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post #1 of 272 Old 01-02-2012, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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There doesn't seem to be much information about this remote so i thought i'd start an official thread about it. I've been using an MX-500 for about 6 years and i love it, but i've tried several other fancy remotes in that time (Sony, Philips, a few different Harmonys, etc) but none of them turned out to be as flexible and useful as the MX-500 so i always went back to the MX-500. A few months ago i finally tried their R50 remote for about a week and functionally it looked like it could be a replacement for my MX-500, but i didn't like the feel of it nor it's design so i returned it.

Then a month ago after reading some positive reviews on Amazon i bought the new R40 and after using it for the past month i have finally found a remote that i like better than my MX-500. The R40 is a 2011 model and it appears to be the replacement for their 2008 R50. It's functionally very similar to the older R50 (albeit with some distinct differences) but the R40 has better ergonomics and looks and feels more like a professional remote. The R40 seems to use the same case as their professional MX-780 and TRC-780 models. It feels really solid and the buttons have a nice tactile feel and respond with a soft click. When it's sitting on my desk it doesn't rock or capsize when i press the buttons along the edges - it just stays planted.

Programming it manually was easy and fun but i recommend for advanced users of learning remotes that instead of using this remote's clunky time-consuming method of trying and testing possibly dozens of pre-programmed codes in the hope of finding one that properly fits your device, i think it's better to just skip using their pre-programmed code method and just manually custom-teach the R40 directly from your devices' original remotes and create your own custom function screen for each device. I spent a lot of time trying several different built-in codes and could never find a device scene that matched my devices' original remotes (they have 62 codes for Onkyo receivers for instance) so after trying dozens of different codes to no avail (not just on my Onkyo, but also on my DVD Recorder and Panasonic Plasma) i decided to just punt and manually teach it for all my devices and create my own function icons on my device screens. In the end, this was faster and i ended up with each device screen being custom-tailored to my exact needs.


Once i got all my devices created and working perfectly, i created several macros to tie it all together and it's all working flawlessly.

 

http://www.universalremote.com/products/retail/remotes/urc-r40

 

Edit - there is also a nice thread about the R40 over at Remote Central: 

 

http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-master/thread.cgi?11690 

 




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post #2 of 272 Old 01-02-2012, 12:05 PM
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I just replaced my aging Marantz RC2000 Mark II with a URC R40. The Marantz still worked, but 13 years on its keys were starting to get a bit sticky, and it didn't have the range I needed for my living room.

I'll second Randy's comments about the R40. Given the paucity of documentation it took a while to get the hang of programming it, but the onscreen instructions were pretty straightforward to follow. I got to a 75% solution using built-in device codes for my various components, and I'm up to a 95% solution through using the learning features to map buttons the way I want them. The macros work quite well too. Although a bit daunting at first, it wasn't that hard to get in there and edit a macro I'd created to tweak it, adding delays, whatever. Overall, a fine product. I just with URC would provide something a bit more user friendly than a set of 3-digit numbers for each device code. A chart that maps those numbers to manufacturer product numbers for various TVs, BluRay players, etc. would have been nice, and would have saved me a fair bit of time.

One interesting feature that's not very well documented is that you can create macros on the main screen with the buttons alongside the OLED screen, in addition to using those buttons to selecting the particular devices. The trick is having the first step in the macro be a delay (using the pause button). Then the button becomes a "press and hold macro". I have them set up so that for example, if I press and hold the "BluRay" button it will set the TV to the appropriate HDMI input, and also set my pre-amp to the right input. Same goes for other components. Final step in each macro is to "goto" the home page for that device.
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post #3 of 272 Old 01-02-2012, 02:33 PM
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Could not locate a user guide for this remote from a quick web search, and I have a few questions:

1. As it appears to be a stand alone remote how do you create and load customized icons?

2. Can the steps in a previously created macro be displayed/reviewed, and then changed with additions or deletions?

3. Can a macro be copied to another key (for subsequent revision)?
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post #4 of 272 Old 01-02-2012, 03:19 PM
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I'm not an expert on the thing yet, but as best as I can tell:

1) The R40 doesn't support user-loaded icons, unlike some of the higher-end (and more expensive) URC remotes. It comes with a good set of icons for various home theater devices, TV channels, etc., but they are not exhaustive. For example, I could only find one that was a decent approximation of a pre-amp, and another that sufficed for a FIOS DVR. It comes with channel icons for CNN, FOX, HBO, Showtime, etc., but again, not every channel under the sun is in there. For those situations you can choose a background color and custom text.

2) Yes. You can edit existing macros -- change existing steps, insert steps, append steps, whatever. It's not explained in the quickstart guide, but not too hard to figure out on the fly.

3) I haven't tried yet. I'll give it a try when I get a chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPlayer View Post

Could not locate a user guide for this remote from a quick web search, and I have a few questions:

1. As it appears to be a stand alone remote how do you create and load customized icons?

2. Can the steps in a previously created macro be displayed/reviewed, and then changed with additions or deletions?

3. Can a macro be copied to another key (for subsequent revision)?

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post #5 of 272 Old 01-19-2012, 02:38 AM
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I just ordered one of these, it will be my first "fancy" universal remote! Reading all the negative reviews on the Logitech remotes and how fragile they are, I wanted something sturdier (especially with a little one on the way) and it sounds like this one should fit the bill from all the positive reviews I've read.

One question though that I can't seem to find an answer for. Can this remote be programmed to work for the PS3 with an appropriate IR2BT adapter? If so, can you recommend which adapter I get?

Thanks in advance!
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post #6 of 272 Old 01-23-2012, 03:17 PM
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I bought one of these to go with my new system after using a URC-200 Automator on my previous system. Others have complained that the documentation is skimpy (it is) but it does cover everything you need to get this working. And I have read that some think this is really complicated to program (it isn't), although if you are expecting to simply program your model numbers in and have a working remote, you'd best look elsewhere.

I really like this thing but I did want to outline some short-comings:
  • The Favorites buttons cannot be used for macros or learned functions when accessed from the Main menu.
  • The unit can "loose" learned keys that were previously working. This randomly happens when adding more learned keys.
  • I can't find a way do delete a button from within a device.
  • When the screen is black, you have to first press any button to wake it up before the display buttons will function.
  • The Favorites button text uses an outline font that makes text hard to read.

So to sum it up, a great remote but still room for improvement!
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post #7 of 272 Old 02-02-2012, 12:53 AM
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Hi guys, I got this thing and am absolutely in love with it. Just one nagging quirk I need to resolve. In my particular case, I noticed that the remote stops functioning momentarily right after the screen goes black. For a millisecond or so none of the buttons will perform their functions, the screen lights up though. If I wait for a moment after the screen goes off and then press a button, all is functional. Curious, is this a normal thing or should I exchange mine as a defective unit. Thanks, look forward to be enlightened!
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post #8 of 272 Old 02-02-2012, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynetinc View Post

Hi guys, I got this thing and am absolutely in love with it. Just one nagging quirk I need to resolve. In my particular case, I noticed that the remote stops functioning momentarily right after the screen goes black. For a millisecond or so none of the buttons will perform their functions, the screen lights up though. If I wait for a moment after the screen goes off and then press a button, all is functional. Curious, is this a normal thing or should I exchange mine as a defective unit. Thanks, look forward to be enlightened!

I just tried it on mine and it does the exact same thing. I've been using it for a few months now and it apparently hasn't been a problem or i would have noticed it on my own. I have my screen light duration and button light duration both set at 5 seconds. You could always set your screen duration to stay on longer to avoid this happening.

Randy
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post #9 of 272 Old 02-02-2012, 05:30 PM
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Thank you, your input is very much appreciated, this helps alot. For those interested if RF extension works with R40: I've been using this remote with NextGen RF extender and it works, with caveats. The transmitter is very particular as to where it prefers to be. I have it in the right bottom slot facing the top of my remote, this way it seems more accurate sending the commands, with about 80% success rate. Sometimes you have to tap more than once for the button to talk to the RF base, at other times the remote gets so confused with RF that I have to take the transmitter out for a few minutes and then it returns to normal. But the biggest problem with this setup is that the transmitter battery life is very short lived. I have to change/recharge the RF battery every 4 to 5 days of moderate use, while it works for weeks in my other "universal" FIOS remote with 100% accuracy. Bummer. Maybe the RF batteries are getting old, it's been over a year for them and this is a demanding remote, don't know.. I might try the IR extenders next, hopefully will have better luck with those. It's all good, love the remote.
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post #10 of 272 Old 02-11-2012, 12:08 PM
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I just got mine today, ordered from Amazon. I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Within a few minutes, I had it working for my 6 yr old Plasma, Cable box and BK Ref20 processor. I don't even have a working remote for the BK, both the original and the Harmony I had been using are completely dead.
Using quick setup, it got all 3 devices on the first try. Figured out how to map the list button for the DVR on the cable box to one of the buttons on the OLED screen and used the learning function for some others.
I love the ability to program the cable button to go to the device if pressed briefly and using pause as the first step, program it as a macro to turn everything on if held down.
Much more sturdy feel than the Harmony it replaced, even more so compared to the current Harmony offerings.
I'm sure I'll be tweaking as time goes on and the new stuff I ordered comes in, but it was very easy to get started.
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post #11 of 272 Old 02-11-2012, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saeyedoc View Post

Figured out how to map the list button for the DVR on the cable box to one of the buttons on the OLED screen....

I learned my DVR's LIST command on the R40's Menu button to the upper left of the ring since i use it constantly and having it up on the OLED buttons is inconvenient, and if the OLED screen is dark i have to press the button (any button actually) to "wake up" the remote, then press the button again to send the command. I also use the Menu button for my Tivo's Now Playing List as well.

I put the DVR's menu command on the OLED screen instead since i'm rarely ever in the menu. I put a macro on the System button to turn my TV on and force it to go to my Tivo's input, and also turn my surround receiver on and force it into TV mode.


Quote:


I love the ability to program the cable button to go to the device if pressed briefly and using pause as the first step, program it as a macro to turn everything on if held down.

This works great on the six OLED buttons, but when overlaying a delayed press-and-hold macro on the hard buttons it will activate whatever command is on that button immediately, then activate the macro afterwards so that was a little disappointing.

I'm using the four colored "Favorites" buttons for macros to "Watch Tivo", Watch 8300HD", and "Watch DVD".

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post #12 of 272 Old 02-11-2012, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

I learned my DVR's LIST command on the R40's Menu button to the upper left of the ring since i use it constantly and having it up on the OLED buttons is inconvenient, and if the OLED screen is dark i have to press the button (any button actually) to "wake up" the remote, then press the button again to send the command. I also use the Menu button for my Tivo's Now Playing List as well.

I put the DVR's menu command on the OLED screen instead since i'm rarely ever in the menu. I put a macro on the System button to turn my TV on and force it to go to my Tivo's input, and also turn my surround receiver on and force it into TV mode.


This works great on the six OLED buttons, but when overlaying a delayed press-and-hold macro on the hard buttons it will activate whatever command is on that button immediately, then activate the macro afterwards so that was a little disappointing.

I'm using the four colored "Favorites" buttons for macros to "Watch Tivo", Watch 8300HD", and "Watch DVD".

Great idea for the menu button.
I like your idea for the system button, but I'm concerned that others will see the red and think it means "turn everything off"
I marked one of the OLED buttons "Watch TV" and have it so it toggles to the DVR device and has a delayed macro that turns everything on and sends discrete codes for the inputs. I have it set to "Go to" the dvr device screen instead of staying on the main one.
I initially couldn't figure out where the A, B, C buttons were so I used learning mode to program them in a blank spot in the dvr device and then moved them to one of the buttons in the first screen that was set to one of the pip commands, which I never use.
I then figured out that ABC matched the color on the favorites buttons in that device! I figure having them there and on the OLED screen will make it more idiot proof.
I'm getting a new DVR, receiver and Oppo soon, so I'll be reprogramming anyway. It's fun to play around and exchange ideas though. Much easier than I was concerned it would be.
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post #13 of 272 Old 02-12-2012, 05:34 AM
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Is there any way you could tell me how to use a macro so I can press and hold a button to get the remote to switch the TV's input, turn on the receiver, and turn on the DVD player all at the same time?
Thanks,
Brett
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post #14 of 272 Old 02-12-2012, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bphillabaum View Post

Is there any way you could tell me how to use a macro so I can press and hold a button to get the remote to switch the TV's input, turn on the receiver, and turn on the DVD player all at the same time?
Thanks,
Brett

Use pause as the first command
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post #15 of 272 Old 02-12-2012, 04:32 PM
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I'm sorry, but that helps me in no way. Anyone out there that could explain it step by step I would appreciate it.
Thanks,
Brett
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post #16 of 272 Old 02-12-2012, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bphillabaum View Post

I'm sorry, but that helps me in no way. Anyone out there that could explain it step by step I would appreciate it.
Thanks, Brett

It's only one additional step. When you're creating your macro, simply press the PAUSE key as the first command in your macro script. If you already have a Macro, i think you can add the pause step using the Edit Macro feature.

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post #17 of 272 Old 02-14-2012, 06:41 PM
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I am considering this remote, however, I just wanted to check and see how difficult this is to program. All I really have is an onkyo, sony lcd, direct tv box, BR player and a squeezebox. It wont be used for the squeezebox however. Would I be getting in over my head if I got one of these? I am decent with electronics I just know I am mostly on my own so I dont want to bite off more than I can chew.

Thanks

Just turned on my first projector on 17 Aug 2007 and I think I am hooked :).

Why does everyone that comes over ask how much it cost?
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post #18 of 272 Old 02-14-2012, 07:08 PM
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It's not as hard as it sounds. Took me just a few minutes to program 3 devices and a couple of macros. It's very easy to tweak once you get the devices working.
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post #19 of 272 Old 02-17-2012, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bphillabaum View Post

I'm sorry, but that helps me in no way. Anyone out there that could explain it step by step I would appreciate it.
Thanks,
Brett

When you setup a macro just make the first step the "pause" button. This will add a pause at the beginning of the macro and only initiate the macro when you hold down the button for a little extra. Each pause entered in the macro equates to 1/2 a second.
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post #20 of 272 Old 02-18-2012, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bphillabaum View Post

I'm sorry, but that helps me in no way. Anyone out there that could explain it step by step I would appreciate it.
Thanks

Wait, are you asking how to add a press-and-hold pause to an existing macro? Or are you asking how to actually create a macro?

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post #21 of 272 Old 02-19-2012, 05:52 AM
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I'm looking into buying an r40, but one question on it that I couldn't seem to find through google. Will this remote control the lights in a room?
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post #22 of 272 Old 02-19-2012, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arscott82 View Post

I'm looking into buying an r40, but one question on it that I couldn't seem to find through google. Will this remote control the lights in a room?

If you have a remote that can do it now, you can just teach the R40. It's IR, so you have to have line of sight to the light controller.
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post #23 of 272 Old 02-19-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arscott82 View Post

I'm looking into buying an r40, but one question on it that I couldn't seem to find through google. Will this remote control the lights in a room?

It would be helpful if you give us the brand and model and other info about your lighting control system. The R40 does have a device category for LIGHT which includes several brands like Lutron, X10, Leviton, Lite Touch, etc. And if your system is IR based you can learn what isn't already in the default codes.

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post #24 of 272 Old 03-07-2012, 10:08 AM
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I just received a R40 and after working with it for awhile it seems to work pretty well. I have a couple of questions that hopefully someone can help me with:

I have setup macros for the On and Off button on the Main Screen that turn on/off respectively the TV and reveiver. How can I make these macros work always regardless of which device is current? All my other devices are left on all the time so I don't ever want them powered on/off with the remote.

When labeling buttons can you use spaces or some other way to control the format/alignment of the top/bottom line of text? Thanks.

Jay
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post #25 of 272 Old 03-07-2012, 11:57 AM
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I think you would have to set up the on/off macro in each device.
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post #26 of 272 Old 03-07-2012, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saeyedoc View Post

I think you would have to set up the on/off macro in each device.

Thanks for the reply. Looking at the remote it has the word "system" next to the red (off) button. That would imply(at least to me) that pressing it would turn the "system" off, meaning all components not just the device you happen to be on. I have a feeling that there is a way to do a global off but maybe not a global on. I going to play with it again later.

Jay
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post #27 of 272 Old 03-07-2012, 12:09 PM
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You can pretty much program it to do whatever you want. The preset codes are hit/miss
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post #28 of 272 Old 03-11-2012, 07:38 PM
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I got this remote yesterday . I have the urc 50 for my family room setup. It has been a rock solid remote for that small system. It is the remote i get and program for family and friends. I had an urc mx810 in my main theater for a few years. My computer crashed and i lost all the software now i cant program it anymore. I upgrade components alot so it is now useless. I have been using an acoustic research xsite 18 and it is pretty good. I decided to try the urc 40. I am sending it back because the lcd screen is way to small. Much smaller than the urc 50. I need my glasses to read the text. Urc missed the mark when they made the screen and text that small. Not everyone has perfect vision. Nice remote other than that.

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post #29 of 272 Old 03-27-2012, 05:38 AM
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I recently got an R50 to simplify using my set up (samsung plasma, panasonic blu ray, xbox, dvr box, & vizio sound bar) and I have a couple questions about how you guys prefer to set up your macros. I recently set up my first one, if you hold down the cable button on the main menu, it turns on the TV, cable box, and sound bar. It's working great, but I'm a little bit confused on the best way to program a couple other macros to do the same, only for the blu ray and xbox. At first I thought I'd just copy the one I currently have (instead of turning on cable, it would turn on xbox or blu ray), but if I'm already watching TV, and I pressed that macro, it would turn on the blu ray or x box, then turn off the sound bar and turn off the TV (since they're already on). This might be a silly question, but how do you guys prefer to set these things up? Is it a couple button combination or something that I'm not thinking of?
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post #30 of 272 Old 03-27-2012, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonDonald View Post

.... I recently set up my first one, if you hold down the cable button on the main menu, it turns on the TV, cable box, and sound bar. It's working great, but I'm a little bit confused on the best way to program a couple other macros to do the same, only for the blu ray and xbox....

You thinking is along the right lines. To work perfectly all you devices need discrete power on and power off commands. In each macro you would include a power on command for all the devices that are going to be used as well as discrete power off command for all your devices that are not being used.
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