Universal Remote

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KevinST, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. KevinST

    KevinST Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking at getting a universal remote, something like a Theatre Master or Sony or Marantz.


    I want a universal remote that will work with EVERYTHING and do ALL THE FUNCTIONS of each item, I would also like one that I can program using my computer instead of numerical codes and pointing remotes at eachother etc...

    What should I buy? My price range is up to $150.

    Thanks
    Kevin

    I have the following equipment...
    Onkyo TX-SR800
    Toshiba Theatre wide TV
    Toshiba DVD Player
    First Pioneer 100 Disc CD changer ever
    Replay TV
    Scientific American Cable box
    and
    A cheap VCR
     
  2. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Alfie
  3. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Kevin: If the PC hookup is mandatory, then a used or refurbished Phillips Pronto is the only game in town. You should be able to find used Prontos in your price range easily due to early users upgrading.

    If the PC part is not an absolute requirement, then you will need to a bit of learning/programming for some of the other potential choices. Two I'd recommend are...

    Home Theater Master MX-500 around $125. (BTW, a PC program is under construction by some savvy users over at remotecentral.com. But it's going to be around $100 to buy it.) This is a button based remote that has an LCD label screen (so that all of it's functions are correctly labeled.) This would be my personal choice because I prefer button remotes.

    Sony RM-AV3000 touchscreen for well under $200 (it's list price. I've seen prices for around $125 or less.) This remote is a combination of touchscreen and buttons. It looks cool and these Sony remotes work very well. The only bad part, IMO, is that the touchscreen has a limited number of labels you can use for each individual function position.
     
  4. KevinST

    KevinST Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck, what about the theatre master 700, i think i saw something showing that it has a computer hook up or is pc ready or something?
    KS
     
  5. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Kevin: The MX-700 sells for $500. At this point, HTM is monitoring the price closely and I'm not seeing any discounting from legitimate dealers. (IMO, this is just plain wrong!)

    To also answer your question, yes, the 700 is a PC-based remote. In fact, you really can't use it without one. I use one in my main setup and really like it. But I got it before HTM started this price baloney...
     
  6. KevinST

    KevinST Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck, what about the crisp solutions models, particularly the 525, are these too good to be true?

    KS
     
  7. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    Kevin, I have been using the SIMA which is I (I believe) a rebadged Crisp sold at Circuit City. Entirely backlit touchscreen. You basically assign the look and layout and then learn the function for each button for each screen. There are 8 different screens, ostensably for 8 devices but my receiver uses 2 screens that I have labeled AMP and Tuner.

    It has worked flawlessly for a $100 remote. Controls completely my Mitsu TV, Samsung VCR, Yamaha 1200 Rec, DirecTIVO, and JVC DVD player with one screen I have yet to assign although I have it setup as a macro screen. Battery life has been reasonable changing them every couple/few months. I cannot think of a function that it was unable to learn.

    It's flaws are that there is no PC interface that I am aware of and that the button choices are limited to (I think) 4 choices per location. No designing your own buttons or complete placement flexability. Because of this issue, I can easily forget what function I assigned to buttons that are not often used or obvious. Like cycling between screen stretch modes is just a plain, unmarked button on the TV screen. This makes it not ideal for a family use remote as it could get obscure. I would much prefer a Pronto but 100 isn't too bad.
     
  8. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Kevin: I've never owned or tried one of the Crisp Solutions remotes. But they certainly have their fans.

    The 525 looks like a nice combination of buttons and touchscreen. But it is worth noting that you can only choose touchscreen labels from CS's predetermined list (by position.) And, the 525 must learn ALL commands from other remotes. It doesn't come pre-loaded with any codes.

    The only CS remote that I know of that offers a PC interface is the 616. But the last time I checked, it was well over $150 for the remote and software (truthfully I haven't looked for a while...)

    Checkout the CS reviews over at remotecentral.com. Good info!
     

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