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Suggestions for a remote?


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24 replies to this topic

#1 of 25 Doug Smith

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Posted May 07 2003 - 08:41 AM

I have a Marantz 7300 receiver, a Toshiba widescreen HDTV, Toshiba 4800 DVD player, Toshiba VCR, and a Technics CD player. I need a remote that will put these units into one remote, which will retain the idiosyncracies of the above units remotes. eg. various theatre modes of the TV, the programming of the VCR, the random play of the CD, etc. Any suggestions?

#2 of 25 MikeSRC

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Posted May 07 2003 - 10:09 AM

There are a number of remotes that can do that. How much are you looking to spend and do you prefer all-buttons or touchscreen?
Enjoy!

Mike
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#3 of 25 Doug Smith

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Posted May 07 2003 - 11:22 AM

I would spend about two hundred U.S./three hundred Canadian in order to get a decent remote. Touch screen would be nice - but can functions be renamed on a remote? For instance my Marantz 7300 remote has Dolby, DTS, Circle Surround buttons on it - how can that be transferred to another remote, and still retain those names on the button or the touch screen? I am not really interested in spending hours pointing one remote at another, then not being able to remember the name of the new button on the new remote! Thanks for any help. I have no idea how these new universal remotes function.

#4 of 25 Stephen Tu

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Posted May 07 2003 - 02:01 PM

Visit www.remotecentral.com and read the reviews, most contenders are covered. My favorite is the MX-500 (~$100-120), since I prefer buttons I can find by feel w/o looking at the remote. The buttons at the top of the remote are associated with the LCD display; you assign a 5-character user picked label to help you remember which button does which (2pages x 10 = 20 custom labeled functions per device, plus all the rest of the keys that are mostly the same from device to device).

The more fancy touchscreen remotes, e.g. Pronto, are more configurable in that you basically can create your own bitmaps, no limitation on button size/placement/label length other than the size of the screen. Plus it has more powerful macro capabilities. But in practice I like the buttons; 5-characters is enough to remember the more rarely used functions, and the MX-500 has enough in the macro department for my purposes. Touchscreen you have to look down all the time, and change pages a lot since the screens aren't that big.

#5 of 25 MikeSRC

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Posted May 07 2003 - 04:47 PM

I agree with Stephen re: button remotes, but you may feel differently. The MX-500 is your best bet in the lower $100 range for an all-button remote and the Philips Pronto TSU3000 would be your best bet in the $250-300 range for a touchscreen remote. There are also some possibilities with a refurb Pronto TS1000 (<$100) or TSU2000 (<$200).
Enjoy!

Mike
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#6 of 25 PaulT

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Posted May 07 2003 - 05:56 PM

Doug,

If you want a learning hard button remote then get the MX-500. It has replaced 7 remotes for me and my wife has no problems using it. The combination of changeable LCD readout and hard buttons made it a 'no brainer' for me. It took a couple hours to get it set up, but the LCD section helps you remember what is what.

I bought mine retail in Canada and got burned (full MSRP is 350+CDN), but surfremotecontrol.com and bluedo.com both have it for just over 100US and ship to Canada. Have heard excellent things about both Companies. Even with what I paid for mine locally, I would buy another one. That says a lot.
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#7 of 25 Doug Smith

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Posted May 08 2003 - 11:05 AM

May be difficult to get the above mentioned remote here. But the local A&B Sound has a "Harmony" - apparently you download through the net. Anyone have one of these?

#8 of 25 Stephen Tu

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Posted May 08 2003 - 12:52 PM

I don't care much for the Harmony. It just doesn't have enough buttons IMO, and you can't label the buttons, which was one of your requirements.

The MX-500 is well worth it to go via internet to MikeSRC's surfremotecontrol site and get them to ship it to you. Search around various forums, you'll find heaps of praise for this remote, & very few detractors.

#9 of 25 David Preston

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Posted May 08 2003 - 09:44 PM

I have the Sony RM-VL1000. I am happy with it probably not what your looking for but it might help someone else that views this post. It controls all my equipment. Each component has 12 buttons you can name and program plus the already programmed buttons. Also can be programmed to turn on components in a certain order by pressing one button. Hope this can help someone. Cost is less than $100.

#10 of 25 Lew Crippen

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Posted May 09 2003 - 06:38 AM

Thanks for the discussion guys. It (and a couple of other similar threads) has been very helpful.
¡Time is not my master!

#11 of 25 Tim K

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Posted May 09 2003 - 09:39 AM

I HIGHLY recommend the ProntoNeo by Philips. It is pre-programmed and learning. It is a fully customizeable remote control. I think I paid about $150 US and it has been worth every penny. The unlimited number of macros and fully customizeable buttons are priceless. You can even create and import your own buttons.

I needed a remote that could operate my CD changer, dvd player, cable box, receiver and TV...and the Neo does it all. I also needed a remote that I could configure so that no matter who sat in my HT they could operate all of the equipment without instruction. The Neo does it.

The only con is that it takes quite a while to figure out how you want it configured. It probably took me a few hours to set it up, granted I customized alot of buttons and screens.

#12 of 25 MikeMcGrew

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Posted May 11 2003 - 10:44 AM

Any comment on the MX-700? I can't believe the specs on this thing. What I'm really wondering is do I really NEED all of this? What is the street price on this? I've seen $269.00 US on ebay. Does that sound about right? The set up looks the same. Does anyone have either the MX-500 or the MX-700 with a Sony DA4ES? I love my new receiver but the remote sucks. Any comments about the receiver/remote combo would be appreciated. MM

#13 of 25 MikeSRC

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Posted May 11 2003 - 12:33 PM

The biggest advantage of the MX-700 over the 500 is the ability to put a macro on virtually any button. That and the extra two pages of LCD buttons come in very handy with a multi-mode receiver. However, it's a lot more expensive than an MX-500, even with the new $350 pricing.

If you download the MXEditor software from www.hometheatermaster.com, you'll see the DA4ES in its IR database. You'll also see that if you don't buy it from an authorized dealer, you'll likely not get warranty coverage. There are no authorized dealers on Ebay.
Enjoy!

Mike
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#14 of 25 Donnie Eldridge

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Posted May 11 2003 - 01:08 PM

I recently switched from a Pronto to the MX-700 after 3 years. I loved the Pronto and the edge goes to it when it comes to the coolness factor. However, I thought the ProntoEdit was a pain in the ass to use. The software for the MX 500 & 700 are what I concider much more user friendly.
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#15 of 25 MikeMcGrew

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Posted May 11 2003 - 03:33 PM

Hey Mike,
I really do not need all that the MX-700 has to offer. I really love the concept but I chose to go with the MX-500. I ordered it from your website a little while ago. Looking forward to it. I have heard of two new models, the MX-800 and the MX-600. Any word on these? I don't neccessarily need all of those macro functions on the 700 but those extra two pages of LCD menu would sure come in handy. I really like the idea of the memory lasting 10 freakin (currently watching the Sopranos) years too. That is too cool. So the MX-500 has the DA4ES in it's database? I'm curious as to how it works if I use the preset code exactly. If I set up the remote using the 3 digit code for the Sony, does that put pages in the remote memory automatically? I mean, will I find the LCD pages partially set up or what? Like when I got to "Audio", will I then see my "inputs" and "sound fields" etc. etc.? I got it shipped Fed Ex two day so I'm hoping to see it sometime on Tuesday but I realize it will probably be more like Wednesday. Anyway, thanks for the great price on the remote. Judging from the reviews, I'm sure it will be well worth it. I appreciate the advice/help too. MM

#16 of 25 MikeMcGrew

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Posted May 11 2003 - 03:38 PM

Also, one more quick question. As to the "favorite channels" pages on the MX-500, I notice that your website and one other that I've seen say that you can set up to 50 of your favorite channels but if there are only two pages reserved for that and each page fits 10, then how can that be or is that incorrect? Does the MX-500 have 20 or 50 "favs"? MM

#17 of 25 Stephen Tu

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Posted May 11 2003 - 06:00 PM

I think the MX-700 is overkill for most people. MX-500, plus maybe a cheap RS/OFA remote to get discrete power/source select codes if your original remotes don't have them, will handle almost anything. It's only if you want to put macros everywhere that you would need the MX-700. If you only need macros for power and to change source devices/activities, plus a couple other random things, the MX-500 is enough.

Quote:
I have heard of two new models, the MX-800 and the MX-600. Any word on these?
These are RF versions of the MX-700 and MX-500 respectively; they transmit to an IR base station aimed at your components so you can control from another room.

Quote:
If I set up the remote using the 3 digit code for the Sony, does that put pages in the remote memory automatically? I mean, will I find the LCD pages partially set up or what?
They'll be partially set up. But you will often find that labels don't match up to the actual command, or you don't like the placement, or a command is missing. For the LCD commands I would recommend just jotting down yourself what you want on each page, edit the labels to match, then use the head-to-head learning feature. You can start with the stock layout to save time, but expect to take some time to gradually tweak it for accuracy and for your layout/label preferences before you store your old remotes away for good.

Some people prefer to not bother with the preprogramming at all, just use the aux 155 code to start with a clean slate and just learn everything. Longer initial setup but then less tweaking later.

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#18 of 25 Chuck Kent

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Posted May 11 2003 - 10:48 PM

Mike: There is a dedicated forum to the Home Theater Master series of remotes at http://www.remotecentral.com It's a great additional resource to helping you get the most from your new MX-500.

In general, the best way to get the most from an MX-500 is to learn ALL commands to the 500 in the way that works best for you. On my two 500's, I set each of them up by using the AUX 155 process (explained by doing a search on the HTM forum over at remotecentral.com) and learning all of my commands. A good tool to help with this is Daniel Tonks Excel spreadsheet in the Files section of the MX-500 (again at remotecentral.com.) If you have Excel, this spreadsheet lets you try different layouts very quickly. Then you can learn the commands in the "right" layout for you.

Another good tool that some very impressive MX-500 users have developed is http://www.irclone.com This box/software for $90 gives the MX-500 a computer interface. Just an absolutely awesome tool. Again, there are lots of posts on IRClone at the HTM forum (at remotecentral.com.)

Enjoy your MX-500. It's a great remote!

#19 of 25 MikeMcGrew

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Posted May 12 2003 - 04:05 AM

Thanks everyone. I have two days to wait. I wonder why Sony did such a lousy job on the remote with the DA4ES. I mean, you can tell it's bad from the start. It doesn't have any numeric buttons at all and there is no learning capability. It has next to 0 options in its sub menu when it comes to components other than Sony. For three digit channels, it doesn't even give you enough time to key in the channels sequence you want without going back to the last page. You have to program jump features just to get to the channel you want. For a retail price of $1000.00, I certainly expected a lot more. I bought the receiver for its tweakability and I am happy with it, however, if I had known the remote was this bad, I may have reconsidered. That is pretty much what led me away from the H/K 525. I realize this is my own fault though. I really didn't take the time to check out the controller when I listened to the receiver. I demoed it in a store that has a master control to switch all the different speakers and components and the like. I never even took a look at the remote. Live and learn I guess. Anyway, this has at least opened up yet another area of HT for me so maybe it's a blessing in disguise (or a curse!). Thanks again. MM

#20 of 25 MikeSRC

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Posted May 12 2003 - 06:38 AM

Mike -

I think everyone else answered your questions, but I did want to make it clear that it's the MX-700 that has a code for the DA4ES in its database, not the MX-500. There may be one in the MX-500 that works, but you'd be better off to learn the commands anyway.

The added macro capabilities of the MX-700 can really be appreciated for Tivo shortcuts (although those can be done on the MX-500's FAV macros as well). Posted Image
Enjoy!

Mike
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