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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know, thats a crazy comparison to make, but here's my reasoning:


First off, thanks to Mike at Surfremote, who patiently answered all my questions. I appreciate the help. I may not know which remote I'm gonig to buy, but I know where I'm going to buy it from.


659: I was first sold on the 659 after reading about the web interface and the activity based usage. I was also impressed by the ease of use and the way you wouldn't have to switch between the receiver to change volume and the cable box to change channels, etc, etc, like the run of the mill universal remote. I am also impressed by the excellent WAF, and let me just say that if my wife finds that the HT is not set up for exactly what she feels like watching at the moment, be it channel surfing, dvd, or vcr, or, heaven forbid, cd player, she will drop everything and go read a book. She has no desire to figure it all out, (same thing for her cell phone, btw, one of the kids has to go in and empty her voice mail box every week or so).


MX700: Very flexible for the geek in me. I can foresee the fun in setting it up and tweeking it. How is the WAF on this unit? Is it easy to use once set up? Does it know that the receiver does the volume while the cable box does the channel changing? Bottom line, is it just better in every way than the 659? I'm sure I will love either, but will my wife?


Thanks for checking out one more which-remote-should-I-get question.


Walt
 

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I would say that the 659 has better WAF (FYI: I don't own either :p )
 

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I've had the 659 for about two months, now, and my wife and kids were able to pick it up and use it right away. Don't know about the 700, but, from what I've seen and read, it's a great remote, but not as high on the WAF.
 

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Although I have never tried the 659, I was unsure between the Harmony 768 and HTM MX-700. So, I ordered one of each, programmed them and let the family try them out for about a week. We ended up keeping the MX-700 and returning the Harmony. The Smart-State technology and XML programming interface on the Harmony was great, but the MX700 was preferrred by my family from an ergonomic standpoint. With the MX700 I have acheived the same activity-based approach using Macros.
 

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I bought my harmony from surfremote, I recommend them. I would say that the Harmony is probably easier to use for non-techies,and easier to program for anyone, techie or not. Both are good, though. I like my harmony.
 

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My opinion is that if you can program the mx-700 well, then it is the winner, as it can be programmed to do macros from any button simply for non-techies to figure out.. If you aren't sure if you can program it, then stick with the Harmony. In the long run the MX-700 has more potential, but you need to be able to bring it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input. Sounds like I can't go wrong with either, though I'm still a little undecided, I think I am leaning towards the MX700 at this time. Ask me again in 5 minutes, I'll tell you the 659, I'm sure.


Walt
 

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Quote:
Sounds like I can't go wrong with either
true

Quote:
I think I am leaning towards the MX700 at this time. Ask me again in 5 minutes, I'll tell you the 659, I'm sure.
lol
 

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I have both. Well the mx-800 and the 659. Not sure about the waf- got rid if mine(wife :) )

Anyway. If you are capable of programming anf tweaking the 700 to get it right, it is a more comfortable, easier to read and more poweful remote.


I bought the 659 for my parents also, believing that it would be easier for them to use, but I get the phone calls anyway.

I am thinking of nuying them a mx-700 and tweaking it to the point that they leave me alone.


The 659 is a very good remote and it is more flexible than I allow mine to be. I do not like calling up the techs and asking them to add special programming(which they happily do). I prefer to tweak it myself until I get it right and the 659 limits that type of programming.


I like my 659's, but I love my mx-800


baimo
 

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Might be the most severe case of WAF I've heard of.


On a serious note, I upgraded from an MX-500 to a 700 because of the WAF thing. I programmed all of the device keys on the 700 with macros so that one button gets her started.


For "DVD" - turns on the DVD, TV and Receiver, flips the audio on the receiver to DVD, flips the TV to Video 5 and then the tray opens. Drop in the disc and hit play. This works walking into a room where nothing is working.


Protecting my sanity forced me to the next solution. Needed to avoid the constant "I'm watching the DVD player, how do I get to the Satellite". Even after an explanation, including ANOTHER tutorial, her "complain nerve" kept twitching for another 20 minutes.


Here was the fix. I set up a device on the MXD-700 called SWICH (the "T" wouldn't fit). The device has macros (every combination of the components I have) that moves you from what you are watching or listening to to what you want to watch or listen to with a single button push. For example, watching Satellite, want to go to DVD. The device button on the 700 is "SA DV". Pressing it causes the following to occur:


1. Satellite tuner turns off

2. DVD Player turns on

3. Reciever switches audio from Satellite to DVD

4. TV switches from the Satellite input to the DVD input

5. DVD drawer opens


I may have missed a step or two, but you get the idea. The kernel of useful inof here is that the 700 is incredibly powerful relative to macro capability. You can do any combination of turning things on or off and switching inputs in a macro.


The SWICH device has 10 hard buttons times 4 pages = 40 possible macro combinations. The beauty is that you can do this simply using the MX Editor Software on your PC. Whole thing (12 macros) took me about 20 minutes.


Worked out so well I have to wrestle with her to get the remote back!


While I have obviously had some fun with this, it is a very efficient and effective solution. I don't know much about the Harmony unit, but the 700 has more available than I will ever use and itis a dream to work with.


Hope this helps.


Ray
 

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I was shopping for my first universal remote, and it came down to these two remotes (659 or MX-700). I'm not married, so the WAF wasn't a direct consideration.


After reading a lot of posts I decided on the 700, and I just started trying to program it today.


I went with the 700 because:


1. I'd heard less negative things about it. I read numerous posts from people who complained about the position of transport buttons on the 659. There are workarounds, but the 700's are better positioned off the bat.


2. I like the ergonomics of the 700 a LOT better. I have a front projector, so I'll be using it in the dark a lot. The 700 is good in the dark, and I won't have any trouble determining which end is which, whereas the 659 is more of a problem for that. It's peanut shaped - too symetrical. In the dark you want to know without looking or even having to feel for buttons. When you grab the 700, you know instantly which end is which.


3. There's more flexibility, more soft buttons, more potential.
 

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I'm not having much luck with my SST-659 and am considering the MX-700 and I just realized the Home Theater Master head quarters is right down the street from me! Maybe that's a sign :)


This is a great thread for comparing the two -- wish it was here before I bought the 659. Live and learn...live and learn.
 

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surfaday - I'm probably not the best person to ask regarding the 659 as I'm very frustrated with this remote and Harmony's lack of customer support. Let me preface this with I seem to be the ONLY person that customer support refuses to answer via email (three emails in the last four days without a single response -- did their mail server crash?), but I have only read great things about Harmony remotes and their tech support, so like I said, I'm pretty much a fluke at this point.


In any case, read my thread about my remote going through three sets of batteries in three days. And I can't get it to select the correct input on my plasma display. And the power on/off cycling on my STB doesn't work correclty either. Now I admit, these problems could probably be easily fixed if I could get customer service to respond. But since they won't, I have no idea. And since I don't like throwing $3.50 worth of batteries at this thing each day, I'm not going to be configuring it much.


But over all, it's a nice remote. I wasn't blown away by it. I don't like where the shuttle buttons are, and my page down button is very sticky. If you say you have a TiVo, the "Watch TV" activity automatically uses the TiVo device (this is what most people would do, so that's fine), but I have an STB that doesn't go through my TiVo so I wanted the "Watch TV" activity to not deal with the TiVo, but there's only one "Watch TV" button so how do you set up two separate activities? But I'm sure I could have figured a way around that too, but my remote is dead, and CS won't respond to my emails. Again, initial impressions after only limited use for about two days.


But I'm sure if you get this, you won't have nearly the problems I am, and will love the remote like pretty much everyone else here who has it does.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by akelley
If you say you have a TiVo, the "Watch TV" activity automatically uses the TiVo device (this is what most people would do, so that's fine), but I have an STB that doesn't go through my TiVo so I wanted the "Watch TV" activity to not deal with the TiVo, but there's only one "Watch TV" button so how do you set up two separate activities?
Just in case you get through to support, and decide to keep your remote:


You can do this by setting up an additional activity. I have a WATCH HDTV activity under More Activities that bypasses the Tivo, and sets the inputs on the Stereo and the TV. I don't recall off hand how I did it, but it is easy if you have the web page in front of you.


Good luck!
 

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Yeah, I just got my 659 and I have the same situation. I use the "Watch TV" button for my Motorola HD STB and then added an activity for the Tivo. It works like a charm! The response on the STB took a little tweaking and I've had some trouble programming it for my Tascam CD-RW700 CD burner, but otherwise it has been perfect. I highly recommend the remote. And I, unlike others, don't mind the position of the shuttle buttons for Tivo use.
 

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You folks who are having trouble getting e-mail responses from Harmony, please try their toll-free 866 number! Their hold times have dramatically improved in the past couple of weeks. The last couple times I called, I was on hold for only five or seven minutes.


And, BTW, I have been getting more timely responses to my e-mails, too. The worst case I experienced was one week over one of the holiday weeks, but now, I'm getting responses in 24 to 36 hours (not the automated reply, but an actual working response).
 

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I agree with bierboy and would add that if you have trouble getting through on the toll free line, try the regular phone number as well. It might cost you a buck or two, but it is often a faster way to get through. Harmony just added more tech support people recently, so you should get better response calling them then you did during the busy holiday season.
 

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I think if the 768 had been anywhere close the 659 I wouldn't own a MX-700 right now. :)


I actually like programming the MX-700 myself and love it now that I have it but wish it had "smart state" and the ability to hold down a button for a looongg push in a macro (you can't do it).


The 768 I had I could not operate without backlighting and I didn't like having to go through support to get everything working and the web configuration sometimes makes you reconfigure everything when you are tweaking a single component - it makes you go through it's setup "wizards" again... and again...


I bet if I had the *new* harmony I wouldn't have returned it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dstroot
I think if the 768 had been anywhere close the 659 I wouldn't own a MX-700 right now. :)


I actually like programming the MX-700 myself and love it now that I have it but wish it had "smart state" and the ability to hold down a button for a looongg push in a macro (you can't do it).


The 768 I had I could not operate without backlighting and I didn't like having to go through support to get everything working and the web configuration sometimes makes you reconfigure everything when you are tweaking a single component - it makes you go through it's setup "wizards" again... and again...


I bet if I had the *new* harmony I wouldn't have returned it.
Yes, that smart state stuff with the 659 gave me pause. I just started programming my MX-700 a day or so ago and can't find ANY discreet on/off codes. Oh, well. Also, I haven't encountered any CCF or MXD files I feel I benefit from. However, it's OK just learning stuff and I guess I can set up nice macros, although I didn't buy it for a vision of one button does all to set up an activity. Just being able to do everything with one remote is reason enough to get it. Juggling remotes sucks.
 
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