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>>> Wanted: Opinions on the MX-?00's vs. the Harmony 688 <<<

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tofferr is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 04:52 AM
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tofferr
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Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Downers Grove, IL USA
Posts: 43

I have an MX-800. I have not been able to figure out how to enter the discrete codes into the software that I use to program it (MX-800 Editor). Any suggestions?

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Draven X. Byrne is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 06:15 AM
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Draven X. Byrne
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quote:
Originally posted by bkdtv
I forgot to include a cost comparison of the above remotes:

MX-500 - $100
URC-200 - $120-$130 (plus $50 for optional RF receiver)
MX-600 - $250 (or $169 open-box with 1-year warranty)
MX-700 - $350 (or $189 open-box with 1-year warranty)
MX-800 - $429 (or $299 open-box with 1-year warranty).



Hey Bkdtv-

From what I've seen the MX-800 is the same remote as the MX-700 but with IR capability? Would this be accurate? Plus- is there any way to get the MX-700 in black? Have people tried to paint the plastic or mod it in any way (the color) - It seems like from everything I've read and what you guys say that these Home Theater Master remotes kicks serious ass and are better then the Harmonies.

How much warranty work has there been on the 700's? I am basically asking if it's better to get an open box from Surfremote or get a brand new factory sealed one off of Ebay for $140?

DXB

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tofferr is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 06:29 AM
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tofferr
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Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Downers Grove, IL USA
Posts: 43

quote:
Originally posted by Draven X. Byrne
From what I've seen the MX-800 is the same remote as the MX-700 but with IR capability?


Assuming you mean RF capability, then I believe you are correct.

I bought an open box 800 from BlueDo for $300. It arrived in excellent shape. Works wonderfully.

For those wondering... I already had IR pyramids, but wasn't satisfied with the performance. I was thinking about getting a better IR repeater, so, the incremental cost of the open box 800 over the 700 seemed reasonable to me.

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bkdtv is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 08:35 AM
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bkdtv
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quote:
From what I've seen the MX-800 is the same remote as the MX-700 but with IR capability?
As the above poster says, the MX-800 is just a version of the MX-700 with RF capability, to send signals through walls and cabinets. It also has a different color scheme -- silver instead of sandstone; you can see a screenshot of the MX-800 right here.

quote:
Plus- is there any way to get the MX-700 in black? Have people tried to paint the plastic or mod it in any way (the color)
AFAIK, there is no way to get a MX-700 in black. I don't think painting or modding would work very well. The beige/sandstone finish does look better than it appears in my picture. Some people complain about the MX-700's larger size, but there aren't many complaints about its color or finish.

Last edited by bkdtv on 06-22-2004 at 08:41 AM

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Draven X. Byrne is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 10:26 AM
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Draven X. Byrne
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quote:
Originally posted by bkdtv
As the above poster says, the MX-800 is just a version of the MX-700 with RF capability, to send signals through walls and cabinets. It also has a different color scheme -- silver instead of sandstone; you can see a screenshot of the MX-800 right here.

AFAIK, there is no way to get a MX-700 in black. I don't think painting or modding would work very well. The beige/sandstone finish does look better than it appears in my picture. Some people complain about the MX-700's larger size, but there aren't many complaints about its color or finish.



D'oh! I'd edit my post above but I always enjoy my stupidity so (and to think - a remote with IR capability - man that's bleeding edge )

Oh well - I like black but if the MX-700 is only in sandstone then so be it - I want the better remote - I guess I can live with the color.

Has anyone had bad luck with the 700's? Is it worth buying from an authorized dealer just for that or are they rather stable and durable?

DXB

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Edmund is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 02:27 PM
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Edmund
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Reisterstown,Maryland
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If you check ebay, you might find the B&K 10.1, which is oem version of the mx-700, and its black.

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macnificent is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 04:09 PM
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macnificent
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What about battery life? My MX remote ate batteries (bi-monthly) and if they went completely dead it lost it's memory and had to be reprogrammed from the start. I no longer use it just for this reason.
Tell me about the harmony's power source.

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Brad Bishop is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 05:39 PM
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Brad Bishop
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Posts: 165

I go for ease of use. I use my TiVo remote for all day-to-day TV watching. I don't pipe regular TV through the receiver unless it's a movie I'm watching.

My goal was to make it so that when guests came over I could just hand them a remote and say, "enjoy." The TiVo remote does that.

When I've been at other people's houses and they left to go do something, they'd leave me with 3 remotes and crazy instructions on how to make it all work. (cable box, TV remote, A/V remove) Each of these remotes had a ton of buttons on them because each of them had the ability to sort-of control other components. Even if that worked (and for most pack-in remotes, it doesn't) you still are left with a daunting task of trying to find a button to change the channel or turn the volume up.

So, anyway, I hand someone the TiVo (DirecTiVo) and they're good to go. I use the Sony Auto-A/V switch in my setup so that if someone wants to play a game or watch a movie then they just turn the component on and the switch takes care of the rest. When they turn the component off, it goes back (automatically) to DirecTiVo.

The only thing that requires more than one step is to watch a DVD/LD. They have to turn on the Amp & DVD/LD player and then turn a big knob on the Amp to dial in to the source info (the receiver is lacking on buttons which is a good thing). The receiver has two large knobs on it. One to dial-in your source (and the LED display happily tells you what you've selected) and the other to control volume.

I have the MX-500 and use that as a secondary remote for watching movies. If they want to watch a movie, they can pick up that remote and everything will function normally. I've got the DirecTiVo remote programmed into the MX-500 so it could be used for that but the regular old TiVo remote does so well on it's own in a non-complicated way.

Anyway, my point is that I have achieved a certain level of simple elegance with my stuff using the the DirecTiVo, an A/V autoswitcher, an amp with a simple interface, and the MX-500 remote and all is well (it all passed the wife acceptance factor with flying colors).

Edited:
After my rambling on and on above I meant to add: Yes, I've got the MX-500 and recommend it.

Brad

Last edited by Brad Bishop on 06-23-2004 at 12:36 AM

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AbMagFab is offline Old Post 06-22-2004 11:39 PM
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AbMagFab
I love my HD Tivo!!

Registered: Feb 2001
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A few responses:

I have an MX-700, not MX-500, so not sure how the MX-500 works. The reason I got the MX-700 was the extremely flexible yet easy to use software.

The way I get discrete codes into my MX-700 is to first test from the extensive MX-700 IR database, and if that fails, I download them from remotecentral.com.

I've had my MX-700 for around 6 months, and I just changed the original batteries (you know, the weird ones called "Steve's Batteries" or something).

I've never had a problem with the MX-700. It's always worked perfectly. It has great IR dispersal and range. The only issue is the "select" button, which is the middle of the joystick-panel-thingy and at first seems hard to select. After about 2 weeks, it stabilized to a comfortable push (or I just got used to it).

I can't recommend a universal remote more than the MX-700, and I've tried a bunch of them. Hard buttons (no touch screen) plus seemingly infinite memory capability plus easy programming and macros plus great software = wonderful remote.

The MX-800 is the MX-700 with RF capabilities. My understanding is that the RF is overly sensitive, so you need to remove the antennas and do other things to get it to work right. Not sure how real that is, but my neighbor got the 800 based on my 700, and it's working okay for him. I'll probably get the 800 for my new basement A/V room when it's done.

I'd buy from eBay or other on-line stores. You can get it for 50% or more off, and it's boxed and new. It's probably not an authorized reseller, but for half the price, and for the reliability, I don't think I care?

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bkdtv is offline Old Post 06-23-2004 02:21 AM
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bkdtv
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Registered: Jan 2003
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The batteries last a long time on the MX-700, assuming you don't use the light feature often. Losing your configuration by switching batteries is not a problem, at least on this model.

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Draven X. Byrne is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 10:33 AM
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Draven X. Byrne
Pope to the TiVos

Registered: Jun 2003
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Posts: 230

Question for any B&K SR10.1 owners out there-

I know that this is a OEM MX-700 . . . are the buttons on the SR10.1 the same as on the MX? Or are they a rubberery type button and not the "gemstone"?

Thanks again to everyone for help and sharing their knowledge.

DXB

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jose39 is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 09:21 PM
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jose39
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MX700

quote:
Originally posted by bkdtv
Draven,

Harmony will replace your 688 if you purchased it from an authorized dealer.

The MX-700 is generally a more powerful remote. Some advantages:
  1. Larger, well-spaced hard buttons that are easy to use by feel alone.

  2. More LCD buttons (10 vs 6) with better feel / responsiveness.

  3. Total control over all your LCD device pages. The MX-700 allows four pages with ten commands per activity/device. All LCD labels and pages are completely customizable. You can customize which pages are shown (and which are hidden), as well as the names and order of functions on every page.

  4. Total control over the favorites feature. The MX-700 displays ten channels (CNN, MSNBC, SciFi, etc) per page of your choosing, in the order you want. You can have up to five favorites pages, for 50 channels total. Note the MX-700 does not display program listings or guide information.

  5. Macros (to perform multiple commands in sequence) are supported on every button. Macros can be configured to perform instantly on key press, or after a "push and hold" for a period of time you define. Customizable delays can be inserted between macro commands, and a macro can be set move to any other device page on the remote.

  6. Any button on the remote can be configured to do two different things, depending on how long you hold it down. For example, you could have the fast forward button work as it does normally on a standard press, while a longer "press and hold" (which can be set to any length of time from >=0.1 in 0.1 sec increments) could be set to skip forward three minutes.
The MX-700 has its share of disadvantages:
  1. No automatic web setup. The software doesn't configure the activities for you. You have to use the bundled PC software (no Mac version available) to do everything yourself. A setup with activities can take 3x to 10x as long, or even longer if you've never setup a universal remote or configured macros before.

  2. No dedicated hard buttons for skip forward (30sec), skip back (instant replay), page up (thumbs up), page down (thumbs down), or record. You can configure LCD buttons for these functions, or use some of the existing buttons labeled for different functions. The "Stop" button is not used by Tivo, so that's a button you can use for another function. Some users also relabel "Menu" as instant replay and "Exit" as 30sec skip. Such relabeling is generally not as intuitive as having dedicated hard buttons for these functions.

  3. No dedicated Select button. The MX-700 uses a five-way joystick that is approximately 3x the size of the Harmony joystick. You click the center of the joystick for Select. You've got to click exactly on the middle to avoid pressing up, down, left, or right.

  4. No state memory. The MX-700 won't remember the state of your equipment. This is a non-issue if your equipment supports discrete IR codes. If your equipment doesn't support discrete IR codes, there are programming workarounds, but they are very complex.

  5. Much larger remote size. The MX-700 is about an inch longer and 0.70" wider than the 688. Most people can't reach the LCD buttons without shifting the remote in their hand. The 9.0" length and 3.0" width isn't too unwieldy for the hands of most men, but some women with smaller hands have trouble.

    The screenshot (to scale) below compares the popular home theater remotes. From left to right: MX-500, MX-700, URC-200, Harmony 659, Harmony 688. Click for larger:

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jose39 is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 09:26 PM
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jose39
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Registered: Mar 2004
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I have an MX700. How do you program a macro so that the fast forward button works normally on a standard press and a longer press and hold would be set to skip forward three minutes?

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bkdtv is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 09:45 PM
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bkdtv
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jose,

You have the IR code on the button for fast forward, just as you do now. On one of the LCD labels (you can put it on a hidden page), you create a macro with six 30-sec skips. For the first step in the macro, insert a delay (like 0.2 sec). Now make a shortcut to this macro on the fast forward button.

When you press the button normally, you'll trigger a fast forward. When you press and hold it (for 0.2 sec in above example), you'll skip three minutes.

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Rkkeller is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 10:46 PM
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Rkkeller
Senior Member

Registered: May 2004
Location:
Posts: 366

How do you know what buttons
are programmed for what ? Do
you have to remember all this ?

Would seem much easier to just get
a universal learning remote with the buttons
labled like they should be. Maybe not
all the features but sure would be
easier to use. Dont really want to
sit there with a notepad next to the
remote just so I can remember what
is programmed for what.


Rich

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bkdtv is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 11:15 PM
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bkdtv
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Registered: Jan 2003
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Rkkeller,

Remember, on these remotes with LCDs, you can edit the names of the LCD buttons to whatever you want. All of these are learning remotes too, so you can put whatever function on whatever button you want.

There are no universal remotes with learning capability that have all the Tivo buttons. The Harmony 688 is about as close as you can get for a learning remote.

The URC-6161 does have most of the Tivo buttons, but its button layout stinks, as does feel / feedback and build quality. It lacks a LCD buttons, so it can't replace all your hometheater component remotes. It's not a learning remote either, although if you modify it with JP1, it can then be configured with a PC. There is much steeper learning curve for JP1 than there is for the Harmony and MX setup.

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gsmith66 is offline Old Post 06-30-2004 12:20 AM
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gsmith66
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Warning concerning Harmony. Their website sucks, and you cannot setup this remote without the website. Beware of buying this remote until their website issues are resolved!

Dear Harmony Customer,
Over the past weekend, the Harmony member web site experienced an unprecedented level of activity. This together with a server error caused significant performance issues, which may have resulted in you experiencing update times in excess of 20 minutes.

These issues have now been resolved and the website is back to full capacity.

We at Harmony remote know how critical it is that the Harmony Member website is available and responsive to customers at any and all times. Please be assured that we are working hard to continually increase our website capacity to meet the demands of our growing customer base.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Please Note: For all support of your Harmony remote, please contact the Harmony Support Team at 1-866-291-1505, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6p.m. Eastern Time for assistance.

Best Regards,

Peter Evans
Manager, Customer Services
Logitech Remote Controls

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AEgeus is offline Old Post 06-30-2004 01:00 AM
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AEgeus
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How's battery life on the Harmony Remotes? I've heard they aren't too good on batteries.

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bkdtv is offline Old Post 06-30-2004 01:58 AM
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bkdtv
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Registered: Jan 2003
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AEgeus,

Some people have had problems with battery life on the 688, while others have not. It could be a quality control issue, which is a good argument for buying from an authorized dealer (ex: Surf Remote Control).

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>>> Wanted: Opinions on the MX-?00's vs. the Harmony 688 <<<

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