40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2011
I got this remote "open box" at Best Buy for just $12! I was able to program it not just to operate my TV, cable box, DVD recorder and BluRay player, but also my AppleTV and Roku! The macro functions and punch-through volume controls make this the most convenient remote I could ask for!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2011
Had an All-In-One universal learning that was working fine, UNTIL I had to get a new DVD player. Got a Pioneer model, and two critical features I need are the language and subtitle buttons because I watch a lot of foreign films. Well, the All-In-One learning mode was not able to learn these buttons from the Pioneer remote, after many many tries-- the light would just blink indicating it didn't take. Other things would learn fine on the All-In-One, but the lack of these two functions was a show-stopper.
I also need a learning remote because my TV device is not actually a TV, but a computer monitor with an off-brand Tuner module that allows me to take the comp vid or s-video out of a dvd player and put it on the monitor. Because it's an off brand there are no "codes" in any of the non-learning remotes that apply to it at all-- I have to use the learning mode in order to have a remote that has both the DVD player and things like Volume on the "TV".
So I ordered three different brand universal remotes on the assumption that at least one of them would be able to handle it.
First one that arrived was this one. One of the Pioneer codes worked right out of the box, except there is no language or subtitle buttons on the remote and none of the others seemed to work those functions. So I figured I'd have to see how it works in "learning" mode. There are 4 buttons in the middle of this remote for "favorite" functions, labelled A, B, C and D that you can program for anything (along with other buttons as well, but these are otherwise completely unused). So I set up A for language and B for subtitle and it "learned" instantly without a problem. I was then able to have it "learn" the volume buttons from my TV device, such that I don't even have to take the remote out of "DVD mode" and now all the DVD functions and the TV volume are on the remote as I wanted.
Great device, solidly built.
The only complaint I have is a minor nit-- the "transport" controls (play, rewind, ff, skip), etc., are not symbolic, but textual-- the word "pause" instead of the two little bars, the word "play" instead of the arrow, etc. I find the symbols easier to spot than the words, so I'd rather it was symbolic but otherwise it gets the job done.
The other two remotes I ordered were slow in coming, so I haven't gotten one yet and haven't had time to try the other, now low priority since this one is working for me fine.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
First off, this is a great remote at a great price. I have an RCA LED TV/DVD combo programmed, as well as a Comcast Motorola cable box, and an old Roku as well. Using the "smart" setup described in the manual, I had the TV/DVD combo and cable box both programmed in about 3 minutes (although I did have to go back and have the remote learn a few extra commands, such as Play, Pause, RW, FF, etc).
Only two real complaints about this thing: First, it feels a little weird in your hand. I'm used to handling the Tivo peanut remote, and this thing does not compare as far as comfort and ease of use go. That said, for the price and functionality, it's a good deal.
The second complaint is a biggie (thus no 5 stars for this thing), but is not insurmountable. As another reviewer noted on here, this remote seems to have a problem with a lack of memory. It appears that after you "learn" a set number of new commands to the thing, it will stop learning anything new.
I tried for days to set the last few buttons I needed to make this remote 100% functional for my setup, and every time I got the dreaded "5 red blinking lights" in learning mode, showing that there was an error and the new commands were not learned. I sent an email to their customer service, and 5 days later (today) still haven't heard a word from them. That should actually be complaint number three - poor customer service - although when I buy a $15 remote, I'm not expecting great CS anyway.
So, long story short, I deleted several functions that I had the remote learn (but that weren't vital to remote being functional for me...things like the "freeze" button that I would never really use anyway). I went back and tried to learn those last buttons I needed, and viola - it learned them.
That means this remote is only capable of learning a finite number of commands, and after that you can't learn anything new without deleting an old learned command. I don't know exactly how many buttons can be learned before it loses functionality, but I'm guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 commands. The remote works great for me now, and can completely control TV, DVD, Cable box, and Roku functionality like a champ.
If you're getting the "5 blinking lights of death" and the remote refuses to learn any more commands for you (which I'll bet is one of the possible reasons so many people have had trouble getting their Roku commands learned), trying deleting an old command you've learned, then re-learn a new one. For $15, I'll take the ~30 command limit, but it would have really been nice for URC to simply say that in their manual somewhere.
*******3 week UPDATE
Customer service just sent me an email inquiring further into my programming problem. It took them nearly a month to respond to my message. The remote is still working great with my above fix, but don't bother contacting CS. It's a waste of time.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2012
Worked ok in manual mode for my Samsung LCD TV, Panasonic DVD player, and an older surround sound system. But could not get it to work with my AT&T Uverse box, or a Samsung C5500 blu-ray player. I wrote the company, but got no response. 2 out of 5 is no good at all; my recommendation is to stay away.
UPDATE: After posting, I saw the note by J Onyx stating that the 251 code works for U-Verse, and sure enough, works for me as well! And does a great job. So I'm now pretty happy with the remote. I've still not figured out how to get it to work with my blu-ray player, but that's a lot less common use than U-Verse. I'm still rating the remote as only 3-stars; ticked off that the company's never responded to my email asking them for help with U-Verse. The code is not at all easy to find, and the response would have been simple enough for them to do.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2013
This is the first time I've made such a sweeping statement in a review title, and in all caps, no less. However, I wasted many hours programming and attempting to program this remote due to my ignorance of one important thing: the Learning Method (facing two remotes together and programming one button at a time) on this Universal Remote has a very limited memory. This is stated nowhere in the manual, and I only learned about it after many hours and then a telephone call to the Universal Remote 800 number. What the limited memory means is that programming the Universal Remote to eliminate more than two component remotes requires a very careful programming sequence (see below under "HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW...."
I suspect that this is the cause of many of the 1 and 2 star reviews. If the Learning Method memory runs out, further button transfers will simply fail, leading one to possibly conclude that the component remote is incompatible or the Universal Remote is defective. Again, chances are, the Learning Method memory is simply full. In my case, the Universal Remote only had enough memory for three components.
These are the components in my A/V system, each with its own remote:
1) Samsung 490 Plasma TV
2) Panasonic SC-XH150 DVD Home Theater Sound System
3) Samsung BD-E5300 Blu-ray Disc Player
4) Sony VAIO Computer (for recording TV programs with Windows Media Center) with Vista MCE Remote Control (Model VRC-1100)
5) TiVo Premiere XL Box
I tried programming each of these components' remotes into the Universal Remote, except for the TiVo. I didn't bother with that since the TiVo doesn't have a standard ON/OFF button and is unusual in other ways as well. However, commands from all four other components' remotes were accepted by the Universal Remote.
The Universal Remote accepts commands from other remotes in four ways:
1)Quick Set-Up Method -- Turn on a component and then while holding down the corresponding component button at the top of the Universal Remote (TV, for example) press the 10 numbers on the UR's numeric keypad one at a time. If the component (TV in this example) turns off after one of the numbers is pressed, you've successfully programmed at least the ON/OFF button (and maybe more, or all, buttons) from your component (TV) remote to the Universal Remote.
2) Three-Digit Code Set-Up Method -- If method 1 failed, try entering the 3-digit code numbers assigned to your component's brand. These codes are at the back of the Universal Remote manual. Turn on your TV (for example) and enter the 3-digit codes for your TV brand until one of the codes turns off the TV (maybe none of them will, though). If the TV turns off after one of the 3-digit codes is entered, you've successfully programmed at least the ON/OFF button on your TV remote to the Universal Remote.
3) Auto-Search Method -- If methods 1 and 2 failed, turn on your TV (for example), press the "TV" and "SEL" (Select) buttons on the Universal Remote and then press the UP or DOWN arrow buttons for up to five minutes until your TV turns off (if it does). If the TV turns off after one of the arrow button presses, you've successfully programmed at least the ON/OFF button on your TV remote to the Universal Remote.
4) Learning Method -- If methods 1, 2, and 3 failed, you'll be using this method to program one button at a time.
In my experience, method 1 worked for my TV, and method 2 worked for my DVD Sound System. Only method 4 worked for my other components, though it did work for all the components except TiVo, which I didn't try.
I'm guessing that most people will find that the first three methods, if successful at all, will only have partial success. For my TV and DVD Sound System, only the ON/OFF, Menu, Volume Up/Down, and Channel Up/Down buttons transferred properly.
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PROGRAM AT LEAST THREE COMPONENTS IF METHODS 1-3 FAIL OR ARE ONLY PARTIALLY SUCCESSFUL:
The Universal Remote has "Punch Through" features that allow copying of several standard functions (Transport Control, On-Screen Display, and Channel Control) from one component button set to another. It also has Macro features allowing up to a twenty-command sequence to be programmed to one button. The Punch Through and Macro features apparently use a separate memory bank from the Learning Method. Thus, one can maximize the capability of the Universal Remote by following the sequence below:
1) First program your TV into the Universal Remote.
2) Next program your DVD player into the Universal Remote.
3) Program your other components into the Universal Remote using methods 1, 2, or 3, but NOT 4. If methods 1, 2, or 3 failed, or only partially succeeded, use method 4 (Learning Method) to program the most essential functions, EXCEPT FOR Transport Control, On-Screen Display, and Channel Control. Those latter three can be transferred via "Punch Through" without using up Learning Method memory, which seems to be limited to several dozen commands (which are used up quickly).
You should be able to program at least three components using this technique, and if you're lucky and methods 1, 2, or 3 were largely or completely successful for several components, you may be able to program all six components into the Universal Remote. Although the Universal Remote is designed to control up to six components, unless you are very lucky and find that at least four or five of the "Pre-Programmed Codes" work perfectly with those five components, the Universal Remote will not have enough memory to handle all of the learned commands necessary for the sixth component. My experience was that three components filled up the Universal Remote's memory bank. If you run out of memory, you can erase a single command, an entire component's commands, or reset the Universal Remote to factory settings and start over, if you wish. Erasing a single command is helpful if you run out of memory and find that a certain button on your DVD (for example) is more important than a certain button on your TV (also for example).
Good luck, and be patient! It may take an hour to properly program and test the Universal Remote, even following a careful sequence.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2012
I've been trying to find an adequate replacement for my Sony Commander AV2500 for years. Every remote I tried from simple and cheap to expensive led to terrible experiences and a prompt return (with a special acknowledgement to Logitech's TERRIBLE Harmony remotes).
I've now had this remote for four months and am back to purchase a couple more so that I will never be without it. Anyone that claims they were unable to get something to program didn't have their original remote and/or didn't read the manual. This remote is INFINITELY customizable and allows you to program each individual button to do whatever you like. Don't use the channel button and want to use it to control the temperature on your window air conditioner? You can do that!
I have it setup so that I pretty much never have to leave the CABLE component on the remote. I have the volume button set to my receiver, the input button set to switch between inputs on the TV, all of the key controls for my cable box set (guide, menu arrows, channel buttons, info, exit, etc), and the four buttons across the bottom are set to my four main receiver inputs/scenes (TV, BluRay, XBox, and Aux (ipod/laptop/ipad).
When do I have to switch components on the remote? To control my dvd player, to change settings/access the TVs physical menus (never), to turn up the volume on the TV speakers when I want to listen to two different things at the same time (like play xbox through the tv while listening to music through the surround sound).
''IN SUMMARY, I LOVE this remote. The only thing I would add is a 2nd row of useless buttons at the bottom to program to whatever function I wanted (that is seriously reaching for a negative). My only advice is to take the time to read the manual AND keep changing buttons around until you get to the setup that you want. IF YOU JUST PUT IN THE CODES IN THE MANUAL AND ACCEPT THE RESULTS, YOU'RE GONNA HAVE A BAD TIME.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2011
I've tried several different universal remotes but this one is the best by far. I have a very new TV model and it had the code. The comcast control worked too. I was able to program it for all the DirectTV functions as well. It's light weight, very easy to use, and very programmable. I've tried Sony, Phillips, and the various remotes which come with each device but this beats them all hands down.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2012
Don't get me wrong, I own several Logitech products and enjoy them, but this URC A6 is great for 5 reasons: it programs quickly, is device based, works with my Tivo, independently controls TV/Receiver volume and actually gets used by my family.
Reason 1: it programs faster than my Harmony 520. With the URC A6 it took me 20 minutes to track down the codes and teach the URC how to perform a few custom commands. The Harmony took multiple hours to program on my laptop, download to the remote, test, reprogram, redownload, retest, repeat.
Reason 2: it is Device based, not Activity based. Because of this, the A6 stays in sync with the power state of my home theatre components more easily than my Harmony 520. Ask someone who owns a Harmony remote if their remote ever gets out of sync w/ the devices mapped into their Watch DVD or Watch TV Activities and you'll know what I mean.
Reason 3: it works well with my Tivo HD. I love the "peanut remote" that came with my Tivo HD, it is so well executed, and the A6 is the closest I've come to that experience on a universal remote. Sure, the A6 has no thumbs up/thumbs down button, but I never use those.
Reason 4: it allows you to independently, easily, control volume for both the TV and a receiver. This is GOLD! I use "punch through" to let my receiver handle audio most of the time, but I can very easily switch volume control back and forth to the TV for, ahem, other members of my family. Harmony does this, but the URC A6 does it better.
Reason 5: it is the only universal remote I've ever owned that the rest of my family is willing to use. They reach for it before they reach for the component remotes. That never happened with the Harmony 520.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2012
Let me preface my review by stating that I'm not a techie, and therefore generally do not do well with this kind of challenge - I fully expected a much more difficult experience than I encountered, so 1 star for that alone. Give it a second star for price - it's very nice to come across well engineered products that do what they promise and yet are not priced as if Microsoft were directing the marketing. I'd give it a third star on ease of learning and programming of the device - it took a lot less time and effort to get it up and working than I expected it to. And finally, I'd give a 4th star for the well written manual that came along with the unit - why this fact is so rare nowadays, I don't know, but it's a pleasure when you occasionally come across an exception.
However, I stop short of awarding the fifth star because of a quirk, which may well be common to all universal remotes - that quirk is simply that in the process of 'programming' this unit, it often seemed to be moving along just fine, only to find that as you successfully added the next set of commands, you seemed to undo a piece of a previously successful setup. Sometimes, this is simply a matter of going back and redoing the previous part - but at other times, there seemed no other option except to find a work-around. Even now, as I'm essentially finished programming this unit, I cannot invoke the volume command if I am in TV mode, even though the TV mode is the designated 'controller' of volume in my setup - I must move to the Cable/Sat mode before volume will work. I have spent a lot of time on this issue, and have given up - it's not a serious issue, but an annoying one for sure - and I note it just as an example, of which there are others as well. I suspect that every different environment in which you employ this unit will bring its own set of issues - and I guess that's to be expected with a device of this nature, especially one at this price level.
And regardless of the positive experience of other users of this unit, I have not been able to transfer the use of my Roku remote to this device - a few command elements did successfully transfer over, but others did not - and since I was going to have to continue to use the Roku remote for those few commands, I undid the partial transfer and reverted to the Roku remote. So now I'm down to only two remotes, instead of the 5 I originally used - and I consider that a major improvement, so I'm happy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2014
I've had this remote for 8 months now, and for the first 6 months or so it functioned pretty well. I had my TV, Cable Box, and Audio Receiver connected to this remote. Very convenient to have one universal remote. Gradually the volume buttons became less and less responsive with a normal push. I had to continuously press harder to get the volume buttons to respond. I guess the connectors behind the rubber button become pushed in somehow over time with normal use, but whatever the case may be, my volume buttons only work if i press very hard on them. At this rate I imagine that in a few months they'll be completely unusable.