"Owned for a week"on by bwahaha
Pros Easy to program
Cons Joystick; A, B, no C; Buttons feel cheap
Summary I purchased this remote for a new home theatre system in my house. I am a little biased, since I already have an MX-800 for one system and a MX 3000 for a different one. For this room, I wanted to go for a remote that did not have professional installation requirements. I programmed the remote without a problem for all units (Panasonic plasma, Sony DVD, Scientific Atlanta HD Cable Box, Onkyo Receiver). The remote worked perfectly in terms of controlling all the devices, including the activity based controls.
Now time for the cons. I had an issue with the battery. As soon as I took it off the cradle after initial charging, it dropped one battery bar. Then, after being off the charger for one day, it dropped another bar. Note that there are only 3 battery bars on this remote.
In addition, I was not too pleased with some of the controls. I think that the joystick control. I personally would prefer buttons as opposed to the joystick. In addition, my cable box has an A, B, and C button. This remote has hard buttons for A and B, but no C. The C appears in the LCD area, but it is annoying to have 2 out of 3 in one spot, while the third is in a different location.
Finally, the buttons felt cheap. When pressing anything in the number pad, all buttons move. Same goes for the row above the number pad and below the volume/channel up/down controls.
Overall, the remote did as promised, however I would prefer a remote with a sturdier feel.
Pros Ease of setup even for first time owner of Universal Control. Charging cradle very stable. Buttons are well-built and easy to use. Layout feels very intuitive.
Cons None to even note
Summary First time purchase of a universal control. Though a bit leery, I chose the AV100 over Harmony's due to company reputation and so-so reviews on the Harmony models, particularly dealing with the Harmony charging cradle.
I couldn't be more pleased. Recharging cradle is very sturdy and reliably did the initial charging. Setup even for a novice was very smooth. Any glitches were easily fixed with the remote's Help Button. Customizing for my preferences was a breeze.
Would have rated a "10" but have yet to determine the SAF (Spousal Acceptance Factor)! But my best guess is that she'll love it too!
Pros Easy setup, one button operation, wife-friendly
Cons Screen could have higher resolution, no RF
Summary Basic setup is a breeze, I was done with it in 15 minutes and had true 1 button functionality to control my whole setup (major wife pleaser). You need to spend much more time to customize it though if needed (but again, no remote will ever guess everybody's custom preferences). I was debating between the Logitech 880, HK TC30 and this remote, ultimately I chose this because the button layout seemed more intuitive than those other 2.
I don't have an overly complicated setup (TV, AV receiver, DVD/CD player, Cable box with HD, XM radio) but the remote just does its job perfectly for me.
All my devices were in Monster's database (even some functionality that's missing from my original remotes, e.g. my TVs original remote doesn't have an option to select an input, Monster's database had) so there was no need to teach new codes to this remote.
I wish the screen had higher resolution though. Also, it doesn't have RF capability (if you don't know what it is you probably don't need it).
Price seems a bit high, but everything's relative, the other 2 remotes I mentioned are somewhat cheaper.
Pros Easy web based set up (PC and Mac), one button control of multiple components
Cons Database on AV Receiver did not include codes for Zones 2 & 3, just the primary Zone 1
Summary Overall I’m very satisfied with the remote capabilities, and relative ease in setup.
The remote is used to control a plasma monitor, AV Receiver, digital HD cable box with DVR, DVD, and DVD/VCR combo unit. The multiple remotes were driving my wife crazy (and me too). The AV equipment I have is of good quality but I could not bring myself to buy one of the high end remotes, for about $400, and then have to pay an additional $400 to have someone program it. Future changes would still depend on someone doing the programming and cost more money. The Monster controller was a good solution. It has one-button capabilities and was something that I could set up and modify.
The basic setup went pretty smoothly. Monster’s web based “set up wizard’ was easy to use, and the component database with the various codes seemed extensive. The user guide included with the remote however was about as minimalist as possible. There is a user manual that can be downloaded from Monster’s web site but all I received was a web site error message when I tried. Maybe if I had the user manual, I would have better understood the relationship between the “activities’ and the related components. Once I got the basic system working, it took a lot of experimenting with the setting to customize the remote. The component and activity settings are buried a number of screens deep on the web site. It was confusing to decide whether to use the trouble shooting screen or the activities screen.
After setting up the cable box and the TV, I went to use the cable guide to pick a station. I could not figure out how to move up and down or side to side within the guide. I felt like an idiot when, by accident, I realized that the Monster remote select button also functioned as a mini joystick. It moves up and down within the guide. I am sure that information was in the user guide that I was not able to download but I did not see this information on the web site or anywhere else.
The remote advertising indicated that the remote’s surround mode button would access the surround sound and DSP modes. I have a Yamaha RX V1500 receiver and none of the surround sound buttons appear when I use the surround mode. I will have to set them up or have to use the remote’s component control button to access the buttons for the AV receiver (all 14 pages worth).
Another issue relates to the AV receiver and its multiple zone capability. The receiver’s primary zone is used for the cable/TV/DVD in the family room. I have zone 2 powering speakers outside, and zone 3 powering speakers in one of my rooms. The receiver can play the cable/TV in zone 1 and in zone 2 use the receiver’s turner to play FM. The codes for the Monster remote do not recognize the other zones. I needed to use the learn code function to get zone 2 to work. I still haven’t figured out how to control the volume in zone 2. This is a major pain for people with AV receivers with multiple zones and needs to be fixed.
I am still having problems switching the monitor’s inputs (AV1 to AV2) when I start an activity. Even though the activity says to switch to AV2, the monitor does not recognize the command. I am still playing with time delays in sending the codes but do not have a solution yet.
The last gripe that I have is that Monster’s web site has a download titled “Setting up your monster controller” and it indicates a 24hr turnaround on contacts to their customer service. I used their web site for the contact and three contacts later am still waiting for an answer to any of my requests. This is a problem since Monster sets the expectation of a quick turn around and then does not deliver.
Problems aside, I still think that this controller was the way to go. It truly has one button capability and allows me to make changes to the remote’s functionality. Most of the issues I have will not be a problem for the majority people. Monster’s support is still a little rough around the edges. I am confident that I will get the remote to handle my needs.
Pros Easy set up, nice buttons, even my six year old can use it
Cons Not much - remote assistant not of much use
Summary I bought this remote to replace my old Sony Commander. My Sony worked OK, but basically drove everyone nuts but me. There was no way for my young son to use it, my wife put up with it, my in laws hated it.
Enter the Monster. I read the reviews of the Logitach Harmonys and decided to take a chance on Monster based on the mixed reviews of Harmony. I cannot tell you how happy I am with the decision. I own a Hitachi 50V500, Scientific Atlanta cable box with PVR, Sony reciever, XBox, and a Toshiba VCR/DVD combo.
The Monster software had all of these components working with correct audio outputs within 15 minutes of me answering questions using the software. The only adjustment I had to make was to customize the "page up" and "page down" inputs to the PVR for skipping through channels in the on screen menu 5 at a time. You can tell Monster made a bog investment in the software to input your components and establish functions.
The other thinh I love is that the Monster remote senses when my components are on or off. My Sony could never do this (or I could not figure out how) and constantly would shut components off when I used the memorized commands (for example it would shut off my reciever when I swtiched from watching to TV to watching a DVD). I knew how to get around this, but nobody else in my house did.
All in all a very positive experience with a product that I think is very hard to get correct. Congrats to Monster on a very high quality product.