URC MX-890 / MRF-350 or Harmony Elite - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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URC MX-890 / MRF-350 or Harmony Elite

HI,

A dealer has suggested the URC MX-890 with the MRF-350 plus about $200 to 'install and configure'. With the paid on-site visit, they will also install the configuration software on my computer for future use. But, this will take the total price to approx. $750. Is the quality and functionality of URC so good? Or am I better off buying the Harmony Elite and expecting to replace it in 4-5 years.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 06:18 PM
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Unless you have some very odd hardware or special requirements, I'd opt for the Harmony. My Harmony Companion is still trucking along after 4 years and my Harmony 880 is over 10 years old now, on the original battery no less, and works perfectly.

Besides, who's to say that their $750 remote won't crap out after 5 years?
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 06:58 PM
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Depends what you expect out of it. The URC remotes are much more robust, both in build quality and functionality. To me, they're worth the money. I used Harmony for many years, and once I tried URC, I've never looked back.

If you have no experience with programming such devices, then the Harmony would be best. It holds your hand and tries to make things plug and play. URC expects to be programmed by a professional. So the software is not geared toward the end user. But it is worlds more advanced than a Harmony.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodgieroo View Post
Unless you have some very odd hardware or special requirements, I'd opt for the Harmony. My Harmony Companion is still trucking along after 4 years and my Harmony 880 is over 10 years old now, on the original battery no less, and works perfectly.

Besides, who's to say that their $750 remote won't crap out after 5 years?
The remote isn't $750. He's paying for the custom programming and in home visit. The remote and extender are around $500 total.

You can save money and program a Harmony yourself. You'll have to put a value to your time and effort.

I had a URC remote for about 7 years before my family dropped it on the hardwood floors one too many times. I simply replaced it with the same one from eBay without a charger for hardly any money. Before that I was going through about one Harmony per year (880 and 890). Luckily their RMA process was generous.

At least the dealer is offering the programming software.

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post #5 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bryansj View Post
The remote isn't $750. He's paying for the custom programming and in home visit. The remote and extender are around $500 total.

You can save money and program a Harmony yourself. You'll have to put a value to your time and effort.

I had a URC remote for about 7 years before my family dropped it on the hardwood floors one too many times. I simply replaced it with the same one from eBay without a charger for hardly any money. Before that I was going through about one Harmony per year (880 and 890). Luckily their RMA process was generous.

At least the dealer is offering the programming software.
I've got two URC remotes that I've had for 6 years and they still work really well. In terms of physical robustness they are in a different class from the harmonys. If the dealer provides the programming software to you as part of the deal, then it's definitely worth considering. I've tweaked mine significantly over the years, including as components have come and gone. The programming is not as easy as with harmony, but it's quite powerful.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-21-2017, 04:10 PM
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I have had URC remotes for 15 years at least starting with the SL-9000, MX-500, MX-850, R40 and MX-780 and am totally familiar with the software for the MX-850 and am sufficient at CCP with the MX-780 and am currently piddling around with the CCP software to learn the MX-890, which is way different than the MX-780, with activities as well as just devices. When I get a good program worked out for the 890 I will pull the plug and buy one and have the program waiting for it when it arrives in the mail. I would not consider using any other remote than URC. The quality between URC and Harmony build is night and day. That said I'm one of the fortunate people who got my hands on the software, and did it legally, and can play around and experiment with the software. Even so, knowing what I know, without the software I would pay someone a couple hundred bucks to program my remote properly, I think it would be worth it, they are that good. Or just buy an R40 and program it pretty easily yourself and you can do anything but the most intricate things. 99.9% of people can build a great system with a URC R40 without the use of a computer.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-27-2017, 06:35 PM
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I fiddled around with the mx-890 program inside CCP and took everything I had in my tv room and loaded it in. It was all the same stuff I have loaded on my mx-780 and have everything exactly the way I want it. So, the next step is actually get the remote. I'll find one on eBay and pull the plug any day and as soon as it gets here I'll be ready to plug it into the USB port and load it up. I don't need anything more than the mx-780's that we currently use, but, I just like goofing with the software. And besides, it seems like I'm always reconfiguring something, usually just for something to do. If anyone needs help with some CCP software let me know, I'll be glad to help you out.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-27-2017, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cbpat1 View Post
I fiddled around with the mx-890 program inside CCP and took everything I had in my tv room and loaded it in. It was all the same stuff I have loaded on my mx-780 and have everything exactly the way I want it. So, the next step is actually get the remote. I'll find one on eBay and pull the plug any day and as soon as it gets here I'll be ready to plug it into the USB port and load it up. I don't need anything more than the mx-780's that we currently use, but, I just like goofing with the software. And besides, it seems like I'm always reconfiguring something, usually just for something to do. If anyone needs help with some CCP software let me know, I'll be glad to help you out.


Check for the x-8 on ebay as well, same remote as the mx-890 but originally sold at Best Buy.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-20-2017, 09:54 AM
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I ended up getting the X-8 version of the mx-890 and it will be here tomorrow.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-20-2017, 03:40 PM
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You'll love it. That is now my favorite remote. Have them in the LR, Theater, and Master Bedroom. I went with the MX-780 (aka X-7) for less used rooms. I like having remotes that at least superficially look the same throughout the house, but more importantly, operate the same. But if I can, I'll replace them all with 890s. They're a great remote with a great ability to handle complex systems. They have a lot of programming flexibility.
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