ESP for remotes.
The MX-950's motion-slash-pickup sensor is used to automatically activate the remote's backlighting and LCD screen when it is tilted past a certain point. The sensor is quite responsive to motion, but not to the point that trucks passing by outdoors will wake it up. If the pickup sensor has been disabled the [Page] buttons can be used to activate the remote without actually changing the screen or sending some other command.
While the backlighting on the remote is fantastically bright, you may end up seeing too much of it as there's no way on the Aurora to have lighting only when needed. There's no light sensor nor convenient [Light On/Off] button, so if the pickup sensor is enabled then the backlight will illuminate no matter what (disabling the backlight in setup will turn it off permanently). Additionally, every hard button press will both wake the LCD screen and activate those super-bright LEDs. So, if you're a heavy volume tweaker like myself, the remote will almost never stop glowing during a film!
Finally, every time the remote wakes, its speaker makes an odd popping sound.
Setup by software.
When URC adds a PC interface to a remote they generally remove most on-board setup provisions, and the USB-based MX-950 is no different - it must be configured with a computer. The Windows-based MX-950 Editor software is bundled on CD with the remote and available for download from Universal Remote Control's website. MX-950 Editor is built on the same general foundation as the company's numerous other editors, so if you've ever programmed one of URC's remotes in the past then the basics of this software will be instantly familiar.
After installation it's highly recommended that you run the "Live Update" option which will upgrade your copy to the most recent version. This is especially important since Universal updates their software with bug fixes and new features routinely - indeed almost continually when new. For the purpose of this review we are using version 1.10.065b (beta).
The MX-950 Editor program window is divided into three major regions. On the left side is a standard tree view of all devices and pages contained in the open configuration, categorized under "Watch" and "Listen" headers. Just under each of these headers are a few pages not further categorized with a device name: these represent the main menu screens that will list devices and activities. In the center of the screen over a dark grey background is a graphical simulation of the physical remote. This displays a preview of how screens will look and indicates which buttons have what type of commands.
Finally, on the right side of the screen is a "docked" properties bar which provides quick access to command learning and macro recording facilities. The properties bar can be "undocked" if desired so that it free-floats over the program as a resizable movable window. Several other floating windows are also available, for navigating the preprogrammed code database, browsing imported files for commands, plus separate galleries for audio and bitmap files. These other windows cannot be docked.
Above all of this is a standard Windows toolbar with quick access to file commands, remote transfers, the major programming tools, plus the floating windows. When you create a new configuration in MX-950 Editor you can opt for an empty file or the default setup with sample preset devices. Naturally, we'll be starting here with an empty configuration.