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User reviews for the Radio Shack 15-2116 LCD from Radio Shack.
Radio Shack 15-2116 LCD
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 4.14/5.00
Median: 4.67/5.00
An eight device learning remote control with an LCD display for ease-of-use. Features button backlighting, clock and macros.
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the Radio Shack 15-2116 LCD remote.
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Written by todd trebuna from So Cal.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 20 made on Saturday November 22, 2003 at 11:25 AM.
Strengths:Great Backlight.Good battery life.
Weaknesses:None.Unless you say no LCD screen, which would make it a MX-500 or 1000.
Review:You know how it is. Shopping on Ebay.Looking for that great deal the MX-500 for around $100.00. But then JP1 Programability was revealed to me and Now I AM the remote master. All those remotes into the drawer. Jp1 really makes a difference. My VCR Broke so it's down to my Pioneer VSX-710 Receiver, JBL Speakers, Samsung Carousel DVD and JVC 36 inch flat screen. But before my AV Remote could do some things butnot everything...Now every function is programmed with Keymaster I am able to print the button layout and hide it in the couch until I need to Quick Reference, where that zoom button is. Which happens to be Shift+PIP.In any case I purchased the JP1 cabel from Hovis Direct for 14.00 including shipping and it arrived in a couple of days. Plugged it in and Kazaam Ir was up and running.
Easy as Pie.
Now all I have to do is figure out the EFC and I can programeverything known to man.
YOu know how it is If I had a couple grand of disposable income, One of the pronto's would be cool, but this is the next best thing if you're on a budget.
The remote was 29.99 at Radio Shack.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by sfhub from CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 19 made on Wednesday November 12, 2003 at 7:57 PM.
Review:This is one pretty amazing remote. On paper it looks like a standard 8-device remote with some neat fetures, and by default it is.

- Easy to program
- 8 devices
- backlit, buttons and LCD
- Home Theatre mode
combines sets of keys from different remotes into single virtual device
- keymover
add functions that weren't mapped by default, like discrete input select
- volume punch through so when you select DVD vol+/-/mute still controls amplifier volume
- learning remote, does a good job deciphering IR
memory is a little limited but ends up not being a big deal in practice (because of JP1)

That's all just using out-of-the-box functionality. If you go the JP1 customization route (and I highly suggest you do) this remote really blossoms into one of the most powerful remotes available.

JP1 is basically a 6-pin header below the battery compartment which allows your PC and freely available software to write to the EEPROM. All you need to do is buy a cable for $15-$30 and invest a little time. The JP1 hackers on are extremely helpful. The forums have a very high signal/noise ratio and you almost always get a quick useful answer.

JP1 opens up a whole new world of possibilities (even more so if you install an "extender" which augments the builtin capabilities of the remote)

o instead of 8 devices, you can control 15 devices
o backup/restore your customizations in less than 30 seconds
o tons of device upgrade codes that weren't builtin to the remote become available
See yahoo site for codes people have created (even webtv keyboard support is available)
o lots of functions not available on the original remote become available
See hifi-remote site for lists (actually this functionality is available even without JP1 through keymoves)
o customize the displayed device name
o customize the backlight timer
o clock on remote is sync'd to PC clock
o 2 "shift" keys are available, essentially tripling the number of buttons available
by press "shift" then the regular button
o every button can be a macro
o every key can support a keymove
o every device selector can be a "home theatre" button
o global and device specific macros
o insert configurable pauses in your macros
o allows for different functions to be executed depending on
whether you single-tap, double-tap, or tap-and-hold
o remote can keep track of "state" of a device internally
this allows you to simulate discreteON/discreteOFF for devices that only have power toggle
allows your macros to take different actions depending on whether TV is set for input3 or not
o create your own protocols for new devices not encountered before
in reality most manufacturers protocols are already known and the only thing that changes are
the major/minor devices #s so few people need to do this (except maybe the hardcore hackers),
but I used this feature to create a new protocol to control IR window blinds

For me, when choosing a remote, bottom line, it comes down to usability. The fancy features are secondary and are just there to improve usability. If they can't improve usability, the feature is worthless to me.

I've used fancy touch screen remotes and really like how flexible they are for customization, but I can't stand a few things:
1) they cost so damn much, so I feel like I need to treat them like babies, if they break, it costs a lot to replace, if I want more than one, the costs escalate
2) the batteries don't last very long. I still can't get used to replacing batteries once every 2 weeks or "docking" my remote so it can recharge
3) lack of "real" buttons. To me, this is the death-bell for the touch screen remotes. I know the touch screen looks all pretty when you customize it with all your skins, but to me this is just window dressing to impress friends. Most people find it is impossible to use one of these touch screen remotes without looking at it. With my 15-2116 the buttons are arranged logically and many of them have a unique shape, so I can use the remote just based on feel, never even looking down at the remote. It has "rocker" style volume and channel keys, navigation buttons arrange in a circle (each with unique shape) with "select" in the center, etc. Even the touch screen folks acknowledge this and they keep adding more and more "real" buttons to their touch screen remotes, but I don't want some generic buttons layed out around the screen, I want real buttons layed out in a logical manner, otherwise remotes would just have buttons layed out in a 5x15 rectangular box with no labels.

There have been some comments that this remote has limited learning memory. That is somewhat true. It has 2k memory, which is divided into 1k for keymoves and device/protocol upgrades and 1k for learning. That allows for maybe 15-20 keys which can be learned.

At first I thought this was a big issue, then with JP1, I realized "learning" shouldn't be considered a "solution", it should only be considered a "means to a solution". If you learn a key, it probably takes around 70 bytes of memory (I forget exactly how much and it varies), but if you learn a key, then allow JP1 tools to decode the protocol, you can store that functionality in 1 to 2 bytes of memory.

For example, the old-style thinking when you have an unsupported remote is to "learn" the keys. With the 15-2116 you start learning the keys, then after 15 buttons you see "MEM FULL" and get frustrated and go out to buy a remote with 4MB of memory for $300+. If you take one step back on use JP1, those 15 buttons can be decoded by JP1 tools into their 3 constituent components, a protocol (nec1, panasonic, denon, etc.), a major/minor device #, and a 1 byte function code. It is very likely the protocol "smarts" is already builtin to the remote, so the protocol reduces to 2 bytes of memory, the major/minor #s end up being maybe 3 bytes of memory, and the 15 buttons become 15 bytes of memory. So my 15x70 bytes of learning memory have now been reduced to 2+3+15=20bytes of memory with each additional button requiring 1 more byte. Now you see the 2k of EEPROM memory can support quite a bit of functionality.

In fact, when you use an extender (basically some assembly code that extends the functionality of the remote) it reallocates the memory segments and gets rid of the learning memory, in favor of more keymove/macro and device/protocol memory, as there is almost no need for learning memory, once you have decoded the IR signals into the 3 constituent components.

IMO the single most difficult task in a home theatre is turning on the proper devices and selecting the proper inputs on the TV and audio receiver. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me why they have to press 12 buttons just to play the Shrek DVD.

This is really where the 15-2116 with JP1 starts to shine doing functionality you had thought was only possible with a fancy touch screen remote with 4MB of memory.

Using JP1 this task has been reduced to one button to turn on and one button to turn off (turning on/off all the appropriate components and selecting the proper inputs). Using the 15-2116 extender you can define different functionality based on whether you single-tap, double-tap, or tap-and-hold. Also you can define "macros" on any key (even phantom keys which aren't mapped to real buttons and serve as place holders to place macros)

Basically define a "DVD On" macro which:
1) turns on TV
2) selects TV InputDVD
3) turns on DVD
4) sets transport buttons (FF, Rew, Play) to DVD
5) turns on Audio receiver
6) sets volume buttons (Vol+/-/Mute) to Audio
7) selects OpticalDVD audio input

and define a "DVD Off" macro which:
1) turns off Audio receiver
2) turns off DVD
3) turns off TV

Define a Long Key Press on the DVD button. If you tap the DVD button, it'll do the normal functionality of configuring the remote to control the DVD. If you tap-and-hold, then it'll execute your "DVD On" macro. Repeat for the "Power" button so when you tap, it turns off the DVD player, and if you tap-and-hold it turns off all 3 devices.

Now while you are creating the macros, you may find that after turning on the device, it doesn't accept remote commands to change inputs for 1 or 2 seconds. The JP1 hackers have already thought this out, they've given you the ability to insert pauses of arbitrary length into your macro. You can either use a "Pause" or you can continue to turn on the other devices and come back to change inputs at the end of the macro.

Another common problem with the "do everything" macros is some devices do not support discreteON/OFF IR commands. Thus if you tap-and-hold the DVD button a second time, some devices remain turned on (those that support discreteON) and those that don't will toggle off. This can result in quite annoying and confusing behavior. The JP1 hackers have thought this one out also, the remote has the ability to internally track the "state" of 8 different devices/functions. For example the remote can internally keep track of whether your TV is turned ON or OFF. Using this feature, you can create a simulated discreteON which will only send power toggle IR if the unit is turned OFF otherwise it'll do nothing (and vice versa). This functionality works surprisingly well. At first glance I thought my units would get out of sync all the time, but in practice I've only been out of sync once and that is when I turned the TV on using the power button on the chassis instead of using the remote.

So bottom line, you can't beat the usability of the traditional remote with a logical layout and unique button shapes, but they usually suffer from limited learning memory, limited device upgrade potential for future devices, and limited macro functionality. With JP1 and the 2k memory on the 15-2116 the weaknesses of the traditional remote are no longer issues and you are left with a great remote for a very reasonable price.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Ron Greene from Tampa,Fl.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 18 made on Wednesday November 12, 2003 at 3:58 PM.
Strengths:Keymover, The number of products it supports. I work with TVs,VCRs and use one at home.
Review:I have used many different remotes and find this one to be the most complete.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Tim Eckel from Toledo, Ohio.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 17 made on Monday November 10, 2003 at 3:06 PM.
JP-1 Programming
Weaknesses:Had trouble learning Samsung HDTV remote codes. But to be fair, no other learning remote would learn it at all.
Review:This is a great programmable remote if you don't have a large budget. I used it for my secondary home theater system and I wanted a traditional remote that the family could use. I think I purchased about 10 remotes before I found this one and it's a KEEPER! Out of the box, it's not bad at all with plenty of buttons and functions to punch-through keys, macros, etc. But, it was the JP-1 interface which really made this unit shine. I was able to reprogram keys to do things you just can't do without the JP-1 interface. For example, my Power button is now a macro that turns everything on and off. Without the JP-1 interface, you can't do it. If you're not a techie, JP-1 probably isn't for you because you need to build an interface cable to your computer and download and setup the PD software from different sources. It's not really bad if you know how to use a solder iron and you're well versed on the PC. But newbies need not apply.

Anyway, it's a great remote for the techies out there that want to do a lot and don't want to spend a lot of money or want a simply cheap remote for the kids to use.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Karl Boekelheide from Portland, Oregon.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 16 made on Friday May 30, 2003 at 12:06 PM.
Strengths:Look, feel and heft.

Ability to be changed with JP1.
Weaknesses:Tiny hidden MUTE button.
Review:Without too much trouble you can build a connection cable for your PC and provide a complete customization. There is a group on Yahoo called JP1 that has a wealth of information.

The backlight is clear and crisp.

It has a reasonably strong IR signal that works from a long way off. It's stronger than any of the original remotes and other learning remotes I've had.

For some reason the builders of remote keyboard think no one uses the MUTE button. I think it should be the biggest most accessible key. Like all the others this one makes it a tiny button buried with a bunch of other tiny buttons.

Out of the box they don't let you program the useful keys like POWER and device. Also, the memory they give you to work with is quite limited both for learned keys and entering new codes that they forgot. The manual doesn't tell you how to add new codes. If you call Radio Shack they will fax or email you codes for the devices you want with instructions on how to put them in. It's tedious and you don't know how much space you have or have used until you run out.

All that changes if you spend the effort to learn how to use your PC to program the device on the Yahoo JP1 group. They really make the device worthwhile. I have gone full tilt and now have a remote that is much more functional than any of the original remotes that came with my stuff and it's all in one box.

For $30 this device can't be beat. If you don't want to get into customizing and just want to take the keys they give you plus learn 10-12 commands they don't have, it works great. If you have lots of commands to learn or strange equipment for which they don't have built in commands you'll run out of space. If you want to invest the time to build (or buy) a cable and program it from your PC it does wonderful things.

For my money this is as good as a $500 Pronto but then I like real buttons rather than a touch screen. The one drawback with real buttons is that you are stuck with the labels and sizes that someone picked. Usually that person is more driven by symmetry and "good" appearance rather than functionality. This device is OK for buttons but I do have to remember that PIP means subtitles on my DVD. At least with this device I can do the obscure 5 button sequence to get the subtitles on that the original equipment demanded by just pressing PIP.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by mark anderson from chicago.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 15 made on Friday May 23, 2003 at 11:59 PM.
Strengths:see below
Weaknesses:see below
Review:i bought the system so i could use the discrete code to get my grand wega II to go directly to video input 5-6 and 7 have found codes on various sites, have found jp1 info, but don't quite understand what's next. do i have to use the jp1 and computer program or is there a way to manually enter the codes directly into the remote. please help. thanks
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Eiffel from Maryland.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 14 made on Friday May 9, 2003 at 10:14 PM.
Strengths:-Layout, feel and backlight
-JP1 connector
-Easy to find
Weaknesses:-Limited memory (even with JP1)
-Limited pre-programmed codes (without JP1)
-Can't learn some devices (Revox, some PC keyboards)
-No extender (yet)
Review:A very nice product, especially for the price!

I was looking for a remote to supplement my Pronto TSU2000 which most people have a hard time using for the first time, and also because I wanted real button as an alternative.

Without using the JP1 option, this remote is only ok (Memory is limited, the IR library is too short, the LCD makes using the advanced features a little bit easier than, say, a 15-1994, but the remote lacks dedicated macro buttons, and X10 markings).

Adding JP1 changes things quite a bit. I was able to add codes for my receiver and video projector, and to create new devices for my HTPC. Being able to save and upload configurations is very useful (I had long sheets of key presses to document what I did on my 15-1994, but the JP1 connector made all of this redundant)

With JP1, there is a way to add device specific macros, and send different IR codes based on how long one presses a key (DSM protocol). This comes in very handy (for instance, for next track and fast forwar)... but consumes quite a bit of memory (In the future there might be a real expender to add these features in a more efficient way).I had to use contorsionist tricks (such as used learned keys to save on key moves) to make everything fit

While JP1 might sound scary at first, it is actually fairly easy to use, and the Yahoo group has a wealth of excellent information and tutorials. Still it took me a while to get everything how I wanted it (that's the price for flexibility!)

All in all, very strongly recommended
Quality: Features: Value:

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