MX-500 vs Harmony 659/676

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by ericL, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. ericL

    ericL Abbie Normal

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    Jan 6, 2002
    Raleigh, NC

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    I know there's a lot of info on the forum (and everywhere else -- too much information) about universal remotes, but I have narrowed my choices down to 2 and I was wondering if I could get a consolidated thread just on that comparison. It looks to me like the Harmony 659 and 676 are basically the same but I like the button layout of the 676 better so far from pictures. I read one review of the Mx-500 that implied the top section couldn't be operated with one hand (I have pretty small hands). Is that true? That would be kind of a turn off.

    I have a pretty basic setup with RCA TV using various inputs, DTV R10, DTV H20 for HD, Sony DVD recorder and RCA A/V receiver.

    Does anyone care to recommend one or the other?

    thanks.
     
  2. markp99

    markp99 TakoKichi TCF Club

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    Mar 21, 2002
    Nashua, NH
    I have an MX-500 and MX-700. This remote is easily handled with one hand for all common remote functions (ch up/down, vol up/dn, play, ff, rev, numbers, etc.). It may be a stretch for small hands to reach the top-most function (lcd) button opposite the thumb, but it's not bad.

    I have actually placed the same LCD function on BOTH sides of the LCD display to accomodate left and right handed usage (i.e., rec, del functions). The flexibility of these remotes, especially the MX-700 is wonderful@

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  3. scorwine

    scorwine New Member

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    Dec 24, 2005
    NC
    I personally use the Harmony 688 and it works great. The buttons on it are a bit smaller than on the 659/676 but there are some specific buttons for DVR funtions. I highly recommend it. One quick note on any of the Harmony remotes, get good batteries, not cheap ones. These things will burn through the cheaps ones in no time.
     
  4. ericL

    ericL Abbie Normal

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    Jan 6, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Yeah, I'm considering the 688, too, actually. It's a little more expensive than the others and I wasn't convinced the different buttons were worth it. I have also read about the batteries and that is a bit of a bummer about the Harmonys.

    Thanks for the replies so far.
     
  5. Mark W

    Mark W Member

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    Dec 6, 2001
    CT, USA

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    Have you considered the Harmony 628? The button layout looks pretty good for Tivo and it's only $45 at Amazon.
     
  6. Jebberwocky!

    Jebberwocky! Guest

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    Apr 16, 2005
    Eric, I've tried both and stuck with the MX-700

    It can do everything the Harmony can do plus more, much more.

    Recently I had to add some programming because I bought a new piece of electronic equipment - Couldn't remember how I had programmed the remote the first time but it took all of a minute to figure it our and another 4 minutes to get it perfect.

    Programming through the PC (not the internet) is sweet.
     
  7. stujac

    stujac Member

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    Jan 26, 2002
    I agree with Mark on this one. I've had the MX500 for over 2 years and absolutely love it. The advantage to the MX700 is that it can be programmed from the computer which makes it easier to set up but if you don't mind investing a few hours on initial set-up you won't regret the MX500.
     
  8. dtremain

    dtremain New Member

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    Jan 4, 2004
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    I love my Harmony 680. I find it extremely easy to program over the internet and extemely easy to use. Even my mother-in-law understands it, much to her amazement.

    It is also well laid out of DVR operation.

    Admittedly, though, it is the only universal remote I've ever used.

    It is a battery killer, however. No denying that.

    One thing that I like about programming over the internet is that if someone adds a function from their own remote for a device that wasn't on the database before, it goes into the database for everyone. (When you teach a Harmony remote a command from another remote, it actually goes to the on-line database and then gets added to your remote.)

    When I went to program it, the "Direct" sound input command was not on the database for my receiver. When I added it from the remote, it was then there for everyone.

    The drawback is that there is a lot of crap in the databases because a lot of people apparently screw up and put commands in the wrong databases. For example, the commands for my DVD player include a whole lot of inputs. It doesn't have a single one.

    It's kind of like Wikipedia in that sense. Whatever nonsense a user puts in stays in until someone in charge bothers to notice. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Chuck_IV

    Chuck_IV Active Member

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Connecticut
    ericL,
    You may also want to take a look at the 680, as IMO the key layout is a bit better for PVR usage than the 676. It puts the transport controls around the "O" ring, as opposed to putting them above it, like the 676 does. Here's a good thread from Remotecentral.com, that has nice fullsized pics of all the Logitech remotes, so you can see the layouts: http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-harmony/thread.cgi?4251

    I just ordered a 680 myself, after having used a 676 for a week. I also tried the URC 200, which is similar in shape and size, to the MX 500(but has less topside buttons). Having small hands, I can say I didn't like the URC 200 all that well because if was bulky and I did have a bit of difficulty dealing with the topside buttons, one-handed.
     
  10. hearth

    hearth New Member

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Fair Oaks, CA
    My general rule of thumb on these two remote brands:

    If you like to customize and tweak your remote and don't mind spending the time to do it, the MX500/MX700 is the way to go.

    If you don't want to spend alot of time setting up the remote, and don't have a specific layout in mind, the Harmony series provides that service very painlessly.
     
  11. Tonedeaf

    Tonedeaf New Member

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    Sep 24, 2004
    Rockwall, TX
    Love my MX500. Had it for close to 2 years now. So easy even the wife can use it.
     
  12. Mark W

    Mark W Member

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    Dec 6, 2001
    CT, USA
    Can anyone provide any feedback on the 628? It looks like a good button layout. Anything that it does not do, considering it's cheaper than the others?
     
  13. Jebberwocky!

    Jebberwocky! Guest

    11,759
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    Apr 16, 2005
    I thought the harmony was a PIA to program. (even more to operate :))

    The MX-500 was about the same PIA while the MX-700 was a walk in the park compared to the other two.
     
  14. TivoQuestions

    TivoQuestions New Member

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    Jan 28, 2002
    If you are considering the Logitech Harmony line, the Harmony 680 is definitely the way to go for Tivo-based systems. The button layout is just a much better fit. :)

    -TQ
     

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