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User reviews for the Home Theater Master MX-700 from Universal Remote Control Inc.
Home Theater Master MX-700
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 4.52/5.00
Median: 4.67/5.00
43$349
The MX-700 is an enhanced version of URC's venerable MX-500 remote control, featuring complete computer programmability via the MX Editor software package. Althouh the MX-700 was originally targeted to custom installers, it can be purchased in a discounted version without the MX-200 SideKick.
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Now viewing user reviews page 4 of 7 for
the Home Theater Master MX-700 remote.
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Written by Gary Bubar from CA, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 22 made on Thursday August 7, 2003 at 12:44 AM.
Strengths:Ease of use.
Weaknesses:None So Far
Review:Just purchased this remote online (from an authorized dealer.) I downloaded the MX Editor and setup most of my functions prior to receiving the remote. Once received, I had to "tweak" a couple of things. One problem I had was I had setup a couple of macros. One such macro allows my wife to turn on the tv, go to Ant B, and turn on the VCR. The only problem I had was that if the TV was on Vid3, it would not switch to Ant B (or any other video imput.) The work around I came up with is this....starting the DirecTV OFF macro (which is on VID 3) , the first thing that happens is the tv switches from Vid3 to Vid1. Now, when I start any of my other start-up macros everything goes fine...By the way I have a Hitachi 51" HDTV...no other problems yet, of course my wife hasn't got her hands on the remote yet, so who knows what will happen?
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Written by John from Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, ROK.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 21 made on Thursday June 26, 2003 at 8:50 PM.
Strengths:Easy to program and use. Hard buttons make feel and find use a snap!
Weaknesses:Price
Review:This is my second non-OEM URC, with my first being an older one-for-all.

This thing is absolutely great. I programmed every function from every remote in my home theater into this thing and put all the old remotes away.

The MX editor software makes it super-easy to program the remote and has worked flawlessly for me.

I was able to teach my family to use this remote much more quickly than I was able to teach them to use the old one-for-all (which was limited by its inability to custom label its buttons). Having hard buttons labeled by an LCD screen is much better than having an LCD touch screen because you do not have to look (or more than glance) at the screen in order to push the correct button.

The MX-200 sidekick is great and much more powerful than it appears; it’s pretty much all we use for day-to-day cable TV watching.

Right now I’m using the remotes with what I call my “back-up” home theater. I‘m currently stationed overseas with the US military and have the remote controlling a Panasonic SA-AK57 “all in one” component (Tuner, 5-Disc CD, tape player) that has inputs for my DVD player and VCR, plus the actual DVD player (Panasonic A310), VCR (Hitachi UX627), cable-box (Pioneer something?) and TV (Hitachi 32UB51B).

For my home theater set-up in the states, I’ll have my Yamaha DSP-AX1 integrated amp, Yamaha TX-492 tuner, Sony PL-FS7 turntable, a Sony Cassette deck (can’t remember model), the same DVD player and VCR I have with me now, plus either digital cable or satellite and a new 50”+ HDTV (either DLP or Plasma, as a US military member overseas, we can purchase big screen TVs for a lot less than we can get them in the states with free delivery to our state-side address and no sales tax. To be fare to stateside retailers, they do not offer this service (no TVs available over 35”) to folks currently stationed in the US. I plan to order one just before I return to the states next spring)… Anyway all this was just to point out that I wont TRULY be able to experience the full power of my HTM MX-700 until next year when I have my “real” system setup.

Bottom line, if you’re on the fence on which universal remote to get, this is the one to get! IT”S GREAT!
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Written by Robert Allen from San Francisco, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 20 made on Wednesday June 18, 2003 at 11:08 PM.
Strengths:VERY instinctive to use once programmed, very reliable IR comm with devices (very bright IR LEDs), programming software is not bad (not great either). As of 6/18/2003 you can now (sort of) load Pronto codes into the device using the downloaded software. Programming software is upgraded by the manufacturer and frequent updates are put on th web: the software itself can directly download upgrades (manually).
Weaknesses:LED is weak in dim but not dark light. You cannot enter hex codes into the programming software (so you have to buy a learning remote to teach this $400 remote the hex codes). Programming software needs more human-interface work to make it easier to use. Programming software gets confused and crashes sometimes. IR code database was essentialy useless for me as it did not contain my Bryston processer, my Pioneer Elite CLD-52 LD player (which is admittedly old), or my 1 year old high end Panasonic 16 x 9 TV and my Yamaha DVD-CX1 high end DVD player.
Review:I chose this over the Pronto/Marantz touch screen types of remotes because those others had poor backlighting and bad contrast and at 42 I'm starting to appreciate easy to read buttons. This unit is extremely expensive. The hard buttons are very nice and make the remote instinctive to use. The backlighting is barely adequate. The joystick pad for navigating DVD menus, etc., is nice and firm but the select (press down) function is an aquired skill.

The real downer about this remote is that the vaunted IR database seems sadly lacking. I can understand that older devices like my LD player, Sony Beta player, and el-cheapo Magnavox VHS player aren't in there, but how come they have the Bryston BP-25 *analog stereo preamp* but not the 1-2 year old Brysont SP-1 or SP-1.7 surround processor/preamp? They also don't have my Panasonic CT24WX52 TV (1 year old)or my Yamaha DVD-CX1 5 disc, top of the line DVD player (1-2 years old) in the database. Oh, and they don't have my 6 month old Samsung SIR-T165 (?) HDTV receiver in the database. So, of 7 devices I own (3 of which are legacy) they have not a single one in their IR db. That's bad. When you add to this that you can NOT directly input hex IR codes for such devices when you can find them, it's worse than bad. I've had to spend another $45 to buy a cheap programmable remote that has software which takes IR hex codes in order to rectify this problem.

Overall, if I had the purchase to do over again it would be a tough call. The ergonomics on the MX-700 are TOP NOTCH. The programming software is very well documented and semi-reliable. But the lack of direct IR code input, limited IR database, on only recent ability to read Pronto .ccf files is very very sad for a remote in this price range.
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Written by d mccarthy from hartford, CT.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 19 made on Tuesday March 18, 2003 at 9:24 AM.
Strengths:Extremely flexible, easy to program & operate. This remote is so easy to use to the non-gadget inclined.
Weaknesses:None. Incredibly easy to program. The few questions I did have were quickly answered by Mike at Surf Remote. Great customer service and I highly recommend.
Review:I purchased this remote in hopes of simplifying my system for others to operate, especially my babysitters (aunts & mother). It truly does it. It does everything I want while being comfortable & light. I have been using it for two weeks, and have not been inclined to used my other remotes (w/ exception of dish remote, surfs quicker).

It is also much easier to program than my Pronto (1000). The pronto is very powerful, but can be complex to program and awkward to use (used inconjunction with other remotes). It will be packed up shortly.

I also tried a Harmony Remote before getting the 700 mx. I liked the concept, but programming it was awful with failures to connect. The internet was easy to use, but I found that I couldn't get it to do what I wanted. The 700 mx remote was a much better choice.

For anyone intimidated by the programming, it is very easy. A much better interface than the pronto. It took me about 3 hours spread over a few days to get it to do everything I want. The database only had complete info. for my preamp & dvd player, so I had to learn a lot of comands. Once again very easy. I also think the sidekick is great. It turns on my entire system & operates the satellite sytem wit the volume & mute functions from my preamp.

By far the best remote I owned.

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Written by kamiar from dc metro usa.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 18 made on Thursday March 6, 2003 at 10:40 PM.
Strengths:programing software, ease of use, side kick
Weaknesses:none
Review:i perfer he mx editor to that of phillips' pronto edit. i programmed my remote in less then an hour and have made changes to some programming i did that i didnt like. i have programed macros. only needed to learn one button. the ir database is great once you do the live update.
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Written by Scott from Boston, MA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 17 made on Thursday March 6, 2003 at 12:32 PM.
Strengths:Easy to configure
Learns other remotes without a hitch Controls all my devices!
Updated IR databases from the web
Strong IR transmission
Macros, macros, macros!
Weaknesses:Steep MSRP of $499
Review:I was looking for a new universal remote to replace the one that came with my Sony STR-DE985. My remote could do basic functions for a few of my non-Sony devices and didn't work at all with my Harman Kardon DVD player and a few other toys I just bought. I thought about getting the Sony RM-AV3000, but after reading reviews here and doing a little homework, I went with the MX700 and I really love this remote.

I just glanced over the tutorial to get the remote programmed and I had my complete system done in about 1.5 hours. If I actually paid attention to what I was reading, it would have taken an hour to complete and test, but I was way too excited to get the remote up and running. For those that think using the software would be hard, it is quite easy and you can get updates for the firmware and IR database from the web. I don't want to rehash a lot that has already been sain, but I don't think it could be any easier to program your remote!

The big step was seeing how my girlfriend would respond to the remote...she's really not a techie and was really skeptical after how bad my Sony universal worked. Voila...she actually said that she liked it except for it was a bit bulky for her hands. She liked the way it was clearly marked a said it was very intuitive to use. And she was happy that she get all the devices to work...she only uses the TV, DVD, and AVR.

Overall, I can't see a better remote on the market. I can't wait to get some non-AV devices to play with now!

My revious remote: Sony RM-LJ301

My system includes:

In the living area:
MX700 Remote
Toshiba 50HDX82 HDTV
Sony STR-DE985 AVR
Harman Kardon DVD50
Sony SLV-N99 VCR
Samsung SIR-S70
TurtleBeach AudioTron DAR
XBox

In the den:
MX220 Sidekick
Toshiba 32AF42
Samsung SIR-S70


Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Carbon Klein from CA, usa.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 16 made on Saturday February 8, 2003 at 6:10 PM.
Strengths:Very powerful, strong IR transmission, huge IR code database, hard buttons, very flexible, huge potential with macros, great tactile finish on the case.
Weaknesses:Even at $345 shipped NIB with cable and MX200 sidekick, it's the most expensive universal I've used (which included the Sony AV2100 and Onkyo CHAD)
Review:Firstly, let me explain that if you own uncommon a/v components, then this might be the remote for you. I tried the sony av2100 and the Onkyo Chad (which is basically the same as the Philips Pronto TSU2000 except with RF built in).

I couldn't get the Sony to learn my Loewe Aconda's IR codes. Then I went to the Onkyo CHAD. It learned some but not the others. It had a HARD time transmitting Loewe IR codes. In fact, it was so inconsistant in transmitting the Loewe IR codes that macros were non-functional. What a shame! (Please understand that I love the Sony AV2100 and it works flawlessly with my Sony WEGA, ditto the Onkyo CHAD, but neither could handle the Loewe.)

I was very hesitant on buying the $500 MX700. It was for custom installers only and was not meant for the general public....well, I can use CHAD Edit/Pronto Edit, so it should be no problem. (That's actually true). So I decided to look closesly at this remote. I compared it to the MX500 and the MX700 has much more applications...twice as much as a matter of fact.

The mx700 learns IR signals flawlessly. You can't teach it without it being hooked up to a computer. In fact, it's completely useless unless you can sync it with your computer. But once hooked up, it's very powerful and versatile. Do yourself a favor and download the MX Editor program here:

http://remotecentral.com/cgi-b...nalsoftware&fc=

Then download the tutorial here:

http://remotecentral.com/cgi-b...700tutorial.zip

I don't recommend downloading the 68 page pdf owner's manual...too much info, too lengthy the tutorial is the perfect length.

It learns almost everytime and when it does, it does a great job of learning. More impressive is the fact that not only can it transmit a solid signal while pointed away from the tv, but it can send a wide enough signal that a strong signal gets to the tv even from behind a chair.

I started programming it (late, late) tonight and after about 4-5 hours of tweaking and trouble shooting, I'm done! :)

It's a pretty simple system that I'm controlling, proc/amp, one dvd player and one tv. No cable box. No sat. box.

It turns everything on, gets the setting to the correct mode (dvd or cable) in both TV and amp. It also turns everything off...one touch from the main menu. :)

I managed to use all the buttons on MX Editor! It was so daunting when I first loaded MX Editor, and now it's old time familiar! :)

I've been reading over the discussions about mx500 vs mx700 and people wondering if it's worth the extra money for the 700, and I want to say "yes"! It has quite a few additional features that make it very flexible. A lot of people asked, "can I make the MX500 do this:________?" (fill in the blanks) and whenever they got the answer of "no", I realized that the MX700 could do those things (eg. end a macros on any component you want). What a delightful surprise! Also, MX Editor has a great library of Loewe IR codes. I've gone through the Sony AV2100 and Onkyo Chad (like the Pronto TSU2000) and neither could properly control the Loewe. I almost gave up on the idea of an universal remote. Not only does the HTM MX700 control the Loewe Aconda easily, I think it actually does it better than the OEM Loewe remote (which incidentally is the same color as the MX700).

The ease of use of MX Editor scared me at first, but now I see the sense in using the program (I didn't read the 68 page pdf owner's manual, it's too much...I used the MX700 MXeditor tutorial downloaded from URC's website, also available on remotecentral.com....answered all my questions and was faster reading than the 68 page owner's manual).

So if anybody is thinking about the 700, go for it. And don't let MX editor scare you off. If a computer-phobic guy like me could master it in 4 hours, then so can you!

Some final thoughts. I don't use the MX200 Sidekick, but I see a use for it. It's really designed to be used by people who are intimidated by the complexity of the MX700. It operates one component system only (ie. It will allow you to watch cable TV and control volume and channels on broadcast tv....but it won't work with DVD movies...unless you program it for DVD movies only, then it won't work with broadcast tv). I don't use mine because obviously I'm not intimidated by my MX700. You can also use the MX200 in the bedroom and keep the MX 700 in the TV room. There are people on this site who will buy the MX200 from MX700 owners...I imagine it's worth no more than $50 shipped to the buyer's door, so you can also sell the MX 200.

Enough about performance and MX Editor...here's my views on the actual physical unit.

It's big. It has a nice little LCD display..green. It has cool hard plastic (gemstone) keys which show the green back lighting very very nicely. It has a power button for the light which can controlled to turn itself off in anytime time increments up to 99seconds...I have mine on 20 seconds. You can also manually turn off the back lighting.

The texture of the MX700 and MX200 has a rubberized feel to it. Very tactile and also very elegant. I believe the MX500 has the same finish but instead of being beige, the MX500 is dark blue, almost greyish. I think the beige is more elegant. Of course, it may show up scratches more easily. I think having the MX700 in an optional piano black finish would be awesome. It won't be tactile feeling, in fact, it'll be slippery to the grip, but not only would it look cool, but oils from the hand can be easily wiped off. If I ever replace this amazing remote, it'll be with another Home Theater Master, in piano black (to match my Loewe!).

The buttons are a nice change from both the Sony AV2100 and Onkyo CHAD, especially the CHAD. LCD screens are trick, but man are they hard to use. I like having hard keys and if you're consider dropping up to $500 for this remote, then I guess you do too. The buttons feel great. They're hard plastic and don't feel mushy or cheap like the buttons on almost all other remotes out there, including the Onkyo CHAD, and Philips Pronto (sans Pronto Pro TSU 6000 which has hard plastic buttons).

Complaints...just a few: The number keypad is on the bottom of the remote. Hard to get to with one hand. They should put the joystick at the bottom and put the keypad in the middle.

Also, the play button is flanked by the pause button on the right and the stop button on the left. What the heck? I would have liked the forward scan on the right of the play button and the reverse scan on the left of the play button. The stop and pause button should be elsewhere.

Why in this day and age are we still using serial ports on a $500 remote? USB, please in the MX700 replacement. I don't have a serial on my 2002 IBM laptop and I have to borrow my buddy's ghetto-old school laptop to do all my MX Editor writing. USB please. USB, USB, USB!

Ok final synopsis. It's a great remote. Strong points are that it's super powerful, very flexible, you can have 900 macros with up to 190 steps per macros. Not only does it learn codes well, but it has such an excellent IR library that you may not have to teach it anything! (LOEWE OWNERS, ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?) It feels great in the hand and has good ergonomics(if not excellent ergonomics due to the placement of the key pad and pause/stop buttons). It's not as flashy or trick as the Pronto or the Sony, but it's much much more useable and more more powerful. It looks almost generic upon causal examination, but upon closer inspection, it feels high end. Think of it as a understated Brioni suit.

Major drawbacks? No USB interface. Serial sucks. No discount options if you decide you don't need the MX200. And that $500 price...even on the internet, it's $500. On the URC website, it's $500. At my local store, it's $500. I bought it on ebay for $330 (NEVER PAY RETAIL!), brand spanking new! Had the box, extra batteries, and even the sticker over the IR port to prevent scratches!

If you're even considering this remote...do it. It's a wonderful remote and I recommend it highly. There's something very satisfying about self-programming a remote that was meant to be programmed by a professional custom installer ONLY. Very very cool.
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