Needed: True Universal Remote

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Phil Florian, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Howdy!
    If any site can recommend one, this would be it! A while back I purchased an APEX PD-10 portable DVD player. Got it nice and cheap and it has been a great way to play movies for long car rides. Yes, sure, they come better and cheaper now but I don't want to re-buy yadda yadda yadda.
    Anyway, it came with a dinky remote that stopped working a while back. No battery changes helped. Gone. Dead. Kaput. I bought a universal remote that looked good but while it listed Apex as a brand it supported, the PD-10 wasn't one of them. If the buttons on the machine did more than play and fwd and rev I would be okay but it won't let me move through menu screens or any other useful function that is DVD. I tried all the various codes in the book for APEX and others but it never worked. I got some random functions (like PLAY would cause it to FWD or MENU would cause it to PAUSE but never did button match function at all and never enough functions to say "heck with it, I will memorize the new button lay out).
    I have tried without luck finding decent replacements of the remote. First of all, it wasn't cheap. Secondly, it was a cheap piece of crap to begin with so chances are IT would break soon. So my thought is get a good remote that truly is Universal, if there is such a thing.

    Any ideas? Work arounds? Hints? Allegations???

    Thanks!

    Phil
     
  2. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer
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    Alfie
    Harmony remote

    Less than $100

    'nuf said...
     
  3. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    I was going to suggest the harmony, but thought it would be tremendous overkill. I think I found a way to justify it though -- buy the harmony for your home system. This way you can use it everyday and get your money's worth. In addition to creating your activities for "watch a movie" "watch television" "listen to music" etc., you can also create an activity for "watch a movie in the car." When you need it for your long trips, just take the harmony with you. You should also try the forum at remotecentral.com. They may be able to hip you to a lesser remote that will do the job.
     
  4. Patrick.C

    Patrick.C Second Unit

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Holy moly that thing looks impressive. I will check it out. Thanks for advice. The "Home and car" idea is actually a great one. Does it do Dish, PVR, DVD, CD, tuner, etc? That would be amazing. I am good at juggling all of the remotes needed to run a full-on multimedia wall but my wife and mom complain to no end (my daughter, 6, doesn't...kids dig it). This Harmony might be the bee's knees. Appreciate it!

    Ciao
     
  6. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    The harmony will control any equipment that uses an infrared remote (as opposed to RF). It's fully adaptable. Just about every component is already pre-loaded onto harmony's website. You just download the codes into the remote. On the chance you buy something really obscure (like maybe your car dvd player) you might have to teach the remote the codes by pointing the old remote (which you don't have for the dvd player) at the harmony.

    You should check to make sure your dvd is an infrared device. You should also go on harmony's website and check to see if the codes for your dvd player are already in there because if they're not you won't be able to teach the harmony since you lost your original remote. Call their customer service (they're real good) if you can't find it on the site.

    If you do go with a harmony, buy it from amazon. The prices fluctuate, but they're usually competitive. Amazon also has a good return policy in case there is something wrong with it out of the box (imo, harmony's do have a higher incidence of problems then they should). The good news is every report I've seen of a broken harmony has been right out of the box. They are based in canada, so going with amazon saves you the shipping price to canada if the remote has to be returned.

    It probably sounds like I just gave you a lot of negative info about a remote I recommended, but I am just trying to give you every bit of info you might need. I love my harmony, and I did have to return my first one.
     
  7. Patrick.C

    Patrick.C Second Unit

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    Phil - that picture I posted is not the Harmony. Its the Home Theater Master MX-500. Check out http://www.remotecentral.com for reviews on both. For me, the MX-500 was the better choice vs. the Harmony, because I liked the feel of it and I don't like having to rely on hooking a remote to the web to program it.
     
  8. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the additional information. I think the key will be to find out if they support native the device in question. I do have the old remote but it stopped working and no new batteries seem to help it. It is junk. It is the size of a credit card, almost as flat with those little raised nubs for buttons. Ugh. Anyway, I will check out both and see what seems to hit me just right.
     
  9. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    I personally use an MX-700 for my living room, and I quite like it. It's abit more expensive than the MX-500, but it has a few extra buttons which come in handy with a DVR, and is programmable via computer software which I think is alot more convenient than on-remote programming. I got mine from a seller on ebay for around $160 about two years ago, and prices seem to have dropped abit since then. Even though that'll probably give you sticker shock at first I think the price is well worth it, as it's something I can keep and reprogram to my needs as I add and change equipment for many years, and makes using the HT that much simpler and more enjoyable.
    Definitely do check out remote central for everything you ever wanted to know about universal remotes, it's an excellent resource with great reviews.

    Happy hunting,
    -- Dave
     

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