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The MX-700’s Mini MX.
No, we haven’t forgotten about the MX-700’s little helper, the MX-200! This teeny tiny remote has just 12 buttons... and one of those is used to activate the backlighting! The MX-200 measures in at just 5.6 inches long, 1.7 inches wide and 1.4 inches high (14.3cm by 4.3cm by 3.4cm) and uses two AAA batteries. All hard buttons are backlit via yellow LEDs, activated by the [Light] button.
Don’t think of the MX-200 as a cheap little throw-in remote: it’s actually a high-quality, fully computer programmable macro-cable remote with the same case style and GemStone button finish as the MX-700.
In addition to the [Light] button mentioned above, the MX-200 sports both power [On] and [Off], channel and volume toggles, [Mute], [Info], plus three favorite buttons that can each hold a channel macro (or some other macro of up to 190 steps in length). It’s important to remember that the MX-200 is a single device remote. That’s not to say that it can’t control the volume from your amp and the channels from your DSS – it doesn’t particularly care what commands you store on it. Instead, each button can only be given a single, unchangeable function: so it can’t control the channel from both your TV and your DSS.
This limitation makes the MX-200 slightly too simplistic. As a concept it’s cool and the physical implementation is nice... but functionally, there’s just not quite enough there, except perhaps as a granny remote!
Working without a computer.
Unlike the MX-500 remote control, there’s absolutely no way to do any sort of configuration on the MX-700 by itself. This is actually a good thing, since it makes my job as a reviewer that much easier. So, onwards we go!
Working with a computer.
MX Editor's splash screen.
When they call the MX-700 “computer programmable”, they really mean it! Unlike many remotes, where computer programmability is an advanced option, the MX-700 goes so far as to make it an absolute requirement. So, if you don’t have ready access to a Windows-compatible computer with a free serial port, the MX-700 won’t work for you.
Universal Remote Control sells the MX-700 in a sort of “bulk pack” to custom installers. Each pack includes three pairs of remotes, three micro-manuals, but only one program CD and serial cable, as only the custom installer will be making use of those. So, individual sales of the MX-700 may include a non-original (but perfectly functional) serial cable and no program CD (instead, it can be downloaded over the Internet).
Computer software isn’t really a new forte for Universal Remote. They’ve tried it before, first getting their feet wet on the awkwardly titled – and even more awkward to use – “MX-1000 Operating Program” for the MX-1000 touchscreen remote. Realizing that all was not well, they soon released a completely re-written and more skilfully named program, “MX-1000 Designer”. Although executed with more flair, MX-1000 Designer still lacked certain important refinements.