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http://www.universalremote.com/images/product_page/MX_810/image_MX_810.jpg
Universal Remote Control MX-810

From Universals' website:

Fast Customization and Consistent Ergonomics in Every Room

Stylish and state-of-the-art, the MX-810 provides Home Theater owners and professional installers with dedicated, custom control over single-room Home Theaters or AV entertainment systems. It’s an ideal remote for single-room Home Theater systems, as well as homes with multiple AV systems and more than one remote control, as each MX-810 remains dedicated to a single room’s equipment, complete with a user-changeable label identifying the room.

The MX-810 is also pragmatic — as easy for owners to use as it is quick for installers to program, achieving a unique synergy of power and flexibility that automates and simplifies the operation of even the most complex Home Theaters.

Narrow Band Radio Frequency (RF)

Featuring Radio Frequency (RF) addressability and a bright, color LCD display, the MX-810’s readiness for programming allows custom installers to put any command on any LCD page, and fully personalize the screen’s iconography for any and every user. The RF capability also eliminates the need to point the remote at whatever it’s activating, or even remain in the line of sight of any equipment. It can control components up to 100 feet away from locations throughout a home, even components concealed in cabinets or behind doors.

Power Plus Compatibility

Equally important, the MX-810 is fully compatible with URC’s pioneering MSC-400 Master System Controller. The MSC-400 seamlessly harnesses the power of sophisticated home entertainment systems, providing installers with options and advantages not otherwise available. It offers triggered macros, RS-232 and relay control, video and voltage sensors, rock-solid Narrow Band RF and many more features — taming systems’ complexity, while delivering unmatched flexibility, automation power, installation speed, and diagnostic capabilities.

The remote’s addressability feature lets it communicate with a specific location or device, like the Master Controller, and comfortably co-exist with other RF remotes in a home, and AV systems in other rooms.
Custom programming a complex Home Theater is one of the most challenging aspects of an audio/video installation. Setting a Theater system to play a DVD with just one button, for example, can require programming a macro that instructs the screen to lower, the lights to dim, window shades to close, the projector and sound system to turn on, and the DVD player to start, while also making sure the cable box and iPod dock are turned off. The MX-810’s compatibility with the MSC-400 makes such tasks easy for installers to program and easy for clients to use.

Built-In Versatility

With or without the MSC-400, the MX-810 is a powerful, versatile remote that revolutionizes the remote control experience for anyone who prefers a light, hand-held interface. The newest member of URC’s family of Complete Control products, it delivers automation solutions for every purpose and superior entertainment for everyone who prefers to operate their systems as they wish, not as the equipment seems to dictate.

The MX-810 features a big, bright, active matrix LCD, larger and more vivid than comparable remotes, and a broad array of snappy, iconic graphics readable at a glance. It provides access to a vast array of custom control solutions, available free of charge on proprietary software online at the URC Control Room.

PC Programmable

The MX-810 is PC-powered, programmable by any Windows-compatible laptop or desktop computer with a USB port. An installer can set up the remote by connecting a PC, then following the instructions of an onscreen programming Wizard. This can be done in advance or onsite, with a laptop in the Home Theater being programmed. The laptop need not be connected to the Internet.

The programming Wizard guides the selection of operating instructions for any combination of A/V components, in part through effortless access to the world’s best library of professional control codes. Afterward, installers can archive their programming instructions on the Web by accessing URC’s dedicated Wizard website (www.wizardremote.com). Even if the installer suffers a future hard drive crash, their MX-810 programs will be safe and available.

Color & Graphics

The MX-810 can also be customized with a broad array of graphic “themes,” including one-of-a-kind graphics provided by the remote’s owner. Installers can ask the remote for Help at any point in the process, and be guided to an answer through an intelligent, context-sensitive response process.

Once programmed, the MX-810’s color screen labels the six adjacent buttons with whatever functions are needed at the moment. The labels for the buttons change based on what the user is watching or listening to. If a user selects “Watching TV,” he or she will see a list of buttons useful for watching TV. If a user selects “DVD,” the buttons will control the DVD player.

Additional features include a motion sensor that automatically turns on the LCD screen when the remote is picked up, and a one-touch blue backlight that ensures the MX-810 can be used easily in dim or darkened rooms. A small integrated speaker optionally beeps in response to button pushes, indicating the remote has understood the instruction. A built-in time/date display, low-battery alert, rechargeable lithium ion battery, and a supplied USB programming cable further enhance its convenience and ease of use.
Features and Benefits
Specifications
  • LCD Size: 2" Active Matrix color LCD
  • Size: 8.9" x 2.4" x 1" (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 6.9 ounces (with battery loaded)
  • Learning Capabilities: Standard frequencies (15kHz to 460kHz)
  • Memory: 32 Megabits of Flash Memory Total
    (28 Megabits for User Configuration)
    (24 Activities on 8 LCD pages for 24 devices for a total of 384 pages)
  • RF Freq: 418 MHz (Narrow Band)
  • Range: RF - Up to 100 feet when used with MRF-260, MRF-350 or MSC-400 RF Base stations
    IR (line of sight) - Up to 50 feet with fresh batteries.
  • Power Supply: Lithium Ion rechargeable (battery and charger included)
  • Warranty: 1 year parts & labor when purchased from an authorized dealer

Available via the Shack Electronics Store for about $245.
 

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The Review

I am a long time user of the Universal Remote Control remotes beginning back with the SL-8000 and SL-9000... to the MX-700 and MX-800. I have appreciated their MX-Editor software for programming the latter two MX models.

I have patiently waited for the arrival of a remote from Universal that had a USB interface as well as one using a Lithium Ion battery. It seems like I would have to swap out for freshly charged batteries too often with my current MX-800. Plus I haven't figured out a way to connect the cable to my laptop due to the cable interface, although there is probably a way to do it and I've just not asked the right person to tell me how. :sarcastic:

The MX-810 appears to give me what I've been looking for from Universal, so I ordered up one for myself the other day when I was ordering one for a customer. I finally get the Lithium Ion battery with charging cable… just plug her up as I walk out of the HT room all along and she's always ready to go. Then the downloadable software and USB cable allows me to easily use my laptop to do all the programming. Plus, as an added bonus to me… it comes in a sleek black with silver trim style that I really like vs. the lighter colored units of the MX-700 and MX-800 that always seem to get the dirty look about them rather quick. (Makes me wonder if I wash my hands enough... and I'm already a fanatic about clean hands. :huh: ).

After unpacking the remote and inserting the battery (fully charged to my surprise), the first thing I noticed is the MX-810 is a little smaller and slightly lighter than the MX-800. It fits in my hand better and the top half is not wide and bulky like most of the previous MX remotes from Universal.

One feature I particularly like is the "Select" button being distinctly separated from the directional buttons that surround it. That was one thing I always disliked about the MX-700 and MX-800... I would occasionally and accidentally press one of the directional commands when trying to press the select button, being all on one toggle type joystick button.

Another feature I like is each button is backlit and the letters labeling the buttons are lit as well. When you touch the remote, the LCD display and the buttons light up. Of course there is also a Light button on the side that can be pressed anytime to activate the display and lights in the same manner as picking up the remote does. The buttons will stay lit for 5 seconds and the display for 20. I did not pay that close of attention when I programming it earlier, but I suppose the light times are programmable.

One other feature I always missed on the previous MX models I have used is they had Skip buttons. The MX-810 gives me hard buttons for REW and FF as well as SKIP + and - buttons.

I was very curious about how difficult it was going to be to learn the new software, already knowing that the ProWizard software was going to be completely different than the MX-Editor software I had been accustomed to. I was very happy to learn that it was extremely user friendly and took most of the guess work out of programming my remotes. I gathered up my various remotes and started up the ProWizard.

All of these screen shots will be shrunk down a little to better accommodate viewers with lower screen resolutions.

Here is the opening screen of the ProWizard.




In many instances it will give you an opportunity to watch a demo. I watched a little bit of one and it was very thorough, but I found myself able to figure things out easily enough not to have to use any demos.

Pressing the Next button gets you started selecting the various components that you plan on programming into the MX-810. What you see here is more than my actual setup… I’ve included more just showing you the capabilities. Of course it can handle up to 24 devices.




I’m simply going to go through some of the screens to give you an idea of how the program is laid out. You can read the text on the screen shots which tells you what to do.




Of course at anytime I wasn’t completely sure about what I was doing, I could click on Help and it would explain in more detail.










You can search the database to see if your particular device is listed or you can learn button for button. I basically just programmed the buttons I use most frequently after getting my system setup.




You can name the LCD buttons for each device 2 lines high x 7 characters each line. You can label up to 8 pages of buttons for a total of 48 custom labeled commands in addition to the hard buttons.




After labeling the LCD buttons like you want them, you then get to learn all the various commands for each button, if you selected to learn each button instead of opting to download the commands from the IR database of products. After learning all the commands for each device, you can then customize the remote further with various options.




The backgrounds and buttons are very customizable… including the ability to upload your own designs for background and buttons in addition to the already wide selection of pre-installed themes.








You can even create your very own slide show.




Rearrange icons or pick new ones.






Program Macros and Activities.




All in all the MX-810 software was extremely easy to navigate and understand. If I made a mistake I found it very easy to back up without losing what I had already completed, fixing the mistake and then going back to where I left off. Downloading to the remote was simple and fast. The flexibility of what can be done is phenomenal to say the least.


I give it a :4stars: rating… :T

Seen in the Shack Electronics Store for as low as $234.
 

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Looks nice. I have the MX-700 and love it and this looks like a worthy successor.
The editing software looks quite nice. Although the MX-700 software isn't hard to use, it's not always intuitive.

I am a bit disappointed in the smaller number of programmable buttons, though.
I've programmed my 700 such that the first page of programmable buttons are all macros that set things up and take the user to a page related to the given activity.
Furthermore, I have it set up so that that the right side button runs the macro while the left side button just hops to the activity's related menu.
This is useful when dealing with devices without discreet buttons for things like power but you accidentally find yourself on the main page. Pressing the left button gets you back to the activity page without messing the changes.

So, having only 6 buttons (which for me maps to 3 activities) means I would have to hop to the next page to get to the other activities. Then again fixing the directional/select problem might be worth it.

Are the 24 "device positions" shared with the macros?
In other words, is it that you can create 12 devices and 12 macros (i.e. activities)?
Or, is it 24 devices and then some number of activities?
If its the latter, then how many activities can you program?

Can the MX-810 software import from the MX-700 editor? Or, would I have to reprogram all the devices already created for the MX-700?

BTW, there are serial-USB adapter cables out there that will let you program your MX-700/800 using your laptop. :)



Mitch
 

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I am a bit disappointed in the smaller number of programmable buttons, though.
I've programmed my 700 such that the first page of programmable buttons are all macros that set things up and take the user to a page related to the given activity.
In this case you could set up 6 macros on the Activities button... then set up 6 devices on the Device button.

For instance... Watch DVD is my main Activity. I have it set in the upper left corner of the 6 Activities. If I press that button, everything in the system turns on and the remote is setup to control the DVD with Volume punch-through, etc. If I had a satellite receiver in my HT room... I would setup another Activity that is labeled Watch DirecTV. A press of that button would switch the necessary inputs and the remote buttons would then operate the DirecTV receiver.

Furthermore, I have it set up so that that the right side button runs the macro while the left side button just hops to the activity's related menu.
This is useful when dealing with devices without discreet buttons for things like power but you accidentally find yourself on the main page. Pressing the left button gets you back to the activity page without messing the changes.

So, having only 6 buttons (which for me maps to 3 activities) means I would have to hop to the next page to get to the other activities. Then again fixing the directional/select problem might be worth it.
I don't have my 810 here to connect to my computer, so I can't tell you exactly how it works (the program doesn't show me some screens without the remote connected), but I remember the software asking me if there were non-discrete buttons that needed to be programmed. Something to the effect of setting an option if the function scrolled through various selections and did not have discrete buttons. I'm not absolutely sure, but this may somehow be a solution to those non-discrete functions for you though. I may be able tinker around with it and see if I can figure out what it was that I was looking at.

None the less... you could setup 6 activities with macros on the Activities button and then 6 devices on the Devices button. If during an activity you find yourself needing to use one of those non-discrete functions or needing to do something to another device, you can simply press the Devices button and there they are. After your done, press Activities button and you are right back where you were previously.

Are the 24 "device positions" shared with the macros?
In other words, is it that you can create 12 devices and 12 macros (i.e. activities)?
Or, is it 24 devices and then some number of activities?
If its the latter, then how many activities can you program?
You can setup 24 Devices PLUS 24 Activities.

As far as I can tell, you can setup macros on any Device button. You use the Browser to add any other button functions from any other of the Devices to a button on a particular Device.

For example... my projector requires the pressing of the Select button after pressing the Power Off button. IOW, if I press Power Off on the projector, it asked me if I'm sure I want to power off. I have to press the Select button to confirm Yes. I cannot turn this feature off within my projector menu. Therefore there was an issue that I had to fix, because pressing the Power Off button from an Activity cuts off everything that was powered on from that Activity. It doesn't know I need that extra press of the Select button. So... from the Browser menu I can open up all my devices and see their buttons on one side of the Browser window. On the other side, I can see the Activity buttons and the Device buttons along with every button programmed on each. I select the Power Off button for the Projector device. I then drag the Select button from the Projector device buttons on the left side of the browser to the Power Off button on the right side of the browser. Now, whenever the Power Off on the projector is pressed it automatically includes the press of the Select button. Also, if I am using an Activity that required powering on the projector, which is my case is every Activity, when I press the Power Off button for that Activity, it powers down my projector and includes pressing the Select button for me.

I'll try to get you some pictures of the Browser window to better show how it is done.

It appears you could create any combination of buttons from any combination of Devices to be included on one particular Device button or Activity button, thereby creating a macro.

I probably make it sound more complicated than it really is... hopefully I can explain it better with pictures later on. Plus I need to confirm that it is as flexible as I suggest, but I don't see why it would not be, unless I'm missing something.

Can the MX-810 software import from the MX-700 editor? Or, would I have to reprogram all the devices already created for the MX-700?
I believe you can import from any MX file using the Browser window. It says you can, but I didn't experiment with it since I changed up several things with mine.

BTW, there are serial-USB adapter cables out there that will let you program your MX-700/800 using your laptop. :)
I called myself looking for one, but couldn't find it. That's been a while back though... maybe I just wasn't looking in the right place or was confused somehow. :dumbcrazy:
 

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Sonny,

No need to do any more research on my account. My MX-700 is working for me for the time being, but it does sound like the MX-810 adds some nice features.
24 devices AND 24 activities! Wow.
Also, from the description of your "select button" issue, it sounds like the MX-810 has a sense of context and so can handle non-discreets better than before.

Thanks,


Mitch
 
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Software download

Can you download software if you didn't buy the remote from an authorized reseller? I noticed that in order to get the software from URC, you have register, list the serial number, and state from which retailer you purchased the remote.

Thanks,
 

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I'm not really sure... but I would suspect you could as long as you had the serial number.

I would offer to email it to you, but it's 82MB.
 
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That's a great price on the remote.
Are you guys authorized to sell anywhere?
 

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We would not actually be the ones selling the unit. The dealers selling them are listed here. I'm not sure where they are authorized to sell them, although I know authorized dealers sell them all over the place.
 
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Why did you choose the MX-810 over any of the other MX models, like the 980?

Enough features in the 810 compared to the 980??? Price???

Nice review, and it looks very easy to program. How is programming for a newbie of URC????
 

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I actually just ordered the 980 on Friday... should be here Monday. Price was not the concern since I'm an authorized dealer. Both are reasonable for me.

I have been using the MX-700 and MX-800 and am very use to their software. It was very easy for me to learn on my own... just playing around with it. Granted there were a few things it took me a while to figure out, but overall it is about as flexible as it gets.

I thought the MX-810 would be similar, but the software is very different. Not necessarily harder, but more limited than the MX-700/800 or 980. The 980 is basically an 810 on steroids and the software is unlimited in flexibility. The 810 is probably more user friendly if you don't want to be limited on a few things. I want things to work a certain way with my remote and I just can't make it happen with the 810, while I can with the 980. It really boils down to just how much flexibility you need... and of course the price difference as well.
 

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Not a review like above, but I am using 2 of them... one in my dedicated HT and another in my great room. Much more flexible and stable.

At first I thought the 810 was gonna be it, but after using it for a while I had to back up and rate it a 4 out of 5 stars instead of 5 of 5. It is not quite there for me. Macros ended up being a little more aggravating than I would have liked and programming ended up being a little less than what I was looking for.
 
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Sonnie,

I have been told that the best universal remote available that has RF capability and can control multiple zones is the MX-810. Is this correct? Beyond the RF and multi-zone requirements, I don't need anything fancy - I'd like to hit a button and have all my components comply - Samsung DLP TV, Panasonic CD/DVD, Direct TV, Denon tuner. We have 2 zones, the second one for outside speakers. I am electronically impaired and already plan on hiring an installer to setup the device up for me. Given what I am trying to accomplish with relatively few requirements and simple setup, do you recommend proceeding with the MX-810 (which I will of course purchase from the Shack) or something else? Is there an installer you might happen to recommend in the Houston area?

Very much appreciate you expertise and look forward to your reply.

Lefty
 

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Hi Lefty and welcome to the Shack!

The 810 may work for you... it is hard for me to say for sure though. If there is a Universal dealer in your area, you might prefer to purchase from that dealer and let them do the install.

We have a Houston group that gets together all along that may know someone in your area who can help you set it up. You might try posting in that thread. Also, one of our administrators, Wayne Pflughaupt, is from Houston... he may also be able to help.
 
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For example... my projector requires the pressing of the Select button after pressing the Power Off button. IOW, if I press Power Off on the projector, it asked me if I'm sure I want to power off. I have to press the Select button to confirm Yes. I cannot turn this feature off within my projector menu. Therefore there was an issue that I had to fix, because pressing the Power Off button from an Activity cuts off everything that was powered on from that Activity. It doesn't know I need that extra press of the Select button. So... from the Browser menu I can open up all my devices and see their buttons on one side of the Browser window. On the other side, I can see the Activity buttons and the Device buttons along with every button programmed on each. I select the Power Off button for the Projector device. I then drag the Select button from the Projector device buttons on the left side of the browser to the Power Off button on the right side of the browser. Now, whenever the Power Off on the projector is pressed it automatically includes the press of the Select button. Also, if I am using an Activity that required powering on the projector, which is my case is every Activity, when I press the Power Off button for that Activity, it powers down my projector and includes pressing the Select button for me.
Hi

I have just received my MX-810 and was trying to set it just as you describe for my projector (a Panasonic PT-AE2000).
Following your instructions, I opened the Browser
Then clicked on "Browse" in the bottom left corner, selected the previous settings I had saved.


I then selected on the left the device (Panasonic PT-AE2000), and on the right POWER OFF
I then click and dragged the POWER OFF on the left side , followed by SELECT
So the MX-810 Action List for the Hard Button POWER OFF shows:
1: POWER OFF
2: SELECT

However, that sequence of action is what is being used for Power Offf across all devices, not just for the Panasonic.

I don't see how I could define Power Off for the Panasonic as being 1:Off ,2: Select and that for the Projector only, not any of the other device.

The user manual and the online help (non-existent) is useless for this really.

I have set all my items, and none of them work properly. Rather disappointing out of the box experience. My Harmony 880 was much easier to set up , plus that fat that it had a database about all my devices...

Unfortunately, my 7 weeks old is screaming like crazy and it looks like I won't have much time to set it up today :(

Would very much appreciate your help on this matter.
 

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I am having a hard time remembering what all I did, since I no longer have one, but I believe you need to click on the individual device in the "MX-810 Panel View" window above... then click the "Power Off" button to the right. Then you can add the Power Off and Select buttons below... for the "Power Off" of the projector. Then when you create a macro, the "Power Off" for the projector will call up your new projector buttons.

It was confusing for me as well, and several others I know have been less than happy trying to figure it out. I did call Universal tech control about something on this unit and they were very helpful, so that may be an option for you.
 
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