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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Theater Lovers;


I have a question about remote controls. I'll try to keep this short.


I have a Theater Master MX-500 and LOVE it. I've been able to teach it the signals from any remote, the amp, DVD player, projector......


That is, until now. I recently switched from Bell Satellite and Bell Fibe (Fibre Optic). Their remote absolutely will not teach my Theater Master its signals. I even had Bell send me an older version of the Fibe remote, and it also does not teach my MX-500.


This really annoys me, as I have to keep 2 remotes handy.


I did some reading, and found that most remotes work on a 40 Khz carrier frequency (presumably in the IR). I also read that Bell Fibe remotes operate around 57 Khz. I don't know if it's true, but it seems like a good explanation for what's wrong. At least I thought so, until I read the MX-500 can learn from 10 to 100 Khz. But, can it transmit in this full range?


When I teach the MX-500 it says "Good" like it's successfully learned the new signal. It just won't control the PVR, absolutely none of the buttons.


I also tried to teach a different learning remote, then use it to teach the MX-500. No luck, despite the "Good" indication again. In fact, the other learning remote also would not control the Bell PVR.


So, what's the problem? Is this a carrier frequency issue?


My eternal gratitude for any specific help on this.


Thank you, Tom, Ottawa Canada.
 

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Most (all?) Bell FIbre systems use the Nokia32 IR protocol (also known as one variant of RCMM). It operates at 36KHz. However, it is different from most IR signals, because it has 4 different off durations, denoting zero, one, two , or three, while traditionally IR protocols have used just two off durations signifying zero or one. Probably the MX500 doesn't know about this kind of signal and tries to decode it using older rules. If this is the situation, there isn't much you can do to make the MX500 work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi 3Fingered Glove;


Thanks for replying to my question. Assuming that I follow most of what you are saying, is there any type of converter, or IR extender that can convert my learned signals from the MX-500 to signals that the Fibe PVR can use?


Or, as far as you know, do any of the MX line of remotes (the new and improved ones above the MX-500) offer this type of learning/outputing?


Or, as a less acceptable option, is there another theater remote, which can handle several pieces of equipment like the MX series, that can learn/output proper signals for a variety of equipment? Harmony for example?


And if there is such a beast, could it handle the 2 IR on/off formats with one remote? This sounds unlikely, even to me.


Thanks for helping ths far.


Tom.
 

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For the most part, I don't know the answers to your questions. However, I can say that a Harmony will control nearly any device. The key here is that it is computer programmable, which means that it isn't dependent on learning, even for newer IR protocols. Regarding the the two types of signals, nearly any universal remote is capable of sending a wide variety of IR protocols. So can the MX500 in principle, but it is simply too old considering it isn't computer programmable.


BTW, if your Bell Fibre remote is the Nova, it can likely control all of your equipment. But i suppose you're looking for something fancier.
 

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@Tom from Ottawa,


We're in the same boat! I had FibeTV installed yesterday, and this evening discovered that my MX-500 won't learn from the 'slim' remote. I've spent a couple of hours messing with it, and finally decided to ask Ms. Google. Your posting came up.


Have you made any headway on the problem? 3FingeredGlove suggested Harmony remotes. I have a couple of Harmony models, and they pale in comparison to the MX-500. In fact, at times I've used a Harmony to train the MX-500. Ergonomically, the MX-500 is much superior. I have many hours invested in my MX-500 (which I've had for years). It works really well, and most importantly, is fully wife-approved. I shudder at the premise of having to replace it. But perhaps that's the price of migrating to this state-of-the-art IPTV.


Hope to hear from you with a viable solution, or another pointers. I was about to try training another intermediate remote, but it sounds like you've already gone down that path.


Thanks,

Dave in Ottawa!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kay  /t/1517341/theater-master-mx-500-remote-wont-learn-from-bell-fibe-remote-any-help#post_24346988



Or, as a less acceptable option, is there another theater remote, which can handle several pieces of equipment like the MX series, that can learn/output proper signals for a variety of equipment? Harmony for example?


Tom.

@Tom,

I can confirm that the Harmony H659 remote will control the Bell Fibe VIP2262. The H659 is an older, inexpensive Harmony product. I searched the Harmony PVR database, and found entries for "Motorola 2262" and "Arris 2262". (Motorola's cable division originally developed the VIP product portfolio. Google bought Moto, then Arris* bought the Moto Home division from Google a year ago). I used Harmony's "Motorola 2262" configuration to program a H659, and it works to control the Fibe receiver. Harmony's database entry for the Moto 2262 is for the older model of remote (not the 'slim' version which Bell is presently deploying). The older remote has some buttons that are missing from the slim, and these are defined in the Harmony profile (Favourites, Settings, Volume, Mute..). So the H659 achieves some added functionality compared to the slim remote.


I then tried using the H659 to teach the MX-500. Unfortunately, that was not successful. I got the same results that you observed when you tried teaching the MX-500. I surmise that the H659 is using the same newer (and incompatible) protocol that 3FingeredGlove mentioned. I might try programming the H659 with one of the other 2262 profiles in the Harmony database, but I am not at all hopeful.


I have experience with a number of different Harmony models, and have programmed them to drive various products from Sony, NAD, Panasonic, Denon, Philips, JVC, etc . Unless you have some really obscure AV gear, I suspect that a Harmony will work across your system components. But it may not be a fully satisfactory replacement for the reasons I cited earlier.



* local factoid - Arris started life in 1995 as a joint venture owned 75% by Nortel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Dave;


Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I should probably fish around and turn my message notification on, so I know when someone has replied to my post on this forum.


Now, down to biz. I saw a picture of the H659, but have not tried one in person, However, on the strength of the Harmony website, and a few calls to the support number, I went to Future Shop and bought the H650.


The activity based approach (as opposed to device-based usage) kind of threw me for a while. However, I think I've made the leap of logic, and of course, you can still toggle through the various devices as well, if you want, and control them one at a time, like I did with the MX-500. I tend to mix a few buttons from different devices onto one device or activity, and this keeps me from having to go from one device to another as I use my system. A simple example of this, is that without changing devices, I can use the main volume up/down buttons to control my amp, and the little up/down buttons in the middle of the remote to control my TV's volume setting. I don't know if this is common, but I like it.


After a few more calls to Harmony, and a software adjustment to the "timing" or "delay" the online editing software started to accept all the custom changes I wanted to make on certain buttons, and things improve immediately. So I have now convinced myself that I'll keep the H650. Also, if you should damage the remote, it's a lot easier to buy another one, and simply sync it to the existing online remote settings rather then having to start from scratch. So, this is an advantage of the Harmony system, unlike the old MX-500 system.


I'm getting used to the H650 buttons, feel, etc. One good test, is can you use the remote in the dark without the light? I sort of can, but need to look once in a while.


So I think I can put this one to bed for now. Unless Bell comes up with some new equipment that only speaks in Martian.


Happy Home Theater-ing. Tom.
 

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Tom,

I've found my H659 is prone to sending double- or triple-commands. A single button press sometimes transmits multiple IR commands. Did you find this with the H650, and if so, did fiddling with "timing" or "delay" . Any advice on tweaking the Harmony settings would be much appreciated.


I just received an URC R40 universal remote. Arrived today in the mail - I bought it used on eBay. It is quite similar to the MX-500, but newer so I'm hoping it can drive the Bell Fibe receiver. Programming begins tonight. I'll let you know how I make out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dave;


The odd thing at first about the H650, is that some components would turn on in Activity Mode and some would not. A message always pops up and asks if it all worked OK, then how to correct it if some items did not switch on.


The timing or delay is something that Yen altered when I called the help number, 1-866-291-1505. Whoever you get on the line should be able to look at the delay settings and make some logical guess about the best settings. I know nothing about this, really. I find that generally, the Harmony help center is pretty good. I think you have to have the remote plugged in while he's helping you, but maybe not. Maybe you can sync it and try it later after he's done his thing.


This might solve problems about multiple on/off pulses being fired from your remote, when you only want one pulse per component. (of course, in Activity Mode, you're counting on multiple pulses to turn on multiple components). Are you keeping the remote pointed at all devices at the same time, for a few seconds? This would be harder if you had different components in different locations, obviously.


That's the best I can steer you right now.


PLEASE tell us about the new R40 if it works with all your items, especially Bell Fibe (Motorola) PVR.


Cheers, Tom.
 

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@Tom,

-and anyone else wanting a good unified remote to control a Bell "Fibe" PVR or an AT&T U-verse PVR (a.k.a Motorola VIP2262, now Arris VIP2262).


Unlike the venerable MX-500 which I've used for years, the URC R40 remote drives the Fibe PVR. I had to teach it all the buttons from the remote that came with the Fibe receiver (the 'slim' remote). I also did some training using the older version remote that Bell supplied previously (the MXV3, a.k.a. Moto MR048). The latter has a couple of buttons that the 'slim' doesn't have.


The R40 comes pre-loaded with codes for lots of makes/models of AV gear. So far, I've configured it to drive my Sony HDTV, Denon AVR, Panasonic DVR and AppleTV. No learning required. Programming method is similar to the MX-500. It was a simple matter to choose the desired make of TV, Audio, DVD, etc. I haven't yet programmed any macros to turn various units on & off, switch inputs, etc.


Frankly, I still prefer the ergonomics of the MX-500. It's a bit bigger, partly due to the larger screen, with 10 softkeys (vs 6 on the R40). The MX-500 has a monochrome LCD with a very legible font. The R40 has a colour LCD, with tiny characters that my aging eyes have difficulty discerning. The labels of the hard keys on the R40 are lower contrast and harder to read. But it has the same build quality as the MX-500, and excellent 'feel' to it (button clicks, rubbery finish, etc).


The MX-500 display is 'on' all the time, whereas the R40 display goes off after several seconds (adjustable).


However, my nit-picking on design is immaterial, since the MX-500 doesn't work with the Fibe. No doubt it will take me a few days/weeks to fine tune the R40 and get some macros set up, but I'm sure it will be a worthy replacement. Farewell MX-500, you served us well...


For those interested, there's a good thread on the AVSForum website with lots of info and opinions about the R40.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1384297/official-urc-r40-thread/150#post_23281379
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah Dave, I agree it's a bit hard to say goodbye to the old MX-500, since it was bordering on perfect when it worked well. (The back light wasn't exactly durable, but mine still worked).


However, this means that we have at least 2 solutions to the Motorola VIP-2262 PVR that Bell uses for its Fibe TV. And 2 is better than 1. I'm pretty sure that the MX-900 and 980 would also work, plus most of the Harmony products.


I am becoming more comfy with my Harmony 650 each day, and it's still doing its job. Button placement, weight, feel, balance all seem reasonable, and like I mentioned, using it in the dark is becoming more instinctive. If you still have the H659, you might still give it a whirl one day.


I'd say we have this one solved.


Cheers, and enjoy your (our) Canadian taxes. Tom, Ottawa.
 
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