Best All In One Learning Remote $500

My trusty Pioneer all-in-one learning remote bit the dust after more than 10 years of faithful service. We spent lots of quality time together at the movies, football, baseball, and games, watching Star Trek, etc. May she rest in peace.

I'm not quite ready to go the Creston, etc. route. I need something that can control up to a dozen components and that is as at home with Krell as it is with Pioneer, Tivo, Sony, and JVC. So, what, in your opinion is the best all in one learning remote for less than $500? And why?
Phillips Pronto dude!
Great macros, easy setup, very reliable, includes software and cables for your PC to allow you to customize the screens for your own look and feel. retail price right around 500.00 but often sells for less...
Hi Kinsekd. My favourite remote is the Home Theater Master MX-500 at $189. But for your needs you could look at the MX-700 from the same people. The MX-500 meets all of my needs, except for one samll irritation, but controls just ten devices and is limited in the macros it can store. The MX-700 can control 20 devices and has an enormous macro capability, but goes for $500.

I like them because I prefer real keys over LCD. If you are with me on that one then read on. You are best to go to to see what I mean. The remote is quite large, but it is thin at the bottom and so easy to hold and press buttons at the same time with the one hand. The transport keys (ie. play, ff, rew, stop, pause etc) are separate from the menu navigation keys - which is really important. There are plenty of hard keys that you can label via an LCD screen, and the LCD screen is very easy to read (unlike many others). It has a very useful additional feature of being able to label a large number of TV stations via the LCD screen so that you can get to them directly without using a channel number.

I only have one quibble with the MX-500. You can name the actual devices being controlled via the LCD screen, which is great compared with many other hard key remotes, and you select the device by pressing the hard key beside it. The problem I have is that if you just press the key briefly then the only thing that happens is the remote changes to be controlling the device selected. You can only set of a command or a macro from pressing the device key, by holding it down for a whole second. This is a deliberate design by the manufacturer who argues, correctly, that there are times you want to do one or other of these things. I agree, but more casual users of the remote such as my wife and children find it difficult to remember to hold down the selection key for a whole second so that the sound and vision on the system can be set to the device they just selected.

Apart from that small but irritating issue, I have found the MX-500 to be the ideal hard key remote after trying many others. Additionally the quality of the unit is superb.

If you are happy to press LCD keys, then I reckon you could probably come up with a better remote. But if there is a better hard key remote than the MX-500 or MX-700 then I would love to know about it too.
I just got a Home Theater Master MX-500. It is easy to learn and easy to program and was only about $200.00. It controls all the functionality of my Sony Wega TV, Sony DVD player, my CATV box and I easily programmed my Accuphase DAC commands onto it. It did not accept the remote commands of my Pass Aleph P preamp however, but for the price I am, quite satisified.
Check it out, and good luck.
I have not bought it yet, but my local dealer is pushing the Marantz RC 5200 - has anybody used it?
I've gone the route of Home Theater Master too. But I don't mind the touch screen. I have the MX-1000. It can control 12 devices. The nice thing is that it has both a touch screen to control device specific functions and hard keys to perform more generic functions like volume, channel, power. I haven't had a problem programming it for 'non-standard' equipment like Bryston and Arcam. Hell I'm tempted to see if I can program it to control the ceiling fan and lights. Main problem I've found are the limited macros, so much so that I haven't bothered with them. Price ? Ballpark $250 I think.
Thanks for all your helpful advice. I ended up going with the Home Theater Master MX-500. It had the kind of clean uncluttered look I was going for. It looks to be relatively easy to operate ergonomically. I read all the rave reviews. And the price was right. I never would have thought of this one had I not posted the question, so a great big thank you to everyone!

Should be here Monday.
I don't have the 5200, but I have the 5000. It may actually be the most valuable component in the system, because it makes the system usable for the rest of the family. Without it, I have to use a selection of 11 remotes with a total of about 650 buttons, used in the right order. I put the system together and I sometimes forget which thing to do when. The reality has become that these systems are now so complex that you need a (little) computer to operate them...

With the RC5000, I've got a button that says "Watch a DVD". It causes the screen to drop, the projector to come on, sets the projector input to component, turns on the prepro and DVD player, sets the prepro to -7dB, and opens the DVD drawer. My wife gets to put the DVD in the drawer, push it in, sit down and press Play. The lights go down, and the movie starts.

Want to play that Diana Krall CD? Press the CDs button, then the name of the album. The lights go back up, the projector goes off, the screen retracts, the CD jukebox powers up and loads the CD, the prepro changes to coax input, and the CD plays at -12dB.

It also knows DirecTV channel codes and all sorts of things.

It is something of a tedious thing to program if you do it yourself, but it's definitely possible.

The 5200 is better than the 5000 because it has more memory (useful for the bigger jukeboxes and more elaborate icons) and more visibly, more hard buttons. It's also got RF.

The RC9200 is even nicer, but the $1200 price tag is kind of out of this world.
Now that I've had a week to play with it --

Very easy to set up. Very intuitive. Could actually understand the manual.

An unexpected bonus was the fact that the MX-500 actually works much better than the original remotes, including the ones for the Krell and Tivo. Couldn't be happier. Thanks again.
I would say start with the Marantz RC-2000mkII(it includes seperate ch. up ch. down).Probably the most fun to program including naming new ir's page to page.My system is quite complicated and have never needed to upgrade due to programing or memory loss.Down side ,no dock(to recharge).I use rechargable photo AA cells.Sunpak picture plus.It holds four to recharge.I keep four regular AA to use if I'm recharging.Oh,70-85.00 used!20.00 for batt. and charger.Marantz also has a radio freq. repeater that doubles as the batt. holder.This thing rules.
check out for the whole gamut of remote control reviews. Check out the Philips pronto TSU6000 color remote.