Universal Remote Control MX-450 Reviewed

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UniversalRemoteControl_MX450.gifUniversal Remote Control is one of the most notable players in the AV remote control market. The company has two lines available for purchase. In addition to the remotes it designs for other stereo component manufacturers, they are the consumer line and the custom installer line. The $250 MX-450 reviewed here today is located at the bottom of the custom installer line, but it is by no means a bottom-of-the-line remote. This remote is well-suited for lower-budget systems due to its relatively low cost and ease (read less expensive) programming.

Additional Resources
• Read more remotes and system control reviews by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Find an AV receiver to pair with the MX-450.
 

The MX-450 is a programmable IR/RF with a bright, easy-to-read two-inch color LCD screen on the top portion of its wand-style body. The overall button layout is easy to navigate by touch and the unit feels comfortable in my hand. The buttons are backlit if one desires a visual aspect.

What sets the MX-450 apart from the other remotes in the custom installer line is the ability to program the remote without the use of a computer and the ability to view the programming of macros on its screen. The remote comes pre-loaded with the remote codes for many pages, as well as the graphics for many television stations. A USB port inside the battery compartment allows for updates with new codes to be uploaded to the remote. When I received my remote, I was able to easily program it to control my Panasonic plasma television, DirecTV DVR and Sony DVD player in my bedroom system. I later did an update and downloaded the control codes for Universal Remote Control's PSX-2 music server (review upcoming). I was quickly able to figure out how to program macros, a feat made extremely easy by the MX-450's display of each step on its screen, so you don't have to wonder if each button press was captured.

Like the previously reviewed MX-980, the MX-450 can be coupled with URC's MSC-400 base, which will provide the triggered macro capability, RS-232 and relay controls, video and voltage sensors. This will enable you to grow the MX-450 from easy control of the simplest systems, such as my bedroom system, to much more complex theater systems without having to buy yet another new remote.

Read more about the high points and the low points of the MX-450 on Page 2.

HTR Product Rating for Universal Remote Control MX-450

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

5

Overall

4.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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High Points
• The MX-450 is very easy and intuitive to use compared to other remotes in its class.
• The remote can be quickly and easily programmed without the use of a computer. This is of particular note with respect to programming macros.
• The battery life is very long for a remote with a large color screen.

Low Points
• The MX-450 really should be programmed by a professional, which almost inevitably adds to the overall cost of the product.
• The programming capabilities of this remote will not accommodate the most complex of systems. You have to go higher in the URC line for more complex systems.
• The MX-450 does not have a motion sensor to trigger the backlight.

Conclusion
Universal Remote Control's MX-450 fulfills the requirements for a relatively inexpensive remote that can easily control the majority of theater systems. While many remotes may be similarly priced, the MX-450 saves you money with simplified programming, which in other units often exceeds the cost of the hardware by a large margin.

While the MX-450 does not have some of the features of its big brother, the MX-980, it has the features necessary to control small to moderate-sized systems with ease. I was particularly impressed by the ease of programming this remote with macros and basic code sets. Even though I have never used this remote before, from the time I started pushing the buttons (yes, after I reviewed the instructional material), I had my simple bedroom system programmed with macros in less than ten minutes. The ability to upgrade the firmware and learn IR codes will make it unlikely that this remote will ever become obsolete. The remote's IR/RF capabilities provide a good deal of flexibility with placement of your system's components.

A universal remote should allow someone unfamiliar with your system to accomplish basic user tasks with ease, while also letting you delve deeper to make system adjustments when needed. The MX-450 does this. I have handed the remote to others who had no problems controlling the system. No fuss, no questions, and more importantly, no frustrated users.

Additional Resources
• Read more remotes and system control reviews by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.

• Find an AV receiver to pair with the MX-450. 


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