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Frequently Asked Questions

Programming Your Remote (General)

1. Why am I having trouble learning from other remotes?

2. Why don't my learned Volume and/or Channel Up/Down buttons keep sending out a signal when I hold them down?

3. What are macros and why do I need them?

4. Why do only some of the steps in my macros work?

5. What are discrete commands and why do I need them?

6. Are there any workarounds if there are no discrete commands for my equipment?

 

Home Theater Master MX-500 Questions

1. How do I use preprogrammed codes?

2. How do I clear out a device?

3. How do I change the text on the LCD screen?

4. Can I use the Favorite Channel macros to do more than change channels?

5. Why would I want to buy a One for All remote along with the MX-500?

 

One for All Remote Questions

1. What are advanced codes?

2. How do I program advanced codes?

3. What is JP1 and what does it do for me?

 

Home Theater Master MX-700/800 Questions

1. What's the best way to set up my RF base station and IR emitters (MX-800 only)?

2. How do I import and export a device?

3. I have a discrete command in hex format, how can I use that with the Universal Browser?



Philips Pronto Questions

1. Where can I find pre-made configuration files for my components?

2. Why doesn't my Pronto battery indicator read "Full", even though the charging light on the docking station is off?

 


 

Programming Your Remote (General)

1. Why am I having trouble learning from other remotes?

There are many reasons for learning problems.  Some of the most common solutions are as follows:

a. Vary the spacing between remotes - Many times the remotes are too far apart or too close to one another.  Try different distances (usually 1 to 4 inches).

b. Low batteries - If the batteries in either remote are low, it can lead to learning problems.  If you haven't replaced the batteries recently, try fresh ones.

c. Too much light or reflective surfaces - While you don't have to be in the dark, sometimes it can be too bright in a room for proper learning.  Also, laying the remotes on a highly reflective surface while learning can lead to jumbled learned codes.

d. Holding down the button - Generally, a single push of the button on the remote you're learning from is sufficient for proper learning (with the exception of Volume and Channel Up/Down buttons - see below).

e. Block the initial signal - With some devices, certain buttons on the remote send out multiple or continuous signals, which confuses a learning remote.  In order to get your remote to learn the second part of the signal, try blocking off the initial signal of the remote you're learning from with a book or cardboard.  Hold the button on the sending remote down, block it for a second, then remove the obstruction.  This is kind of tricky and may take a few tries, but it can work for these rare cases.

 

2. Why don't my learned Volume and/or Channel Up/Down buttons  keep sending out a signal when I hold them down?

When learning Volume and Channel Up/Down buttons, or any other buttons that perform a repetitive function on your original remote, it is often necessary to hold down the button of the sending remote while learning it to another remote.

 

3. What are macros and why do I need them?

Macros are a feature whereby a series of commands can be programmed on a single button.  Macros are extremely handy for creating activity-based buttons on a remote.  For example, it's very convenient to be able to program a macro on the "DVD" button that will turn on the TV, turn on the receiver, turn on the DVD player, open the DVD player tray and switch the inputs on the receiver and TV to "DVD", finally ending on the DVD device of the remote.

 

4. Why do only some of the steps in my macros work?

When programming macros, be conscious of the amount of time a device has to be on before it will accept any other commands.  In particular, many AV receivers and TVs have a delay of as much as 3 or 4 seconds after the Power button is pushed before an input or output switch is allowed.  The macros in most of our remotes can be programmed with delay time between commands that will alleviate this problem.

 

5. What are discrete commands and why do I need them?

Discrete commands are commands that perform a single function that's usually only included in a toggle command.  Common examples of these commands are separate "On" and "Off" commands (where the original remote only has a "Power" button that toggles between "On" and "Off" each time it's pushed) and TV input commands (where the original remote's "Input" button scrolls through the various inputs each time it's pushed).

Discrete commands are useful in creating macros that work reliably every time, no matter what state any of the devices are in.  For example, you might want to have a macro that turns on and switches everything necessary for you to watch a DVD.  Without discrete "On/Off" commands for the TV, such a macro would turn the TV off if it was already on.  Also, a macro containing the discrete TV input for the DVD player would always work no matter what input the TV was using at the time the macro was executed.

 

6. Are there any workarounds if there are no discrete commands for my equipment?

Yes, in many cases you can use a combination of commands to achieve your goal.  Many DVD and CD players will turn on when you push the "Play" button.  If so, you can create a macro that will reliably turn on and off your DVD/CD player by incorporating "Play" and "Stop" into your "Power On" macro and "Play" and "Power" into your "Power Off" macro.

If you cannot find discrete input commands for your TV, sometimes pushing the "Channel Up" button will always change the input to the same one (Antenna A, for example).  If so, you can use this as a starting place in a macro from which you can enter the appropriate number of "Input" commands to get to the one you want.

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Home Theater Master MX-500 Questions

1. How do I use preprogrammed codes?

Although we recommend that you learn the commands to the MX-500 from your original remotes, sometimes a preprogrammed code may contain commands not on your original remote.  If you want to try them, or if your original remote is lost or damaged, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the programming mode by holding down the MAIN and ENTER buttons simultaneously for three seconds.
  2. Push P-PRO.
  3. Push the LCD button of the device you wish to program.
  4. Push the LCD button of the device that contains the preprogrammed code you wish to use.
  5. Enter the three digit code
  6. Push the SAVE LCD button

Note: Preprogrammed codes are taken from a table based on the original position of the device on the MAIN page.  If you've renamed a device, you must still use the position it was originally in to choose a device code.  For example, if you've renamed TV to SAT and want to use a preprogrammed TV code on another device, you must use the top right LCD button (originally TV) when asked for the device table that the code is from.

 

2. How do I clear out a device?

Sometimes the MX-500 has underlying codes from the factory that can interfere with learning or macros.  In his initial review, Daniel Tonks of Remote Central discovered the now famous AUX 155 code.  This is a  pre-programmed code that, when applied to a device, clears out almost all of the pre-programmed commands on that device, leaving only a weak signal on the "1" and "2" buttons, which are easily overwritten.  To use the AUX 155 code, go into programming mode, choose P-PRO, then the device you wish to clear (e.g. for the DVD player push the DVD button).  Then push the AUX button as the device the code will be taken from.  Enter 155 then push the SAVE button on the LCD.

 

3. How do I change the text on the LCD screen?

Changing text on device buttons on the MAIN page

  1. Enter the programming mode by pressing MAIN and ENTER simultaneously for three seconds.
  2. Press EDIT.
  3. Press the PAGE button, then the device button you wish to change.
  4. Change the text as described in the Owner's Manual.
  5. Save the text by pushing the button you were editing.

Changing text on device pages

  • Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
  • Press the device button of the device whose page text you wish to change.
  • Follow steps 4 and 5 above.

Changing text on Favorite Channel buttons

  • Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
  • Press the FAV button, then the favorite channel button you wish to change.
  • Follow steps 4 and 5 above.

 

4. Can I use the Favorite Channel macros to do more than change channels?

The Favorite Channel macros will only work with the following buttons: [0] though [9], [ENT], [DIS], [PAUSE/INFO], [POWER] and [SYSTEM OFF].  However, if you're not using all ten of your allotted devices, you can use one of them to hold commands that can be used in the Favorite Channel macros.  A good example of this use is with Tivo, where you can get to menus with shortcuts that use a combination of various commands.  If you relabel one of your unused devices appropriately, you can learn the commands you need to the keys listed above, then use them in your Favorite Channel macros.

 

5. Why would I want to buy a One for All remote along with the MX-500?

The One for All remotes have been around for a long time and have a large database of equipment codes, as well as "advanced" codes (see below) that can often provide discrete commands for macros (as described above).  They can help optimize your programming of the MX-500.

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One for All Remote Questions

1. What are advanced codes?

The One for All remotes are normally programmed by entering a "Setup" code from a code list provided with the remote. An unpublished feature of these remotes is that they can also accept single codes to individual buttons, often providing commands not available on the original remote (see discussion of "Discrete Commands" above).

 

2. How do I find and program advanced codes?

The procedure for programming of advanced codes varies depending on the model of remote.  In all cases, you must start by finding and entering the "Setup" code that works with your component (e.g. DVD player code 0490), from the code list provided with the remote. Then, to determine if there are advanced codes for your component, go to www.hifi-remote.com and look for your Setup code in the Advanced Code List (e.g. Under DVD players, code 0490 is listed). If you then go to the code list, you'll see a number of command names and 3-digit numbers. These are the Advanced codes for that particular Setup code.

Programming advanced codes into a URC-8811 or 6131

  1. Press the device key you wish to program (e.g. DVD)
  2. Press and hold SET (wait for two blinks of the LED)
  3. Enter 9-9-4 (wait for two blinks)
  4. Press SET again (don't hold it down)
  5. Enter the 3 digit advanced code
  6. Press a button to assign the code to (e.g. "L1", but could be almost any button)

Programming advanced codes into a URC-8910 or 9910

  1. Press and hold the SET button until the display changes to "CODE SET"
  2. Scroll down through the display options until you get to "KEYMOVER", then press "SELECT".  The display will now read "FROM MODE"
  3. Press the device key of the component that uses the advanced code (e.g. DVD).  The display will now read "FROM KEY"
  4. Press the SET button once (don't hold it down).  Ignore the display reading.
  5. Enter the 3-digit advanced code (e.g. 022) and press "SELECT".  The display will now read "TO MODE"
  6. Press the device key of the device that you wish to program the advanced code in (e.g. DVD). The display will now read "TO KEY".
  7. Press the key you wish to program with the advanced code (e.g. L1)
  8. The display should read "SUCCESS" and then "EXIT SETUP"

 

3. What is JP1 and what does it do for me?

JP1 refers to the 6-pin connector that is present in the One for All 8811, 8910 and 9910 remotes just below the battery compartment.  It is also present in other One for All remotes and other remotes made by Universal Electronics, such as many Radio Shack remotes.  A number of years ago, a program was developed by some One for All enthusiasts to program the JP1-equipped remotes through the use of a cable that plugs into the JP1 socket and to the parallel port on a PC.  The program allows the user to program any command onto almost any button of the remote and provides many other advantages as well.  To learn more, check out the JP1 How-To page on www.hifi-remote.com.

 

Home Theater Master MX-700/800 Questions

1. What's the best way to set up my RF base station and IR emitters (MX-800 only)?

The steps for setting up and troubleshooting the RF base station and IR emitters are:

1) Does the MX-800 work the system with the MRF-200 Base Station UNPLUGGED with all the devices set to IR line of sight operation (from the Program Menu, Step 9 RF Control)?

a. If learned codes are not working line of sight, try learning disconnected from the PC (see Stand Alone Learning in the manual)

or

b. Use the pre-programmed code sets in the database (many users ignore the generic code sets, try them).


Once ALL of your commands and macros work perfectly line of sight it is time to move to step 2. Donít skip step 1.

2) Plug in the power supply to the MRF-200 base station and test the RF

a. DO NOT plug it into a surge suppressor strip with other A/V components.

b. DO NOT plug in any FLASHERS.

c. From the Program Menu, select step #9 RF Control

d. Set each device to RF Only operation

e. Select a specific flasher output for the most troublesome 6 devices. If you are planning to use the front blaster for some of your components, we will troubleshoot those later. Leave those devices set to all.
f. Save the file and download to the MX-800.

g. Turn on all of your A/V components.

h. Observe the MRF-200 base station, not the A/V components, and press a button with a command not a macro. Hold it down. The right hand status LED of the base station should stay lit while you press it. Release the button, the LED should immediately go out. If it stays lit or flickers, move the base station farther away from the components. Typically, 3 feet away is fine. The flasher cables are ten feet long for this reason. In some extreme cases, if the base station has to be moved farther away, you can extend the cables with any 24-gauge or better two conductor wire later.

i. Concentrate on getting the status LED to light with a press and go out with a release even if you have to move the base station outside the cabinet/closet with the gear.
Once this is working correctly, go on to step 3.

3) Test the MRF flashers with a component

a. Hook up one emitter to the base station (extend the wire if necessary). Make sure you plug it into the correct jack for the component you are going to test.

b. Test that with the emitter wire stretched out and connected, there is still clean RF.

c. If the emitter is acting as an antenna to increase RF interference, go back to step 2 and repeat the positioning until RF is clean.

d. Test commands for that particular component while moving the flasher to different test positions. Start with the flasher about 3í away from the front panel. When a position gives 10 out of 10 commands good operation, note the spot and repeat the process with the same emitter (plugged into the correct jack) until you have noted the correct front panel spot for flashers on each component.

e. Route all of the flasher cables to the base station, labelling the plugs for the correct jack #. Reconnect and test.

The key elements are:
A) You must have reliable RF, before you test Flasher Positioning.

B) Engaging the IR routing of a device to a specific flasher eliminates the possibility of IR saturation from too many flashers doing the same thing. When operation is buggy, engage IR routing.

C) Even when only one flasher is outputting IR, the flasher can over power or saturate a componentís front panel sensor. Sometimes, the flasher has to be mounted an inch or more away from the front panel IR sensor.


2. How do I import and export a device?

In MXEditor, right-click on the device tree on the left side of the screen.  You will then see a popup menu with options to "Import Device" or "Export Device".  Choose the one you want, then choose the location of the file you're importing to the destination file of one your wish to export.  If importing, you will then see another screen with the device you're importing on the left and your MAIN page on the right.  Click on the device you're importing to highlight it, then click on the destination on your MAIN page list.  Then, hit the arrow button to import it.

 

3. I have a discrete command in hex format, how can I use that with the Universal Browser?

If you download ProntoEdit from Remote Central and install it on your computer, you can create a CCF that can be imported into MXEditor. Here's how:

1. Open ProntoEdit and choose "Create New Configuration" for a TSU2000.

2. Under the "Panel" pulldown, choose "Add Panel".

3. Some blank buttons will appear. Double click on one of them to get the "Button Properties" screen.

4. Click on "Set IR" which will bring up the "Add IR" panel.

5. Click on "View IR", which will display an open box labeled "IR Code".

6. Paste your hex code into that box and click "OK".

7. Click on "Properties" and "Name" to enter a label for the button. Click "OK", then "Apply".

8. Repeat this with any other buttons, then save the CCF.

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Philips Pronto Questions

1. Where can I find pre-made configuration files for my components?

There are a great many configuration files for your Pronto available on Remote Central.  You can find these files by clicking on your remote listed below:

Pronto TS1000, TSU2000 and Pronto Pro TSU6000

Pronto Neo TSU500

 

2. Why doesn't my Pronto battery indicator read "Full", even though the charging light on the docking station is off?

This is a common problem with Pronto TSU2000s used with the DS1000 docking station.  Since the battery indicator on the Pronto was designed to work with non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, it will seldom if ever read "Full" with the rechargeable NiMh battery.  However, if the battery is not properly seated in the Pronto, it will not charge adequately, and will consistently read below 1/2 Full.  To ensure that your battery is charging properly, follow these steps when inserting the battery:

  1. Before inserting the battery, clean the outer contacts on the battery with an eraser.
  2. Align the battery with the 4 springs in the rear and seat them into the recesses in the battery.
  3. Press the battery back against the springs to compress them as much as possible.
  4. Rotate the battery so it is as horizontal as possible before finally inserting it into the battery bay, taking care not to bend any of the contacts in the bay, and lining up the plastic tab on the battery with the slot in the Pronto.
  5. The battery should seat cleanly in the bay, with good contact between the battery and the Pronto contacts.

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