Looking for new remote, don't know where to start.

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Tim Holyoke, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    I'm looking for a new remote, I've never even bought one, I've always used the DirecTV remote that came with my system. So, I want something that can run my DirecTivo that's coming next week (if you can use another remote for it?), RCA TV, Philips DVD player, RCA VCR (yeah, I know I won't use it much after the Tivo shows up), and if possible, Sony receiver.

    My budget isn't very high, probably $50 max. I was just at Best Buy and glanced over what they had, but didn't know what I was really looking for. They had an RCA one that has an lcd display on top for $30 or $40, it was a learning remote (which doesn't mean anything to me...?). So, what do you suggest? Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    go to remote central there you will find every thing that you might need.

    your new DirecTivo remote that you will be getting will prob. be able to control all of your gear. prob up to 4 devices.

    the Kameleon is a nice remote... I think there is also a 8 device Kameleon for a little more cash.

    Good luck
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    there are two basic types of remotes.

    1. programmable (via a code)
    2. learning (via the ir sensor)

    programmables are nice, but you (may be) limited to what they can learn. typically, you tell it you have a sony tv. then, there about 10 possible codes you enter into the remote. that's it...if those 10 don't work you're stuck.

    with a learning remote, you have much more flexibility. if a specific code doesn't work, you can point the two remotes at eachother. the original remote can then "send" the signal to the learning remote. usually the only problem with less expensive learning remotes is the amount of memory.

    also, if your original remote has some really funky command, the learning remote can definitely accept it. the programmable may or may not be able to handle it.

    remotecentral.com is a god-send for remote enthusiasts ... be sure to check it out.
     
  4. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Nick So
    If you're on a limited budget, i suggest the RadioShack 15-2116 for $29.99

    I picked it up 2 weeks ago, and its great. I never thought i needed a universal remote (always thought of them as a luxury), but i took the dive ($30 aint that much anyhow), and its been working great.

    I also made a JP1 cable whch alows even GREATER customization of the buttons, and i have now replaced all eight remotes to the one remote.

    Check that one out.
     
  5. Ben LG

    Ben LG Stunt Coordinator

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    Like the others have said, remotecentral.com is a very good source. I was also looking up on some info on their site and decided to go with the 8 in 1 Kameleon for $70. It has a very nice feel and look to it, the main reason I picked it over another around the same price range is because of the bright display. Great for late night use. Also like the feel of the click, just like real buttons. I skimmed through the manual for about 5 minutes and was finished learning 4 remotes in about 15 minutes so it is pretty easy to program. Definitely one of the better universal remotes Ive used including the more expensive and bulky Marantz (RC something, forgot the model number - looks like the MX500). Gets my vote for ease of use and programming, looks and price. I would give the 4 in 1 Kameleon a shot if $50 is the max you are willing to spend if you only have 4 devices. If it was me I would spend the extra $ and go for the 8 in 1 because you might upgrade in the future to more devices.

    ~This Sony remote is a little cheaper, can control 8 devices, learning ability and glow in the dark buttons for night use.
     
  6. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    If budget under $50 for a system including a PVR, I'd recommend the OFA 6131, get the one modified for JP1 capability if worried about future-proofing and maximum compatibility. See here.

    I recommend not getting the Kameleon. For only a bit more than the Kameleon 8 in 1 you can get the far superior MX-500. With the Kameleon, you can't locate buttons by feel so you have to look down at the remote all the time. Plus you can't make custom labels for the button as you can with the MX-500.
     
  7. JasonMA

    JasonMA Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't say enough good things about the MX-500, which is made by Home Theater Master by the way. I've had mine for almost a year now and I haven't had to use any of my original remotes since. I control 7 devices in my HT (TV, VCR, DVD, CD, Tape deck, Receiver, Cable box), plus I set it up to control my vcr and tv in the bedroom as the 8th device together. Since this thing handles up to 10 devices, I can still buy 2 more devices and not have to upgrade. Everything about this remote is far superior than most others in and above it's price class (look, feel, memory, macros, backlight, programming, learning, functionality, performance, etc.) I could go on forever.

    The only thing that may turn you off is the price, which right now is about $100.00. But before you spend $40-$50 on a remote that you may end up out-growing in the near future, do some research at remotecentral like the others said. it may just be worth your while to wait a while and save up another $50 and get it. Just read the reviews and I think you'll be sold.

    link to info & review: http://www.remotecentral.com/mx500/index.html

    Link to a good site to buy it ($96.95 right now): http://www.bluedo.com/
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i totally agree with that statement. my mx-500 is flawless - it has so much going for it ... at a reasonable price.

    also, check out surf remote control. it's only 3 bucks more ... and that way you'll support one of our own htf members!

    support htf and it's inhabitants!!!
     
  9. Steven Sims

    Steven Sims Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the Sony RM-VL900. Here is Remote Central's review. If you want to jump to the conclusion, here ya go:

    "Overall, the remote is well engineered and designed, with a generous supply of customization options and capabilities. The VL900 comes packaged in bubble pack designed to be displayed on store pegboard, so you may not realize what you’re looking at is so advanced. The learning capability is only mentioned in small type, so be sure to keep an eye out for this one in stores. The RM-VL900’s low price, good ergonomics and full learning capability set it apart in the marketplace as an excellent value dollar-for-dollar."

    I have been extemely happy with it, and it's less than $50 now. I've been using it for about 1 1/2 years and haven't even had to replace the batteries yet, which leads to what might be the only knock on it, it's not backlit. The buttons do glow in the dark, and it doesn't bother me anyway, you learn the layout pretty quickly.
     
  10. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks for all the ideas. I'd like one that lights up in the dark, if possible, and also I'd like bigger channel up/down and volume buttons in a comfortable position for my channel surfing needs. We just have the small Philips DVD player that they were selling at Target cheap over Xmas, and the remote is a little piece of crap. I've had no luck programming my RCA DTV remote to run it, so I'm thinking I'd need a learning remote? Also, can they be programmed to control receivers?

    The RadioShack 15-2116 that NickSo mentioned actually looks good to me, and for $30. Can anybody else vouch for it? It has a key backlight, can learn up to eight things, and seems to have channel and volume controls where I like them. Or is this cheap and thus low quality? Should I look for something better? Thanks a lot.
     
  11. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    OK, well, the budget has been upped to $100. So I'm thinking about the MX-500 now. Will this be able to learn everything for my new DirecTivo?

    Could you recommend me some remotes to compare w/the MX-500? I'd actually like something that just has big volume and channel buttons, and not so many smaller buttons like the MX-500, and have a touchscreen thing. Also, something that lights up nicely would really make me happy. Thanks for any help.
     
  12. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I agree 100% with Steven! I swear by this remote. I bought one of these a few years ago and it's still with me. In fact, my wife is so comfortable with it, that I bought another one for my secondary system in the living room which alleviated "spousal remote anxiety". It is still available online for $39.95 and AFAIC, is an absolute bargain for what it does. I don't have more than one piece of equipment from a single manufacturer and the Sony handles 'em all with ease and a bit of learning. In my HT it controls my Rotel pre-pro, Panny DVD player, Musical Fidelity CD player, Pioneer SACD/DVD-A/V player, RCA HD receiver and Hitachi RPTV and in my living room it controls a Hughes DirecTV receiver, a Toshiba TV, a Denon receiver and a JVC DVD player. Now, it doesn't have the fancy touchscreen or backlight, but it does glow up and, like Steven said, the layout is easily learned.

    Try here:

    http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...900&svbname=30
     
  13. Ben LG

    Ben LG Stunt Coordinator

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    So much for the Kameleon, it broke down on me in under a month. It was pretty good and if it didnt die on me so quick I would recommend it if you have a number of functions on your remote (such as an AV receiver remote) because only specific buttons are usable if they are inputted into the Kameleon versus having to learn a specific function to a differently labeled button such as on a regular hard button remote.

    Sony remotes on the other hand have lasted me years and so I replaced the Kameleon with a Sony RM-VL900.
     
  14. Checkmate1996

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    I did a ton of research for remote controls. All I have to say is the mx-500 "is da bomb!".

    - Inexpensive
    - Easy to learn
    - reprogrammable labels
    - great buttons
    - joystick
    - macros

    I have my tv,amp(& switches to DVD automatically,dvd(& tray opens) power up on one button. The best part is it only takes about 5 minutes to program!!![​IMG]

    The final touch was purchasing an Infrared light for my basement. The mx-500 easily controls the light and now NO more fighting on who's going to turn off the light!!!

    Good luck!
     
  15. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks. It's going to be hard not to get the MX-500 after reading so much good stuff about it. As per your infrared light - tell me more [​IMG]. Thanks.
     
  16. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    brad simply means he has a light switch that is controlled by IR. since the mx-500 can learn IR codes, he's programmed it to control his light. (i thought about doing the same thing..but never got around to it.)

    believe me, for the money, you're not going to do much better then the mx-500. i don't think i've ever heard anyone say anything negative about it. it may not fit everyones needs, but that's a different story.

    ben - what happened to the kameleon? (i was thinking about getting one for my bedroom...)
     

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