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Labeling your hard buttons should be so easy!
Now this is one of the things that really grabbed my interest. Each and every button for each and every device on the UR362 can have a corresponding 8-digit LCD name. For example, each time you press "S1" the screen can read "MENU UP", if you choose. Although not quite as customizable as a true LCD-only remote, it’s the best hard button labeling solution I’ve yet seen. Yes, you need to press the button before you know what it reads, but by blocking the IR transmitter you could "hunt" for a particular rarely used command.
What makes this feature even more interesting is that, via a paper-clip type button at the very bottom, you can change between two "pages", or label sets. The manual suggests customizing page number two, since all changed labels become permanent (you can’t reset them) – and it’s always nice to have the original layout available for future reference. You can also customize the names of all component buttons and all separate commands under a multi-code button (which we’ll soon cover), but you cannot customize macro names.
Editing labels is easy – select the device, press [EDIT], then the button. Character selection is done via the [UP] and [DOWN] buttons, cursor position via [LEFT] or [RIGHT]. [ENTER] adds a space. Slow, but as they say, patience is a virtue. It’s possible to fast forward by holding the button down. The label set includes all uppercase letters, numbers, a few standard symbols, plus a variety of foreign language characters and a large number of Chinese symbols. All in all, a very useful feature.
Learning is a remote’s best friend!
Now we get to the best part of the remote – learning. It’s remarkably easy to do – press [LEARN] at the bottom of the remote, select a device, then select a button. The remote will overwrite any previous data on that button. The UR362 seemed to learn most of my devices without any problems, but did not like the "macro" input and power buttons on my receiver (so far, only a couple of remotes have worked with them). The learn speed on the UR362 varies from "quick" to "very slow". Some of my test learns took a full 7 seconds to capture; the quickest was about 3 seconds. Since it takes so long, it’s tempting to think that you should only "press" the button once, but the instructions do say to hold the button until the remote has finished learning – and finish learning it will eventually do, displaying "OK". If it was unable to decipher a code the screen will read "ERROR"; if it did not sense any signal it reads "NO DATA". Intuitive and informative – two things I really like.
Surprisingly, the UR362 features yet another advanced function I have not seen on any remotes at this price level – multi-code keys. Put simply, there are six keys on the remote which, for each device, can hold up to five separate codes that operate in rotation. These keys are [POWER] and [S1] through [S5] (at the bottom of the remote). This is a very useful feature if your original remote had separate on and off buttons, or if you’d like to rotate a particular button through several functions. If you only learn two functions the button will step between those two. The operational problem is that the remote does not remember where it was the last time you hit that button. So, each time you come back to a multi-code key it starts over from the very beginning. As mentioned earlier, each command on a multi-code key can feature its own custom label, but again you don’t know what it reads unless you actually press the button.