Suggestions for replacement Universal Remote

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Marty M, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    My second OneForAll Cinema 7 Remote has died and I am looking for suggestions to replace this remote. I would like to stay in the $30 - $50 area, with one that offers the capabilities of the Cinema 7.

    I saw one at Radio Shack for $29.95. I forgot the product number. It has a lcd display at the top. Is anyone familiar with this remote? Any other suggestions in this price range and capabilities will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

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    Marty:

    I have two suggestions: First, if you want another Cinema 7 - I have a used one I no longer use. e-mail me and make me an offer if you are interested. I have no idea what it is worth.

    Second, the OFA 8811 is a learning capable remote with a nice backlight. I bought one here:

    http://www.surfremotecontrol.com/OFA-8811.html

    Good luck.

    Mike
     
  3. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I will pass on your used Cinema 7. This was my second Cinema 7 that died, both only lasted a couple of years. I think I will try another model or brand. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Maybe my expectations are too high, but I would think a remote control should last more than a couple of years.
     
  4. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Marty: To a point, I understand your feelings that a $25 remote should last more than a couple years. But yeah, IMO, your expectations are high.

    Truthfully, these days, $30, $40 or $50 is pretty much entry level pricing for virtually anything technical/mechanical that has any real value. And as for longer potential life than 2 years, I'm amazed they last as long as they do. Especially for something that is used, handled (dozens of times each day), dropped, spilled on and so forth on a daily basis.

    Of course, you can always go cheaper if you're willing to give up functionality. Wal-Mart sells several different models that cover basic functions. But if you really want something that can do what the Cinema 7 did, the better One For All/Radio Shack remotes are the only ballgame in town. The newer OFA/RS versions retain their similarities to your old C7 in that they support virtually all major brand devices and that you can likely find advanced codes for superior functionality. (One advantage over your C7 is that many of them are now backlit for use in a darker room.)

    The only other remote that I'm aware of that is of good quality and functionality in your price range is the Sony RM-VL700. It retails for around $50 or so and is fairly complete. It has a built-in codebase, can learn from other remotes and can also accomodate macros that can send many commands out with one button push. (There is also an affordable touchscreen at Radio Shack for $60, the 15-2133. But touchscreens aren't my bag and my experience with a 2133 is that the backlight does not perform as spec'd. It does look cool though...)

    Hope this helps a bit. (My own remote adventures are with Home Theater Master branded units. But they start at about $120 and up...)
     
  5. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    Check out the Sony VL900 (or 700 as Chuck mentioned). The 900 has the ability to learn all of the commands from your original remotes, so you won't have to rely on finding a code that will work. They're generally very reliable as well. OTOH, my experience with One for All remotes has been much better than yours. I've got a 9800 that's about 4 years old now and is still going strong.
     
  6. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Mike: Here it is! Written proof that I'm losing it! I meant the 900 NOT the 700. The 700 is ok but it ain't a 900.

    Sorry guys...:b
     
  7. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Any clue to why my Cinema 7 remote would work fine one day, and completely "crap out" the next day?

    A question for the Sony VL-900 users. Can it learn all functions from other remotes or is there a set number of functions it can learn. With the advanced codes, my Cinema 7 was a very complete Universal remote. Also, on the Sony are there enough extra buttons to assign remote commands like specific surround settings from the receiver?
     
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Stunt Coordinator

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    I too am surprised that your Cinema 7 only lasted such a short time. I've had mine for 4 or 5 years. I have dropped it more times than I can count. Still works perfectly. I like its layout much better than the newer UEIC remotes. I also like the basic black over the new gawdy silver. And I've heard reports that the IR signal strength of the newer remotes is not nearly as strong as the that in the 6800/7800.

    Does yours not work at all? Does the LED not light up at all when you press a button? Does it light up but your devices not respond to commands? I'm sure you've done the obvious and tried fresh batteries. Did you do a 980 reset to clear out learned keys? Or a 981 factory reset? Be aware that this will clobber any upgrades you've done to the remote.
     
  9. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Nothing lights up when I press any button. One day I noticed I was having problems with the button for cable. I wasn't surprised because this is the one I use the most. The next day, I got nothing. Hoping it was just dead batteries, I replaced the batteries but I still got nothing.
    Since nothing lights up I don't think the 980 reset will work. I am completely baffled as to why the thing just quit.

    I have really like the Cinema 7 and the fact it had so many buttons that allowed me to program almost every function for my DVD player and the surround modes for my receiver. I hate using 5 remotes, again.

    I really need to make a decision soon, but I am in a real dilemma as to what I should buy. I am considering the 8 function Radio Shack remote for $30. I think they have a 30 day return policy, so if they do, I might give it a try to see if I can program all the functions like the Cinema 7.

    I also liked the black Cinema 7 better, as well. The silver paint wore off the new one, along with the lettering under each key.
     
  10. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    The Sony 900 is quite capable. Between the built-in codes and it's learning, it can pretty much do it all. Learning is NOT limited any where near the C7 you've been using. I've never heard of anyone exceeding it's learning capacity.

    The 900 has a good mix of buttons. It doesn't have "marked" surround mode buttons but most any button can be whatever you want. Here's a link to Daniel Tonks's review of the 900. I imagine this review will pretty well tell the tale of whether this remote will work for you or not...
    http://www.remotecentral.com/vl900/index.html
     
  11. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I went out this weekend and bought a Radio Shack remote. It is a fairly nice one for $30. It is backlit with an LCD readout on top and it could "learn" all the functions I needed from my other remotes. I know it is the same brand as the OneForAll, but I thought I would give it another try.

    If this one doesn't work out, I will definitely try the Sony 900.
     
  12. David Preston

    David Preston Supporting Actor

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    Check out www.dealtime.com for remotes. They have a wide variety and a good range of prices.
     

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