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Topic:
Current URC Consumer Lineup or MX-500 Replacement/Upgrade Suggestion?
This thread has 10 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Monday March 19, 2018 at 19:01
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
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32
Long story short: Wife's universal remote (old Yamaha MRX-100, believe it or not) kicked the bucket. Was thinking of getting her an MX-500 and clone it from mine, but my MX-500 is getting long in the tooth, as well.

Poked-around here a bit. Found the review on the URC R50. "An updated MX500." Turns out that's not current production and has been superseded by the R40? (That's what Amazon, says.) (And the one R50 they have is listed for $190, not $150, as the review suggests. Too much for a remote.)

The reviews on this site don't have dates, so... how can I find out what's current production?

And while I'm about it: Recommendation for replacing my MX-500 and something for my wife?

Thanks,
Jim
Post 2 made on Tuesday March 20, 2018 at 18:10
Dundas
Founding Member
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April 2002
304
You can still find decent used MX500s on eBay. Picked up an almost new one a month ago for $20. Also search eBay for MX600s.

Last edited by Dundas on March 20, 2018 18:17.
Post 3 made on Wednesday March 21, 2018 at 22:15
RandyWalters
Long Time Member
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December 2006
84
The R50 and R40 were discontinued several years ago. Some years back I replaced my MX-500 with an R40 and it was probably the best learning remote i've ever had, but it has the dreaded OLED screen and it went dim within a few years. I bought another one and that went dim too. The earlier models also had a firmware issue and commands would disappear (but fixed the later version). I loved the ergonomics and button layout. It uses the same housing as the MX-780.

I also briefly had an R50 and it's fairly decent, but i replaced that with the current model MX-450 which is the Pro version, and it is better built (i like it much better). There are a few functional differences, but they both have an LCD screen so they don't grow dim over time.

My wife loves her MX-500 and has rejected all attempts to switch her over to the MX-450 in her den.
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 4 made on Thursday March 22, 2018 at 18:35
JoeFlabitz
Senior Member
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Posts:
December 2008
1,445
Current Production:
MX-450
MX-780
MX-890
MX-900
MXW-920
MX-990
OP | Post 5 made on Tuesday March 27, 2018 at 10:55
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
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32
Thanks, guys!

It's kind of looking like MX-450 would be the way to go.

Dundas, I've looked for decent used MX-500s and haven't had much luck. Then again: I'm kind of gun-shy, after recently having trouble returning a camera body that had been billed as "in mint condition" that was nowhere near that.

I'm a bit OCD about the cosmetic condition of things. Scratches, scuffs and dings that most people would overlook drive me nuts.

I'll look again, though.

The reason I want two of whatever they are is so I can clone one to the other. (Here I am assuming the MX-450 does that.)

Thanks,
Jim
Post 6 made on Tuesday March 27, 2018 at 11:39
Dundas
Founding Member
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304
If you haven't already, setup saved searches for mx-500s and MX-600s on eBay to get emails as new listings are made. You can usually tell the state of the cosmetic condition by looking closely at the pictures. If you buy an MX-500 clean it with WD40.
Post 7 made on Thursday March 29, 2018 at 10:19
RandyWalters
Long Time Member
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December 2006
84
On March 27, 2018 at 10:55, SEMIJim said...
It's kind of looking like MX-450 would be the way to go.

The reason I want two of whatever they are is so I can clone one to the other. (Here I am assuming the MX-450 does that.)

The MX-450 has Archiver software where you can save your remote's setup to the PC, then download it onto another MX-450 effectively cloning it. The software used to be available on URC's site but the link i had no longer worked, and i was unable to find it anywhere on their site so they may have taken it down for consumers. Another thing to be aware of is the newer version of the MX-450 doesn't work with the older software (or something like that).

The MX-450 is probably the best currently-available Learning Remote and would be a good upgrade over an MX-500. It's much more configurable and has much better Macro abilities (Device based and Activity based). And you can edit your Macros. With some good pre-planning of your screen layouts, you can set it up to do exactly what you want. I ended up NOT using their onboard database (since you cannot move the screen icons) and just created all my screen icons (devices, commands, activity macros etc) from scratch where i wanted them and also on the pages that i wanted them on, then taught all my commands directly. I made it so easy even visitors can fire up our TV/DVR/BD/Roku setup in the den and control it all, but the wife still insists on using her MX-500. Ummph.


There are about a dozen MX-500s on Ebay right now. You can find good ones if you look carefully (i've had good luck finding cheap ones in good condition over the years). Here's my Saved Search string - paste this into the search field:

home theater master mx-500 remote


Here's my post about how i cleaned the MX-500:
[Link: remotecentral.com]
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 8 made on Thursday March 29, 2018 at 15:39
Al Dubya
Long Time Member
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December 2004
39
It seems as if URC has backed away from DIY/consumer buyers.
Al
Post 9 made on Thursday March 29, 2018 at 22:15
RandyWalters
Long Time Member
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December 2006
84
On March 29, 2018 at 15:39, Al Dubya said...
It seems as if URC has backed away from DIY/consumer buyers.

Yes they have and it's a shame. The R50 was pretty good, then the R40 was great - better than all the learning remotes i've used over the decades (even before the ground-breaking Memorex CP-8 Turbo). The killer for the R40 was that OLED screen that goes dim in a few years (also happened on the MX-780).

I would like to see them re-issue the R40 but now with the LCD screen that they're using in the newer version of MX-780. And include detailed instructions this time instead of just letting buyers figure it out on their own ha ha.
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 . . . .
OP | Post 10 made on Friday May 18, 2018 at 00:01
SEMIJim
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
June 2006
32
On March 29, 2018 at 10:19, RandyWalters said...
The MX-450 has Archiver software where you can save your remote's setup to the PC, then download it onto another MX-450 effectively cloning it. The software used to be available on URC's site but the link i had no longer worked, and i was unable to find it anywhere on their site so they may have taken it down for consumers. Another thing to be aware of is the newer version of the MX-450 doesn't work with the older software (or something like that).

Given all the various issues I read about with the MX-450 software I decided to give the MX-450 a pass and...

On March 29, 2018 at 10:19, RandyWalters said...
There are about a dozen MX-500s on Ebay right now. You can find good ones if you look carefully (i've had good luck finding cheap ones in good condition over the years). Here's my Saved Search string - paste this into the search field:

Do this ^^^^^ instead. Already have one in-hand. $16, shipped. In not-too-bad cosmetic condition. It seems to work fine. Cloned from my original MX-500. Everything came across except the codes for the X-10. Have what's alleged to be a NIB one on the way. $86.41 shipped. Pulled the trigger on a $32.25 (w/shipping) one that looks pretty clean earlier tonight.

That should hold me for a while ;)

My wife's already getting used to the MX-500 :)

On March 29, 2018 at 10:19, RandyWalters said...
Here's my post about how i cleaned the MX-500:
[Link: remotecentral.com]

Thanks! I'll take a look. I painstakingly cleaned my original one with alcohol and Q-Tips. It worked, after a fashion, but was a bit labour intensive.

I tried a bit of Armor All on the $16 one, and it looks like maybe it improved the surface a bit. Was thinking maybe an Armor All-wetted microfiber cloth...?

Ok, read your cleaning post. I'd tried Fantastik on my original MX-500, but not using a microfiber cloth. Perhaps I'll give your idea a try, first.

Update: Worked like a charm, Randy! Had to go over it twice, with both the Fantastik and the water, but it came out nice and clean. It's not the smooth matte-ish finish of my original MX-500, but more a "grippy" texture. At least it's not mildly sticky and somewhat nasty-looking any more :)

Jim

Last edited by SEMIJim on May 19, 2018 09:55.
Post 11 made on Wednesday May 30, 2018 at 17:52
Al Dubya
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
December 2004
39
First thing - I have had an MX-500 for many years and really like it. Around the time I posted in March however, I was worried that my MX-500 might be dying.

My daughter uses a Harmony and thought that I should try one. Since a new MX-450 was going for around $180, I decided to experiment with a refurbished Harmony 650 I got on eBay for around $30. I thought that if it didn't do the job to my satisfaction, or if I didn't like it, I wasn't making a big investment.

To my surprise it has worked out fine. There was a little bit of a learning curve but nothing major. It does what I need it to do, and my wife likes it better than the 500 which ironically hasn't died and is still being used with a small system in our den.
Al


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