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AV Components
Exclusive: First Look at Universal Remote Control’s MX-810
URC MX-810 remote
June 15, 2007 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
The $399 MX-810 Pro Wizard remote can command up to 24 activities for 24 different devices.
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18 Comments (displaying chronologically) Post a comment
Posted by Shawn  on  06/15  at  11:02 AM

Looks neat. Maybe when they “fix” their awful customer service policies, I will consider purchasing this remote. Until then, I will continue to purchase from other vendors.

Posted by Barney  on  06/15  at  11:48 AM

$400 is a chunk of change for a remote. i know most top end remotes sell in that range (or more), but for most home theaters i’ve found the harmony (now owned by logitech) to be the best bang for buck. as or whole house control, there might be better, can’t speak to that.

from this product announcement i don’t see any standout features (wifi, voice recognition, etc) that would justify the price, and in the past i’ve found the universal brand to be kinda clunky.

not trying to promote the harmony line, just relaying my experience.

Posted by Scott  on  06/16  at  07:12 PM

I’m waiting for one of these $400 remotes to include blu-tooth for the PS3. Is it really that hard to have a remote with both IR and blu-tooth?

Posted by Joe-CI  on  06/16  at  10:36 PM

Let’s address the comments.

1)“I don’t like URC policy so I will buy from other vendors”
If you mean Harmony or RTI, go ahead. If you mean Ebay, you’re a pennypinching troll.

2)WiFi and voice recognition are higher end features. They never give you those features at the midrange to begin with.

3) Bluetooth in a remote is stupid. PS3 IR adapter is smart. Seriously, think about it.

No matter what the remotes will be whored out everywhere. Expect dougtheaterman and inetdistributors and others who are likely URC online dealer shells to be dropping their pants in roughly 2-3 months of introduction.

Posted by Tweeter Boy  on  06/16  at  10:39 PM

Companies like URC was just one of many nails in Tweeter’s coffin.

Good luck to the new line of BS and those who swallow it.

Posted by Anon  on  06/17  at  05:56 AM

When will we finally get 2 way remotes?
Why do we need to pay a mint for this?

Harmony accelerated URC’s milk the hell out of the market philosophy and exposed their we 2-time everyone but major dealers policy.

If only someone could have forced their hand at 2-way at a reasonable price.

Posted by Daniel Blacklock  on  06/17  at  07:47 AM

For that kind of money it had better have Windows SideShow Technology:
“While you watch TV with your family on Windows Media Center, you can find out what programs are showing next or schedule a recording for the next day. You can also browse through your Windows Media Center music collection from the display on the remote control without turning on the TV.”

Posted by Erebus1954  on  06/17  at  04:30 PM

Avoid URC unless they change their policy of abondoning end users.

This is not a consumer product as it stands now.

If you like to set up the remote yourself, don’t get it.

Not because you can’t do it, but because URC doesn’t want you to do it.

Posted by Barney  on  06/17  at  08:57 PM

Scott, if i recall, Logitech announced they were adding voice recognition to their top remote, the Harmony 1000, which i believe sellls for uner $400.

my point about standout features was that this remote didn’t seem to add anything new to the pot, just catching up with the other options.

also, you need a pc to program the urc remotes. harmony is web based.

Posted by Vic Dix  on  06/18  at  02:08 AM

One comment

Junk

Posted by AV GUY  on  06/19  at  10:04 AM

URC has taken care of any issue we have ever had. They are a great company to work with. Harmony remotes are all over the internet too. Plasmas and LCD are too but most people should not install them either. This is a remote that should be programmed by a professional installer not an end user, as most URC remotes should, if you want it to work correctly. For all of you who have an issue with that do you do all your appliance work or car repairs your self or do you let a professional do it.

Posted by Don Mei  on  06/19  at  09:25 PM

Vic,
I hate to be a pain, but you are wrong.  There is a huge difference between diy remote programming and diy auto repair.  If I get it wrong, I pull up a new file in my URC software and start over.  Nothing lost, nothing wasted except my time.

I built an airplane for myself that flies.  It has all kinds of fancy avionice.  If I can learn to build an airplane, I can learn to program a remote and integrate a whole house system.  Its not freaking black magic. 

Will I screw up, ABSOLUTELY.  Yes, I will.  Will it hurt anything, no.  If I get really annoyed, I’ll pay someone to do it.  But in the mean time, no harm done.

Don
p.s.  I just picked up 2 URC MX900s from a tweeter store that is closing tomorrow for $97 ea.  woo hoo

Posted by Roberto  on  06/26  at  11:27 AM

Personally, I can’t stand Harmony, which is only “for the Young & Cheap or Nerdy”.  You CAN program them and Universal Remote will give you the software!  C B-low.

1) Young: like to waste time trying to get something to work, instead of making more money working.  (Economics, opportunity costs, ever heard of it?).  I used to rebuild my BMWs when I was young and made $20 hr, now that I have a real proffesional job, it doesn’t make sense, like changing my own oil, I can do it but I’d rather spend time with my lady.  And lastly the text is too small for most over 35 years old.

2) Cheap: Ever drop a Harmony or worse yet an RTI?  You won’t be able to and use it.  A couple of times at most and it is in pieces.  I have had various Universal Remote Control products over the years and they never break and I have dropped them a lot, I’ve even stepped on one accidentally.  No damage, try that with RTI or Harmony…  My dad uses my old MX-700 and loves it, still works like a champ. 

3) Nerdy: As in I like a product that I often have to press the “FIX IT” buttton on.  If you need to have a “Fix” button that means it was broke to begin with.  My MX-900, about the same price as the MX810, works 100% of the time, no fix it, even guest at my home can use it, without any training or “use the Fix it button.  I use an RF basestation and don’t ever loose steps to my automated Macros.
Even my grandmother!!!  Try that with a Harmony.

Lastly, Anyone can program them, they will give you the software if you bought it from an authorized place; look at thier website fool, register your serial number and you can get the editor program, but that doesn’t matter to the super cheap, I only buy on the internet because I’m so smart reagardless if the product has no serial number and was probably stolen.  Someday you just might, appreciate buying something from a real human who you can ask questions of and get assistance from without calling bangladesh, Universals tech support are all in America, North America, and rather helpful, even when I wanted to reprogram my old MX-700 for my father, he loves it and it works like a champ… 

FYI: I would buy those tweeter remotes, they are authorized resellers, aka full support from URC and what a freakin deal, woo hoo is right!

Yikes, I just wasted all this time posting what was I thinking.

Posted by Don Mei  on  06/26  at  11:58 AM

Yeah, I bought 2 of those tweeters. 

I agree with the opportunity cost assessment if I considered it work.  But it is fun to me. I do it at night, when I’m on my own time.  I’ve almost got the macros figured out so when I push “watch” TV, it does everything. 

The TV is pure toggle, so no work arounds, but I’ve included a dedicated TV power button in case that is screwed up.  In the future I will buy a tv with discreet on and off commands.  (current TV is 10+ yrs old)

Yeah, the MC900s were a steal.  You wont believe it, but on the last day, I stopped in and they had an Mx-300 ( I may have the mx wrong, but the 300 is correct) RF to IR repeater. 

The sold me the 300 for $19, 95.  I also got 6 pairs of Boston Acoustic in ceiling speakers for anywhere from $49 for 2 pairs of 950s (pricegrabber best price of about $750) to $19ea for a pair of 850s ($500 ) that were missing grills. 

I also walked out with 6 strips of plugmold for $5 each.  I felt like I was stealing. 

Oh yeah, did I mention the Escient Fireball SE80 for $299.  Woo hoooo.  Too bad they dont have russound.

Don

Posted by Donald Mei  on  06/26  at  12:00 PM

One question to those who are far more knowlidgable than me. 

Once I get the hang of programing the 900s.  Will setting up other (cheaper) URC units be similar?  I’m hoping that there wont be much learning curve ins etting up the other units.

Don

Posted by Doug  on  08/23  at  11:31 AM

Regarding ease of programming the URC vs Harmony.  A close friend, fellow installer with competitor that used to be contract installers for Circuit City loves the Harmony’s.  However he relates persistent problems with “simple” online downloads etc.. and both he and one of my customers who purchased a Harmony report the toggle only status tracking features (Smart State) are far less reliable than installers and customers would wish. 
I was recently at my customers house on a service call and I picked up the Harmony. Of course I offerred him a URC when I installed the home theater. Budget restrictions wouldn’t allow.  So he picked up a 600 series Harmony from Best Browse or some other big box retailer.  He has a Denon AVR with second zone.  I routinely program bullet proof, simple to use second zone or second room macros on MX850’s/900’s I asked “Roger” how to access the 2nd zone source command on his Harmony and his reply was “you need the Denon remote for that, I still haven’t been able to figure that out.”  Roger is not a stupid guy. But when push came to shove, it has not been worth the time for him to figure this out using the “simple” on-line programming interface from Logitech.
Look at the entry level products of a manufacturer as a reliable measure of how the rest of the product line performs and holds up.  I still have customers using SL9000’s that are 5 years or more old and look like they have been run over.  Display quality on the MX700’s IMHO blows doors off the displays on the 600 series.  I cannot judge customer service of Logitech. But I can say that when I have had probs (rare) with URC they have been way cool about it - even replacing a problem unit with a new remote even though the original was out of warranty and clearly had endured customer inflicted trauma.  And URC specialiizes in remote control.

What I think URC has learned from Logitech is to pay more attention to certain issues - rechargeable internal batteries, for example, are a very good idea which also reduce waste.  Brining color icons to a lower price point is clearly been motivated in part by the competition between these companies and that is also good for everyone.

I’m in the URC camp but I am always evaluating interesting new product. Next test run will be Nevo.

Posted by Doug is Missing important details  on  08/23  at  02:34 PM

The Harmony 550 display is far superior to the MX700 and on par w/ the MX900. The HArmony 550 is $75 on Amazon Shipped.

Harmony web programming is it’s advantage and Achilles heel. Most people have an internet connection.

The Harmony 1000 is thinner and balances better than the MX3000.

Harmony is already using Zwave and URC is going to incorporate it once they finish bet testing the currnet line of new products. Customers are the beta testers, of course.

The problem is neither are proiftable and make Dealers look like scam artists when you look at the proliferation of products online below reseller and sometimes below dealer cost.

Posted by Anand Satchit  on  09/28  at  05:38 PM

I’ve had really bad experiences with the Harmony 1000 for many months now. I get constant interference, given that z-wave operates on the 900Mhz frequency (possibly from phones in the area). There is no facility to changet the channel. Interference requires me (most times) to re-install the software, which is a pain given it happens at least 1-4 times a week.

I’m giving up on the harmony rf and considering URC, given it operates on the 418mhz frequency, which is more reliable narrowband. Anyone have experience with RF signals to extenders sitting in closeets? I heard the new philips pronto 9400/9600 models are pretty good and incorporate wifi over g. Any input appreciated, before I revert to a hardwire ir extender option!

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