TV remote success

My A/V rack is controlled by a UniversalRemote MX 900 with a Univeral MRF-350 RF Base Station. It’s not going to win any UI awards but when we were shopping for this stuff three years ago this came in as the most capable and flexible system. So sad the A/V guy I hired to set it up, money well spent: he did an excellent job. My whole system is controlled from a single remote that’s not awful to use.

And as of today, now the new Apple TV is, too. I reprogrammed the remote myself. It turned out to be relatively easy..

  1. Get a copy of the programming software MX_900Setup.zip (23,290,684 bytes); the official source requires a password they only give to resellers.
  2. Run it on a windows box and plug the remote in via Mini-USB
  3. Select “Communication / Upload” to get a copy of the current remote configuration from the remote itself.
  4. Save that file away for safekeeping.
  5. Edit. The manual is essential because the paradigm is weird. Most things are driven by the Program menu. Macros are recorded by clicking simulated remote buttons on the emulator. Codes can be imported via a database, and there’s a learning mode I fortunately didn’t have to use.
  6. Download back to remote. Done!

The hardest part turned out to be digging through boxes to find a spare IR emitter on a cable. The IR Blaster in the front of my base station didn’t seem to be enabled, probably to help prevent crosstalk. It’s 2012 and we still use infrared and little cables to control A/V devices, it’s terrible.