universal remote control

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by jar_uk1, May 14, 2004.

  1. jar_uk1

    jar_uk1 New Member

    76
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    Jan 7, 2004
    Bracknell,...
    After a couple of weeks trying to figure out remote controls I think I have narrowed it down.

    I ruled out Prontos, Ipaqs with griffin ir extenders (same with palms) and OFA Kameleons, either due to expense, "fiddlyness" or lack of the number of units they can control.

    I think it is going to have to be an MX500 or an OFA Mosaic (but the mosaic is a horrible silver...)

    so it looks like an MX-500.

    If anyone uses the MX-500, is it sny good, can I give the LCD Device labels a name (Like Tivo!) and does it work with Tivos correctly?

    Also can i get it in the uk anywhere other than fpsgamer, I dont like buying from a place where I cannot find a phone no on the website (at all)

    Other than that, does anyone have any alternative ideas. In an ideal world it would be able to control a tivo/digibox/tv/av amp/dvd/Laserdisc player (The young uns won't remember those!)/x-box/md player.

    John R
     
  2. guydewdney

    guydewdney Senile Member

    397
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    Nov 26, 2001
    Tring, Herts
    i bought the MX1000 from fpsgamer - i found a number somewhere - good service.

    the 1000 is a less populated button version (similar size) with a nicer joystick control (it has:- main menu button, page, power, vol up/down, channel up/down, mute pre-ch (used as my TiVo button) play, ff, rw, stop (pause on tivo) joystick with select (push in))

    fully programmable like the pronto ( i have a pronto as wll, consigned to the cupboard) with logos etc etc. not quite as easy as the pronto though...
     
  3. iankb

    iankb New Member

    6,468
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    Oct 9, 2000
    Reading, UK
    I have an MX-500, and find it excellent. Much better than my more expensive and now discarded Pronto. It will learn everything, including the TiVo standby button, for which you will need to browse this forum for the trick. No problem with programming the LCD labels, although the mobile 'phone style of entering text can be a bit laborious. You will find the 5-way joystick a little odd at first, but will soon get use to it. Unlike the Pronto, it uses hard buttons for everything, and can be used by feel - just like a peanut.

    I bought it from FPSGamer and, unfortunately, after a couple of days the screen failed. Not only did I get profuse apologies and an immediate replacement, but I also got my postage refunded without asking. While you can buy it direct from the States, I do wonder how easy it would have been to get a replacement - with my costs refunded.

    In case you're wondering why learning the standby button is a problem, it is because the peanut will send out two codes, once you have programmed it to control your TV. You have to clear the extra code before you can capture the output.
     
  4. davedixson

    davedixson New Member

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    Oct 30, 2002
    Does anyone with an LCD-based remote have any comments on how they get by with hacing no tactile feedback. I usually use my remote without looking at it just by feeling my way around the buttons, and wondered if this would be possible with an LCD-based remote by learning where the virtual buttons are.

    Dave.
     
  5. aitcheff

    aitcheff New Member

    100
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    Mar 23, 2003
    Redhill, Surrey
    :up: Thumbs up for the MX500 from me too. I bought it from FPSGamer without problems - arrived next day.

    Agree with everythink iankb says and I used his little trick to program standby without problems.
     
  6. cyril

    cyril Active Member

    1,128
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    Sep 5, 2001
    London UK
    I have both the MX500 and the MX700, the 700 is programmable like a Pronto.

    They are my 2 favourite remotes.

    However, though I love the original TiVo peanuts, I have too many TiVos and gear!
     
  7. iankb

    iankb New Member

    6,468
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    Oct 9, 2000
    Reading, UK
    I found my Pronto totally unusable because of the lack of tactile feedback. Even worse, if you have to put on reading glasses to see the display, and find out which sub-screen you are on.

    The MX-500 has LCD labels on some of its keys, but it uses a hard button for each label.
     
  8. Heuer

    Heuer New Member

    378
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    Mar 15, 2004
    Nottinghamshire
    The new Harmony 688 remote has been designed with TiVo in mind. Simple setup from their web site and a dream to use. Cost about £98 and available on ebay. Web site is http://www.harmonyremote.com/ .
     
  9. iankb

    iankb New Member

    6,468
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    Oct 9, 2000
    Reading, UK
    The Harmony looks nice, but I'm not convinced that the buttons will be that easy to locate by feel. They look a bit 'edgeless'.
     
  10. Heuer

    Heuer New Member

    378
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    Mar 15, 2004
    Nottinghamshire
    Then try the 768 or 748 but they do cost more.
     
  11. johala_reewi

    johala_reewi New Member

    865
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    Oct 30, 2002
    Southampton UK
    The pronto has a few programmable 'real' buttons but most of the time I use the LCD buttons. My pronto has about 11 different remotes programmed into it plus a number of 'combined remotes' (useful when transferring programmes between devices eg: tivo to VCR) and yes, I have to look at the screen to use it. However, when i pick up the original remotes and try to use them, I still have to look at them because I haven't memorised all the button positions on all the remotes. When programming the pronto, I make all the remotes' key layouts similar so common functions are in the same place across devices (bit like a OFA) which means I know where to look. There are parts of the LCD screen which are easy to learn (usually near the real buttons) and you can put commonly used LCD buttons there. In all, I dont find using LCD buttons that much of a problem. It is more of a problem memorising lots of different remotes. Saying that, there is a new pronto which has a few more real buttons (like a cursor pad). Also, my pronto has been designed by me for use by me and is a real pain for anyone else to use :)
     
  12. iankb

    iankb New Member

    6,468
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    Oct 9, 2000
    Reading, UK
    Those don't have enough buttons to cover both cursor and transport buttons at the same time. However, the cheaper H659 seems to have all the necessary buttons, and they're tactile as well.

    Unfortunately, nobody is selling them in the UK, including eBay at the moment.
     
  13. iankb

    iankb New Member

    6,468
    0
    Oct 9, 2000
    Reading, UK
    The one benefit of the MX-500/700, and quite a few alternatives nowadays, is that they do tend to include similar button shapes and layouts to those used on the peanut. e.g. A number pad, a channel selection cluster, a transport cluster, a menu selection cluster, an audio cluster, etc. It isn't that hard to set them up so that the buttons are easily memorised.

    My objection to my Pronto was that there is absolutely no meaningful and memorable layout that you could associate with it. Also, because you couldn't get many usable 'buttons' on the same screen, you had to keep swapping screens, with the chances that you accidentally use the wrong one. However, I only had a monochrome Pronto, with a very poor quality and unreadable screen, and I expect that the colour versions are easier to use.
     
  14. Heuer

    Heuer New Member

    378
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    Mar 15, 2004
    Nottinghamshire
  15. Heuer

    Heuer New Member

    378
    0
    Mar 15, 2004
    Nottinghamshire
  16. mjk

    mjk Lurker

    315
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    Mar 13, 2002
    Inverness, UK
    Another vote here for the MX-700. Very flexible amd programmable. Replaced 15 other remotes with no effort at all!

    The MX-800 version uses RF as well as IR, so you can control things from outside the line of sight.
     
  17. jar_uk1

    jar_uk1 New Member

    76
    0
    Jan 7, 2004
    Bracknell,...
    Thanks for all the replies, I hadn't considered the Harmony, but I think I might go for it. Maybe I should toss a coin between it and the mx500.

    The other half nearly vetoed ALL of the universal remotes as she doesnt like the look of them :)

    John R
     
  18. iankb

    iankb New Member

    6,468
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    Oct 9, 2000
    Reading, UK
    Since the eBay sales above for the Harmony are from the States or Canada, don't forget the shipping fees. I notice that the last one charges $35 for shipping and $2 for creditcard handling. When you add the potential of attracting import duty, VAT and a collection charge, the MX-500 from FPS-Gamer could well be cheaper.
     
  19. DeadKenny

    DeadKenny New Member

    268
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    Nov 9, 2002
    Woking, UK
    MX-500 definitely :up:
     
  20. Fatbloke

    Fatbloke New Member

    620
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    Feb 26, 2002
    Deepest Barking
    Indeed - another MX-500 user here - I bought mine from the states originally - luckilly I have no problems with the unit so no need to return it. Current price $99 but you must factor in the cost of shipping and a possible hit on customs charges too (I was lucky :D)

    As for the display... heres my main readout:
    [​IMG]

    And when I press the Tivo button...
    ...[​IMG]
    The ToDo, search, SPM, Manual and Plyng are fast buttons to Todo, search page, Season pass, manual record and Now Playing - if I'm on the main Tivo menu screen, pressing one of these will go straight to that page. The WIDE is a controller for the Sony TV to adjust ratio aspects.
    I programmed the Prev Ch button to act as the Tivo button too - since I don't have 5 inch long thumbs :D

    There's also a second page for less used buttons, you get there by pressing the PAGE button...
    [​IMG]
     

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