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Box, manual & other entertainment.
The URC series of remotes ship in attractive, brightly colored boxes constructed of thick transparent plastic. Inside is an origami-style folded cardboard insert where the remote, manual, DVD and batteries all have their assigned place. Indeed, unless the packaging is totally dissected, attempting to extract the four bundled AAA batteries through the little opening in their cardboard cage can feel much like playing one of those pocket puzzles, where you need to manoeuvre little steel balls into various sized holes. What’s that thought about the box being more entertaining than...
Unfortunately, the package design could have been more secure. Two out of our three samples arrived with the remote jostled half out of its cradle, with visible signs of rubbing in the soft matte paint on the sides and rear.
Each remote’s manual is 50 pages in length and describes how to program that model in clear English. Pages are packed with plenty of photos and easy-to-understand diagrams. The preprogrammed code list is included as part of the manual, so you’ll only need to keep track of one piece of documentation. Oh, except for the DVD!
Wait a minute, a remote with a DVD?
That’s right, all URC series remotes ship with an industry first, a DVD tutorial that explains – visually – how everything is programmed, great for beginners! The DVD opens with a “Masterpiece Theater with Eric Johnson” type flair – Eric Johnson being the “legendary” personality behind the insanely popular CEDIA remote courses. The DVD enlightens on everything from basic programming to advanced finagling, and also covers the RF extender. Videos will help configure the URC-100 in about 16 minutes, or the URC-200 and URC-300 in 19 minutes. It doesn’t get any easier than this.
The URC-100 Unifier, URC-200 Automator and URC-300 Customizer remotes offer ample power wrapped in a compact and attractive physical design. By concentrating solely on the primary requirements of a first-class control – database, learning, macros and customization – Universal Remote Control has managed to create a series of remotes that are both easy to program and easy to use, but with enough customization and power to satisfy even the most demanding of users.
The URC-100 would be an ideal control for those who want to avoid any remote with a screen, while the URC-200 is well suited to users with more complicated home theaters and a need for custom command labels. The URC-300 improves upon the URC-200 by offering more devices and a cleaner design, plus there’s the prestige of its touchscreen display. Still, there’s no question that at the end of the day the URC-200 Automator is the series’ unconditional price/performance leader and offers the most bang for your buck.
If you'd like an easier way to plan your LCD button labels for the URC-200 or URC-300, download and try my planner!
- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)