

Some observations on the r40.

The favorites setup is not as good as on the mx-450.
On the 450 there is a single Fav button and if you click it it goes to the favorites screen and if you click it again it goes back to whatever screen you where on before. The R40 has 4 fav buttons and they are labeled really stupid, they should have just labeled them A,B,C,D. The other issue with the favorites is if you copy your menu group to the favorites it also copies the functions of the A,B,C,D commands from the DVR device, and then when you are on the main screen and click the A button it pops up the settings menu from the DVR (in my case a SA 8300HD) and then shows the Favorites screen. So if you want to have full use of the DVR when on the main or fav screen you can't effectively use the favorites, unless you put them all on D which has no function on the DVR.

What URC should have done was a single FAV button and just had the ABCD keys for device use.

The other issue is you can't turn off the stupid hints in the programming menu, which you can do on the MX-450, after you figure out the programming(which is not difficult at all) you are stuck always having to blow through the hint pages, pretty annoying.

Finally the R40 has far less devices codes stored internally than the MX-450, I thought I could just find the same codes I used on the 450, but no dice the code was not there, I ended up finding one that was close, but the discrete HDMI functions did not work properly, so I just learned those from the 450.


Aside from these few issues the remote is very nice and the OLED screen is great, you can hold it at all angles and the screen is still readable, this is not the case on the MX-450 or R50, it washes out at very minor angles. The ability to move buttons around is really nice as well. Build quality is great, far superior to the flimsy Harmony remotes.
Post 44 made on Friday February 3, 2012 at 23:52
flash214
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To: snorkel

How are the buttons on the screen other than the main and favorites screens? Are they as boring as on the MX-450 with just light blue buttons with black text on a white background?

I asked Universal to add colored blank buttons similar to the colored blank button selection in the favorites area to the other screens but Universal has ignored me. This would probably be an easy firmware fix.

It would be so nice if Universal was more responsive to consumer needs like many other companies. For example, I purchased a media player from a company called Micca and I was really surprised by how much help a representative of the company was giving to members at the AVS forum. He actually listened to requests for improvements that were often included in future firmware updates.

Also, could you comment more on the OLED screen. It seems that you don't really get more battery life on the R40. I get approx. four months with my MX-450 with heavy use. Also, the OLED screen on the R40 looks kind of small compared to the MX-450. Are you limited to two lines of seven characters of text on a button?
Post 45 made on Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 12:03
snorkel
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Yes, the buttons inside a device are still that blue and instead of a white font they used a black one and it's kind of hard to read the text.
Don't know how long the battery will last compared to the 450s LCD, but the OLED is supposed to be more efficient and the viewing angles on it are far superior to the 450. The OLED is smaller than the 450s, but it's still fine and fits with the remote nicely. If the MX-450 had the ability to swap the buttons like the r40 that would be super nice, there is no reason URC could not update the firmware on the 450 to have the buttons swappable and have different colored buttons inside a device.
The favorites implementation on the 450 is far superior to the way they did it on the r40, but it's not a huge deal. I will send them (URC) a email and request the buttons color thing and that movable buttons be added to the firmware, maybe if a few people complain they will do something.
I do have to admit their method of customer support is odd.

They do charge way to much for their high end remotes. I would like to see someone make a remote with embedded linux just for enthusiasts that you could program with Python :-)
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