Monster AVL300 Universal Remote Control Reviewed

Monster AVL300 Universal Remote Control Reviewed

Expanding from their endless lines of cables, Monster has several universal remote controls. The AVL300 has a 2.3-inch LCD, uses IR (but is RF-capable), and even has a rechargeable battery. Adrienne Maxwell sees how well it stacks up compared to Logitech and URC.

monster_avl300.jpgMonster's AVL300 ($399.95) is a universal remote that can control up to 15 A/V devices and up to six entertainment systems around the home; it is also designed to work with Monster's IlluminEssence lighting controls and other Z-wave products. The remote has a vertically aligned, handheld design with 49 hard buttons and a two-and-one-third-inch, non-touch-screen LCD, with a 128 x 160 resolution. On its own, the AVL300 controls devices using line-of-sight IR, but it is also RF-capable. A single OmniLink RF-to-IR base station is included in the package, which allows you to control products that are located in a cabinet or separate room. (Additional OmniLinks can be added.) The remote uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery; a charging base is included.

Additional Resources
Read remote reviews from brands like Monster, URC, Pronto, Crestron, Harmony, Control4 and many others.

 

At $399.95, the AVL300 is a mid-priced universal remote that offers a lot more functionality than many remotes at the same price point. That advanced functionality does not equal complicated set-up, primarily because Monster's Central Control programming software is based on the popular Harmony platform, a simple Web-based system through which you create activities like Watch TV or Watch a DVD. The Central Control software has a slightly different interface than the Harmony version, designed to accommodate its multi-room functionality and optional lighting control. While the software isn't quite as quick and intuitive as Harmony's version, it still makes it very easy to add devices and set up the remote to control multiple systems around the room. During the set-up process, the software asks whether you would like to incorporate control of the Monster IlluminEssence lighting products, such as dimmers, switches and scene controllers. This, too, is a fairly straightforward process that provides the ability to link lighting scenes to various remote functions. For instance, press the "Watch a DVD" button, and the lights in your theater room will fade to black. Monster's ControlNet RF technology is also compatible with the wireless Z-wave RF protocol, so you can configure the AVL300/OmniLink system to control Z-wave-equipped lighting systems, thermostats and shades from other manufacturers.

All in all, the AVL300 is easy to set up and easy to use, and it provides reliable control of A/V gear and IlluminEssence lighting products. Thanks to its multi-room functionality, you can configure a single AVL300 to control several systems around the house, which means you have to keep track of fewer remotes. However, the Central Control software is flexible enough to let you program up to six AVL300s to use throughout a single home.

Read The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion on Page 2

Monster-AVL300-reviewed.gif

High Points
• The AVL300 is easy to program, and it can control multiple A/V and lighting systems around the home.
• The remote can control devices via either IR or RF, and one OmniLink RF base station is included in the $399.95 package. 
• Adding lighting controls and other Z-wave products is a fairly straightforward process.
• The Central Control software is compatible with both PC and Mac operating systems.

Low Points
• The Central Control software is a little slower and less intuitive than Harmony's version.
• The software is not as flexible and configurable as you'll find with more advanced, expensive control systems.
• The AVL300 doesn't sit securely in its charging cradle. 
• The supplied manuals don't do a very good job of explaining the remote's set-up and many features.

Conclusion
The Monster AVL300 may not provide all of the advanced customization and flexible design you'll find in a higher-end control system, but it offers a lot of features and options for the price. It's a great choice for the person who wants to control hidden equipment or multiple systems using a single remote, or for someone who'd like to add wireless lighting control with minimal effort. The Harmony-based wizard makes set-up a breeze.

Additional Resources
• Read remote reviews from brands like Monster, URC, Pronto, Crestron, Harmony, Control4 and many others.

Subscribe To Home Theater Review

You'll automatically be entered in the HTR Sweepstakes, and get the hottest audio deals directly in your inbox.
HomeTheaterReview Product Rating
Value: 
Performance: 
Overall Rating: 
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Your support is greatly appreciated!
© JRW Publishing Company, 2020
magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram