Help! My wife can't operate HT system. Need good remote!?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David_D_C, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. David_D_C

    David_D_C Agent

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    I hope i'm not alone. I have a simple setup: 27" TV, Marantz SR5200 receiver and a Toshiba SD-2700 DVD player.

    I need some tips on making this setup easier to use. I bought an All-4-One Cinema 7 remote and programmed it out the wazzo. I also made a nice little quick reference card about switching between TV and DVD and all that stuff. Every once in a while, she'll (or I'll) accidentally leave the remote in "receiver mode" and she'll stick it in DTS mode or something accidentally while watching TV... and well, it's all downhill from there, frustration and spirited discussion ensues...

    I tried teaching her how things work and but it's just not working. It's quite obvious these thing are designed by men!

    I need some tips, advice on good remotes, or anything!
     
  2. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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    Pronto, Philips Pronto.

    It will take some time to program, but your wife should be able to operate the HT w/o a hitch.
     
  3. MichaelGomez

    MichaelGomez Stunt Coordinator

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    I second that. It is so simple that my 5 year old can use it. I'm not kidding either.
     
  4. Rob Dawn

    Rob Dawn Stunt Coordinator

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    If you don't want to spend that kind of money, the Radio Shack and One For All remotes are quite good as well.
    What you want is a remote that does MACROS. I've got the following macros set up on my Radio Shack 15-1994:
    1) Set everything up to watch Sat;
    2) Set everything up to watch cable;
    3) Set everything up to watch a DVD;
    4) Turn everything off.
    The wife loves it and its the only way I could do it so that my retired parents could still watch TV when they're over babysitting our kids! [​IMG]
    Check out Remote Central for tons of info on remotes.
    Good luck,
    Rob
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I don't have a wife, but I have roommate is behaves like one when it comes to my HT. I programed my new Sony touch-screen remote's three macro keys to:

    1. Turn receiver and TV on/off

    2. Set to watch DVD

    3. Set to watch cable

    I wrote out the settings for everything on a sheet of paper, so that he knows how to get back to normal if he screws anything up.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    what's your budget?

    i've got the mx-500 (130.00). it has three hard-macro butons at the bottom. i have one set to turn on the tv, receiver, cable-box, set-input to cable, set remote to cable-box mode. that way, no matter how i've left the system, all she has to do is push one button and it's good to go.

    my other button is similarily configured for the dvd player, including power-on, eject tray, etc...

    remotecentral.com has a good review on the unit.

    one other thing to consider is if you like hard or soft buttons...or some combination of the two.
     
  7. Richard_T

    Richard_T Second Unit

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    ppppsssssttt! My lady doesn't know how to use my set-up so she stays clear of it unless I'm around. Sounds good to me! Why make it easy? So I can watch Titanic day and night? Yikes! I'll keep things slightly complex and mush free![​IMG]
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    David: a little re-wireing can go a long way for making the system easy to use.

    for example: Run Composite video from every source into your receiver. Run the Composite out from the receiver to the TV.

    Suddenly - the TV becomes a Monitor and always looks at the feed from the receiver - one device reduced to on/off

    The receiver now controls all the audio & video switching. Program the Remote to only flip to the different inputs. This way she cannot accidently set a funny mode.

    In parallel, run SVideo or Component straight from the DVD player to the TV. When YOU are home, you take the extra step to flip the TV input to look at the better feed for DVD's. Just make sure to reset the TV to look at the receiver feed.
     
  9. Paul_C

    Paul_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Budget has a lot to do with the answer you get around here.
    Pronto's can get a little on the expensive side but they are extremely easy to use after you program them (that's the hard part). The only other issue you may want to consider is the lack of hard buttons. Some people like pressing hard buttons because they know where they are on the remote (especially in the dark). With a Pronto you really need to light it up and then press the button you want.
    Remote's like the 15-1994 from Rat Shack are also very flexible. There is a way to hook this cheap remote up to your computer and reprogram almost every key (there is a 6 pin connector where the batteries go). It also has 4 buttons for macro's. Goto www.hifi-remote.com and check out this remote's capability.
    If you go for the cheaper solution you might want to hurry. Rat Shack discontinued this model and have replace it with the 15-2104 (model number???). I believe that the new model has the same type of functionality. I just picked up 3 15-1994 for $35 CDN each. The 15-2104 is $60 CDN.
    Good luck in your hunt for remote bliss. [​IMG]
    Paul.
     
  10. Mark Hobbs

    Mark Hobbs Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking for a good remote in the sub $50 range, and there are NO 15-1994s left at any Radio Shack in my area.

    Do you guys have any other suggestions for a budget remote? Or is there an extra 15-1994 out there noone needs anymore? I will gladly pay $40+shipping if it works and is in good condition.
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  12. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I'm weird. I'm actually learning to love having seperate remotes. I'm a master of using remotes in the dark. I can operate PIP, change volume/channels, FF, RW, pause, play, stop, even dialup channels by number all without looking at the remote. My wife takes 5 minutes to just do a simple PIP operation. [​IMG]
    I've got a remote for my TV that can also control my VCR.
    I've got a remote for my DVD player that can also control my TV.
    I've got a remote for my receiver that can also control my DVD player, TV, and VCR. But I only use it for controlling the receiver.
    Video and analog audio from the DVD player and VCR are routed directly to the TV. When the wife and kids want to watch TV or a video (even DVD) they just grab the TV remote, or the DVD remote. They can watch things and won't screw up any of my settings on the receiver by accident. The DVD sound is just fed through the TV speakers (hey...I'm not watching and they don't really care). Digital audio is directed to the receiver and I'm the only one that ever uses the receiver anyway. My wife will use it once in a while to listen to CDs but that's it, and she doesn't use the remote, even to change the volume (that's her preference). It's not that my wife can't learn to use the remotes properly, she's just not interested and doesn't care. Only using the receiver for when I watch movies or when we listen to music has greatly simplified things. Just the opposite of what most people think of as simple.
    I don't like babysitters touching my DVDs and most don't seem to have a problem with using the VCR with just the TV remote.
    I've got my eye on the Pronto should the day come that I want a universal programmable remote though. Universal remotes that have hard buttons just have too many buttons and make things worse.
     
  13. Jacques C

    Jacques C Stunt Coordinator

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    I would have a look at the Sony remotes out there. The VL700 is programmable and controls 5 devices ($39). The VL900 is also programmable and controls 8 devices - it also does macros ($59).

    Both of these are more flexible than the Rat Shack - the Radio Shack doesn't learn codes except with some major hacking.

    For learning capabilities and macros (macros are great for the "HT challenged") the VL900 is probably the best bet on the market right now.
     
  14. Mark Hobbs

    Mark Hobbs Stunt Coordinator

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    Jacques, thanks for the great advice.
    I ran out and picked up the vl900 on your advice and it works GREAT. [​IMG]
    It easily learned every button from all 4 remotes I was using to control my TV, DVD, AMP, and TiVo. I still have 4 more devices I could control with this remote.
    My wife loves the macros. I am using 4 macros, with 7 slots left for more! My macros: Press 1 to turn everything on and set everything up for TiVo. Press 2 for DVD. Press 3 for CD. Press and hold "TV" to watch regular TV. Once finished, pressing the same button again turns everything off.
    The only trouble I had setting up the macros was figuring out how to make the TV/Input on my WEGA go to the right input. You have to press TV/Input + the number (0-4) of the input you want when you create the macro. I couldn't find that info in the manual, but read it on a board somewhere.
    Sony RM-VL900...highly recommended!
     
  15. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    I'll second that recommendation for the Sony RM-VL9000!

    I've had mine for about 5 months and absolutely love it. It is by far the most versatile remote out there for $60. (Got mine online for $45). It has universal, learning and macros (that will remember up to 16 steps).

    David, get one of these you won't be sorry. Once you set the macro's up watching or listening to something literally takes one press of a button.

    I even set my Mom up with one of these and she loves it! (And she's the type that has me program the VCR clock everytime I visit.) I set up a whole HT system (DVD and all) for her she has never once had a problem.

    -EJ
     

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