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The One For All database, actually owned by Universal Electronics, is regarded as the best source of infrared codes in the marketplace. Clean, neat and generally complete. Indeed, even Philips has licensed the same database for use on their new Pronto models, which effectively had no built-in codes previously.
All remote configuration is accomplished through the [SETUP] LCD button, which reveals the main setup menu with "Device Setup", "Personalization" and "System" options. Take note of that little question mark at the top of the screen – pressing it will provide detailed instructions on what each button configures. Who needs a manual when there are full instructions built right into the remote? Screens for configuring a preprogrammed brand code are located under "Device Setup". You can set brands via one of three methods – by brand, by search or by code. Since no code book is provided with the Director, only the first two options are viable. Selecting either method presents a new screen to select the type of device you’re programming. After, if you’ve selected "by brand", a complete alphabetical listing of all available brands is shown. A scroll bar on the right pages down the list, while the four shortcut buttons along the bottom will fast-forward the list to brands starting with letters "A", "F", "N" or "S".
Once a particular manufacturer has been selected, the remote displays yet another screen with test buttons – typically power and, where appropriate, channel or transport controls. If multiple code sets exist for the selected brand, another window to the left lets you select which one to test. Unfortunately there’s no automated way to step through multiple offerings; each much be selected and tested individually.
If you selected the "code search" method you’ll receive a slightly different screen with the same sample testing buttons, but instead of selecting a particular brand or code variation there are "previous" and "next" buttons to scroll through all available codes for that device type. But once again, the process of testing buttons is not automated. For example, you must manually press [POWER] and [NEXT] to advance to the following option. Also, there’s no indication of how many possible codes there are for a particular device, or what number you’re currently on – you could be testing 10 out of 15, or 23 out of 500 for all the information provided.
...But of course there’s an exception to every rule.
Despite being the best database on the market, it’s not infallible: none of the built-in codes worked on my 1992 Hitachi VCR. That VCR has always been a troublesome requirement for preprogrammed-only remotes, making most of them useless for my system. It’s one of the reasons I favor learning remotes – you just never know when one of your devices will be left out. Learning remotes are not actually new to One For All. Many of their models, including the Cinema 7 and Home Producer 8, feature some form of learning capability. But in the case of the Cinema 7 about 25 codes can be learned, while the Home Producer 8 is limited to a mere six dedicated learning buttons for each device. Thus, the Director is the first One For All remote to contain complete code capturing capabilities (ahem).