Home » Blog » How-To » Setting Up Your Monster Remote Controller
October 13th, 2006
Theoretically, we could take up a lot of your time by telling you that your Monster controller is powerful enough to control even the most sophisticated home entertainment systems, and because of its easy, elegant, one-touch control, everyone in your family can use it_but that would be self-congratulatory marketing-speak, and obviously, we would never stoop to that level. Having established that, let's get started. The process is easy and will only take a few minutes... really.

Preparing for Programming

Before your Monster controller can be fully operational, the unit's internal lithium-ion battery must be charged. Simply plug the included recharging cradle into a handy AC outlet and place the remote in the cradle. The blinking Monster Central icon lets you know the unit is charging and will indicate when charging is done, usually in about two hours. In everyday usage, you can operate your Monster system controller even while it's charging in the cradle. But you should allow a full first charge before moving on to the rest of the initial setup. By now you also should have installed the Monster Setup Wizard from the CD that came with your system. If not, please do so now. Follow the installation instructions for your Windows or Macintosh-based computer and when you're done, start the Monster Remote Application. Finally, when you've charged your remote and installed the software, connect the supplied USB mini-cable to the Monster controller and to any open USB port on your computer. Now you're ready to start Monster's easy Setup Wizard. But before you do, please take the time to read the information below outlining the basic philosophy behind your Monster System Controller.

What is an Activity?

Monster takes a unique approach to system control by treating your components as members of a team, rather than as individual players. The goal the team is working toward is called an "Activity." Activities are the things you do with your home entertainment components, like "Watch a DVD" and "Listen to Satellite Radio". Activity-based control lets you command all the home electronics devices that go into an Activity all at once, with the touch of a single button (In this case, it's good to have all your eggs in one basket). Instead of manually having to operate separate remotes from all your devices, one by one, Monster's Activity-based controllers let you touch a single button to automatically control them all, and have them start up with your personal preferences. Activities are what make Monster remotes so easy to use, because instead of multiple remotes and multiple buttons, you press a fully customizable "Watch DVD" button and instantly, all the AV components in your home theater power up, set to the correct surround sound mode, and tune to the right inputs and outputs. (Now, don't you feel better for having read that?)

What is a Device?

Devices are the names the Setup Wizard gives to the components in your home that perform a task inside an activity, because it's somehow important for engineers to label everything in sight. For example, a "Watch DVD" Activity might include three separate devices -- the TV for the picture, the A/V receiver for the sound, and the DVD player to spin the disc. When you choose an Activity, all the devices needed for that Activity are automatically issued control codes by your Monster remote. You never have to control separate devices anymore with your Activity-based Monster remote. But you can if you want to. Your Monster controller can control all of your AV devices individually. Monster remotes duplicate all of the functions of your original remotes, and because of their contextual LCD screen and world class design, give you even better control than the remote that came in the box!

Programming the Remote Controller

Your Personal Monster Account

Once your Monster software is installed, and your remote is charged and connected to your computer, you're ready to use the Monster Setup Wizard for system programming. The first step is to create a Personal Monster Account. This is a simple ID and password that you use any time you want to make any changes or customizations to your remote. Fill in the requested information and don't worry -- we respect your privacy and will not share your information with any other parties without your permission. If you have not already installed the software that came with your remote, you will be prompted to do so.

Connect Your Monster Controller To Your Computer

One end of the supplied USB cable should already be connected to your Monster Controller, and the other end to an open USB port on your computer or USB accessory hub. If your computer doesn't have an unused USB port, you can temporarily unplug the connection from a USB printer, scanner, or other USB peripheral, and then simply plug them back in when you're done programming your remote. Follow the on-screen instructions to confirm that your remote is communicating with the Monster Setup Wizard. When communication is confirmed, you're ready to move on to the next step.

Specify the Rooms and Devices in Your Home

Here's where you'll tell the Monster Setup Wizard about the audio and video components, you have in your home. You can also add any wireless IlluminEssence lighting devices or other Z-Wave products that you want your Monster Controller to remotely control. A good way to approach this step is to take a look at the AV components you want to control, and write down their brand and model number (or make your kids do it). The model number is usually shown somewhere near the front of the component, but in some cases, it will be displayed on rear panel of your component, near the connection jacks, or on the underside. The Monster Setup Wizard, will show you a list of components found in a typical home entertainment system -- TV, AV receiver, DVD player, Satellite receiver, space/time continuum transporter etc. Click the box marked "Add" next to each type of device to include them in your system. When you've added the component, you'll see a drop-down menu list of brand names for that component. Choose the brand name of each device that you want to control with your Monster remote. When you've added your devices, click "Next" at the bottom of the Wizard page. Now that the Setup Wizard knows which devices from which brands you want to control (and whether you've been naughty or nice), enter the model numbers into the appropriate fields. When you're done, click "Save" at the bottom of the page, and you'll be taken to another page to confirm your devices. Review everything to make sure it's correct, and click "Next." You're done entering your devices - there's just one more step to do.

Create Activities for One Button Control

When you select an Activity on your Monster Controller, it sends commands to all the devices that are necessary to "play" that activity. When you begin to set up your Activities, the Monster Wizard shows you the typical activities that are possible using your devices. If you see an Activity that you don't want to set up, simply clear the check box next to that Activity -- for instance, if you don't own a PVR (personal video recorder), you don't need to set up an Activity for "Watch PVR". After you've checked the Activities that you want to program into your Monster remote, you're ready to configure them. The Wizard will ask you a series of simple, plain-English questions about how you use your home entertainment equipment. For example, when you watch TV, do you control the audio volume with the TV (Well do ya'?), or with your AV receiver? Everyone uses their equipment in their own way, but because you're special and precious, the Monster System Controller lets you customize your Activities to work just the way you want. Answer the questions as best you can (or else...), by checking off the buttons next to each of the question's multiple-choice answers. These choices have been intelligently chosen for you (we're so smart!). Because the Monster Setup Wizard sees all and knows all, its extensive database of Device codes already knows the inputs and outputs of all your audio and video Devices. When you've finished answering the questions, the Monster Setup Wizard will review your answers with you, explaining which commands it will send to your components when you call up an Activity. As you review the information, make sure that everything is the way you want it. The Setup Wizard will give you options to okay the Activity, or add optional devices to it, or customize the operation. Continuing with the basic setup for now, click "Next" to set up the next Activity. Continue this procedure with all the other Activities you want your remote to control. When you're done setting up the Activities, you'll be shown a page that lets you review all the information you've given to the Setup Wizard. If you're not sure if you've set up one or more of the Activities correctly, you'll be given a chance to review them here. If you're satisfied with the information you've given to the Setup Wizard, click "Save" to store your Activities. The Monster Setup Wizard will remember your Devices and your Activities for the next time you log in, as well as the suggested settings for all of them.

It's Time To Update Your Remote

Now that you've entered all the information into the Setup Wizard, it's time to send that information into your Monster Controller. Make sure that the Monster Remote software application is running, and click the "Next" button to update your remote. The process takes only a couple of minutes -- all the codes you entered for all your devices, gathered into unified Activities, now download to your Monster Controller. The Setup Wizard will let you know when the download is finished, and when it is, simply unplug your remote from the USB cable. Now it's time to try out your system to make sure everything works.

Testing and Troubleshooting

When you use your Monster Controller to select an Activity, the remote "assumes" that all your equipment is powered off. If your gear isn't already off, power them down now, before you try to call up an Activity. Of course, there are some components you'll want to stay on all the time, like your cable box, so you can record shows while you're away or asleep (we suggest anything with a car chase). Of course, you can set up any of your devices to be on all the time, or off, depending on whether they're needed in any particular Activity. Call up an Activity now. Does your home theater or AV system respond the way you want it to? If so, run through the rest of your programmed Activities and confirm them as well. If everything is working the way you want, you're done! If one or more of the Activities or Devices isn't responding the way it ought to, simply plug the USB cable back into the Monster Controller. On the Wizard's screen, you'll see a multiple-choice prompt -- if you need to make more adjustments to get your gear working properly, click the "Troubleshoot" button. The Setup Wizard will run you through the steps to fix any errors in operation. When you've finished answering the troubleshooting questions, update your Monster Remote again. When you're done with the update, try out your remote again. The Setup Wizard is intelligent enough to figure out most common troubleshooting issues, but if you're still having a problem, contact our outstanding customer support team.

Advanced Remote Customization

Now that your Monster remote is controlling your gear correctly, you may want to customize some of the functions and buttons. Your Monster remote is extremely configurable -- you can "map" practically any feature or function from any device to almost any button on the remote. Simple customizations are available by logging back into the Monster Wizard. You'll see two vertical columns -- one with all your Devices, and another with all your Activities. On the top of the page, you'll see options to change "My Remote Preferences" and also to "Adjust Setup"(troubleshoot problems). Choose "My Remote Preferences" to change the function behaviors of both the "hard" buttons (buttons with functions already labeled on them) or the "soft" buttons that surround the color LCD display window. The eight programmable soft buttons, let you program almost any function from any device you wish and map a custom label to appear on the LCD screen so you can easily hit the right button. For example, in the "Watch TV" Activity, you may want to have your monitor's picture adjustments handy, or the surround audio modes on your receiver. The Monster System Controller lets you customize your remote to have whatever functions you want, wherever and whenever you want them. Now that's powerful.
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