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User reviews for the URC-300 "Customizer" & RF-30 from Universal Remote Control Inc.
URC-300 "Customizer" & RF-30
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 4.19/5.00
Median: 4.83/5.00
12$200 / $150
The URC-300 is a 15-device learning and preprogrammed remote control that features numerous macros, a large LCD touchscreen display with customizable button labels, favorite channel macros, 5-way menu controls and an optional RF extender.
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Written by Kevin from MA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 5 made on Sunday February 20, 2005 at 2:07 PM.
Strengths:Edit names on LCD, enough hard buttons, nice backlighting, does everything.
Weaknesses:not many except would be nice if you could turn it all the way off to conserve batteries
Review:I've had a Sony commander for five years. This remote is way better, does everything that did and more. More macros, edit labels, more hard buttons, and you only need one hand to operate. Plus no annoying buzzing when light is on. All this and it cost me less.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Darius Rydahl from Colorado.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 4 made on Sunday January 16, 2005 at 12:34 PM.
Strengths:User friendly menus, LCD touch screen with good sensitivity and button spacing. Lots of hard buttons. Not much bigger than a regular remote.
Weaknesses:Had trouble learning some commands from my old remotes. Not sure why. Took some buttons, but not others.
Review:My 1st universal remote. Overall, I'm very pleased with my purchase.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Mossig from Los Angeles.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 3 made on Friday October 1, 2004 at 3:33 PM.
Strengths:Easy to setup, Great price for what you get, Worked seamlessly with my Home Theatre, Ability to Customize, great buttons, macros
Weaknesses:Not many
Review:Bought remote after reading review, was completely satisfied. Review says URC-200 maybe a better remote, but being able to customize buttons is a great advantage. And you can find the URC-300 for about $150.

I have tried the remotes from Harmony and was not happy, this is a more friendlier remote.

I have a fujitsu plasma, denon receiver/DVD/CD and sony hd200 DirecTV receiver and the remote works great with all of them.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Herb Brake from Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 2 made on Saturday September 25, 2004 at 11:59 AM.
Strengths:Touchscreen LCD, Excellent Backlighting, Great Feel, Fully Programmable, Excellent Quality, Outstanding Macro Capabililties
Weaknesses:Small preprogrammed Library, No Computer Interface
Review:This is a beautiful remote control - however, because of the poor preprogrammed library for newer Televisions, Amps, DVD's, I found it more efficient to set all my own labels on the touch screen LCD and let the remote learn from the exisitng remotes. It is easy to do - and the only way you can get your most used options up front on the touch screen. The quality of this remote is excellent - but a computer interface would make it the absolute best on the market. I recommend it to all Tech Savy People.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by TechnoCat from Pacific North-West.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 1 made on Sunday March 28, 2004 at 2:24 PM.
Strengths:Very flexible, easy to use, very cool looking
Weaknesses:Small pre-programmed library
Expensive compared to other brands
Review:The URC-300/Customizer is the top-end "consumer" remote from Home Theater Master. I got both it and the MRF-100 Expander RF base.

I had desired a URC-200/Automator due to a preference for hard buttons; I'm just not a touchscreen fan. I got the Customizer instead due to conditions beyond my control, but the two are otherwise essentially identical...

The 200/Automator has...

* A hard favorite page button
* Hard page up/down buttons for the LCD
* Hard buttons for selecting from the five options
* A narrower LCD with title, page footer and five options

In contrast, the 300/Customizer has
* Soft (touchscreen) buttons for page up/down
* Favorite channels is just another page
* Wider LCD with same display but two columns of four options, for eight total.
* Somewhat more memory for learning and macros, though both have far more than I'll ever need.

(From the collateral, the MX-600 has two rows of five hard button options, for ten options per page total, plus a hard page and favorite button and three dedicated macro buttons. The 200/300 can put macros on ANY buttons. The 200 and 300 switch pages to support more devices than fit on the first page; I believe the 600 puts them all on the main page.)

The URC-300 weighs less than most of my universal remotes, particularly compared to my One-For-All "Home Producer 8" 9800 (which also has an RF base), and has a much cleaner layout than any other remote I have. It feels about 40% the size of my 9800. This is done at the cost of some hard-buttons, but the pages of virtual buttons make this work better than I initially thought it would. The display is very readable in both regular and backlit mode; backlighting is a greenish-blue and comes through the LCD in reverse as well as through the buttons - very cool.

The buttons are really neat too. They -look- injection molded though they aren't; the "gemstone" coating is a nice protective layer on them (to prevent label-wear) that adds a depth and shinyness also, very much like adding several layers of lacquer to a paint job. Quite nice.

Learning requires two shots for verification. This winds up being necessary because the code library is unfortunately incomplete compared to the One For All libraries. For example, there is only one entry for "Echostar/Dish", and it doesn't handle the whole PVR. I have several receivers in the same room, running on different codes, so I had to learn quite a few codes. And even regular devices it most recognizes, like televisions, it still needs to learn some of. Fortunately there's lots of RAM available.

Once learned/selected, everything works well. The MRF-100 base is fantastic. As I said, I also have a One For All 9800 with base. The 300/MRF-100 combo has much better range (and far superior range to the RF remote in my Dish PVR), and the MRF-100 comes with six emitters on long (10') cords in case you wish to hide it rather than put it in front of the A/V system.

Even without the MRF-100, the blasting is pretty impressive, right up there with the Dish remotes I have. But including the stick-on emitters on the MRF-100, now that's a nice touch.

Programming and customization is pretty simple, aided considerably by the LCD screen. Punch through is simple and is per-device rather than global. (I wanted hard buttons so I could have two sets of volume controls per device on hard buttons. Instead I'm creating near-duplicates for each source device.)

The remote also has an exposed seven-pin (3+4) plug in the battery compartment. I find this interesting because my All For One 9800 has a six-pin plug in the same place. Maybe a cable will be available at some point.

The remote came with batteries and both the remote and expander came with tutorial DVDs (which I have not played.)

The only downsides to me are...
  • The remote plus base come to $275; that's a LOT of money for no PC interface and in an era of great $50 universal remotes.
  • The touchscreen is harder to use than buttons would be. (But the 200/Automator offers that.)

Bottom line: this remote is a winner. Great ergonomics, learns everything, neat multi-paged layout, fantastic look, and the RF is better than on my other RF-equipped remotes.

Quality: Features: Value:

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