Review of RCA all in one HT remote (RCU810)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Stephens, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 23, 1999
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    I've been wanting an all-in-one HT remote since, like most of you, my coffee table is cluttered with 6 or so remotes. The ones I looked at were either great but overpriced or just really kinda seemed cheap and not versatile.
    I looked at the Radio Shack 2104 that alot of people on the forum have been raving about, but the layout kinda turned me off. It seemed too cheap looking and all the buttons looked close together and too similar. Now this is not to criticize that remote--aesthetics aren't everything--but it really wasn't what I was looking for.
    I finally decided on the RCA RCU-810 remote (IR learning). It was purchased at Circuit City (though I've seen them at Best Buy) for about $50 ($49.99 plus tax if I remember correctly). I didn't really know much about it but the package seemed to indicate it did everything I needed it to do (control a moderately sized home theater system). And since I live in the sticks, it was going to be awhile before I made it back to CCity or BBuy again. So, on a whim, I slapped down some cash for it and took it home, ready to be disappointed. I was not.
    The remote itself is relatively attractive; gray with a small LCD screen at the top that displays the time, the device selected, and the code you programmed in for the device (why that is displayed I don't know). All keys and the screen are backlit in blue, which you can turn on and off. The LCD screen and backlighting automatically turn off after about 5-10 seconds if no key is pressed in order to conserve battery life. But if you push a button again, the backlighting will return unless you press the backlighting off button, which I found to be a nice feature.
    The layout is very similar to RCA DVD/satellite receiver remotes, but a little more ergonomic and user friendly than those. There are function keys for satellite, cable box, 2 VCRs, TV, DVD, audio (like receiver or amp), and 2 auxillaries. Of course you can program anything into these buttons if you'd like (if you have an LD player, you can program it into the cable box key, etc). There are also 3 learning keys which you can program additional components or commands for each device into. There is an extensive list of codes you can manually program for each component (list includes TV, VCR, cable box, satellite, DVD, laser disc, CD player, receiver, amps, cassette, DAT, phono, and home automation). The list is quite comprehensive and includes codes for some higher end components like Denon, Carver, Marantz, Yamaha, H/K, Onkyo, and Sunfire. There is also a function on the remote that will automatically search through codes until it finds the one that fits your device rather than you having to manually enter each code.
    It even has an audio function that allows you to do speaker test tones, speaker level adjustments, DSP mode switching, surround delay, and surround mode selection. Not too shabby.
    It also has PIP capability and 3 macro code keys. The macro keys allow 15 commands to be programmed into 1 button (or so the manual says...I haven't done it yet). Also included is a sleep timer that you can set to turn off the device if you, like me, tend to fall asleep in front of the TV every night.
    It also has IR learning capability, which I found to be its most valuable function. Most keys work after you get the device you want programmed in, but there's ALWAYS some keys that you want either switched around on the remote's layout or some keys that didn't work and that you need to add. For example, the FF search worked after I had programmed my DVD player's code in, but it would only go at one speed. On my original DVD remote (as with most of them), if you press the button more than once, the FF or REW search gets faster. So, I just simply IR learned the FF command directly from the DVD remote into the RCA, and it worked like a charm (I didn't think it would).
    There's also a toll free number to help with problems/setup difficulties. Didn't need to call it, though.
    OK, on to the cons. Actually, there's not many that I've found yet (only had the remote a couple of days). The layout could be better, but isn't that the number one problem with ALL remotes? I personally had no problem with it because I'd been using a similar RCA remote for my satellite system for awhile. But, if you hate that remote, you might not like this one. Like I said, though, very minor complaint. Other minor complaint--the manual kinda sucked. Not too bad, but I initially had a little bit of trouble entering the codes. After I played around with it for 10 minutes or so, I had the hang of it. So again, not a major problem. Can't say anything about battery life, but it seems to be quite conservative of power with its auto shut off function, so hopefully I won't be blowing another $3 on 4 triple A batts anytime soon. [​IMG]
    That's about it. Sorry for such a lengthy post but I had such a bastard of a time deciding on a reasonably priced all in one remote (with backlighting) and I thought I'd share my experiences. This one definitely gets a [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Hope this helps.
  2. Pete K

    Pete K Agent

    Mar 31, 2001
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    I agree Scott; I picked up the remote this past summer at CC. It is VASTLY better and more appealing than any of the universal remotes that I've experienced using that came with receivers- and even better than a Fox touch screen I had (looked like today's Rotel touchscreens).

    This one is a bargain and the lighting is awesome.
  3. Michael Cook

    Michael Cook Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 25, 2001
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  4. Mike_A

    Mike_A Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 7, 2001
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    great remote, especially once you hack it as described at . I've had mine for a couple months now, and with the hacks can control pretty much anything, even some functions that weren't on my original remotes.

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