Hello, I've had a few URC products over the last few years, including a MX-500, MX-350 and MX-650.
I bought the MX-900 to control:
Marantz SR7400 receiver
Sony 50" Grand Wega RP LCD
Sony Tivo SVR-2000
Sony DVD/VCR combo
Shuttle PC in the basment (learned commands through a IR keyboard)
Phatnoise Home Digital Media Player
Voom Satellite receiver (for OTA HD, since Time Warner doesn't get Fox/ABC in HD)
Scientific Atlanta 8300HD
Well, I'm a firm believer in hard buttons, and the fatal flaw in my opinion with the MX-900 (and 950 IMO) is the lack of the central "gemstone" keypad in the center. With any of my other URC remotes, I had FF and Rewind mapped to the "Right and Left" keys on the URC, and the "FF and Rewind" keys function as "Right and Left".
We're heavy Tivo/HD fast forwarders / rewinders, so we never needed to look at the remote to FF/RW Tivo or 8300HD content. Now, with the MX-900, I find myself constantly feeling for the FF/RW buttons and have hit "skip" on accident many times. If I map the central keypad to FF/RW, then there's no logical buttons to replace "Right and Left".
Problem #2 - I have a pc in the basement with VGA 15 pin out, which goes to a RGB -> Component transceiver, then to an audio/video balun which takes component + digital audio across UTP (Ethernet). Upstairs, there is another exact dongle which takes it back to component + digital audio. Works great. I control the pc with a small IR keyboard with a built-in mouse, and blast the IR to a little Radio Shack Triangular receiver, and the transmitter is in the basement blasting to the IR reciever that came with the keyboard. Works great; I can surf the web, play downloaded movies etc. to the big screen upstairs. But the key thing I like to do is run winamp, and have the ability to load various playlists with the remote control. For example, I'll have a predefined playlist with Big Band songs. In Windows XP, I have that .m3u playlist file setup to execute when CTRL+ALT+9 is hit. The MX-350 and MX-900 had trouble learning these types of IR sequences, but the MX-650 (and MX-500) learned them without a hitch.
I have a macro that executes CTRL+SHIFT+K (This starts the visualizations), then a pause, then F2 (Displays artist/song info), then F3 (Displays song time elapsed).
At any rate, the MX-900 absolutely refuses to learn some of these codes. I've tried it many different ways, and the MX-650 seems like it will learn anything where the MX-900 fails.
#3 - I hate the "Learn" and "Watch" Buttons. Perhaps in time I'd get used to this, but for now it feels like I have to remind myself to hit that button first. With the MX-650 I have 10 hard buttons and the top and it's easier for my wife to hit "AM/FM" from the main page than "Listen"..."AM/FM". It's just an unnecessary extra step.
#4 - More on the FF/RW - with the buttons being that low on the remote, it's awkward on your thumb to hold the remote if you're fast fowarding through a long movie or sporting event.
#5 - No hard "Favorites" button. What a mistake!
#6 - No hard "Record" button! Sure, I can add this to the LCD menu, but with all the Tivos and DVRs these days, what a hassle!
I will say the programming sofware is very slick, but once you program your remote they way you want it, what's the point? It's not worth the extra $$$ to me for this feature. I don't change components often enough to justify the extra cost.
So anyway, I'm selling the MX-900, complete with box, manual, etc. Email me (email@example.com
) if you're interested. I would take a MX-650 + cash, provided everything works on it.