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Stuck In the Past: Remote Recommendations Needed (1 Viewer)


Senior HTF Member
Oct 3, 2008
New York City
Real Name
There's a glut of fancy, control-everything-but-the-Universe remote control models available out there for purchase but none of them come close to helping me. Or, none of them bother to list their ability to ALSO control the kinds of components I'm still using. I'm far from the type who absolutely has to have the latest tech gadget in my possession, this is because most of the time I purchased fairly above-average products that were (supposed) to last a long time, hence, I still have most of 'em and they still work. But I've got 8 remote controls lying around and I'm looking to whittle that number down to TWO units at the most. So, here's a list of what I own: 1) SONY CD/MiniDisc player/recorder, purchased around 1998. 2) RCA 5-Disc CD changer Boombox, purchased last year. 3) DENON high-end DVD player, purchased around 2002 4) Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player 5) Samsung cable box, latest model 6) Panasonic 50-inch plasma TV 7) Sony 400-Disc DVD/CD changer, Currently in use exclusively as a "jukebox". So, which remote do you folks recommend for my relatively simple needs? I need one that'll control up to three DVD players at the same time and being able to control the inexpensive RCA boombox is also important to me. I'm not necessarily looking for a cheap model, just one that doesn't "roll it's eyes" if asked to operate old-school machines in addition to the hi-tech stuff. Thanks for all your help!


Supporting Actor
Feb 4, 2003
New Albany, MS
Real Name
The Harmony 880 controls everything I have and I've been very satisfied with it. It will also "learn" a lot of commands from your current remotes even if it won't control a specific model number. I won't go so far as to guarantee this is the one you want but it's a good place to start your research.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 1999
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name
Probably an unusual recommendation, but I’d look into the Yamaha RAV228 remote (shown here with the bottom slide-cover open). It came stock with the RX-V2400 receiver, and it’s a very powerful remote. ANY key can be programmed via head-to-head “learning.” A bit time consuming initially, but you’ll find it works well when you’re finished. It's comfortable in the hand, and the groups of buttons are well layed out and colored-coded by function type. Each input is a separate “page” for programming, so the same menu navigation and transport keys (like play, pause, etc.) can be programmed for each component. When you push any “input” button, like DVD for instance, the remote defaults to the functions you’ve programmed for that component. You just have to be sensible when programming it (and I imagine it’s the same way with most programmable remotes). My thinking is to only program in (“learn”) the functions needed for everyday viewing, not every obscure little button on every one of your remotes (the RAV-228, like most remotes, doesn’t have unlimited memory capacity). It’s best to utilize your original component remotes for stuff you do only occasionally - set-up functions, DVR “To Do” lists, and the like. If you program it like that, the RAV228 is a great “everyday use” remote. It has the standard transport and navigation "enter" / "arrow" keys most source components have these days, so basically you can program it for just about any component you have. I even programmed it to operate our DirecTV DVR: There were enough extra buttons around the navigation buttons to program in the DVR’s most used functions – Guide, Info, List of recorded shows, etc. I programmed the “Display” key on the DVR page to operate the TV’s screen size function (full, 4:3, etc.), so basically everything I need for TV viewing is right there on the DVR page. If you’re the “direct channel access” type of TV viewer, the numeric keys can also be programmed by “learning.” As I said, initially a bit time consuming, but once it’s done, it’s done. I like that you don’t need a computer to accomplish the programming. The RAV also can be programmed to run macros of up to ten commands! The power buttons can be programmed for macros (I use separate "power on" and "power off" macros), as can any of the “input” buttons. So if you need a few commands when switching from TV viewing to DVD - like DVD power-on, TV input change, etc. - no problem! You should have no problem finding a RAV228 for a good price - I bought mine on eBay several years ago for a mere $50. There are other renditions of this remote that came with other receivers, but I like the 228’s key colors (by function type) better than the others I’ve seen. Regards, Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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