Good universal remote?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Quinn, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking for a good universal remote for my 61in Hitachi, Panasonic dvd, Kenwood receiver, and DirecTV analog sat box. The universal for the sat box and receiver will not fully control the tv. Also, I don't want to spend $100. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Quinn
     
  2. Ron Alcasid

    Ron Alcasid Stunt Coordinator

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  3. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    Second that, although it IS $100 -- $105 to my door, IIRC. But worth every penny.
     
  4. DaveLenhert

    DaveLenhert Stunt Coordinator

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    With remotes you basically have two options, hard button or LCD. Given your price range, a hard button style remote is almost your only option. The HomeTheaterMaster MX-500 is an excellent remote (along with its big brother MX-700). One-for-All also makes some decent remotes. If you like a psudeo LCD remote, the URC-9960 which is the Kameleon type LCD ($67). For online companies that sell remotes, two popular ones are bluedo and surfremotecontrol.

    For additional information and reviews on remotes, you might take a look at Remote Central
     
  5. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    Check the "Tweaking, Connections and Accessories" forum, as well as Remote Central for more information about the MX-500, as well as many other remotes.
     
  6. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    As for my not wanting to spend $100, I could, however I wanted to keep the cost down. If there really is a large difference between a $50 remote and a $100, I may go $100. I really don't want to end up in a spot where enerything works, except being able to select input sources on the tv. Thats the position I am in with the sat and receiver remotes.

    What difference will I see with a $50 remote vs. $100?
     
  7. Jason Tracewell

    Jason Tracewell Stunt Coordinator

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    Just throwing in my 2¢...

    I had a Radio Shack 2115 (the 2116 is out now) up until recently.. It did most everything I wanted and it had a small LCD screen that came in handy and could learn from other remotes and such.. For the price, it was a good remote..

    Unfortunately, the learning space runs out quite fast and if you plan on picking up anything new in the next few years, you may end up out of luck.. That's what happened to me. I got a new DVD player that wasn't supported and had no room to add the new player in..

    So, I went online and found a Pronto Neo for under $100.. This is a touchscreen/hard button remote that is quite nifty.. You can learn from other remotes, download codes and map out (and name) your buttons from the computer.. Back-up learned codes on the computer and more..

    So far, I like the remote and it's user functionality.. I know you can get similar functions, but better in more expensive remotes, but so far, for the price, I am really enjoying my new remote..

    Anyway, those are a couple choices for ya.. Hopefully that helped..

    -Jason
     
  8. chris_clem

    chris_clem Second Unit

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    If, like me, you had any Onkyo products you would've had their excellent programable universal remote for free! [​IMG] But even without any Onkyo components I would still recommend their remote which can be ordered from them for around $40 (the backlit one) last time I checked [​IMG] Just look for te remote which is used for their receivers (like the SR-700).
     
  9. Parisis

    Parisis Agent

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    Try sites out for information on One for All Remotes. I got a URC-8811 with one of these JP1 cables and it is wonderfull. I haven't even started into the fancy programming yet. It is just great to have your remote backed up to a PC. I create macros Etc. and if I screw up I just restore the remote to a previous state. The kit cost me $38 and my Sony RMAV2100 is sitting on the table unused for the last month.
    Also check out remote central and Hifiremote
     
  10. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    BlueDo offers a package for the MX 500 w/the URC-8811 and JP1 cable. WHy is this necessary? Also, how extensive can a macro be? Would I be able to program a macro to turn on the tv, dvd, set the tv to dvd input, and receiver to dvd input? Then, another macro for tv to sat-1 input, receiver to sat input, and power everything up?

    Thanks for all of your help and suggestions. I am willing to spend a little extra if I can get more extensive macros.

    Quinn
     
  11. chris_clem

    chris_clem Second Unit

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    My afforementioned Onkyo universal learning remote can handle a macro like that (up to ten commands per macro,two macros available)and it's relatively cheap compared to the others mentioned. I am sure that the more expensive remotes should be able to handle whatever macro you would want for your system[​IMG]
     
  12. Jim Garbern

    Jim Garbern Stunt Coordinator

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    A big advantage with the URC-8811 (or similar) package with JP1 programmability is the ability for you to add 'discrete codes' in particular power-on and power-off (not just power toggle), which many devices, such as DVD players and TV sets, can understand, but are not programmed into the dedicated remote control. This is very handy for programming macros, so that you turn on a device that is off, and vice versa, or for programming in a video setting on a monitor appropriate to the source (e.g. the Video 5 setting on a Sony TV for DVD or HDTV input) etc.
     
  13. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    The One for All remotes have access to a large database of advanced codes (see www.hifi-remote.com) that often can give you the discrete commands Jim mentioned. JP1 adds the ability to to obtain discrete commands from other sources, such as Philips Pronto files, for the One for All remote. These commands can then be learned to the MX-500.

    The advantage of a remote like the MX-500 is that you can have every button properly labeled. With the One for All remotes, you would have to remember what you programmed on certain buttons (unless you used a stick-on label).

    The macros on the MX-500 can contain up to 20 separate commands. Give me a call if you need more info.
     
  14. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Quinn: I'm a button remote kind of guy. And IMO, the Home Theater Master remotes are THE button remotes to own. In your price range, the MX-500 can do a wonderful job. I'm running 2 (in 2 different setups) and they have more than enough, properly labeled buttons, to get the job done.

    As for whether or not you would want a One For All to supplement it, that all depends on your needs for the discrete codes that the guys mentioned above. There are workarounds for the need for discretes (macros being one way.) But discretes can make things simpler. The specific Sony TV Video input example is one I used and it made running my bedroom setup much easier. Recently, thanks to great help from some other really smart people (note...NOT me [​IMG] ), I was able to use my OFA remote to create some really cool, newly available codes for my Denon 3803 receiver (that weren't on the factory remote.) While this seldom happens, having the OFA did come in handy.

    THE best resource for HTM remotes is the HTM forum over at www.remotecentral.com Lots of users with great advice.

    Please do checkout Mike's site (www.surfremotecontrol.com) along with (www.bluedo.com) that you already mentioned. Both he and bluedo are authorized by HTM for web e-tail...

    (I'm not connected to HTM, bluedo or surfremotecontrol in any way (other than a satisfied user.))

    Good Luck in your search!
     
  15. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    All right, now my newbie status is REALLY coming through, but are you talking about the commands reside on the LCD screen and those are the ones that are customized/labeled? So that if you are using the dvd commands, all of the commands can be found on the LCD instead of the permanent hard buttons below? If so, when do you use the hard buttons? When are the 10 buttons beside the LCD used (I assume they coorespond to a custom label on the LCD)? I hope Im making sense, but I am not sure how the LCD comes into play on the MX 500.

    Thanks all!

    Quinn
     
  16. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    definitely go for the mx-500. mine replaced eight of my other remotes without a hitch. i literally *never* use my other remotes anymore.

    the two-fold benefit to the lcd buttons is that you can program them to do whatever you want, plus you can label them accordingly.

    for example, my music server has a button called "library". now, i doubt there are too many remotes with a button called "library" already labeled. so what do you do? you're sort of stuck. your only real choice is to program some random button, then remember that the random button is actually the "library" function.

    but...

    with the mx-500 that is not an issue. you simply label one of the lcd buttons "library" (well, you have a 5-character limit, but it's better than nothing) then program the "library" function into it ... and voila!

    don't forget too, with the mx-500, you actually have two pages of programmable lcd buttons - so you really have 20 labelable (is that a word) buttons per device. that should be able to learn all but the most complex of remotes.
     
  17. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    quinn: You use both kinds of buttons at the same time. If there is an existing button for a function (such as DIS for display), it's there and ready to be used. But if you need one for Dolby Prologic II Music mode, nothing like that is on the remote. So you just use the LCD screen and label it "PL2 M". For Denon's 5 Channel Stereo, I was able to work that one even better "5CHST". The ability to label these buttons (and use the ones already properly labeled) makes things sooo much easier...
     
  18. Kimo Bonnelycke

    Kimo Bonnelycke Stunt Coordinator

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    I have always like the Sony AV2000(2100/3000) series remotes. They are a little big, but I like that. I have had my AV2000 (just got an AV3000) for 4+ years, and never had a problem with it..

    Kimo B.
     
  19. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

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    I am a very happy owner of a RS 15-1994. It has been discontinued but maybe you can still find it, dirt cheap ($15-20) It is a wonderful unit, a little too big for some but that's also a plus IMO. I control my TV, receiver, VCR, CD changer and DVD player with it. It is learning, with 4 macro buttons for each component. Great, great remote.
     
  20. Quinn

    Quinn Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all of your help. I am now awaiting arrival of my MX-500. It may be a little spendy for a remote (a few months ago I said I woould never spend that on a remote), but what can I say??!! Gadgets make me happy. Cool gadgets make me happier.....[​IMG]
     

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