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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 7 of 23 for
the Home Theater Master MX-500 remote.
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Written by Gary B from Valparaiso, In.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 115 made on Sunday May 4, 2003 at 9:39 AM.
Strengths:Easy to program
1 remote instead of 4 on the coffe table
Plenty of options for programming ie: punch thru, macro, LCD screen for specific labeled buttons.
Strong back liight
Computer programming with IRClone software
Weaknesses:Only five letters allowed for text on LCD screen
No Macro editing but IRclone fixes this
Review:This is my first programmable remote. I chose the MX500 after reading many reviews and threads on
My system consists of: TV Toshiba 57H82, DVD Samsung P421, HDTV OTA Rec.Zenith HDV420, and Audio Kenwood VR606. Unfortunately the only descrete On - Off codes I am able to find are for the TV. I was able to program this remote following the manual and tips supplied on other sites quite easily. It now controls my 4 devices without any of the other remotes. I am using the one touch macro buttons as follows: M1 for playing CDís, M2 for HD viewing, M3 for DVDís ( I used a label maker to label the M keys appropriately ), Power to turn on all devices and TV viewing, and Off to turn all 4 devices off. The LCD screen lists all 4 of my devices for individual control of each. I found that the MX500 did everything I wanted it to do for my relatively simple system.

The touch, location, and feel of the buttons I find to be appropriately laid out and easy to press. The touch pad center press that others have had trouble with, are not present on this revision of the MX500. For me, worked first time every time. The balance and feel of the remote is better than the the remotes that came with my TV and audio. Also it is no bigger than those remotes. The back light for the LCD screen and buttons does a very nice job, plus the LCD contrast is vivid and adjustable to your liking.

WAF has been very positive and she is not a techi. She and her friends would have to fiddle alot to get a DVD to play. Usually without 5.1 surround sound because the reciver remote was not so user friendly. So the TV volume was used. Now all she does is push one button and gets it all. She loves it.

I bought it from


At first I was not going to purchase this software - hardware solution. But after reading several threads about it and knowing I love to tinker and change stuff so much, it had to be purchased. Man it is SWEET!

I bet I uploaded and downloaded about 50 times just changing this and that. Macro programming and punch thrus are a breeze with this software. I donít like to read the destructions and I didnít have to, it is very intuitive to use. ( plus they donít have em yet ). But you can find some help here if needed hlight=irclone
It is also very easy to copy and paste to move your button layout around. You can save your layout the change it and save that layout knowing that it will be easy to recover from a mistake, or revert back to a better one. Unfortunately you canít edit the MX500 macros on the MX500 and I would usually leave out a step in my macros or want to add something. With this software you just bring the macro up - edit - and download to the MX500 - see if it works. If it doesnít no sweat just repeat. I was able to find descrete on and of for my TV in the file area from another user and then it was just copy and paste into my config. Easy!
There are some bells and whistles that would be nice. Problem when restoring data to your MX-500 if you try to download twice in succession. A temporary work around is to download once, and then if you need to do so again with a different file, close the editor and re-open it. All of this will be addressed in software updates though.
One last thing - did I mention that it is EASY ;)
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Jim Ermold from FlowerMound,TX..
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 114 made on Friday April 11, 2003 at 1:38 PM.
Review:I tried everything, including Pronto to program my 2 systems. The MX-500 is the answer! I can put the rest of my remotes away! It allows such flexibility like switching from HD& SD from the Sat. menu. The MX-500 is the only remote I found that actually works with my HK Receivers! I just received my second MX-500 for my other system and it is working GREAT!!!
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Written by Mike McCarthy from Cincinnati.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 113 made on Friday April 11, 2003 at 10:01 AM.
Strengths:Great look/feel. (I've tried screen-driven remotes and like this mostly button-driven remote much better.)
Very logical layout.
Support of 10 devices and lots of macros. (If you have a bigger home theater than THAT then you can afford a butler trained to operate your system.)
Weaknesses:Touchpad doesn't feel right (lose one star for that alone).
I'm sure it would take more memory, but it would be nice to be able to view (and edit) your macros rather than having to start over from the beginning everytime you want to make a change. (At least just being able to view them would be nice.)
Review:I've spent most of the weekend fussing with this thing and I've got is set up pretty well now. Got the Main screen configured for nine devices, got "Pages" set up for most of them. Got all the macros defined for near-"one-click" operation (eg, watch Cable, watch Sat, watch DVD, etc). Have macros set up to toggle between situations (eg, toggle between a show on Cable and CNN on satellite).
Things to note...
The MX-500 must have a fairly out-of-date codes database. It did not pick up my new Denon receiver, my new Samsung VCR/DVD combo deck or the latest Hughes Sat receiver used by DirecTV. The Scientific American Cable box (provided by Time-Warner) doesn't work worth a damn with its OWN remote and it doesn't work much better with the MX-500 either. The MX-500 really only found my RCA widescreen CRT I'm still in the process of setting up a few other things--a CD player, a camcorder, a MiniDV deck--so I don't know the final tally.
For the most part, I've been manually assigning keys, which is fine really since I'm able to organize keys in a personal way and explain it to the rest of the family.
Second, I can finally see the value in having a separate "on" and separate "off" switch on my video devices. You could do a lot more with macros if every video device in your system had separate switches.
Third, the touchpad, I can see why Home Theater revised it a few times. It's the only part of the remote that just doesn't feel right.
Fourth, 5-letter fields. Maybe 6 would be better but no more than that. The beauty of the MX-500 is how un-cluttered it can be.
Finally, I spent a LONG time getting the entire remote programmed on the "device based" basis before I even discovered the purpose/possibilities of the "Fav" button, so that will be the next project. I'm going to mess around with the ability of "Fav" touchpad buttons to store commands. I would think with 10-step macros possible on the "Fav" button it should be possible to leave the MX-500 on the "Fav" screen and then just click "CNN" and have the entire system fire up to CNN. One click. Then, click a macro and turn everything off. One click.
(Of course, I spend a LONG time getting the entire remote programmed on the "device based" basis before I even discovered the purpose/possibilities of the "Fav" button.)
Meanwhile, it's very cool to have all the other remotes in a box under the TV and just the one modest MX-500 on the coffee table. And it's cool to push a button and watch the macros do their thing.
Mike McCarthy
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Written by Jason Mathews from Methuen, MA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 112 made on Tuesday March 25, 2003 at 3:36 PM.
Strengths:Sleek design
Sturdy feel
Excellent backlighting
Programming is easy
Learning feature easy to use
More than sufficient memory
Weaknesses:None really.
Review:I just purchased this remote to replace my RCA RCU810 which I had for about a year and a half. While the RCA contolled my whole system for basic controls, the MX -500 blows it out of the water. One major problem with the RCA was memory. It just didn't have enough. I found myself erasing certain learned functions in order to learn new ones all the time. The MX-500 has more than enough memory and I doubt that I could ever really run out of space to learn commands to this thing. I've even found that I am learning the same commands to multiple screens for some of my most used commands like switching DSP modes and such and I still have plenty of buttons left for learning more. Macros with this remote are a treat, and very easy to program. The functionality to add pauses to a macro without taking up macro steps is a very nice touch. And the "punch through" feature is also a very handy and useful feature.

And if the functionality of this remote doesn't do it for you, the look of it definitley will. I applaud the engineers at Universal Remote Control for designing what I believe to be the perfect hard-buttoned remote control. In both look and feel, this remote delivers with flying colors.

The only thing that I found just a tiny bit annoying is that there is no dedicated "Menu" hard button on this remote. It is instead listed as an alternate function on the "Track skip/Chapter skip" button on the transport controls, as well as having the "Info", "Exit", and "Guide" buttons similarly placed on the remote. This doesn't seem to be a problem for things like watching cable, as you don't need a button to skip tracks while doing that. The problem lies in using the remote to control DVD players. I have gotten very used to having the "Menu" button right next to the arrow buttons which control the cursor onscreen, and though it seems it is in a good place on the MX-500, while watching DVD's that button is used as the Chapter skip button. While it is very easy to get around this by programming an LCD button to handle the menu function, I would have liked this to have it's own button (A problem which seems to have been corrected on the MX-700, though they did get rid of the "Track skip/chapter skip" buttons altogether on that model, but that's another story.)

I highly recommend this remote to anyone that is looking for a universal remote control that will never need replacing (Unless the upgrade bug hits you and you feel like spending more money on the MX-700 or whatever else they come up with in the future!)
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Written by Paul Bellemare from Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 111 made on Sunday March 23, 2003 at 11:27 AM.
Strengths:Great button layout and feel, lightweight and very good backlighting. Many positives about this remotes physical characteristics. A tactile remote you can use without looking at it.
Weaknesses:Too many button presses to accomplish common tasks. Not enough pages for some components
Review:I've got the MX-500 and the Marantz RC2000 and the Marantz RC2000MKII and the Pronto TSU2000/01.
The MX-500 is the best looking of the bunch and the best one to hold. The feel of the buttons and the layout is the best too. It could be a better learner, with it not learning a couple of commands from my Pronto. I like many things about the MX but it didn't end up as my everyday remote because of having to push the MAIN button all the time to switch what component you're controlling and to switch the input on my receiver. If not for this detraction, it would be the most appealing remote of all I own. It is a high quality item with many very good features and its especially easy to use. I bought mine off ebay for about half the list price brand new shipped 2 day. It was a very good value.
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Written by Chris Haviland from Sacramento, CA, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 110 made on Friday March 14, 2003 at 2:23 PM.
Strengths:Programmability via PC now available with IRCLONE-MX from
Very versatile and flexible, good for a wide variety of users.
Manufacturer listened to end users and used feedback to improve remote.
Eight other remotes now in a drawer.
Love being able to pick up one remote, and do any operation to any device.
Lots of hard buttons, with good tactile feel.
Easy to "find-by-feel" transport controls.
Custom labels on LCD buttons.
Lots of macros.
Punch thru.
Can learn often-used button to mutliple devices (ex: "Aspect" for TV used on all devices).
Great back-lighting.
Comfortable one-hand operation.
Easy to program.
Good wife acceptance factor (WAF)
Weaknesses:can't directly input an advanced code (EFC)
does not play well with Sony DSP (long codes).
no "keymover" like function
Review:Best $100 I ever spent: Marriage License. Close second: MX500.

If $100 or so seems like too much to spend, consider that it will double
the enjoyablility of your home theater.

On a scale of 1 to 5, it's a 6.
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Written by Mark Bowen from Bosnia.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 109 made on Thursday March 13, 2003 at 10:21 AM.
Strengths:Well laid-out
Solid construction
Very good macro and learning abilities
Review:Another satisfied customer. This is my second universal, having been unsatisfied with my first one, a largely all touch-screen model.

The MX-500 is the antidote to the slow responsiveness of a touch screen, having pretty much all the hard buttons one needs and an editable LCD/hard button combination to cover the rest. Once programmed, this remote is flawless, including its impressive macro capability. I am not a total tech-geek, but if you want one remote to replace the six or seven or eight that are cluttering your living room, this will do the job very nicely.

What would make this remote perfect would be the ease of editing the setup on a computer, which I suppose is the point of the MX-700, but that is out of any reasonable price range.
Quality: Features: Value:

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