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While the limited function set certainly makes programming easy, I found myself wanting to do more, to fully automate my system. One conspicuously missing feature is the ability to add a macro or learned command to a component button – so when you select that component it changes the receiver’s input, or powers on the TV.
But the UCommand is designed as an "easy to configure" remote, and it certainly does that job well. Using the remote is an absolute joy – it’s so responsive to screen changes and button presses. The screen has fantastic contrast and is easy to see in full sunlight or complete darkness. Further enhancing the experience are some smart features, such as needing to hold the REC button for two seconds before it transmits the attached signal. Since it only has one IR transmitter, both signal strength and dispersion is limited. Although the remote operated all of my equipment when it was within line of sight, don’t expect to bounce signals off of walls or use it through mild obstructions. A low battery warning icon reminds you to replace weak batteries in a timely fashion. Programming is not lost when the remote is without power.
A great feature of this remote is the manual – an actual 40-page, 4x6 stapled manual, not a folded up piece of paper. Crisp Solutions wrote their own, not relying on an imperfect translation. Everything is understandable and presented clearly and logically. A nice touch is the included "Quick Reference Card", meaning users would have to lose two separate items before being unable to program their remote. Due to the idiosyncratic nature of most new equipment owners to quickly misplace important bits of paper, this was a wise move.
Crisp Solutions is providing complete customer support and service on their product. Since they’re a new company they have yet to establish a track record, but if what we’ve seen up to now is an example, they’re well on their way to success. The UCommand will probably be too basic for people with large or complex home theater systems, but as an easy-to-configure, full-fledged learning touchscreen remote control, it stands out in the market as an excellent value.
- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)