Monster Cable Home Theater and Lighting Controller 300
Manufacturer: Monster Part number: MCCAVL300-S
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as of 03/10/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $499.99
- Reviewed by: David Carnoy
- Edited by: John Falcone
- Reviewed on: 09/28/2006
- Released on: 07/15/2006
The good: Powered by a modified version of Logitech's highly regarded Harmony software; incorporates both IR (infrared) and RF (radio frequency); has a well-designed button layout, plus backlit keys; does well integrating lighting control into the setup procedure and the remote; remote features a dedicated hard button at the top for lighting control; fairly easy to control A/V systems in multiple rooms.
The bad: Overpriced; even though the remote is user-friendly, if you have a multiroom system with several lighting controls, setup can be a challenge and frustrating at times as you continually have to test and refine your settings.
The bottom line: While the RF-capable Logitech Harmony 890 does much of what the Monster Home Theater and Lighting Controller 300 does for significantly less money, the Monster is the superior remote.
A good universal remote for the money
by jrprip on January 1, 2008
Pros: Easy to program, even easier to use
Cons: Lighting controls can be trying, multiroom setup average
Summary: Just to clear up some wrong information given by a few of the other reviewers, you most certainly can assign any buttn to any function. Also, while the initial setup ...
Summary: Just to clear up some wrong information given by a few of the other reviewers, you most certainly can assign any buttn to any function. Also, while the initial setup may be rigid, once completed it offers a slew of options for fine tuning. You can adjust the macros (activities), the timing, and the delays. It is very easy to program and very easy to use. I am a home theater installer and have programmed remotes from URC, Phillips, Creston, Logitech, and Sony. The remotes from Monster and Logitech are by far the easist to use and program. Sony (remote commander) and Phillips (pronto) remotes are horrible in every way, and URC and Creston remotes are better for more intense multiroom systems but are much more difficult to program and not as easy to use (along with being MUCH more expensive). FYI, the reason all of monster and logitech's programming is done online is very important-if your computer dies all your info is still there, an installer can update your remote remotely, and database updates are constant(literally to the minute) so the codes for your just released brand new blu ray will be there. Fellow Cnet posters, please make sure the information you are dissemenating is accurate before you write a review.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Easy to use; slighty letter than Harmony
by erock1974 on March 15, 2007
Pros: well built, good layout, easy to program
Cons: Expensive $$$
Summary: I previously owned a Harmony 880. That was good, this is better. It seems more responsive than the 880, is better built, and the layout is better. I have not ...
Summary: I previously owned a Harmony 880. That was good, this is better. It seems more responsive than the 880, is better built, and the layout is better. I have not tried out the RF or the wireless lighting yet, but the general remote functions are great.
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Cheap feel, poor programming, expensive
by vitoa on November 15, 2007
Pros: Lighting control
Cons: Flimsy. Internet connection required to program. poor interface for programming control
Summary: I bought this remote (at a premium) thinking it would be the best universal remote available, and inexpensive compared with RTI, Crestron, or Universal Remote. That couldn't have been ...
Summary: I bought this remote (at a premium) thinking it would be the best universal remote available, and inexpensive compared with RTI, Crestron, or Universal Remote. That couldn't have been farther from the truth.
First of all, the remote is not built well. The buttons are the flimsy, "raised" hard plastic type, not the firm plasticized or rubberized type, and the center "joystick" control protrudes much to tall--enough to where you could accidentally snap it off. The remote's plastic creaks when you press certain buttons. Not what I'd expect for $350!
If you are an A/V enthusiast, and you want complete control of your multiple components, consider a remote by Universal Remote Controls (URC), or if you have the money, Remote Technologies Inc (RTI), but not this. Although you have a cute color screen, the appearance of the "soft buttons" cannot be customized. You can simply change the text in them, that's all.
You MUST have an internet connection to program your remote because the software (and your configuration) resides completely on their website. If their site is "experiencing difficulities" (which I've had occasionally) or your connection is down, you can't program the remote.
The "programming" of the remote is very rigid. You cannot assign whatever you'd like to the soft buttons, nor macros, nor delays. The programming website asks you a series of questions about your components and it pretty much sets up the remote how it believes you need it based on what components you have and what are called "activities". "Activities" seem to be the dumbed down way of programming many of these remotes (such as those by Logitech & Harmony) where you answer a few questions about which A/V imputs are used by your components (to watch TV for example), and it figures out all the component switching and assigns it all to a button titled "Watch TV". This is great for grandpa and grandma who have no idea of how to work remotes, but when you want to control other components briefly, then return to "Watch TV" it becomes problematic.
The lighting control is a nice touch, but the in-wall dimmer I replaced in my master bedroom RARELY receives its commands from the remote, and it's not more than 40 feet, through a few walls (which they claim RF is supposed to allow for up to 120 feet).
This remote simply isn't worth the money or aggravation. If you are an A/V enthusiast, consider RTI, URC, Pronto, or if you have the money, Crestron.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Sucked in by the fancy packaging and Monster brand name
by danofthenorth on January 1, 2011
Pros: It does control multi a/v units with a single button once programmed. (Although it took 3 hours of troubleshooting on my PC to get the thing to control my units.)
Cons: For the exhorbitant price, frankly I was expecting more. This thing is like something that would have been designed in the 80's, the display screen is archaic in terms of quality and overall it just feels like a cheaply designed unit.
Summary: After using Monster cables and surge suppressors I couldn't wait to get my hands on this remote thinking it has to be top end as well, right? Wow,what ...
Summary: After using Monster cables and surge suppressors I couldn't wait to get my hands on this remote thinking it has to be top end as well, right? Wow,what a disapointing shock I got opening this thing up. Compared to thier other products this remote feels like going from a new Mercedes down to a 80's Hyundai. It looks and feels cheap and just won't do some things that I want it to. Don't pay full price for this like I did, you'll feel robbed. Caveat emptor.
av works great, zwave lighting cant seem to program
by shanegilman on December 29, 2010
Pros: works perfect on all my av conponets & all the activities
Cons: i switched from the harmony 720 cause the monster controls lighting as well as av, & i cant seem to get none of my zwave lights programed to the monster remote, instructions very poor in lighting set up w no email response when asking for help. can .
Summary: exelent remote for a/v but if I cant get help w/ the lighting half I should have stuck w/ the harmony 720, really no differance between the 2 w/...
Summary: exelent remote for a/v but if I cant get help w/ the lighting half I should have stuck w/ the harmony 720, really no differance between the 2 w/out the lights beeing programed
Very weak manuals and help functions...slow programming
by lhrynew on August 30, 2010
Pros: Not much. Kind of looked pretty
Cons: THe instructions and help were poorly organized and not deatailed enough to do the job. The remote would work one time tand then not the next as if it forgot what it was to do. Overall it was a very frustrating and expensive experience
Summary: Not much was to like about this. THe instructions and help were poorly organized and not deatailed enough to do the job. The remote would work one time tand then ...
Summary: Not much was to like about this. THe instructions and help were poorly organized and not deatailed enough to do the job. The remote would work one time tand then not the next as if it forgot what it was to do. Overall it was a very frustrating and expensive experience
Controls "MOST" Home Theater Gear
by AMCarter3 on January 15, 2010
Pros: Easy to understand and use.
Good Help function.
Good battery life.
Cons: Setup is tedious and poorly organized.
Most components can be set up fairly quickly.
Will not control the On/Off on our LCD TV.
Cannot find specific HDMI output from receiver.
Summary: Over-priced and under-delivers.
Summary: Over-priced and under-delivers.
Cradle is a big negative!
by druggles1 on November 19, 2009
Pros: Macros are easy to set up, lighting control is a cinch to apply
Cons: Recharging cradle works 1% of the time, PC programming is s-l-o-w.
Summary: Actively seeking a replacement remote for my less than one year old AVL300. Out of the box, life was good. Set up the macros for TV,DVD, 360,PS3, Wii ...
Summary: Actively seeking a replacement remote for my less than one year old AVL300. Out of the box, life was good. Set up the macros for TV,DVD, 360,PS3, Wii -- you name it, with ease. Note: there is no video game console connectivity out of the box, so you have to use the VG controllers...not a big deal for me. What the SERIOUS ISSUE seems to be is the recharging station. The cradle *HARDLY* allows the user to simply lay the remote down for easy charging. I need to engage in a dance of pushing, blowing, licking, screaming, chanting and occasional squirrel sacrifice to get my remote to charge. Even when I get it to start charging the remote seems to loop in and out of a glitch that prevents charging (and makes a repeating *BEEP* noise, for added enjoyment!). Bottom line: When you live your life with one red bar of power and your remote keeps making noises at you, refuses to mate with its cradle, and arbitrarily turns your components on/off as a pseudo "last act of a dying remote".....it is time to write a CNET review and move on. Good luck with your decision.
charging stand sucks!
by dtnjohn on December 14, 2008
Pros: great remote when it comes to doing its job as a universal remote. Easy to use, programming software is a little clunky but, nevertheless, efficient. I have all my components in an AV closet and the remote operates them all seamlessly.
Cons: OK... serious drawback: the charging stand is terribly inefficient. After a short time the contacts on the stand and remote lose the ability to connect and the remote is always losing its charge....extremely frustrating!
Summary: Love the functionality, but hate the charging problem to the point that it renders this product useless. I have had the remote exchanged for a new one(thinking I might ...
Summary: Love the functionality, but hate the charging problem to the point that it renders this product useless. I have had the remote exchanged for a new one(thinking I might just have a lemon), went through all the trouble of reprogramming the new one and once again, the same thing. I am now in the market for a new one from a different brand and trashing the monster one. I am thinking of trying the Logitech Harmony 890.
Nice remote but not as user friendly as I envisioned
by marksarah1 on September 10, 2008
Pros: Sleek design with backlit key and nice buttons
Cons: Very tedious setup running through the software, modifying and repeatedly updating the remote to make the components function.
Summary: After several hours of trouble shooting the setup, I got to the point of calling customer service and after numerous attempts to get through to them; they were able to ...
Summary: After several hours of trouble shooting the setup, I got to the point of calling customer service and after numerous attempts to get through to them; they were able to resolve my issue which centered on popping the battery and then pairing of the module light module. The instructions were not clear that I needed to ?Modify Lights" when I had no lights to connect. For a novice like me, the system is not intuitive when the commands do not function and after reading the tutorials and FAQ, I still could not get the system to function to my satisfaction. I still cannot get the remote to turn off my projector since the projector requires a confirmation to shutdown.
- Manufacturer: Monster
- Part number: MCCAVL300-S
- Description: The AVL300 gives you better control than the remotes that came with any of your AV components. Easily create a custom button that instantly send complex macro commands to multiple audio and video components with one touch! Unlike other complicated remotes, the AVL 300 uses customizable activity buttons like watch DVD that send a series of commands that turn on all of your components and switch them to the correct inputs. Easily configure home theater activities and lighting scenes to create lifestyle activities via your computer and the online set-up wizard. Intelligent Monster Tracking Memory remembers what each component is doing at any given time, so when you switch activities your gear responds accurately. You don't have to be a technophile to use the controller 300. Everyone from the kids to the baby sitter can command home entertainment and lighting with ease! It is for one-touch instant access to Monster Central Home lighting system functions. The monster system controller 300 easily commands all of your audio and video components, even your room lighting!
- Remote type Universal remote control
- Remote control technology Infrared/radio
- Features Back-lit buttons
- Supported devices Amplifier ,
DVD player ,
AV receiver ,
- Input device Keypad
- Max operating distance 130 ft
- Type 1 x USB
- Included Accessories Remote control charging stand
- Battery Remote control unit battery - AA type - Rechargeable - Lithium ion