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International CES 2000 Report
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2000 International CES Report

 Universal Remote 

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MX-1000 LCD Remote
Universal Remote had a compact display set off to the side, however I was delighted to find that it contained one of the more interesting remote displays. As they mostly manufacture remotes for the OEM market, there were many products that appeared interesting but would never be available in stores. However, their new public offering, the MX-1000, has great appeal. We’ve been hearing about this remote for several months now, but as each release date approached it was quietly pushed back. Well, Universal Remotes certainly hasn’t been sitting on their hands all this time – the MX-1000 has been refined far past the early photos I received.

First and foremost, the MX-1000’s display has evolved from a low-resolution black and white display to a higher resolution LCD with a gray shade. LCD button styles, placement, et cetera have all been enhanced to produce a product that looks extremely usable. One interesting detail is that the remote has a full time/day/month display – could that be enhanced to provide timers? We’ll see. At the show they were showing the MX-1000 in both beige and charcoal gray – the latter of which will be how the finished product ships (pictured). The case has been coated with a tacky surface that isn’t really a paint, but provides a smooth, tactilely pleasing grip on the remote.

The MX-1000 will control up to 12 devices and features 11 programmable hard buttons, 3 system-control hard buttons and a 5-way programmable joystick. Both buttons and LCD screen are EL backlit for easy viewing in the dark. The MX-1000 includes a comprehensive database of IR codes, but also has a huge learning capability. To begin with, the MX-1000 will provide the option to backup its configuration to a computer (although the memory is non-volatile). A new software version available a few months after the remote ships will allow the creation, editing and importing of data files for easy remote control setup. Currently, the MX-1000 allows the user to change the text and button size on its LCD screen and allows macros up to 15 steps long. Favorite channel pages will allow direct access to your most frequently watched stations. The MX-1000 will be available this May and has a suggested retail price of $290.

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