on January 11, 2005
After using this for a few weeks, I believe that I've finally found the perfect remote. It has nice keys and a quality feel about it, with a good layout. The keys aren't too close together. Learning capability is available for all the keys. It supports macros for the on and off buttons, which allows you to shut off everything by pushing a button. All of the controls at the top can be macro'd also, so it makes switching between controls very easy. I owned the MX-500 before this and found it too much of a pain to use the menus... I like hard buttons that I can 'teach' at will and support for just enough macros to switch between devices. You can also punch through all of the different devices so that, for example, your tuner up/down volume buttons work everywhere. Occasionally when you hit a macro button it doesn't do all the commands that you tell it to, but it's a very minor annoyance to just press the button again. Also, while the initial setup took about 10 minutes, it took several hours of messing around to get everything set up just the way I wanted it. But that has been the case w/just about every remote I've ever owned. I love this unit.
on September 20, 2005
The remote works very well. Good size.
One (hard) button push for the component you want to operate.
Wireless base station picks up the command real fast and changes my DVD,VCR, SAT, and Tivo. I bought 5 for my house and a base station. I am very happy with it.
I had previously purchased more expensive remotes but returned them - I prefer this one.
on February 16, 2006
I bought this remote almost exclusively based on reviews here at Amazon. I only had one doubt when I ordered and that was with the beam power. I was worried about it not being powerful enough for my home theater. My concerns were completely laid to rest when I got the remote and it worked like a charm.
My setup is a BenQ projector-centered system with my components in the back of the room (opposite side from the screen). So the problem with all the individual remotes (besides the fact that they are individual remotes) was only one of them (the Yamaha amp remote) was powerful enough to bounce off the white screen and back to the components. The Comcast cable universal remote was very weak and wouldn't work at all except pointed directly at the box. So we were doing all sorts of crazy poses to point the remote backwards and still try to push the buttons accurately.
Long story short, the beam power on the URC100 is amazing. It not only bounces off the big white screen (painted with Flat Behr Ultra Pure White), but will do so at almost any odd angle. Now we can actually be BEHIND the components (in an adjacent slightly raised room) and still control everything.
I love the fact that there is a separate ON button from the OFF button as well. Any one with a projector knows that you don't want to be cycling those things on and off too quickly. A single power toggle switch makes a dangerous combo.
The macros are great too. I have a single button that turns it all on, a single button that turns it all off. I will be adding a remote control dimmer to the room later to dim the lights automatically (which it has the capabilities to do) when powering the projector on. I also have a macro to change the projector input and Yamaha amp inputs to the cable box, then the the HTPC, and back again. Before it involved picking up each remote separately. Quite a pain.
One thing I can fault it is that my projector wasn't listed on the pre-programmed list of unit codes. I guess projectors aren't too high priority in most consumer homes, but they are sure to be in the future as their prices come down. However, it was extremely easy to program the buttons I wanted to simulate using the learning mode.
The other thing I might complain about is lack of RF learning. I have an RF wireless keyboard that controls the HTPC. It would be nice to put some of those buttons on the URC100 so I don't have to go to the keyboard to pause, fast-forward, and rewind a DVD or AVI movie. Since this remote transmits in RF, I hoped you could program for it as well. Not a huge deal. I am still extremely please with everything else.
Overall... In a word, this remote is "Awesome".
on February 13, 2006
In our living room, my wife (of 51 years) and I have a TV, TIVO, Onkyo Receiver & an OTA HD receiver. She uses a Harmony 688 I bought and programmed for her several months ago & I use the URC100 bought a couple of weeks ago. If she tried to switch remotes with me I would consider that immediate grounds for divorce. The URC has vastly superior build quality, and much more usable keys in terms of size & feel. The one obvious advantage the 688 has is more dedicated keys for controlling the TIVO. Using learning, I programmed the URC's TIVO (sat.) menu & exit keys to be slow motion & 30 sec. advance keys. Those two keys are not really needed by the DVR and seem relatively logically located.
Another possible & potentially important advantage of the Harmonys & perhaps the URC200 & 300 is the use of the LCD screen to label key responses. I use fairly basic audio & DVD functions. Were I to attempt to program audio tuner AM & FM functions or DVD chapter labels, picture navigation, etc., I would have plenty of keys on the URC to do it; but I would be hard pressed to remember where everything was.
Some may consider Logitech's internet programming an advantage. After doing both I preferred programming the URC. It is great to have ALL the learning ability you should ever need!!
A possible flaw on the URC100 (others may have found differently) is the way the 16 off and on macro keys work. Altho I could program these macros, I constantly ran into trouble if all I really wanted to do was to turn one device off or on or if I hit one by mistake. They also seem to negate the use of simple macros which do not require powering off or on. For example, I tried to program macros to turn closed captioning on and off. The first key you MUST use is on (power toggle). So after using either it (or off) and programming the rest of the steps, you have captions, BUT your DVR has been toggled off! I finally found I could use the CD device off & on keys (since I don't use CD otherwise) to toggle captions.
The 8 device macros work great. Programming maybe a half second or full second delay before the actual macro begins works perfectly. However, since the steps are not exactly the same, I had to use two device keys (DVD & VCR) to both power on and power off my DVD and use two (AUX & CBL) for the OTA HD receiver.
I believe that if you have a fairly basic home entertainment system you will find the URC100 an absolute joy to use. I have.
If you need more than 8 macros or if your individual devices require numerous keys that won't be logically labeled on the URC100, you may want to consider the 200 or 300 models or even a tinny Harmony.
on January 10, 2006
This is an excellent remote. Some of the things I like the most:
1. Retains memory even if the batteries die. No risk of loosing all those keys you've "taught" it though the learning sequence.
2. Unlimited memory -- has enough memory to "learn" every button.
3. Ergonomic -- All the key buttons are easily reached and the shape of the remote guides your hand to the correct positioning. Also, button placement and shape makes it easy to operate without looking at it.
4. Hauppauge devices like the media-MVP use what is called "RC5" infra-red codes. Some learning remotes cannot learn these types of codes, but the URC-100 is able to learn RC5 codes without a problem.
5. I have both TIVO and MYTHTV. My MYTHTV front-end is a Hauppauge Media-MVP box running the MYTHTV front-end software. The remote is able to control both without a problem.
6. "Beam strength" is excellent - amongst the best I've used.
7. "SHIFT" button is handy. It allows you to map a second function to any key and it is very intuitive. On my TIVO I have the "FF" button mapped to 30-second-skip-forward; "SHIFT-FF" is mapped to the regular fast-forward. "REW" button is mapped to "8-second instant replay"; "SHIFT-REW" is mapped to regular reverse. On my DVD player "menu" is mapped to the "menu" function; "SHIFT-menu" is mapped to "top level menu" function.
The one area for improvement would be adding separate "skip forward" / "skip backward" buttons, as they have on their MX-5 remote. Having said this, the "SHIFT" approach described above provides a good solution and the ergonomics of the URC-100 are significantly better than the MX-5.
on January 31, 2006
This is a great product, I have been able to program my TV, TIVO, DVD, Stereo and all with this one controller. Great product and the illumination feature is absolutely great at night.