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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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Now viewing user reviews page 16 of 23 for
the Home Theater Master MX-500 remote.
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Written by Terrance Atkins from Wesley Chapel, FL.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 52 made on Thursday March 7, 2002 at 10:00 AM.
Strengths:Ease of use, Ease of Programming, NICE lighting feature, Intuitive button placement.
Weaknesses:Thumb stick press down feature works intermittently.
Review:Impressive!!! I programmed this baby in under 15 minutes! I still have a few more tweaks to perform but I love it! Finally, I can clear my coffee table of the 6 remotes that I had. I was a little nervous about my Ultimate TV receiver not being compatible but no such problem occured. I did have to make the MX-500 "learn" the digital recording navigation buttons but that was a snap! I have FULL functionality! The "punch through" feature is excellent and very useful! The lighting feature has also blown me away! I have not owned this unit long enough to test the manufactuer's claim of a 6 month battery life.
The only negative I have to report is the fact that the thumb stick press down feature does not work on the first press. It is very picky. If you mash it 4-5 times it will usually work. I just use the "enter" button for my selections. The stick navigation works fine! All in all, this is a fine product! I wish I would have purchased it sooner!
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Written by Nick Iodice from Wheeling,IL.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 51 made on Thursday February 28, 2002 at 1:47 PM.
Strengths:This was my first "universal" remote, I was fearing what it would take to program, turned out to be simple. This remote is well thought out, fairly painless to program.
Weaknesses:Two things bother me. One, the remote will not learn the "input selector" buttons from my Yamaha reciever's remote.
Two, when I called the company about it they told me "well we can't help you"
Review:This remote went beyond my expectations. Set-up of 5 devices with full control and my Lutron lighting system took less than 2 hours! The only drawbacks are listed above. If everything else didn't go as well as it did, Home Theater would have been cutting me a refund check.
Horrible tech service
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Written by Rob Vernon from Placerville, Ca..
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 50 made on Tuesday February 5, 2002 at 8:00 PM.
Strengths:Product seems to be well thought out, with enough of the right kind of features that it can replace ANY remote control you already have, and do them one better.

The most frequently accessed buttons (Vol up/dn, CH up/dn, Mute) have unique shapes that make them easy to feel for w/o looking at it (unlike touchscreen models).
It's intuitive to use.

Macros and more macros.

THE major strength: My wife likes it!

And ONE, yes ONE remote on the coffee table.
Weaknesses:The thumbpad "select" does suck. You have to click it "just right" to get it to work. I bought it knowing about this weakness ahead of time. But it's really no big deal, you don't have to use it! I programmed the unused (in SATellite mode) PLAY button just above the thumbpad to be the Select button. No Prob!

No Timer.

When it's sitting on the coffee table and you try to press one of the Device buttons, it tips over. Although it's designed well to feel good in your hand, it's "feet" aren't wide enough to keep it from tipping to one side. But this ONLY happens when you try to press the LCD Device buttons. No prob with the rest.
It was pretty easy to program. Learning codes from other remotes is a snap. (except for some Sony receivers, more on that later) However, plan on spending a better part of the day to do it. Do it on the weekend, and BEFORE you crack that first beer! At least until you get comfortable with it.

THE major strength: My wife likes it!
And yours will to. Especially if you set up a few macros like I did. POWER turns everything on so it comes up on the Dish, a DVD macro to switch everything to DVD so she can watch a movie with one button, a SAT macro switches everything back to Dish and turns off the DVD, SYSTEM OFF turns everything off) She's happy, ergo, I'm happy!

And ONE, yes ONE remote on the coffee table. At last!

I have a Sony DE-825 that employs a 2-way IR communication with it's RC. (Why is anyone's guess) Using a combination of the pre-programmed codes in the MX-500 and learned codes from the goofy Sony RC, I was able to achive full functionality with the minor exception of Soundfield Selection. Even this I can do to some extent, I just can't get it to switch from surround mode to 2-channel mode.

The solution to this problem seems to be to take the MX-500 to your local consumer electronics store, find a newer Sony that DOESN'T employ the 2-way IR system, and learn IT'S Soundfield Selection codes. (I haven't actually done this yet, but from what I read on this website, seems to be the only way to get around the problem with the Sony systems.)

Everything else works beautifully, I couldn't be happier. WELL worth the $$, especially if you don't pay the list price. Buy it on-line, folks.

The FAVorite channels feature is kinda nice. I find it usefull when selecting music channels on the dish. One button, yer there! Without having to pull up the dish menu ,select the music list, scroll down through the channels, THEN finaly select the channel.

The unit is well balanced, has a good feel, and for the most part it can be operated with one hand.

The IR emitter is really strong. I can leave it sitting on the couch next to me and not have to pick it up to Mute the system.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Lobo from Toronto, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 49 made on Tuesday January 22, 2002 at 3:46 PM.
Strengths:Good design, nice new gemstone buttons, backlit, can take over virtually all of your old remotes
Weaknesses:The only complaint is the new version which has the raised centre joystick. Pressing the middle to "select" works only 1 out of 5 times.
Review:After playing around with this remote for the past couple of weeks, I must say that I'm very impressed with it. Programming the remote is simplicity itself and you don't even need to look at the manual if you don't want to. There's plenty of buttons available for macros although I've only managed to use up a handle so far.

The centre joystick is one major problem though. It's vitually impossible to use the select feature since most of the time it either doesn't work or ends up sending one of the direction (up/down/left/right) signals instead. However, this can easily be remedied by programming another button for that.

The fact that this remote is a learning remote is a bonus since you could essentially end up programming discreet codes via a RS 2104 or through some of the other methods listed in this forum.

Overall, a great remote and I highly recommend it to anyone who prefers a hard button one. Don't let the joystick problem deter you from getting it. It's well worth it.
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Written by John from St. Louis.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 48 made on Friday January 18, 2002 at 4:54 AM.
Strengths:Clever design, easy set-up, complete reliability, easy to handle in your hand, has everything most users should ever need.
Weaknesses:None that I have been able to detect.
Review:This remote is a pleasure to operate. It has very easy setup, and is extremely easy to use. Unlike Pronto (I have one of those also), it's not unwieldly in your hand. It looks and feels like a "regular" remote, but it does everything. A can't miss if you have lots of "toys" you want to control completely with just one remote.
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Written by Jeff Kramer from St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 47 made on Tuesday January 15, 2002 at 8:14 PM.
Strengths:• The manual is well written and understandable, unlike some others that I’ve seen.
• Quick and easy programming.
• Nice backlighting. You can even program how long you want to light to stay on.
• Simple design - not complicated to program or use.
• Very good IR signal strength.
• Good shape and texture. This remote has a tactile, rubber-like grip surface, which is very helpful when holding onto it! This is not like your typical smooth-feeling remote that will slip out of your hands as easily.
Weaknesses:• My RCA satellite receiver (model # DRD420RC) is not on the code list and it is a popular brand. The three codes that the manual provides (151, 106, 150) do not work on this receiver. Manually scanning doesn’t help either. I had to manually program each button individually to resolve this problem. However, if I lost my remote, this would not work.
• The “VCR2” button would not program any codes. It stays indefinitely on code “001”. I had to manually program each button individually on my GOVideo VCR to resolve this problem. However, if I lost my remote like I indicated above, this method would not work.
• My Yamaha receiver is so complicated that there is no way I can program all of the buttons on this remote.
• The main level’s screen device items cannot be renamed.
• You have to press too many buttons in order to switch devices or get where you want to go.
• It would be nice if the FAV key was designed so that it could save individual channels from different devices.
• The macro keys do not record key presses to the "Main" button, "Page" button and the "Fav" buttons.
• Some of the additional preprogrammed function keys on the “page” buttons are incorrect for my remotes so I had to edit each name individually then program it to learn the buttons on my original remotes. The remote’s preprogrammed default function keys on the screen did not correspond very well with the labels either.
• Like many others on the market today, this universal remote is awkward to use when pressing the lower buttons with one hand. A solution around this problem is to design a remote with dead space on the bottom.
• There doesn’t appear to be an "erase device" feature available like a “manufacturer’s reset”.
Review:• Some reviewers on fail to realize that this is NOT a touchscreen remote! Keep in mind, this remote has hard buttons that correspond to labels on a LCD screen. However, remotes such as the Philips TSU2000 and Philips TSU6000 are touchscreen remotes.
• It took me about 30 minutes per device to program this remote. So, with 7 devices, it took me about 3.5 hours to completely program it (without any macros though).
• I like a combo universal remote – one that has buttons and programmable touchscreen keys. Fortunately for me, this has what I need in a remote! However, I don’t intend on paying $200 to $600 for a touchscreen remote that my kids will eventually break; so this worked out well!
• This remote will suit my needs since I was eventually able to get my RCA satellite receiver and my GOVideo VCR working on it.
•  Overall, I think this is a very nice remote. On the other hand, my other remote (RCA RCU810) is a better value - at less than $50. I paid over $120 for my RX-500 remote. If the cost of the RX-500 was around $100 or less, it would be well worth it (especially with many hard buttons)!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by mmdpg from MA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 46 made on Tuesday January 15, 2002 at 2:31 PM.
Strengths:Easy to setup
Good size and feel
Great control of all my components
Signal strength is tremendous
Weaknesses:Center joystick hard to operate
Macros had to be programmed a couple of time before they worked
Review:The gemstone buttons look and feel great. The backlight is strong and the LCD display very clear and easy to read.

Like others have mentioned the center joystick is hard to work. Pushing the center for “enter” usually either does nothing or actually activates the up or down arrow instead. I probably won’t use it much, other buttons have the same functions with my components.

Learning the buttons from another remote took a couple of tries in one or two cases even though the MX-5000 said "good" after the input.

Overall a great remote and a major leap forward over the 4 individual remotes I have been wrestling with.
Quality: Features: Value:

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