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The touchscreen is extremely responsive to sensing commands – you need barely touch it for the command to be accepted. The remote sends signals out quickly, with no noticeable lag. It uses reversed button images to show when a command is being pressed or a macro is running; in addition, a small "sending" icon appears at the top of the screen. I personally feel that macros could be faster – sending out ten commands with the default half-second delay between each means you’ll have to wait at least five seconds. As I have experienced with other remotes, one-tenth of a second delays are adequate for many devices. Mentally count the difference between one second and five seconds and you’ll see why I’d like this to be customizable.
Using the joystick or other hard buttons does not cause the LCD screen to reactivate – an extremely good feature in my book. When using the DVD device you’ll notice that there’s no [MENU] hard button. You can control directions – but what about actually entering the menu? For that purpose I suggest using the [PRE CH] button, which otherwise has no purpose for a DVD player. The main screen appears to contain punch-throughs from other pre-selected devices; however, there does not seem to be any way to customize this feature further or learn other signals for general use. The remote is obviously designed for use only in your hand, as the comfortably curved back tends to cause the MX-1000 to rock side-to-side when used on a flat surface.
"Are you pointin’ that thing at me?"
At the very top of the remote is a red plastic bubble that houses the IR emitters. Looking through a CCD camera that can see the infrared light spectrum, the dual emitters are positioned so they actually stick out into the bubble, giving them great exposure on five sides. This means you don’t have to aim the remote at what you’re controlling – indeed you don’t even need to aim at the same wall! The IR range on the MX-1000 is truly fabulous. It passed my now routine "menacing thick fluffy blanket" test with ease. It breezed through the ominous double-MTFB. It even managed to get something recognizable through the terrifying triple-MTFB! Truly inspiring results.
As you may have already concluded, the Home Theater Master MX-1000 has all the features you’ll ever want in a universal remote – physically. Plenty of hard buttons; joystick menu control; high resolution touchscreen LCD; good backlighting; quality feel. But it seems the built-in software isn’t quite all there, despite the lengthy delays attributed to its development. The groundwork certainly is set and is more than acceptable, demonstrating examples of aliases, various types of page jumps, multiple button styles (custom buttons are a possibility), macros on any button, advanced text positioning and more.
So how could the MX-1000 be improved? Well, it already has all the ingredients of a great remote control; they just need to be fully realized. So, towards that end, I'm pleased to say that Universal Remote Control has finally released their PC software editing package – which we will now cover.