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User reviews for the Home Theater Master MX-1000 from Universal Remote Control Inc.
Home Theater Master MX-1000
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.51/5.00
Median: 4.33/5.00
The computer programmable MX-1000 features a high-resolution touchscreen display, 5-way joystick and 14 other hard buttons, full backlighting, learning and pre-programmed codes, plus a lot more.
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Now viewing user reviews page 3 of 5 for
the Home Theater Master MX-1000 remote.
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Written by Vladimir Hristov from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 15 made on Saturday May 26, 2001 at 10:45 AM.
Strengths:Buttons apart of the LCD screen, good indiglo backlight, very long range (40-60'), PC programable, AA size batteries.
Weaknesses:Some of the buttons on the LCD screen have to be clicked several times before they activate.
Review:Great, great, great and great again.
I had it 2 months ago, but I'm in love with it. Very configurable, can drive any component and you can add or delete or modify all the buttons on the LCD. Also you can design your own buttons on the computer.
A big plus is the availability of real buttons for the basic commands like volume, channels, play, stop, FF REW, mute and the joystick. On some other remotes you always have to look at the screen in order to locate these buttons.
Great again and highly recommended -:)
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Written by Alan Diehl from California, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 14 made on Monday April 30, 2001 at 6:21 PM.
Strengths:IR strength is excellent.
The combination of hard and soft buttons is very good.
The hard buttons have a firm crisp feel.
High quality hardware.
The joystick is well designed.
The soft buttons function very well with a light touch.
The PC interface and new design software is very good.
The ability to design and import custom buttons is a definite plus.

Weaknesses:Display contrast is a bit low.
V 2.25 software: Does not upload on (my) Windows 2000 OS, but works very well with Windows ME.
Font displayed in software is not what you get on the MX-1000, however it still works well. I software fix is needed here. It would be nice to have more characters available for the buttons.
System Resources: The software should allow you to remove unused system pages and system buttons so you could make use of more custom buttons without taxing system resources and memory allocation of the MX-1000 itself. (I don’t know if this is a hardware or firmware limitation).
Review:The quality of the hardware is excellent. The finish on the case of the unit is good looking and practical. The combination of hard and soft buttons is good, but a couple more user definable hard buttons would be nice for commonly used functions. The joystick is functional, firm, and easy-to-use. It takes a short time to learn to push it in the correct direction, but once learned, it is very easy to move the cursor around on TiVo and Menu pages. A definite plus.

A few details on the software:
I can emphatically state that the new V2.25 MX-1000 Design software is excellent, light-years ahead of the last version. I bought the MX-1000 before the V1.91 software was released and found it tedious to use and buggy. Not so with V2.25; the software is stable, easy to use, fast, and overall works exceptionally well. Downloads and uploads are easy to perform and work well under Windows ME.

Placing buttons on the screen is easy. The granularity of positioning is coarser than the V1.91 software, which is actually an advantage because it is easier to “eyeball” a button location that moves two pixels at a time. However, if you need to move the button in one-pixel increments, you can do so by pressing the Alt key while moving the button. This works on text as well.
Text writing on buttons is easy. There is a fuzzy outline around the text box. I find that this border made it easier position the text within the button much faster than the old way. Although I would still like to see the coordinate positioning displayed for even more accuracy. Perhaps I got used to setting up screens that way in V1.91.

Importing button files is easy and works very well. I recommend this procedure over importing your old .mdl files from V1.91. Learning each key from your old remotes is recommended, it’s more work but worth it. Learned data is easily saved to your program file.

One MX-1000 remote replaced a ½ dozen others that came with my equipment. Previously, I used a Home Theater Master SL 9000 to control most of the components. It worked well and reduced the number of controls required from six to two, with the occasional need to use some of the originals for certain system and input settings, etc. Now all the functionality is available through the MX-1000.

Overall this is an excellent remote, and should be the only one you will need. I highly recommend it.
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Written by L.C.H. from Virginia, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 13 made on Thursday April 26, 2001 at 2:57 PM.
Strengths:Hand feel, Balance, Build Quality,IR transmit strength !! , Combination of essential hard buttons with touchscreen LCD, PC interface with software programming (upload/download).
Weaknesses:LCD Screen: Needs more Contrast without backlighting on, Needs program update to allow user to select "backlight on" when LCD screen is tapped(incl. duration,etc.)

Designer Software: Larger space allocation for custom buttons (sizes for individual buttons, not total button file size), and clearer messages for feedback (i.e. the button you have added exceeds file size by xxKB...).
Deletion of "system" properties: We really need to be able to delete several default items, i.e., system buttons, un-used device pages !!!, buttons on Main page, etc...

Review:You MUST use the latest software to be happy with the MX-1000 (designer V. 2.25).
Currently there are reports of problems with Dell PC's and/or Win2K .

The Pre-programming functions and database leave alot to be desired if that is how you intend to "teach" this remote. The good news is that it "learns" very well (directly from other remotes). I recommend that you teach this remote from your other remotes!

This is a very fine remote that MAY get even better with continued progress with its software development, IF HTM listens to all the enlightened enthusiasts here.

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Written by Paul from Chicago.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 12 made on Tuesday April 17, 2001 at 7:34 PM.
Strengths:- Hard button and LCD combination
- Solid contsruction
- Ability to improve the product via software ond OS upgrades
Weaknesses:- Display contrast could be better
- No Guide, Menu, or Pause hard buttons
Review:As everyone else has said, the remote is of a high quality and the combination of hard and soft buttons is great.

Regarding the software, though, previous to the 2.25 software you really had to just like the remote itself. I was able to work around some of the software errors… but they were very frustrating and limited what you could accomplish. Keeping in mind that I am an engineer and experienced programmer, I can’t believe that the average consumer could have dealt with it. The new software, though, is really an unbelievable step ahead of what they had. More custom buttons, device-to-device copying, no application errors (yet), faster responses, and more reliable responses are just a few improvements that have been made. Because it’s easy and reliable to set up screens, I’ve finally put together screens for all of the buttons on my old remotes.

One complaint I had about even the OEM remotes for my components is that some of the functions are very cryptic. It seems that in order to include some "universality" to their remotes and in the interest of space… many buttons have several short labels on them. This would force me to push 5 buttons to figure out how to do something… or just go for the manual. Even in the MX-500, which seems to have most of the hard button’s I’d need…I still don’t believe that 5 characters on the soft menu buttons would be enough. That’s basically what I have on my current OEM remotes… and I know that I won’t remember that that pushing “TEST” followed by “RREAR” by “LVL+” will lower my rear level. Not to mention that the number of buttons on some of my remotes would cause these to be on separate menus on the MX-500 which probably send me looking for my OEM.

This remote has truly allowed me to put my other remotes away. Without the software being where it is today… I would be much less impressed. Having a good software-editing tool for the remote enables you to start laying out screens that really make the remote work well. I actually am using more features on my components now because I’ve been able to lay them out in a manner that I remember what things do at a glance.
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Written by Will Mullen from Chicago.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 11 made on Friday March 16, 2001 at 9:16 AM.
Review:Low Vision Alert!
People with Low Vison may have problems seeing the Touch Screen.

After visiting the HTM web site and Remote Central, I was very interested in the MX-1000. I ordered one with low expecations for the software. In nfact I had already downloaded MXOP and was changing buttons before I ever ordered the remote. However I was expecting an LCD screen as good and as visible as my Rocket eBook. In this I was disappointed. I suffer from RP. While I am able to read, my ability to distinguish subtle differences in contrast is failing. I've not yet had a chance to load Danial Tonks .MDL into the MX-1000, something that I plan for this weekend. Perhaps the large whithe blocky text on the Black buttons will be more readable too these tired old eyes. If this remote were for me, it would be going back, however, my wife has normal vission and she can see the LCD. I purchased this remote for its ability to assign macros to device buttons. Our A/V receiver requires too many buttons pushes to switch device, something at which my wifre is balking. Once I get the MX-1000 programmed and in her hands, I am hoping that domestic tranquility will return.

It is too soon for me to rate the features or ease of use of this remote. These have been talked about by others, But I did want to get this out as quckly as possible for those people like me who have vision problems and are constantly in search of technology solutions.
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Written by IeraseU from Miami, FL, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 10 made on Sunday March 4, 2001 at 2:20 PM.
Strengths:Great ergonomics; very usuable *5-way* joystick; very good IR strengh; LCD buttons AND hard buttons; good quality construction
Weaknesses:Early PC software is buggy, and not very powerful/customizable; Takes alot of time to do *initial setup*; Battery drain can be fast if you use the backlight all the time;
Review:I waited a full 3 months after I had this remote in order to write this review because I wanted to make sure I had experience to cover all the bases. Upon first getting the remote, I was very frustrated on how buggy the PC Software seemed to be, and how long it took to trouble shoot and get that perfect *custimation*. To get the remote *programmed* through the software took me about 2 days. It then took about 2 1/2wks after that to fine-tune the layout, and isolate and eliminate all the problems. Once I was past this very frustrating initial stage, I was very satisfied with the remote. The build quality is great, and so is the balance in your hand. The IR is exceptionally strong, and you don't actually have to point the remote at what you are controlling. When the batteries expire, the remote dispays a message telling you to change them, and when you do, you will find that all your buttons and macros are still intact. Having experienced just how well the combination of hard and soft buttons works, I dont think I can ever go back to a purely LCD remote. If the PC Software becomes more user friendly, and powerful, I would say this would be the *perfect remote*, bar none. As it is though, the actual hardware is incredible, but the software leaves much to be desired. I can see how none *techie* minded people would easily get frustrated enough to return the remote before getting through the frustrating *initial setup*. If you do make it through, and find the perfect configuration for you, then IMO there is no better remote.....I am giving it a 4 in value because I believe they should improve the software before this remote becomes a *must have* buy. Otherwise, hardware and feature wise, the remote is nearly perfect...
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Written by Bryan from Alabama.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 9 made on Sunday February 11, 2001 at 2:25 PM.
Strengths:- Ergonomics / layout
- Programmable joystick
- Hard/Soft button combination
- IR signal strength
Weaknesses:- Software is absolutely horrendous!!
- Problems "learning" to keys
- Inflexibility of devices and pages
- Poor LCD quality / contrast
Review:I intend this to be constructive.....

I wanted so badly to like this remote! The basic idea and layout is incomparable on the market. The price tag (I paid $219) was high, but I could deal with it.

I read all of the reviews and forums relating to the remote before I made the purchase. I thought I knew what I was getting into. I am a degreed electrical engineer who manages an engineering department for a large company. Computers and software are my business. I wasn't intimidated by the "challenge" I read into other users comments. Big mistake.

I tried three different operating systems on three different computers (Win2000, Win NT 4.0, Win'98) and NEVER got the remote to upload to the computer. The download function works most of the time but wiped out half my existing configuration when I tried to update. Programming the remote via the computer interface requires more time than I can obviously devote. A simply horrible product.

Programming the remote without a computer is adequate, at best. When trying to "learn" to soft buttons, the result is a crap-shoot. Who knows what the result will be (?) Even configuration which worked before might not work. Frustrating!

The remote itself is well made and isn't a bad product. The LCD contrast and backlighting are poor and could use better components. Other than that, I have no hardware type complaints.

The layout of devices and pages is much to rigid. You get twelve devices with four pages per device. Period. Deal with it. Why the arbitrary limitations?

I sincerely hope Home Theatre Master reads these reviews and can gain some insight as to the end user's frustration with this product. Certainly no malice intended.

Advice to potential buyers: Buy the remote from someone who offers a 30-day "no questions asked" return policy. You might need it.....

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