Ever drive a car where the controls just didn't feel right? Recently, my wife and I were shopping for a small SUV, and we looked at the Honda CRV. But at nearly 6-foot-4, I was unable to get my knees under the steering wheel. It might be the best SUV in the world, but ergonomically, it just didn't work for me.
What We Think
|All three of these highly programmable remotes would be great additions to your home, but the MX-3000 touchscreen is in a class by itself|
A parallel can be drawn to the control interface for your A/V system. If it's cumbersome, it doesn't matter whether your display and sound system are top-notch - you and your family won't get full enjoyment from them.
The solution, of course, is to replace all of those separate remotes with a single, smart control. Universal Remote Control (URC) is no newcomer to this world. Since 1991, it's manufactured 200 million remotes under its own brand and for equipment manufacturers. For this review, I played with the Genesis MX-900 and the Medius TX-1000 - two remotes similar in price and performance, but with completely different form factors - and the flagship MX-3000, which I have a lot to say about.
SETUP Though URC intends these remotes to be professionally programmed and installed, the programming software is available on their Web site. All three use similar Windows-based programming architectures that I would rate about a 6 out of 10 in difficulty. Still, to extract all the capabilities from an MX-3000, I'd highly recommend going with a pro.
While programming the remotes, I was continually impressed with little touches to make an installer's life easier: programming shortcuts, support for two-step IR codes (like those used by some XM satellite receivers), and the ability to add push-and-hold programming for any button, for instance. The programming process usually involves three steps - program, download, test - which are repeated over and over until everything is working correctly. Since downloads are handled via USB, they're fast and painless.
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