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One item to note is that after playing any macro back, the remote will automatically change to whatever device and page the macro was saved on – this is commonly referred to as a “page jump”. So, if the DVD device’s [Off] button macro was on the TV device when it was saved, pressing [Off] will always change the remote back to TV. It operates this way on device macros as well, so theoretically it would be possible to completely prohibit access to a device by giving it a macro with a jump to a new device and no hold delay.
A place to put your favorites.
The URC-200 and URC-300 feature a special “FAV” device designed to hold up to 40 favorite channel macros. For the URC-200 it’s accessed with a dedicated hard button, on the URC-300 the button can be found in the bottom right position on the first page of devices. It cannot be moved or renamed.
The Favorite Channels area is more or less treated as a full device – macros aren’t limited to mere television channels and can refer to absolutely anything, with the same 190 step limit as other macros. You can also learn on the hard buttons, hide unused pages and so forth. The macros always point to the commands you originally record and are not context sensitive depending on the last accessed device (as some users would like).
Final twiddly bits.
Only one main setup option remains: punchthroughs. This feature allows you to take a small group of controls from one device and automatically “punch” them through to other devices, without learning those commands over and over again. Five punchthrough groups exist: the 3 volume keys, the 3 channel keys, the 5 transport keys, the 9 menu keys, plus the 2 power buttons (which may be macros). Punchthroughs work with preprogrammed or learned codes and are activated on a function-by-function and device-by-device basis. Although the hard buttons for Favorite Channels are treated as a discrete device, commands cannot be punched to or from that area.
So, if the [Off] and [On] keys should always turn the entire home theater system on and off, that group would need to be punched through to the 7 other devices. Or, the receiver’s audio could be controlled under just the DVD and satellite devices, while having the television’s audio for all others.
Portions of the Automator and Customizer can be cleared as needed: erase single learned codes, all codes for a device, or all codes for all devices; erase one macro, one device’s macros, or all macros; erase all or individual “Fav” macros; or you could reset the entire remote back to factory defaults. Preprogrammed codes can be viewed with the “Recall” setup menu option, which alternates between displaying the device name and the assigned three-digit code.
Finally, remotes can be cloned from one to another, although it’s an all-or-nothing proposition as the only option is to transfer everything. It’s recommended to transfer exclusively between identical models, but I discovered that it was in fact possible to clone back and forth between the URC-200 and URC-300... however I can’t recommend this as some really strange things occurred with labels (easily correctable via a factory reset).
Notably absent from the remote’s programming are options such as copying or moving a device or button, aliasing buttons, timers, sleep mode, or support for computer programming. Although useful, they would have added an additional layer of complexity, something that Universal Remote likely wanted to avoid.
At this point the review will return to discussing all three remotes.