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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything for a home theater control and more!
So you want a home theater. Your wife says yes if you can hide that hideous stack of black boxes. Sounds simple. This remote makes it very simple. I shopped the competition's options from Monster to the massive home theater controllers. Since my budget was not $500-$1500, I had to avoid the big controllers. It was between Monster's and Universal's.

Most...
Published on March 19, 2007 by orr333

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188 of 195 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Inexpensive RF Remote
For the price (reduced to $80) this is a very decent remote if you need a remote with RF features.

Again, it's value is VERY relative to its price.

Its shortcommings are:

The RF function is based on an open frequency, NOT programable between the Remote Control unit & the RF Receiver unit. This is important because if a next door neighbor...
Published on January 11, 2008 by Ralph Taliercio


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188 of 195 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Inexpensive RF Remote, January 11, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
For the price (reduced to $80) this is a very decent remote if you need a remote with RF features.

Again, it's value is VERY relative to its price.

Its shortcommings are:

The RF function is based on an open frequency, NOT programable between the Remote Control unit & the RF Receiver unit. This is important because if a next door neighbor is using a RF based remote he might start changing your channels and turning your Tv on & off. There is nothing that can be done to fix this or modify the Universal Remote. The only recourse is to buy the Universal Remote & Receiver that cost $300+, which is NOT a good value for the price. For apx. $350 you can buy the new Harmony model (replacing the 890), which is far more powerful, and easier to program & use.

The LCD screen is smallish and can list 5 items per screen. You scroll through the screens to access components to control or to get to the functions for each component.

Free up a LOT of time to program the unit. Programming the unit for macros seems a little confusing at first and takes some getting use to.

Please note that I found nothing major or even moderately wrong with the remote, but it does have a few problems that I think affect how functional & easy to use it is.

Major Positives are:

Customer Service was reasonably easy to contact. The CS Rep I got was very friendly, knowledgable, and helpful.

The button layout on the Remote is very good. Buttons are grouped together intelligently, especially for people using the remote for DVR cable boxes.

All in all a decent unit for the price for someone needing RF functions on a limited budget.

Hope this was helpful.
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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything for a home theater control and more!, March 19, 2007
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
So you want a home theater. Your wife says yes if you can hide that hideous stack of black boxes. Sounds simple. This remote makes it very simple. I shopped the competition's options from Monster to the massive home theater controllers. Since my budget was not $500-$1500, I had to avoid the big controllers. It was between Monster's and Universal's.

Most of my components were in the "code list" and worked perfectly with just the code. My TiVO/DirecTV was the exception. The TiVO code only made the TiVO work and the SAT code only made that part work. I used the learning capability on the remote and even though I had to program every button, it was fast and painless.

The RF features of the remote work perfectly also. I have my components in a cedar closet about 20 feet from my projector and couch. It goes through the walls fine. The Powerblaster that transmits the IR signal in the closet is not even facing the components and works due to the high IR signal it outputs.

The macros for turning everything on/changing the input on the projector are also easy to program and work very well. For the $100 I paid for this, it was a steal. There is no way the Monster counterpart gives enough additional functionality to warrant the high price.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great and EASY to set up!, February 29, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
Our TV sits in a built-in shelving unit with cabinets below. The doors had to be left open for the old remotes to work.
I looked into the Niles Audio repeaters-they were over $200 and seemed complicated to install (I'm a moron). The Niles product also required you to use the little IR stickies.
I bought the URC bundle on a whim, figuring that if it didn't work out I could return it.
Here's my installation experience-
I installed the remote's batteries, glanced at the manual, and linked it to the TV, Cable DVR box, and DVD recorder. I also set up the "macros" (getting the power on/off buttons to work all three components and the volume to always control the TV). 5 MINUTES. They include a DVD to help you set things up-mine is still in the package. Did I mention that I'M A MORON and I breezed thru the setup?
I then plugged the blaster in and placed it on the bottom shelf of the cabinet. I closed the doors and that was it. It worked just like I hoped it would.
I'm not an A/V geek. I just wanted my stuff to be out of sight. That's what I got, with zero hassle or head scratching. I'm thrilled.

Tom (Kristen's Dad)
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Value, July 2, 2007
By 
T. Lyle (Milford, CT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
Very easy to set-up and program. The included DVD walks you through step by step how to program every aspect of the remote and set up the blaster. It took about one hour to get completely set up on my system (Onkyo, Viewsonic Projector, Elite, IO Cablevision DVR). I called tech support with one question and the rep took the time to research and answer my question completely. Pretty incredible custmer service in this day and age. I highly recommend the product and the company.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remote, February 23, 2008
By 
Adam (Brandon, FL) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
I am a A/V installer, so I have used these exact remotes extensively since I came acrossed them. I can tell you for $85, This is the best remote out there for the price if you have the time and patience to program it. Not only will it take any IR-based frequency, but the buttons are also time-sensitive so they will perform a slightly different function based on how long you hold down the button (for learning). The remote is nothing fancy to look at, but I garuantee it is far more durable than the 'fancy' looking Harmonys, Prontos, Commanders, etc., have the same functionality if not more, and actually has a simple look and feel like a REMOTE rather than a PDA. Also, unlike all the above remotes, this one comes RF equipped right out of the box. Battery life is actually pretty good, and has built in light.

Overall, this is the remote to get for just about any application - unless you are one of those people that has $500-1000 to drop on basically a stripped down PDA.

-Adam
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, effective & smart!, January 10, 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
I am very pleased. The remote works so well, we bought not only the RFS200 bundle with receiver but 2 more matching RF20 remotes a week later for the bedrooms. We have a whole-house system (all the devices are in an obscure closet along with the CHANNEL PLUS 5445 Quad Channel Rf Modulator) so this is exactly what I needed to replace my awful old-school RF transmitters.

Setting up the remote with the pre-programmed codes was a snap. There were a few items that weren't in the code list, but the "Learn" function is simple & effective. I'm even able to control my HP laptop, stereo, a non-name under-the-cabinet LCD-TV DVD, and a brand new HDTV receiver. I think my mother could even program this thing (No offense, Ma).

It was a simple matter to put my most frequently used devices, like the TV and the Tivo, at the top of the main menu where they're easiest to find. Changing and renaming commands on the menu is extremely simple, and the Punch-Through feature is quite nice.

The range of the RF transmitter appears to be pretty far. I haven't found anywhere in the house where it doesn't work, even through multiple walls. The IR emiiters on both the remote and the receiver are quite powerful. I did not find it necessary to use the included extended IR emitters that plug into the receiver.

So, we liked it so much we ordered two more matching remotes. When they arrived, I used the Clone feature to copy my first RF20 remote to the two new ones. Since each room has a different brand of TV, I just had to change the TV code on each remote to match it's corresponding television.

Only one VERY MINOR complaint: The red LED backlight on the remote is too dim for me to read the text on the buttons. I may drag out the 'ol soldering iron and replace those red LED's with brighter green ones.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a leap of faith. You won't be disappointed., November 15, 2007
By 
Timm Ross (North Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
I bought this remote because I have an xbox with linux on it, surround, a projector, comcast cable with dvr, and a flat panel (vizio), and I had too many remotes. To make matter worse, All of my equipment is in my office closet on the second floor of the house. I used IR repeaters but there was too much noise and my wife just got too frustrated with trying to point the remote in the exact spot. Pain in the arse. Literally sometimes it would take me standing up moving the IR repeater a hair and take 30 seconds just to find that sweet spot, sts, for the channel to change once.

I browsed the harmony remotes but I didn't want to spend money on battery issues. I was afraid of the range from downstairs to upstairs and through the closet.

Unboxing took the most amount of time since that sucker was in there good. I read the first pages on how to enter the codes for my 'stuff' and started pressing the buttons. Ten seconds later I had my TV turning on and off and full functionality. I can now sit downstairs, with my comcast dvr upstairs in a closet and just randomly point the remote anywhere I want to and get a crisp response that my IR repeater never got. Also, the PowerBlaster I only put one IR blaster on the wall and it is plenty strong enough for all of my equipment to receive the burst. I love the remote and I am buying a second one for upstairs to power my projector and surround sound and xboxmc. My wife is totally impressed I didn't screw this up. Get this remote...it is easy and very responsive, with an extremely strong range. It can learn special buttons as well. Good luck.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does everything as advertised, but . . ., December 28, 2007
By 
Hyjanks "Hyjanks" (Canon City, CO USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
Before I ran across this product, I was considering the purchase of a Hidden Link system from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. With this system, an infrared receiver is mounted on the outside of the cabinet that transmits a signal from a regular remote control device. And it costs 200 bucks, not including extra transmitters!
For $130 less, I got this device on the recommendation of several good reviews.
It does everything as advertised (and more if you care to experiment).
I mounted the tiny transmitters on the inside of the doors of my entertainment cabinet right in front of the infrared receivers of my components. After programming each component into the MasterControl and mounting the PowerBlaster unit in the cabinet (you can put in anywhere without regard to placement behind components, etc.) the whole setup worked flawlessly. I even programmed the MasterControl to operate the light dimmer switch in the room!
The only "problem" I encountered was the time it took to set up the entire system; it took about 12 hours total time to customize the commands for each component.
Forget about automatically programming the unit with the manufacturer-supplied numbers--once done, there are several buttons that prove to be useless and some that just don't work.
You can get around this by programming each command manually and naming each command.
Once done, like I said, the system works unbelievably well. I intend to purchase another PowerPak Bundle for the upstairs entertainment center.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, cheap and capable - beats the more expensive ones handily, April 28, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
First of all, let me tell you that I had a Logitech Harmony 1100 with the RF blaster package before switching to this remote. The Logitech sure looked nice with the color touch-screen and web-enabled capabilities but I absolutely hated it. That package cost me over $400 and ended up being a complete waster of money and time.

The URC RFS200 package includes the remote as well as the RF blaster. I did not spend any time trying to enter device codes into it. Instead, I went with the completely customized LEARN mode. Having used similar devices for years, I can assure you that the best way of programming a remote is to translate your own workflow into it as closely as you can. And this remote is a breeze to program via LEARN.

I am controlling the following devices with it:

- Panasonic 1080p HD projector (Power Toggle, plus all MENU controls via navigation button-set)
- Elite CineTension2 projection screen (simple UP/DOWN trigger function)
- Lutron ceiling lights (Lights ON/OFF and Step UP/DOWN)
- Yamaha receiver (Power Toggle, plus all MENU controls via navigation button-set)
- Sony Blu-Ray library (Power Toggle, plus all MENU controls via navigation button-set)
- Motorola set-top box with DVR (Power Toggle, plus all MENU and DVR controls via navigation button-set)
- Apple TV (All MENU controls via navigation button-set)

As you can see, I have a fairly complex system and this remote manages all items and all macros related to them flawlessly. All my devices are hidden in an A/V closet out of sight, and the RF blaster (including the IR-eyes) works great. It's a very clean looking setup and when the systems are off, you can't really tell that you're in a home-theater setting, so the RF function is a necessity rather than a luxury.

Benefits:

- Speed. This remote is lightening fast. The time-lag between sending a command and seeing results is amazingly short (almost instant). My Logitech 1100 had a massive lag. Sometimes it took half a second to a full second for a command to be applied.

- Configurability. You would expect Logitech 1100 to win on this one with it's nice looking computer application interface. You would be wrong. What I hated the most about the 1100 was that whenever I had to update the remote, I would also have to unplug the RF blaster from its wall-mount and update it as well (using a USB cable for both). And I couldn't even update both at once. Only one at a time. It was a very poorly engineered product. This remote does not need a computer interface. All configuration is done on the remote itself and it's a breeze.

- Form/feel. Logitech 1100 came in an unusual pancake-like shape with a small touch-screen and even smaller universal buttons. Hated it. This remote has a fantastic form and it's really easy to use (also has the backlight when needed).

- Cost. You can't beat this package. Period. Less than a hundred bucks for a remote WITH an IR-blaster with all these properties. The next comparable option will cost you hundreds more (with more headache).

- Other features. Love the Power Up / Power Down scripts. This remote allows you to assign volume and channel navigation functions to any device while you are using any other device. For example, you can be on your receiver menu, and still be able to use the channel keys to control the set-top box. Or you can be on the blue-ray menu, and still control your receiver with the volume up/down functions. This is a fantastic feature that is very easy to enable.

Now the negatives.

- Not rechargeable. You need to feed it 4xAAA batteries every 6 months or so.
- Display. I wouldn't mind spending $30 more for a higher resolution display that can store more information instead of paging.

Sure, it looks like it belongs to the 90s, and it doesn't have the bells and whistles that others claim to have. But it does the job in a far superior fashion. You will not be disappointed.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, but with flaws, January 8, 2009
By 
John E. Crider (Magnolia, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: URC RFS200 PowerPak Bundle with MasterControl RF20 and PowerBlaster (Electronics)
Wow! What an impressive universal remote (but with flaws)! Most of the buttons can 'learn' from a device's remote, or can be programmed with 'macros' (a series of button presses). For example, my DirecTV/TiVo remote has no 'OFF' button (but there's one on the box), so I programmed the universal remote's 'OFF' button for this. My Samsung HDTV has a complicated ZOOM procedure, and a complicated source selection procedure, so I simplified them for my needs. Practically all of the buttons on a device's remote can be duplicated on this remote. With cheaper 'universal' remotes, the most useful functions of a device's remote are there, but for other functions I need to keep the original remote around, so why bother. Now with this one, I can put the old individual remotes away.

But then there's the bug. One of the 'features' of this remote is 'erasing commands'. Why would you need this? Well, perhaps you decided to rearrange your screen buttons, and you didn't need one any more, so you cleared the label and deleted the command (key or macro). And here's the bug: the 'learning' method for programming buttons DOES NOT WORK, if a macro has previously been stored to the button. One would expect that any old command on a button would automatically be erased when a new command (key or macro) is saved, but that is not the case. The work-around for the bug is that you must manually erase the command first. So this is clearly what the 'erasing commands' feature is for. But that reason is not documented in the manual, and neither is the bug itself.

In fact, another problem with this remote is the manual. It appears glib and superficial. It leaves out some important details. One of the most powerful features of this remote is the macro capability, but the manual explains this only through one example, for the ON button on the MAIN page. It does not give any general step-by-step procedure for setting up a macro command on a button for an individual component. Most users will eventually be able to figure this out, but the manual should have more detail. In fact, what is missing from the manual is a chapter on how to set up macros for users who are serious about using this powerful capability. Also important is button layout, which is a design issue. For the screen buttons, for example, the most frequently used commands should be on buttons that are closer to the center of the remote -- that is, lower on the screen, whereas less frequently used or more destructive commands (such as RECORD or CLEAR COUNTER, for example) should be further away -- higher on the screen.

You should also be aware of the large amount of time that it can take to set up the remote as you might like it to be. The Pre-Programmed Code Method of setup is fast, but usually doesn't set up all of the buttons that are on the original remote. The Learning Method is also fast, once you have designed the button layout you want. You may, for example, set up the OFF button to actually do RECORD, since the ON button does the ON/OFF function for a component (this is the layout taken by one of the pre-programmed codes for a VCR). But doing the design of the button layout, and particularly learning how the various setup features work, then setting up macros, then changing things when you see how you can improve your layout -- these things can take a really long time. And the manual does not give you any help with some of these issues. And then of course you may want to document some of your layout, especially if the OFF button invokes RECORD, for example.

Yet another little 'bug' is in the manual's macro example. If the ON button is programmed in this way, then the ON buttons for the individual components no longer work as you might expect. That is, you may wish to play a CD and so you just want to turn on the audio amplifier (and the CD player). But now the AUDIO ON button invokes the MAIN ON button, so everything comes on instead. The manual doesn't warn you of these problems.

For the remote itself and its capabilities, I would probably grade it a 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5. But because of the bug and the manual, it is tempting to grade it as a 1. So the compromise is 3.
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