I think B&K has made a mistake with their new remotes on their high end gear.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Dahl, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. Dave Dahl

    Dave Dahl Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all,

    I think that B&K has made a mistake with their including of the MX-700 remote control with their REF 50 and AVR507.

    At issue is the remote controls complete inability to learn anything without a computer. I think it is foolish to assume that each consumer (even though they are spending upwards of four thousand dollars) has the desire, not to mention the computer skills, to computer program their remote.

    I recognize that the position of many (and B&K for that matter) will be that the programming of the remote is a job best left to the salesman or store. I agree in principle. That is part of what finding a good dealer and sales associate is all about. My position is that when the customer moves or is, for whatever reason, unable to deal with the original company they may be out of luck.

    Any thoughts?


    -Dave
     
  2. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Dave,

    Other manufacturers are including MX-700s as their remote controls, so don't forget to complain about them too.

    It took me about 30 seconds to teach codes to one I had with a review sample.

    Regards,
     
  3. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    I am a construction worker. Concrete, brick, block & stone work. I easily programmed all my gear into my SR 10.1 (MX-700) in short order. This included learning buttons where needed, macro's, favorite channels, whatever... This is easy software to use.
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  5. Dave Dahl

    Dave Dahl Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey John I live in Crystal Lake (although right about now I wish I lived in Florida)!

    Anyhow I think I wasn't clear enough in my original post. I understand that programming the remote is relativly easy for someone who is technically minded. My concern is that people have to be tied to a computer to do it and that without a computer (which not everybody has or wants) the remote is useless.

    -Dave
     
  6. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

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    I've heard that you need some type of networking cable in order to hook the remote up to your computer to program it. If so what is this cable I would need to buy that is not included with the remote?
     
  7. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    I have been an MX-700 owner for several months. IMO, it is the best button based remote available today. The 700 can be used with one hand and operated by one's sense of touch (versus the need to always be looking at a touchscreen when you need to do more than change channels or change the volume.)

    That said, it's still not perfect. As Dave notes, you need a PC to set it up. And, based on info from other users, the software is still not without some bugs. And it does have a bit of a learning curve. (Visit remotecentral.com at the Home Theater Master forum for more info.) Still, this unit can, command-wise, do anything a Pronto can (but without the pretty (but IMO, useless) graphics of course.)

    As for B&K Audio users that don't have a PC or don't want to use one with the remote, I would think that the dealer would and should support them. The 700 was originally developed for custom installers to put in complex home theaters that were owned by unsophisticated users. The dealer was/is expected to support them.

    John: The cable is a 9 pin serial to a stereo 1/8th mini-plug. It should be bundled with the remote.
     
  8. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

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    Thanks Chuck, it didn't sound right that I'd have to buy something else to get it to work...and that coming from a dealer no less???
     
  9. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    John,

    The remote cable is included with the remote. As for the B&K Suite, you need to supply your own Cat5 cable. Both programs are on a single disc included in the box.
     
  10. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    But its NOT included with the MX-500, right? I keep seeing something about a One for All remote and JMP1 cable that you need to get with the MX-500. All this stuff is confusing to me, too, although I keep hearing from everyone how easy these are to set up.

    Aaron
     
  11. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Aaron,

    The MX-500 isn't PC programmable. There's no port so, no use for the cable with it.
     
  12. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    A couple of things...

    I'm not a dealer. This is just the word (thru various press releases and such) from HTM themselves on the MX-700.

    Aaron: The MX-500 has an internal library of codes and it can also learn codes from other remotes. But like anything else, nothing is perfect. IOW, not every code that exists for all the equipment you own may be on your original remote or the MX-500.

    This is where the One-For-All (OFA) comes in. It has the ability to create codes that you may not have had access to before. An example...I run a Denon receiver and I like to use the Video Select function quite often, so that I can watch one thing and listen to something else. The receiver has this button on the front panel but not on the remote. I also know the the reciever will respond to a remote control code that WILL switch the video select function. The problem is getting the code. After doing some reading/studying, I just take my OFA remote, punch in a few numbers and then teach the Video Select function to my MX-500. Voila, I'm in business!

    There are several other types of codes that may exist for your equipment. Separate (or discrete) power codes and the like. Things that can really make a home theater handy.

    As for the JP1 cable, it is used to take the OFA remote to it's greatest potential. You can use it to help create the special codes you need and even store these codes on your PC. But using the JP1 project takes some effort to use it at it's best (I lost interest due to the convoluted things you need to do to use it's more exotic features.) Still, it worth investigating because it's so inexpensive to try it.

    Go to remotecentral.com and look at the Hoem Theater Master forum and the OFA forum. They have lots of info...
     
  13. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

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    Chuck,

    I didn't mean to imply you were a dealer, what I meant by my statement was that my dealer told me I'd need to buy the extra networking cable to be able to program the remote. Perhaps he was thinking about the B&K Suite option, whatever that is. I just want to get the codes for my TV, two players and hopefully the digital cable receiver into it.
     
  14. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    John,

    The B&K Suite is a software program that allows complete control over all the different system setup options that one would use their onscreen display to setup the Ref50-507.Instead of setting up your unit on the tv screen, you can also do it on your computer and download your personal settings right to the Ref50-507 via the RS232 port with a Cat5 cable. A Cat5 to serial adapter is also provided in the box. All you need is a Cat5 cable. One nice thing about the B&K Suite is that instead of scrolling through menus and sub menus on your tv to set the unit up, it's all on one page when you use the B&K Suite on your computer. Pretty nifty..
     
  15. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

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    Chip,
    Ummmm...that is pretty nifty [​IMG] I'll drop by Best Buy and get the cable this weekend. My Ref50 with said cool remote is due to arrive on Tuesday. Can't wait!
     
  16. Jerry Klawiter

    Jerry Klawiter Screenwriter

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    John,
    You can d-load the software suite at the B&K web site.
    Install it and play with in now!
    Pick the option to Select product for operation without a connected device.
    This is the emulation mode (Connection type: Virtual)
    Then run system editor.
    Expand your monitor screen to full screen so that you can see the three buttons near the bottom.
    (System) (Preset) (Favorite)
    Also, It's best instead of making a special cat5 cable,
    Just switch the wires in the db9 pin serial to RJ45 (cat5) adapter.
    These can be purchased from your local rat shacks for about $3. Now if you ever need a longer cable, any pre-made store purchased cat5 cable will work as the special twist is now housed in the adapter.[​IMG]
    The adapter would look something like this,
    [​IMG]
    But it would be db9 to Rj45 (cat5) with a female serial end.
    Sorry I did not find the correct pix.
    Or you could use Radio Shack Cat No. 276-1406A (DB25F - RJ45)
     
  17. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    John: FYI...If for some reason B&K doesn't include the remote-to-PC cable in the box (they surely do don't they??), for about $10 and 10 minutes time, you can make your own.
    http://www.surfremotecontrol.com/DIY-cable
     
  18. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    The remote cable is included in the box Chuck. [​IMG]
     
  19. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

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    Jerry,

    I downloaded the B&K suite; very cool!

    Questions on the setup though:

    System: 1. Speaker setup: "high pass slope", "low pass slope", how do you determine which of the db settings to choose? My global crossover setting will be 45.

    System: 4. Room Setup: "notch width & depth" I understand the Notch frequency selection, but what does width and depth do, and can you set this for more than one frequency spectrum. Or do you just pick the one spectrum that gives you the most trouble and adjust that?
     
  20. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Beav,
    You didn't ask the question of me, but being familiar with the B&K products:
     

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