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MX-500, MX-700 or Harmony 659?


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#21 of 34 Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 03 2004 - 02:32 AM

Remote Control Central has a very detailed review up now on the Harmony. The review can be found here.

There are only a couple of minor things I would change on the SST-659. One would be to allow all six LCD "soft keys" to be available for all functions -- only four are available most of the time. The other would be to move the backlight activation button to the side of the remote, away from all the other buttons. Placing the transport buttons towards the bottom of the remote does not really bother me as it does some other folks, but I am not a Tivo user, and they seem to be the ones most bothered by this placement.

#22 of 34 Dave-Z

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Posted January 03 2004 - 03:00 AM

After waffling around for a while, I decided to go with the MX-700. It really appears to have the best features physically, as well as internet support. What really made me go the extra mile, $$$-wise, is the ability to import pronto codes. I think this sets it apart from the 500 and Harmony, and will allow this remote to be very powerful for years to come. This way, I hope to increase the chance of be able to find that hard to locate code for any number of devices, legacy or not.

Of course, until I get this puppy home and see it in action, I won't be sure I made the right decision, but I also spoke with a few tech support folks at various places, and they felt that of the three, the 700 was in a league of its own.

I'll let you all know what happens after I'm running with it for a few days. Scheduled for Dec 7 delivery, but of course I'll be at work so won't be able to sign for it. The angst of on-line ordering and waiting for shipment. Nothing quite like it. Posted Image

Thanks for all of your suggestions!

#23 of 34 MikeSRC

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Posted January 03 2004 - 03:36 AM

You made a wise choice IMO. Of all the remotes I carry, it's the one I use at home (well, the MX-800 actually). I'm still finding new ways to use the virtually unlimited macro capability. There are are few things on the upcoming MX-3000 that I wish were on the MX-700/800, like the ability to have a "hold down" of a button in a macro and assignable variable states (which can allow for reliable macros with devices that only have toggle on/off control similar to Harmony's "smart state technology), but I still prefer the hard buttons of the MX-700/800 to the 3000's touchscreen.
Enjoy!

Mike
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#24 of 34 nolesrule

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Posted January 10 2004 - 06:08 PM

I've had the Harmony SST-659 for a week now and I'm loving it. Everytime I find something that's lacking, I can easily tweak the setup in a matter of seconds, like adjusting the order of commands on the LCD so that certain ones appear on the same screen together.

Not only that, I got a new TV today, and it took me only 5 minutes to reconfigure all the activities based on the new TV. In the previous setup, I used S-Video for everything, using my receiver as the video switch, because that's all the TV was capable of. But with my new TV, I can use HD and component from my gear, along with S-Video. All I had to do was tell the remote setup which TV input each device used and I was good to go. The state saving in the remote makes everything so simple.

Most importantly, my wife is loving the remote too.

#25 of 34 Dave-Z

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Posted January 11 2004 - 04:07 AM

Just a quick update. Received my mx-700 2 days ago, and with maybe 2-3 hours of programming, I've finally been able to stick my cluster of individual remotes in a cabinet. Close by for now, as I am sure I'll want to do some tweaking, but I have successfully used this remote for every device I run, not a hitch.

Well, only one: The cable to the PC is a POS. I went to remove it from the remote after download, little carpet shock, and the cable was fried. Lucky for me, I have a cable from another pc connecting remote, so all is well, aside from poor value placed in such a vital piece of equipment. If I didn't have the second cable, I would have been going crazy thinking that it was the remote that was fried.... anyway.

Over-all impression: 9/10 so far.

The only thing I find annoying(or just haven't figured out yet) is the lack of ability for the remote to 'repeat' signals, such as volume or channel up/down, when depressed. Just sends the signal once, then nada... One would think it would be intuitive in design to have at least certain buttons(volume/channel, etc) repeat after an initial pause like any normal remote the world over.

Anywho, so far, everything else is just great. The layout of the buttons is simply 'near-perfect'. I'm sure in a week or two, they'll be so natural to me they'll be perfect. Programming has a bit of a learning curve, and I'm still on it, but I've already accomplished most of what I would need to. One other thing that has me surprised is the strength of signal. I can point this thing anywhere and eventually, that signal somehow finds a way to the intended device. Just very delighted with this remote.

Thanks again for everyone's help and advice.

#26 of 34 Ted Lee

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Posted January 11 2004 - 08:45 AM

Quote:
The only thing I find annoying(or just haven't figured out yet) is the lack of ability for the remote to 'repeat' signals, such as volume or channel up/down, when depressed. Just sends the signal once, then nada...
i had a similar problem with my mx-500 when trying to learn my mits tv's remote.

what i discovered is that it wasn't the mx's fault. the original remote was sending out two different signals. if i clicked the volume really quickly, it sent out some code. but, if i held the volume down for a bit, then it sent out another code.

so, what i did was got my mx ready to learn the code, then i physically blocked the mx's ir doohicky. then i depressed the volume button for a second or two the original remote, then unblocked the ir doohicky on the mx.

essentially, that way, the mx learned the repeating code instead. it's the one that was "caught" by the ir doohicky. again, not sure if i did it right or just lucked out...but it sure worked.
 

#27 of 34 Rick_Brown

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Posted January 12 2004 - 05:44 AM

Dave-Z, I know you have already made your purchase, but one comment you made about the Harmony SST-659 is interesting;

Quote:
First, there are only 4 user buttons available per screen for defined buttons.


Of course, but almost all of the buttons on the remote can be customized, as well. I seldom ever need to define extra choices on the screen as everthing I need is on a "hard button" already.

#28 of 34 Stephen Tu

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Posted January 12 2004 - 08:24 AM

Quote:
Of course, but almost all of the buttons on the remote can be customized, as well. I seldom ever need to define extra choices on the screen as everthing I need is on a "hard button" already.

Yes, but then often the function doesn't match the label on the button, and you have to remember which button does what. That sort of defeats the purpose of having the ability to custom label buttons. If you have good memory and are the sole user it's fine but it makes it harder for others to use.

MX-x00 remotes are just better in this regard, with access to 10 labeled buttons w/o paging. That's enough that I almost never have to use the "page" button.

#29 of 34 SteveSott

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Posted January 12 2004 - 08:28 AM

I downloaded the set-up program for the MX-700 and programed a hypothetical device. When I went to the code library to find my specific components, none were listed. A lot of the listings were close but none matched exactly. When I did the same for the SST-659, all of my components matched exactly. Why such a difference in databases? I emailed the TV, VCR, DVD and CATV companies and asked for the remote code. None were forth coming. I did have the CATV people tell me that even though I could clone some functions, the on-line cable guide wouldn't be available on another remote. What is your experience with those functions?

#30 of 34 Stephen Tu

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Posted January 12 2004 - 10:43 AM

The 659 database is more complete because it's basically unusable unless the device is in the database as I understand it. With the MX series you can just use the learning feature and it can duplicate your existing remote without the device being in the database. The 659 also can learn but then you have to upload to the online database to use it (and thus also enable others to use it). Also with the MX it's really not necessary for the component model numbers to match exactly since manufacturers tend to use the same commands throughout their entire line. You can tweak any differences via learning.

It's worthless asking your equipment manufacturers for a remote code, because they really don't have anything to do with it. You ask the remote manufacturer for code updates; they determine which codes are available and correspond to which devices, not the equipment manufacturers.

The CATV people don't know what they are talking about; if you learn from your existing remote you get all functions you can do from that remote. The only thing you really need online codes for is for commands not on your existing remote that your device happens to support anyway. Stuff like discrete "power on" or direct input selection when the original remote only supports toggle/cycle commands. The MX-700 also can pull codes from the wealth of Philips Pronto hex codes available.

#31 of 34 Ted Lee

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Posted January 12 2004 - 10:45 AM

you may also find some discrete codes from here:

http://www.hifi-remote.com/ofa/
 

#32 of 34 SteveSott

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Posted January 13 2004 - 10:14 AM

Does the SST-659 have programmable favorites like the MX-700. I'm not interested in viewing the TV guide on the remote, but I do want to have one button access for at least a dozen channels or so.

#33 of 34 Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 14 2004 - 01:08 AM

Quote:
Does the SST-659 have programmable favorites like the MX-700.

Not really. There is the "media" button that works with the downloadable program guide (which only downloads your "favorite" channels), but it only lists the programs, not the channels they are on.

#34 of 34 Jed M

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Posted January 14 2004 - 03:32 PM

I replaced my Pronto with the MX-500 two years ago. I liked it a lot, but I really wanted to somehow combine the Pronto and the MX-500. Last summer I replaced the MX-500 with the MX-700 and I would say the results were exactly what I was looking for. I now own two MX-700's and may get a third. With its mix of customization and hard buttons, its the best remote I have ever used. I recommend it whole heartily.
Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.
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