The following page was printed from RemoteCentral.com:
User reviews for the Monster Central AVL300 from Monster Cable.
Average: 5.00/5.00 Median: 5.00/5.00
The Monster Home Theater & Lighting Controller 300 is an advanced multi-zone remote featuring a bright color LCD screen with 8 adjacent hard buttons, online activity-based setup, rechargable lithium ion battery, integration with Monster's lighting system, plus an OmniLink RF extender.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 2 made on Thursday March 27, 2008 at 1:17 PM.
Button Layout Great RF Activities Programming Can Have Multiple RF Extenders Z-Wave Lighting Control
I have owned several Harmony/Logitech remotes and this Monster is hands down, in my opinion, better than any of them. Also, I love the Activities-based programming which it shares with the Harmony remotes. The interface is a bit clunky and the custom button macros are limited to 5 steps, but once you get used to it you can customize your buttons just about any way you want. Activities can be set up with more components than I would ever use in a way that my non-techie wife can easily operate my reasonably complex system.
I much prefer the button layout and weighting of this remote vs. the Harmony. The Play/Pause/FF etc buttons (which I use most often for playing recorded DVR shows and DVDs) are located around a center toggle swich which doubles as the "Select" button and the up/down/left/right navigation control. I find this much easier to use than the "4 arrow" approach used by most other remotes. You use your thumb on the sides of the control and it is much more responsive than pushing down on separate buttons. In fact, it is so repsonsive that I overshot my menus for a couple of days learning to deal with it. The RF extender(Omnilink) works great and if you are in a cabinet with your components as I am it will provide enough signal to operate your components without the wire emitters attached. I only had to run one wire emitter to another cabinet, with the rest being controlled strictly by the Omnilink device which receives the RF signal and converts it to IR.
One criticism in a prior review was that this remote could not be used with more than one Omnilink. I find this to be true as a practical matter because to get a second Omnilink you would have to buy another remote unless you could find a used one. The Harmony 890 RF extender will not work. I have confirmed this with Monster, but they say that they will shortly sell the Omnilink separately and that you can control multiple Omininks with a single remote control.
I am glad to have the Z-Wave device control ability, but I am currently not using it so I can't comment on how good it is.
In short, this is by far the best consumer remote on the market in my opinion and it can be had for $280 shipped as of this writing. (List price $499). This makes it priced at or better than the 890 Pro to which it is comparable and in my opinion this is a much better remote. My only complaint is with the documentation which is virtually non-existent. Moreover, the website provides some guidance, but it is mostly referring to the Harmony 890 and some of it isn't even applicable to the Monster remote. "Pairing" the Z-Wave Omnilink with the remote is not described in the documentation or the website, and if you screw it up the first time as I did good luck figuring out how to do it. The good news is that the tech support I received was excellent and nailed my problem right off. I don't understand why what was done for me could not have been put on the website.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 1 made on Thursday November 2, 2006 at 12:58 PM.
Philips Pronto RC5000i, Logitech Harmony 880
Can control the lights! Easy to setup with slick online interface. Ability to use remote with either IR or RF at the same time! Buttons are clearly displayed and intuitive. The help button ROCKS!
Have to update the omni-link and remote everytime you make an update. Currently can't control multiple omni links with the same remote (as far as I know).
Finally a remote that lives up to its promise of being a Universal Remote!
I have this remote linked up to my Dennon receiver, Xbox 360, Sony SXRD TV, 2 DVD players, amps, DirecTv box, my lights in my home theatre room, the fan in my bedroom, the monitor in my bedroom, the hall light, etc. With every other remote I've ever used, I've always had to pick up the "real" remote once in a while. With this bad boy, I don't even know where those remotes are--I think they're burried under a layer of dust.
The best thing about this remote and what truely sets it appart is its ability to control appliances and the lights. The coolest thing is when I get home from work, push the "Watch TV" button and not only does my entire system turn on, but the track lighting above me dims to the appropriate level (a level I set). I showed this to my fried who also has the Harmony remote and it floored him. I then had him press the "Hot" bottom and instantly the fan turned on.
The other great this about this remote is that it has RF abilities too. With Monster's OmniLink you can fire off an RF signal to the OmniLink and it will convert it to the appropriate IR signal. This means that you can control anything and that has ever had a remote without having to have line of site. I use this for my DirecTv receiver and I can now watch TV and change the channel without having to pay for an additional DirecTV receiver.
While this remote is by far the superior remote, there are some things that could be better. The charging cradle is a little twitchy and the charging sensors don't always catch so you need to make sure it's charging before you leave. Also, every time you update any settings using the slick and easy to use online interface, you need to update BOTH the OmniLink device and the Remote. This really isn't the biggest deal, but the whole point about having a Super Remote is so that you don't have to get off of your lazy behind, so it's annoying to have to walk over to the OmniLink, unhook it, update, then hook it back up.
Overall, this had been a great addition to my home and I highly encourage everyone to check it out. I can't belive the amount of control you have and you don't need a PHD to set it up either (unlike the Pronto). I can't imagine what life would be like without this remote. The only thing the Monster AVL300 can't do is open the fridge and get me a beer!