old URC MX-700 suggestion to extend life or just upgrade? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-16-2014, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I have had my old URC MX-700 over a decade. I have been pretty happy with it. But my main issue is I haven't been able to program it for a couple of years.

I don't have a computer with the old fashioned DB9 port. I tried buying a USB2Serial, but it never recognized.

So does anyone have advice to either allow me to extend the life of the remote or is it just time to retire it for something new?

To extend its life, i
  • Is there a particular cable brand or place to order a USB2Serial?
  • What about software? I miss getting updates. Digging through my backups the latest copy I can find is 1.11.197. Is there anything newer that I can get at?

If it is time for something new. What are some that people recommend? I am not looking to spend as much as I did for the MX-700. So probably will want to keep it under $150. Here are some of my preferences.

  • Fairly ergonomic, including rocker buttons for volume and channel; buttons easy to read (doesn't have to be illuminated)
  • A set of namable buttons like my MX-700 has
  • Programable via software and ability to learn codes
  • Want real buttons over touch interface.
  • Ideally punch through button capability
  • Support for 6 devices or so.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-16-2014, 08:42 AM
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See here for an adaptor that works


http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/complete/thread.cgi?3736


and here for software

http://files.remotecentral.com/view/6955-18496-1/nx-rm820_editor.html
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-16-2014, 12:19 PM
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You are probably looking at a Harmony 600 or similar. I don't think URC updates their Editor software anymore so you will have to learn any missing buttons or hope that the new devices share IR codes with older devices.

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post #4 of 17 Old 01-16-2014, 04:18 PM
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-16-2014, 06:10 PM
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The mx-850 editor software is still updated and I believe it will work with an mx-700.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-16-2014, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. WIth your help, I'll see if I start programming on it again. Hopefully, I will be able to extend the life on the remote a bit longer


Tal
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-15-2014, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tal L View Post

Thanks for the replies. WIth your help, I'll see if I start programming on it again. Hopefully, I will be able to extend the life on the remote a bit longer


Tal

I was wondering if you were able to get the 850 software to work with the MX-700 remote.

I ask because I just picked up an MX-700 at a local thrift shop, and couldn't resist for the price. I honestly don't know if I will actually use it, seeing as I have the entire house set up with Harmony remotes. But, it would be fun to play with it, and try the programming.

It sounds like you really liked your MX-700....what is your feedback on the remote? I've never owned any of the URC MX models.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I bought all this "stuff" to enjoy it!
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-15-2014, 11:47 AM
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The NXG software on remote central will work on the mx-700:

http://files.remotecentral.com/collection/6955-1/index.html
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-15-2014, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Edmund View Post

The NXG software on remote central will work on the mx-700:

http://files.remotecentral.com/collection/6955-1/index.html

Thanks! I'll download the file and give it a try. It looks like I'll have to locate the connecting cable noted above.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I bought all this "stuff" to enjoy it!
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-29-2014, 12:30 PM
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I too have an old URC MX-700 that's been serving me well since 2005. I'm in the process of upgrading some components including my HTPC and was just curious if it might be a good time to look into upgrading my old MX-700. The remote still works and I have the software and the means to reprogram it anytime I want/need. My setup isn't overly complicated: I've got TV, AVR, cable box, and HTPC-- that's it. It does a get more complicated in terms of programming the remote with the HTPC. Is there anything out there now that is compelling enough for me to consider upgrading to something new?

I like the having physical buttons, so something like an iRule is neat to me, but not a full time solution. I enjoy being able to program the remotes on the computer, so many of the 'end-user' models by URC don't appeal to me for this reason. I bought my parents a Hamony 880 a few years, and hated how cheap it felt. It seems like some of the newer models have a better feel to them though. Logitech also has some models with partial buttons and partial touch screen--- how well do these work for people?

Thanks,
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-29-2014, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbig119 View Post

I too have an old URC MX-700 that's been serving me well since 2005. I'm in the process of upgrading some components including my HTPC and was just curious if it might be a good time to look into upgrading my old MX-700. The remote still works and I have the software and the means to reprogram it anytime I want/need. My setup isn't overly complicated: I've got TV, AVR, cable box, and HTPC-- that's it. It does a get more complicated in terms of programming the remote with the HTPC. Is there anything out there now that is compelling enough for me to consider upgrading to something new?

I like the having physical buttons, so something like an iRule is neat to me, but not a full time solution. I enjoy being able to program the remotes on the computer, so many of the 'end-user' models by URC don't appeal to me for this reason. I bought my parents a Hamony 880 a few years, and hated how cheap it felt. It seems like some of the newer models have a better feel to them though. Logitech also has some models with partial buttons and partial touch screen--- how well do these work for people?

Thanks,
Personally, I see no reason to change remotes until yours breaks. The HTPC shouldn't be any more complicated to program than a DVD player. It's got arrows, numbers, menu and transport functions just like anything else.

I don't like touch screens on remotes. They're a necessary evil for accessing lots of additional functions, so I tolerate them for that reason. When Harmony starts taking away physical buttons like skip, as they did on the Touch and Ultimate, then I stop buying. At the moment Harmony has no current models that interest me in the least.

May I ask why you have a cable box? You do realize your HTPC can do just about everything your cable box does essentially for free, right?
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-29-2014, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Personally, I see no reason to change remotes until yours breaks. The HTPC shouldn't be any more complicated to program than a DVD player. It's got arrows, numbers, menu and transport functions just like anything else.

I don't like touch screens on remotes. They're a necessary evil for accessing lots of additional functions, so I tolerate them for that reason. When Harmony starts taking away physical buttons like skip, as they did on the Touch and Ultimate, then I stop buying. At the moment Harmony has no current models that interest me in the least.

May I ask why you have a cable box? You do realize your HTPC can do just about everything your cable box does essentially for free, right?


I'm happy with my MX-700. I just thought that in the past ten years, there would be some new and interesting options that might get me interested in upgrading. I'm gathering that's not necessarily the case.

As for the cable box, actually it doesn't get used all that much. I've got a SageTV server in the basement with an HDHomerun Prime and an HDHomerun Dual recording everything by HBO. The HTPC in my living room serves as a client that I'm able to watch recordings, streamed or ripped movies and listen to streamed or ripped music. The cable box has three functions, none of which are terribly interesting.1) I use it when I want to watch two things at once-- this is helpful when the wife wants to watch something when I want to watch some sporting event. I have a second LCD screen next to the TV to allow this to happen. 2) I'm unable to record HBO, so we use the cable box for watching Game of Thrones. 3) its easier for my in-laws and other visitors to use the cable box than my HTPC simply because they're all used to it already.
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-30-2014, 06:31 AM
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1) An extender solves that.
2) If you used WMC rather than Sage you could record everything, including HBO
3) With WMC, you can make your PC work exactly like a cable DVR. My wife still thinks we have DirecTV, that's how seamless mine is.

Food for thought.
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-30-2014, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

1) An extender solves that.
2) If you used WMC rather than Sage you could record everything, including HBO
3) With WMC, you can make your PC work exactly like a cable DVR. My wife still thinks we have DirecTV, that's how seamless mine is.

Food for thought.

1) You're right. Except SageTV extenders are only available used, and seeing as how you're pushing WMC, my understanding is that the only 'extender' is an xbox. However, I could keep the existing HTPC in the living room, effectively giving me 2 clients, which ends up being the same as your suggestion. I'm building a new one this week with all new parts--- purposely because I want to minimize any downtime which would affect the WAF.
2) I'm no expert on WMC, but from what I do understand....Yes, an no. In order to watch HBO, the local HTPC would need to be the one doing the tuning/recording. That's fine-- I guess. However, then the difficulty becomes how do I watch recordings in other parts of the house. Its either a bunch of individual HTPCs that record their own stuff and compete for the HDHR, or buy a bunch of xbox360s or xboxones.
3) The DVR functionality of SageTV is excellent. Its been a while since I've played with WMC, but my wife is much happier with Sage than the cable box, which is amazing considering how she cursed it for years.

The bottom line, is that WMC is flashy and good at what it does, but limits expandability, and options--- such as recording to a central server. Maybe I'm wrong, and if so, I'd like to learn more-- because SageTV, is a dead end product. It hasn't been updated since they were bought out in 2010. I guess the same might be said for WMC too though.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-30-2014, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbig119 View Post

1) You're right. Except SageTV extenders are only available used, and seeing as how you're pushing WMC, my understanding is that the only 'extender' is an xbox. However, I could keep the existing HTPC in the living room, effectively giving me 2 clients, which ends up being the same as your suggestion. I'm building a new one this week with all new parts--- purposely because I want to minimize any downtime which would affect the WAF.
2) I'm no expert on WMC, but from what I do understand....Yes, an no. In order to watch HBO, the local HTPC would need to be the one doing the tuning/recording. That's fine-- I guess. However, then the difficulty becomes how do I watch recordings in other parts of the house. Its either a bunch of individual HTPCs that record their own stuff and compete for the HDHR, or buy a bunch of xbox360s or xboxones.
3) The DVR functionality of SageTV is excellent. Its been a while since I've played with WMC, but my wife is much happier with Sage than the cable box, which is amazing considering how she cursed it for years.

The bottom line, is that WMC is flashy and good at what it does, but limits expandability, and options--- such as recording to a central server. Maybe I'm wrong, and if so, I'd like to learn more-- because SageTV, is a dead end product. It hasn't been updated since they were bought out in 2010. I guess the same might be said for WMC too though.
1) Ceton Echo works fine, is cheap, small, silent, efficient and currently available. I have 4 of them and one PC serving a total of 5 TVs and several other computers, tablets and phones. If you don't like Echo, Linksys and Dlink extenders still work fine too. I had Xboxes everywhere at first (before Echo existed), but have since gotten rid of all but one (kids wanted to keep one for gaming).
2) Again, Echoes play anything, anytime, anywhere. No need for additional PCs or Xboxes. Xbox One has no extender capability whatsoever.
3) I've never tried Sage, but WMC does everything your average DVR can do plus all other media (videos, photos, music, streaming). Since WMC is still part of Win 8.1, we still have several years left. Sage, on the other hand, was pretty much officially shut down a few years ago.

I'm not really pushing WMC. It's just the only thing I know of that solves every problem you listed and gets rid of all cable boxes. But I certainly understand not wanting to get all new hardware just to get rid of one cable box. Just food for thought.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-30-2014, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

1) Ceton Echo works fine, is cheap, small, silent, efficient and currently available. I have 4 of them and one PC serving a total of 5 TVs and several other computers, tablets and phones. If you don't like Echo, Linksys and Dlink extenders still work fine too. I had Xboxes everywhere at first (before Echo existed), but have since gotten rid of all but one (kids wanted to keep one for gaming).
2) Again, Echoes play anything, anytime, anywhere. No need for additional PCs or Xboxes. Xbox One has no extender capability whatsoever.
3) I've never tried Sage, but WMC does everything your average DVR can do plus all other media (videos, photos, music, streaming). Since WMC is still part of Win 8.1, we still have several years left. Sage, on the other hand, was pretty much officially shut down a few years ago.

I'm not really pushing WMC. It's just the only thing I know of that solves every problem you listed and gets rid of all cable boxes. But I certainly understand not wanting to get all new hardware just to get rid of one cable box. Just food for thought.


Thanks, that's helpful. I had completely forgotten about the Echo. In regards to #2, can they play ripped blurays? I always thought that was a big limitation of WMC-- and primarily the extenders. I may toy around with WMC on the new HTPC before I throw SageTV on it. Since the old HTPC is still ticking, there isn't any rush to get the new one in place.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-30-2014, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bbig119 View Post

Thanks, that's helpful. I had completely forgotten about the Echo. In regards to #2, can they play ripped blurays? I always thought that was a big limitation of WMC-- and primarily the extenders. I may toy around with WMC on the new HTPC before I throw SageTV on it. Since the old HTPC is still ticking, there isn't any rush to get the new one in place.
Sort of. If it's MKV or something like that, no problem. It won't do ISO. Most devices won't. I have no BD drives, hence no ripping capability. However, rips I've obtained elsewhere play fine. You just need to load the right codecs and do the registry hacks for WMC to play them (or serve them).
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