Universal 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.
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.
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