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MX-980 Universal Remote Control

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Summary

  • Product Name: MX-980 Universal Remote Control
  • Manufacturer: Universal Remote Control, Inc.
  • Review Date: January 08, 2008 17:34
  • MSRP: $599
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Executive Overview

Universal Remote Control, Inc. released their MX-980 Remote Control today at CES in Las Vegas. A winner of this year’s CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards, the MX-980 is a powerful wand-style custom control designed to advance the state of the art of Home Theater programming and integration.

The MX-980 has many highlights including a big, bright color LCD display, an open programming architecture, Narrow Band RF capability, and seamless integration with other control devices.

The MX-980’s display shares the vibrant color capabilities of URC’s popular MX-3000 Remote Control with an active matrix LCD that offers a 320x240 pixel window to any graphic an installer would like to provide, including BMP, JPEG, PNG, GIF and animated GIF files, all of which can be assigned to any of eight adjacent activity buttons.

The MX-980 is programmable by any Windows-compatible laptop or desktop PC with a USB port. The port provides access to a vast array of custom solutions, available free of charge using URC’s proprietary Complete Control Suite programming software, available online at the URC Control Room.

WATCH and LISTEN buttons on the MX-980 display activities users can control. When a user wants to watch something else (a DVD, a videotape or an HDTV broadcast), he or she simply presses the WATCH button and selects the new activity. When a user wants to listen to the radio or a CD, he or she touches LISTEN. Then, with the press of the button, the MX-980 automates the entire routine of turning on components, selecting inputs and favorites, even resetting the lights to the optimum scene for the selected activity.

The MX-980’s OpenArchitectureTM PC Editor provides professional installers with new solutions to the age-old problem of automating a central system as well as local TVs, cable or satellite receivers, and even local surround systems in secondary rooms like bedrooms and offices. Using the MX-980, installers can simply select an appropriate solution for each equipment location.

In the central system, for example, the MX-980 can trigger smart macros, RS232 and relay controls via a centrally installed MSC-400 Master Controller. At each local system location, the MX-980 addresses an RF Base Station, like URC’s new MRF-260, which extends the remote’s range to 50 to 100 feet, and eliminates the line-of-sight requirement. In any room with a projector, lighting switch or other IR-controlled device not connected to a central MSC-400 or local MRF, the MX-980’s built-in IR signal is effective at a range of 30 to 50 feet.

The MX-980 is packed with practical features for users as well as installers. These include a motion sensor that automatically turns on the display when the remote is picked up and refreshes when it’s moved, and automatic blue backlighting for all the buttons to ensure the remote can be used easily in dim or darkened rooms. A small integrated speaker optionally beeps in response to button pushes, indicating the MX-980 understands an instruction. A built-in time/date display, a low-battery alert, a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and a supplied USB programming cable further enhance its ease of use.

The MX-980 Remote Control is available now from authorized Universal Remote Control dealers at a suggested retail price of $599.

About Universal Remote Control, Inc.
Headquartered in Harrison, New York, Universal Remote Control, Inc. is a world leader in the design, engineering, manufacture and distribution of high-quality remote control devices. Since its establishment in 1991, the company has become highly regarded by consumers and professionals alike, and won numerous industry awards.  It supplies millions of remote controls each year to consumers around the world through four primary distribution channels: consumer retail, custom professional, subscription broadcast and OEM.

Universal Remote Control products are manufactured in Asia and North America in factories that meet rigorous CE, ISO 9001, ETTS, IQNET and TQM certification requirements. For additional technical information, please visit www.universalremote.com.

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About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

AVRat posts on January 20, 2008 14:20
I guess announcements on upgraded pre/pros was skimpy/non-existent since nothing was reported, eh?
The Chukker posts on January 16, 2008 00:28
Tom Andry, post: 358149
Scratch that - when I wrote that article, I was converting from Yen to $ and came to $1800. Turns out it will cost more like $2500 according to Sony.
Yikes. It would be interesting if someone used the average price points for LCD or Plasma tv's (from say 27“ to 60+”) and then applied that sliding scale model to OLED tv's to give a “rough” idea of what the larger panels would cost in comparison. I know this logic is inherently flawed but geez, $2500 for an 11" tv? pfffff.
Do you get the feeling these guys are just showing off for it's own sake?
Tom Andry posts on January 15, 2008 11:10
Scratch that - when I wrote that article, I was converting from Yen to $ and came to $1800. Turns out it will cost more like $2500 according to Sony. I'd love to see this tech mature but I have a feeling that no one is going to want to invest in it enough to get the infrastructure to the point were they can be produced cheaply. With the majority of the public rolling their eyes at me when I tell them that there is a difference between SD and HD, I can't believe that we're going to convince them that a high contrast ratio is reason enough to spend 5x on an OLED display.
Tom Andry posts on January 15, 2008 09:43
The Chukker, post: 357718
So what kind of price differential are we talking about here? Did Samsung actually have an MSRP for the 31" model? If mass production were to indeed start in 2010 of mid to large sized models, what price point is Samsung shooting for and what was the maximum size they were touting?

Sony just released their first 11" OLED at $1800
Toshiba isn't going to release any at all based on manufacturing costs
[read more]

Samsung didn't talk price (heck, they didn't have a price tag on a single item in their booth) but many times these tech showcases are just stuff they are exploring.
The Chukker posts on January 14, 2008 18:44
“there is ample evidence that OLED will never come down in price enough to be a serious contender against LCDs.”
So what kind of price differential are we talking about here? Did Samsung actually have an MSRP for the 31" model? If mass production were to indeed start in 2010 of mid to large sized models, what price point is Samsung shooting for and what was the maximum size they were touting?
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