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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 John Viehweg from Austin, TX.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 122 made on Sunday August 10, 2003 at 6:31 PM.
Strengths:+++ Excellent ergonomics and features: a real pleasure to use once it has been setup.
Weaknesses:- Lacking discrete codes
- Trouble learning complex codes
You'll need something else to get all the codes you want (an OFA remote, IRclone, etc.)
Review:Excellent usability once you get your codes programmed in - it feels very natural.

I was disappointed that HTM did not include at least discrete power codes in the pre-programmed codes. In addition, it would not learn the system off macro from my Sony remote that turns both my TV and DVD off (my Elite receiver's remote learns it perfectly).

The solution was to buy an OFA 9910 with the JP1 cable (for "bang for the buck" the OFA/JP1 combo is hard to beat). I quickly was able to locate all the discretes I needed and teach them to the MX-500.

Now that I've got the codes in, the MX-500 is wonderful. I can't imagine a touch screen being anywhere near this easy to use. The MX-500 feels great and I can find my primary buttons in the dark just by feel (the light is good but often I don't need it). All my original remotes are put away - I've never been able to do that before. One other small beef: my first set of Duracells didn't even last a month, I have been doing a lot of tweaking though...

The MX-700 (or 800) may be the ultimate but I can't justify the cost. If IRclone was shipping I might have considered it but it also sounds pricey.

Bottom line: for around $175 I've got the MX-500 setup perfectly and I also have a good RF able remote (the OFA 9910) that is very easy to program via JP1.
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Written by Rob from Ohio.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 121 made on Thursday August 7, 2003 at 1:10 AM.
Strengths:Easy learning mode. Took my 15 minutes to learn an entire remote and set up another 4 devices using the codes. 5 devices in 15 minutes all together. Can't beat that!
Weaknesses:None so far
Review:This thing is great!!! I had originally bought a sony remote (the big square one with the touch screen) and it totally sucked. It wouldn't learn my other remotes and kept giving me 'fail' readings. The mx-500 was awesome. No prbalems at all. The keys are right where you need them and it lights up and is very easy to read in the dark. All I have to say is I've only touched the surface on this thing and I already wouldn't trade it for any other remote. If you want ease and quality get this now! Also, check Ebay. I got mine for $100 brand new. Not bad at all!
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Written by Dawn from california blondie.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 120 made on Friday July 25, 2003 at 12:52 PM.
Strengths:Easy to use
lcd screen
wonderful price for the amount of features it has.

Weaknesses:clunky style
Review:For all of those reviewers out there who think all females are electronically retarded, I figured I had to add my two cents + to this wonderful remote that has solved so many headaches in my living room.
I had an Rca810 remote which worked just fine for a simple electronic setup, but it quickly ran out of memory and I was forced to settle back to using my 7+ remotes, what a pain. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to sit down and watch a movie and trying to juggle remotes. So I searched for the perfect solution.
This remote controls the following in my living room, Phillips tv, toshiba vcr/dvd combo, two ps2's ( I love video games :-) , sony surround sound system & receiver, Directv, Panasonic dvd recorder and Tivo.
After reading all of the great reviews on the mx-500, I had some very high expectations, now that I have it, all I can say is I am in love! Why can't a man be made so perfectly???

After I got the hang of programming it, it was pretty easy and it handled every thing I threw at it. I love the fact that you can relabel your devices with the lcd screen, it can get so frustrating to have a remote that says vcr2 and you are using it for your tivo. seems to have the best deal, they offer a free two year warranty for $107...not too shabby!
My only gripe about this remote is the design, it seems a little clunky, I wish it had a more sleeker modern design. All in all though this is the perfect remote for it's price range. I highly recommend this remote you won't be sorry!!!
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Written by Darren Thorneycroft from San Diego, CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 119 made on Wednesday June 18, 2003 at 1:58 PM.
Strengths:Easy to program, controls every device I have, backlight makes buttons clear in the dark, great customer service.
Weaknesses:Wouldn't control my Toshiba SD-1200 DVD player upon first program. An e-mail to Universal's customer service department offered a solution which worked on the 1st try.
Review:This is a highly recommended product. At one point I was juggling four different remote controls because the "universal" control I bought wouldn't execute just one or two commands for each device (such as switching TV or audio inputs). After a brief glitch in which I could not program my DVD player -- solved simply by removing the "Play" punch-through to that device -- I now only have one remote control to fuss with. What a relief!
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Written by JedK1 from Long Island, NY.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 118 made on Tuesday June 17, 2003 at 9:04 AM.
Strengths:Nice backlight, easy to use, easy to program. Comfortable to hold. Replaced all 5 of my other controls.
Weaknesses:Could use a couple of more hard buttons. Not enough characters (5) for each button on the LCD screen. Can't backup, unless you buy the IR Clone.
Review:I'm very happy with this remote. The MX500 replaced all my other home theater system remotes. The remote was easy to program, but to get the discrete codes into it, I had to use my Radio Shack remote. But, once I did that, the System Off Macro, turned off almost my entire system with the touch of a button. The punch through worked great on the volume. Also, plan on updating every screen. I found the presets were not the way I like to use a remote. Programming the remote took me about an hour and a half. The backlight is great. You can set the number of seconds you want it to display. The backlight is better then any of my other remotes. The contrast on the LCD is very sharp also.
On the negative side,
1)I wish there were more characters on the display. Like "Picture Mode" is PMode, and Screen Mode, is SMode on my system.
2)A couple of more hard buttons are needed. If you own a PVR like my Dish Network 501. You need to have both a Guide Button, and a |<< button, a Menu Button, and a >>| button. The MX500 shares those buttons. I had to move the Guide, and Menu onto the LCD screen. Not a big problem, but a little annoying.
3)I wish we didn't need the IRClone to save settings. I hate to pay an extra $80 for something I'm probably going to use once.

Every button on my 5 remotes are now on this MX500. My 9 year old has mastered the remote, and my 6 year old can use it enough to do what she needs to do. I'm not sure my wife has even noticed that I replaced all the remotes with a new universal remote. Even with the few short falls, I recommend this remote.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Dale Corbett from Vancouver, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 117 made on Sunday June 8, 2003 at 12:26 PM.
Strengths:Overall a great product. Haveing owned a few universal remotes, this one is by far the best. Overall feel and button Placement are perfect. Ease of programing was a big plus.
Weaknesses:I have not found any at this point. About the only thing I would mention is a couple of dust specks under the LCD screen glass.
Review:I followed the advice from this forum and cleared the remote completely right out of the box. I also preplanned the layout while waiting for the unit to arrive. This allowed for a complete setup time (Including macros/Fav) of about 2 hrs. As many have mentioned, It is a great feeling to store away the 8 remotes I had laying around. I also want to mention that dealing with was a pleasure. I got a great price, next day notification of shipment, UPS tracking to my doorstep in 4 days!
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Written by Mike McCarthy from Cincinnati.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 116 made on Friday May 23, 2003 at 9:30 PM.
Strengths:This review concerns the IRClone-MX software for the MX500, which allows you to create, edit and store configuration sets for the MX-500 remote on your PC and then download them to the remote.
Review:This software is tremendous, and tonight just saved my butt. First, it's easier to use than the push button manual programming on the MX-500 itself and, second, it automatically backs up your data so if anything goes wrong during transmission you can restore to the last good configuration, which is exactly what happened to me tonight. During the data dump....and extended reception by the remote....the remote faded a bit and the battery indicator flashed. The result was a corrupted file. The IRClone had created a backup file. I changed batteries and restored from the backup in a few minutes. Nothing was lost. Great product.
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