Question for MX-500, MX700 remote owners.

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by tom_furman, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in the process of selecting a new remote. I'm 90% sure I want to go with a hard-button design over a touchscreen. So naturally I've been looking at the HT Master line. I'm just a bit confused on how you actually use it.

    The MX-500 allows you to control 10 components. So when I pick it up and wanted to turn on my dvd player (for example) I look at the LCD sceen and hit the button lables DVD:

    [​IMG]

    It seems like it has pre-labled hard buttons for most of the basic functions (Chapter skip, Menu, Rewind, etc). But for more obscure functions (Zoom, Audio, etc) I'd have to label to buttons on the LCD screen something like this?

    [​IMG]

    1)Is that about it? Do you guys find it tough to limit yourself to only 5 letters when labeling a button?

    2)Also, say I turn on my receiver and want to switch the input from my dvd to my cd player? How would that be set up? A different button for each input?

    3) Bluedo.com ( http://www.bluedo.com/bluedocgi/prod...odel=MX-500PKG ) has a package where you get an additional learning remote and a JP1 cable. Should I get this as well?
     
  2. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    I have used one or the other for quite a while and like both. I freely admit that touchscreens aren't for me...

    Have 5 characters been enough? Absolutely! I came from a Marantz RC-2000 and it only gave you 4 characters, so 5 is like icing on the cake...

    Both remotes allow a great deal of customization. You can turn your receiver on and switch inputs manually or you can even have it power up and go into a specific input/mode by using just 1 button press (a macro.) All of the LCD text can be edited.

    The extra One For All remote is used to help you obtain discrete codes. Discrete codes are available for use on many brands and types of gear (note most...NOT all.) What discrete codes can do for you is improve the functionality of your MX remote. For example, late model Sony TVs have several video inputs and most of us use more than one of these inputs. The problem is that the Sony remote that comes with the TV has only a one button toggle command. If you want to get to Video 5, you have to go from input 1 thru 4 first. But with the use of the OFA remote, you can "create" a remote command to go directly to Video 5. This kind of enhancement can really make running a home theater much easier. (Before buying the OFA, you should research the codes available for your equipment, just to make sure that the OFA is necessary. No sense buying something you don't need.)


    Take a look at the Home Theater Master forum over at http://www.remotecentral.com Lots of good help and ideas for the MX remotes over there...
     
  3. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    ok..so like om my Sony tv...I have an actual INPUT button that I hot to scroll through the different inputs. So my tv (for example) would not need any of these discrete codes?

    1)What other ways can one use discrete codes? Because with your quick description, it doesnt sound like I need any.

    2) how would I set up the different DSP modes for my sony receiver?
     
  4. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Discrete codes can be required for some equipment for On/Off Functions, with one code for On and the other for Off. This makes programming macros easier. A lot of electronics use the same IR code for On and Off, so all you do is toggle the units power when you send the same command.

    As an example, I have the discrete codes for all of my gear (except my cable box which is a pain), so I have set up macros on the front page of the MX500. For DVDOn for example (5 characters [​IMG]) when I hold the button down for more than 2 seconds the following happens:

    Receiver gets sent a power on (without discrete codes, if it was already on, it would be turned off. If it is already on, it stays on).
    DVD player gets turned on (same as above with discretes).
    Receiver input gets switched to DVD.
    Drawer opens on DVD player.
    Menu page on MX500 switches to the DVD page ready to control the player.

    Discretes are extremely powerful when building macros.

    For your Sony receiver I would put your DSP modes on the second page of the Audio section and learn the commands from your original remote.

    In most cases it is best to learn all your remote commands rather than use the built in codes of the MX units - you will be able to control more of your system that way, as the built in codes may not contain all the functions.

    Here is a link to the instruction manual for the MX500. Some of it is confusing, but it may help out with more questions you have:
    http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin...umentation&fc=

    The Forum at Remotecentral is excellent.
     
  5. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks paul...so in your case did you get the MX500 package? or did you have another way to teach your remote the discrete codes?
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    the guys already nailed your questions, but i'll just say i agree with all that they've said.

    1. labeling/editing buttons is very easy. my mx-500 replaced eight (or nine) of my other remotes completely. i literally never use the other remotes anymore.

    2. discrete codes can certainly come in handy...if your component supports them. you have to get them from another remote...at least for the mx-500. it has to "learn' them.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    Keep in mind that in many cases, a cheap Radio Shack 15-2103 ($13) or One for All 6011 (or 6012 at Walmart) can give you all the discrete codes you need without JP1 through the use of advanced codes. For example, there are a number of advanced codes for direct Sony TV inputs (see www.hifi-remote.com). If you step up to the 15-2104, you can have a JP1-able remote. You can also always build a JP1 cable or get one for $18 including shipping at www.hovisdirect.com.
     
  8. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  9. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    I almost forgot, be sure to visit the new JP1 forum at: http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/

    Paul - I like your Douglas Adams quote. [​IMG]
    I'm a big fan of the Hitchhiker series.
     
  10. DaveLenhert

    DaveLenhert Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom-

    Recently, the MX-700 has been reduced in price quite significantly so its not so expensive now, (and I got it when it was much more expensive, DOH). The MX-500 and MX-700 are very similar, the advantage of the MX-700 in my opinion is the programming capability. I use to have a Denon remote that could do all of those macro things and such, it was such a pain in the a** to get the macros just right. Every time I would program it, I would naturally forget to push a button or something. So, when I went shopping for a remote, I LOVED the idea of programming the remote on the PC and simply downloading it to the remote. I felt that the MX-700 was much better (and cleaner) then the MX-500 with a 3rd party PC software. Saving the layout on the PC has allowed me to tweak all of my macros.

    Setting up the MX-700 is fairly easy, Alot of the codes for different equipment are already preprogrammed (in the MX Editor). Simply add a new component and select from the database of pre programmed IR info. The hardest part about this is deciphering their LCD button names. If one of the buttons that aren't programmed in that are on the equipment's remote, just learn that IR command into the MX-700. Simple!!

    The real gem of MXEditor is the ability to create Macros very easily. (This is how you could switch from one input to another). If you look at the pictures you included, and you want to switch from DVD watching to CD listening. I would simply push and hold for 1 second and the remote would execute a macro that switches my Pre/Pro to CD, turns off the DVD player, Turns off the TV, Selects the proper decoder on the Pre/Pro (Stereo), and starts to play the CD. Using a macro such as this can really streamline switching between sources. You can also create Macros for turning on and off your equipment. Your imagination is the limit.

    Hope this helps...
    -Dave
     
  11. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave is just trying to egt me to spend more money! [​IMG]

    Perhaps I'll ask my GF to get me the MX700 for Christmas then!
     
  12. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Tom: I think everyone has covered the 500/700 remotes pretty well. But after going thru this thread one last time, I noticed something that concerns me a bit.

    This from you early on...



    The issue is that problems have been encountered using the 500/700 with later models of Sony receivers (in regards to the soundfields.) To boil it down to a couple of issues, the latest Sonys can accept to types of remote codes. The receiver can be toggled between AV1 and AV2 codes and is shipped with the AV2 codes on. The problem with this is that AV2 codes don't seem to be "learnable" by the HTM remotes. This workaround is to go into the receiver's setup and switch it to use the older AV1 codes.

    The other issue is that even using AV1 codes, many are having trouble learning the individual soundfield codes. Everything else works fine. And there are codes for soundfield + or -. The Stereo, 2-CH etc. seem to work ok too. But the individual Cinema A, B and so forth are eluding recent users. Here's a thread from this week for what some are trying to do. http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin...hread.cgi?3737

    I hope this won't be an issue for you. But as much as I'm a believer in the HTM remotes, I thought it is only fair to point out a potential weakness for your particular setup.
     
  13. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all your help.
    Just to see if I'm following all this (I never knew remotes could be so confusing!)

    If I get the MX700 I will not need an extra remote to help it learn discrete codes?
     
  14. DaveLenhert

    DaveLenhert Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Chuck, thanks for the information. I didn't know that since I don't have any Sony products.


    Tom-
    Discrete codes can be entered into the MX700 in several ways. First, if the code has been entered into the database, all you have to do is find it, which is easier said then done. The second way, if you have the hex info for the code, is a somewhat screwy way. The MX Editor software doesn't have a way to DIRECTLY enter the hex for a discrete code. What you have to do is install the Pronto remote software, which you can manually enter the hex code, and then open the Pronto file into MX Editor. The third way is that there is a rater large database of files where people have already done the hard work and entered the discrete codes into a MX Editor file and all you need to do is import it into yours.

    However, I am hopeful that HTM will eventually allow directly entering of the hex codes.......they did create a Pronto import tool.

    Sorry about costing you more $$$, but for me I'm lazy and if I can program the remote in the computer the better off I am!

    -Dave
     
  15. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys...I definetly think the MX700 might be worth the extra cash simply for the ease of use.

    Now for another question. If I decide to go with the MX500 ,How exactly do you use the JP1 cable. (I've NEVER used a universal remote)

    I know that you d/l the JP1 software and everything, but how does the cable connect to the All For One remote? How do you get the code from the AFO remote to the MX500?
     
  16. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Check out the link provided above by MikeSRC from SurfRemoteControl for the JP1 Forum. It can get complicated if you start to get deep into JP1, however, for basic discretes it is fairly simple.

    Your JP1 cable connects to a 6 pin plug inside the OFA remote and goes to the serial port of your computer. The various JP1 software (currently stored on Yahoo but will be moved) is downloadable from links available at the JP1 forum .

    What happens is you use your computer to load the discrete to the OFA via the JP1 cable, then 'learn' them to a button on your MX unit.

    Once I figured out what I needed to do, it took about 5 minutes to get the codes and learn them into my MX500.

    Beside the JP1 Forum, I suggest you check out the start page where info for discretes is available:
    http://www.hifi-remote.com/ofa/



    MikeSRC - the 4 part trilogy got me through many boring days and nights in a computer lab.......I was saddened when Adams passed away.
     
  17. tom_furman

    tom_furman Stunt Coordinator

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    I getcha, so your computer can actually send the code to the All For One Remote. Which in turn you use to send to the MX500.

    Have you found that only 20 buttons (2 pages) per component have been enough? Or have you wished that you had more (The MX700 can hold more). And does the MX500 have enough macros to satisfy you?

    Thanks for letting me pick your brain Paul!
     
  18. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    What you really do is upload a code or code page from a file from your computer to the OFA via the JP1 cable, then put the MX500 into learn mode and receive the IR code from the OFA. You have the gist of it.

    The only piece of gear that 2 pages were not enough for was my Panasonic DVD player - I have removed the lesser used commands, however, I could have just as easily moved them somewhere else in the menu system.

    The 500 has more than enough buttons available for Macros. Any button on any page (except Favorites, which is slightly different) can be used 2 ways, the first is with a single button press, the second is as a Macro if held down. The flexibility of the unit never ceases to amaze me. Using same example I stated in my post above, rather than have a separate DVDOn button tied to a Macro, I could have easily used the DVD button (the one to bring up the Menu for the DVD player) as the Macro button. Press to access the DVD Menu, or Press and Hold to activate the Macro.

    At the time I purchased the MX500 (full retail in Canada - which was very expensive 1 and a half years ago) the MX700 was out of my price range. Having now found sites like surfremotecontrol and bluedo and finding that both have excellent pricing and ship to Canada, I am considering an MX700 for me and I will give the MX500 to my wife who keeps stealing the unit for 'her side' of the couch. The reason behind that would be the MX Editor Programming capabilities - this is also useful for firmware upgrades etc. of the 700.

    No worries about brain picking. The remote has been one of the best purchases I could have made and I am happy to suggest it to others looking for a button style unit.
     

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