...Continued from Page 3.|
Alas, the whole learning process ended up feeling confusing and touchy. Before learning any codes, the manual steps you through a special process of sending a code to check whether the LED will blink twice successfully or turn red. This process not only confirms whether you’ve got the remotes spaced correctly (probably a good exercise to go through since spacing appears especially critical and feedback during learning isn’t as helpful), but also sets the carrier frequency of the particular remote you’re capturing from. Even after that, instead of the usual practice of holding down the source key until the remote finishes capturing it, the Weemote dV wants you to merely press the button briefly – twice in a row.
How long you depress the key does seem to matter, as several times I was able to capture codes so short that they almost didn’t work. Other times when I tried holding the key down for several seconds, the remote either waited quite a while before accepting the code, or didn’t appear to do anything until abruptly exiting learning mode with three blinks (presumably a bad learn). After much testing, the Weemote dV is incapable of capturing repeating codes. This is probably acceptable since it lacks volume, channel or fast forward/rewind keys, but could prove a minor issue with menu directions.
The [C] setup key is used to clear learned keys or reset the remote. Two types of reset are possible: “factory”, which clears everything and installs a default DVD code, and “all”, which clears all keys and is ideal if you wish to learn commands from scratch. The Weemote dV’s 20-page manual is clear and easy to read with plenty of diagrams, setup tips and even a troubleshooting section in the back.
For what it is – a one-device nine-command learning remote – the Weemote dV might initially seem expensive at its target price of $19.95 MSRP. But after factoring in the high quality design that manages to maintain the Weemote’s trademark shape while greatly improving ergonomics, along with its niche target market and all the safety considerations it entails, the price is really quite reasonable.
While physical aspects of the remote are obviously top-notch, I felt that the learning process could be simplified, or at least could offer better feedback via the two-color LED as to exactly what was going on. I also had difficulty consistently capturing reliable codes, and at one point the remote locked up unresponsive during learning with the green LED continually lit.
So what will become of the original Weemote television remote? For now it will continue to be sold alongside the Weemote dV. Fobis Technologies does report that the new design will make its way into future Weemote models, and that computer capabilities are possible in the future – something confirmed by the unused “USB Port” location on the back of the current Weemote dV.
Even though the Weemote dV is not capable of completely automating the DVD playback process, this fun little control is ideal for anyone with young children who are looking for a little more independence in navigating or pausing their favorite movies, or are interested in playing with interactive DVDs. And it should prove perfect for drawing attention away from your other remotes!
- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)