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User reviews for the Home Theater Master MX-500 from Universal Remote Control Inc.
Home Theater Master MX-500
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 4.80/5.00
Median: 5.00/5.00
The MX-500 is a 10-device all-buttoned remote control with an LCD screen for custom labels on 10 adjacent buttons. It includes full infrared learning capabilities, a preprogrammed database, 5-way joystick, macros and more.
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the Home Theater Master MX-500 remote.
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Written by Mr. Bill from NYC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 87 made on Friday January 24, 2003 at 12:01 PM.
Strengths:Everything a univeral remote should be
Weaknesses:more characters for the lcd screen custom keys.
Review:I have had this remove for quite a while. Everything in these reviews is true even after a year: excellent IR strength, price, solid construction, battery life, back lit, easy to program, hard and soft buttons, etc, etc.

I was looking for an excuse to get one of the fancy color touch screens but the mx500 really does everything so nicely there is no point.

It would be nice to have more letters for the customs keys but once you know that DD means dolby digital AC3 it doesnt matter that much. Its only a nit-pick.

I dont see any reason to replace this remote anytime soon...
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Written by Dan Hulworth from NMB, Fla.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 86 made on Thursday January 23, 2003 at 3:36 PM.
Strengths:Amazing IR strength, friends are in awe, girlfriend can use it easily, dog starting to figure it out to =)
Weaknesses:Not able to connect to your computer for installation.
Review:This is definitely the best control I've used to date. I was hooked on the H/K Take Control but after seeing this remote at CEDIA last year, I had to have it. The backlight is terrificly bright, the LCD screen can be customized, and with the terrific MX-500PKG I found I was able to program advanced macros with lots of discrete codes. I don't think anyone can beat the MX-500 at such an amazing price (under $115 at this link). Now I start saving for the MX-700!!
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Written by Todd from California.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 85 made on Saturday January 18, 2003 at 8:13 PM.
Strengths:Exceptional, exceptional ergonomics!!!! Blows away all other remotes, including expensive touch screen units. This is the unit I've searched years for.
Weaknesses:A minor issue, but I wish that I could have it change the audio mode on my receiver from Dolby Digital to Stereo when I use the favorite satellite channel buttons to change to music channels. This is because in some situations you can't program all buttons into a macro. But - this annoyance is so minor compared with the joy it's given me, that it's insignificant.
Review: I've literally done research for years, but never found a universal remote good enough to replace my 6 remotes, UNTIL THE MX-500 CAME ALONG!
After using a Philips Pronto TSU2000 for a solid week at my cousin's, I concluded that it, or any other touch screen remote, just won't do. The Pronto forces you to look down at the screen and exactly line up your finger with the function you're trying to press (and this is after you tilt the remote or press the backlight button to turn on the screen). But with the MX-500, your fingers know exactly where to go because you can feel every button, just like on traditional remotes. You can program custom names of commands into the LCD screen at the top, and access them with the corresponding hard buttons - absolutely the only way to go.
I've also used an expensive RTI Theater Touch T2, which is a vast improvement over full touch-screen remotes such as the Pronto and Marantz units, but still has too few hard buttons and too much touch screen for me. It too forces you to look down to make many selections.
I found no ergonomic quirks with the MX-500 or incompatibilities with my system, which includes a Pioneer Elite HDTV, a Denon receiver, Ultimate TV, and a Sony DVD changer. It's actually easier to use than any of my original remotes, including the Ultimate TV remote, which is simple but exceptional in it's ergonomics. It makes channel surfing a lot faster - with the Favorite Channel button, I can reach 50 channels a lot quicker than before, because I don't have to go through Ultimate TV's dog-slow menu system.
I was able to solve a long-standing problem that I've had... I can now run S-video from my receiver to my TV for Ultimate TV, and component video for my DVD player. Before, it was too much of a pain in the ass to switch both the reveiver's input and the TV's input. Now when I select Ultimate TV or DVD on the MX-500 with 1 button push, its macro capability automatically switches the TV's input, the receiver's input, puts it into Dolby Digital mode, heck it could even turn down the volume a bit if I program it to (it'll send up to 20 commands to any of your components every time you select a piece of equipment).
The only other remote I seriously considered was the Home Theater Master MX-700, but I couldn't see any significant advantages to it. You can program the MX-700 with your computer, but honestly the learning function of the MX-500 was very powerful and easy. The MX-500 is less than 1/4 of the cost too.
The only reason I would ever consider another remote is if it had everything the MX-500 had, but added fancy icons on the screen. But it would have to keep the kick-ass hard buttons and ergonomic layout of the MX-500 to win my affection.
THIS THING IS FREAKIN' AWESOME!!! Just buy it, you won't be sorry.
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Written by jimmyjames from Raleighwood.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 84 made on Friday January 17, 2003 at 11:14 AM.
Strengths:Flexibility, ease of programming in learn mode, re-labeling of the 10 soft keys, totally customizeable.
Weaknesses:A little big/bulky, a bit of a stretch to hold in one hand and punch buttons with same hand.
Review:Just got this puppy. Programmed 6 remotes into it in learning mode last night. A breeze to program once you get the hang of it. OM is a little weak/confusing. Obviuosly written by a tech writer instead of a focus group. Tip: erase or re-label all 10 device keys first for each piece of your gear. Then erase each device keys sub menu of key labels. Look at each remote for each piece of your gear. Label the 10 device sub keys based on the keys and layout of each remote. Go into learn mode and program those keys. You're done. Why did I wait till I got a big screen tv to do this? Gizmo of the year nod from me.
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Written by Jason Smith from Sacramento, CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 83 made on Saturday January 11, 2003 at 8:39 PM.
Strengths:- Handsome appearance, in both light and dark conditions
- Solid construction
- Ease of setup and operation
Weaknesses:- Center button on directional pad is hard to push.
Review:I researched the universal remote market for a relatively short period (less than a week). However, once I found this website, input my parameters for my "perfect remote" on the dedicated remote search engine within this website and was introduced to the MX-500, I knew my search was over.

Right away I knew that the MX-500 was a fine product. If I see a remote with 50+ buttons on it, I know that not much thought was put into it. It is a more difficult design feat to make an effective universal remote with relatively few buttons. So, the simple and intuitive layout of the remote was attactive to me. Also, the combination of hard buttons with the LCD screen offered the best compromise for handling both standard and oddball functions. Hard buttons are a necessity for me, as I cannot tolerate having to break my attention away just to look at the remote for any and all operations.

After using this remote for about 6 weeks now, I have to say that it has met my high expectations. The backlighting on this remote is elegant and clear, and allows me to fully navigate in complete darkness. The buttons all have a solid, tactile feel, and the texture of the remote casing makes me want to hold the remote even when I am not calling out commands. As an engineer, I appreciate the thought put into the interface of the remote, both in button layout and comfort, and in the programming menus. I mentioned that the center button on the directional pad is hard to push, but this is a minor and personal complaint. If the center button was as perfect and refined as the rest of this remote, I'd probably keep this thing in the pocket of my pajamas when I go to bed. It's that good.

To summarize, I think this is the epitome of universal remote design. My new Philips HDTV came with a Pronto remote, but after teaching my MX-500 all of the Pronto TV codes, I promptly put the Pronto in storage with my other remotes. Anybody interested in a brand new Pronto, cheap?

BTW, I bought my MX-500 on eBay for $119 from BlueDo.
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Written by Einstein from The Netherlands.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 82 made on Saturday January 11, 2003 at 8:35 AM.
Strengths:-Build quality;
-'Punch-through' keys
-Warranty; (2 years extended with Bluedo!)
-Ease of use;
Weaknesses:-No PC connection;
-Not all learned codes work as original remote (see review);
Review:This is one hell of a remote!

Sorry, can't put it any other way; this thing rocks! Does everything a remote should do for me: Access all of my theater equipment without having to change devices. Whilst on 'AUDIO' I can down the volume on my DD receiver, manage the dvd player and work the tv. Beautiful!
And a lot more that has been said in the good Remote Central review.

The only thing I encountered with my Philips Matchline tv was that the learned key for switching between Widescreen and other formats didn't work as well as the original remote did. I learned that only pressing the original button very very quick made the MX-500 learn it. Still, the button didn't function ass well as it should. But this is 1 button I talk about, nothing big.
A pc connection would be nice (backup!) but not essential. Still a hell of a deal compared to the MX-700 wich, for me, doesn't cut it.
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Written by Bob Genovese from Michigan, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 81 made on Saturday January 11, 2003 at 8:05 AM.
Strengths:Very easy to customize to your own needs.
Plenty of space to get all home theatre components on one remote.
The macros are great and easy to program
Great ergonomics
Weaknesses:Not all brand name components are pre programmed.
Review:I am somewhat tech challenged but this thing is a piece of cake to program and use. The customizable labels on the LCD make using the remote very intuitive. This the only universal remote I have ever used that any one in the family can just pick up and use without having a written instruction list. Worth every penny. Bought this one new on ebay. This unit does it all.
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