Your Universal Remote Control Center
UCommand 525 Remote Control Review
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Crisp Solutions UCommand 525
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To delve further into the abovementioned sleep mode, the remote will automatically shut off the LCD display after approximately 20 minutes of inactivity, requiring a tap to turn it back on. To complicate matters, not only does the screen shut off, but so does the entire remote. After the LCD has timed out, pressing and holding a hard button, say volume down, will not actually send out the command until the button is released and pressed for a second time. With the relatively short and uncustomizable timeout, this could present a problem during movies.

A low battery icon appears on-screen when power levels start becoming depleted. Don't worry about losing your settings when changing batteries - the UCommand utilizes non-volatile memory that doesn't require power.

A positive feature of the UC-525 over other "economical" high-end remotes is that the UC-525 is very quick to operate. Changing devices and response to button presses is lightning-quick at all times. The remote beeps once for each button and twice for changing a device. This can be disabled or re-enabled by pressing the same device button again; the current state is indicated by a tiny icon on the LCD. I would have preferred this delegated to a slightly-harder-to-accidentally-change button combination.

Crisp Solutions UCommand 525
Click to enlarge. (85kb)
Making the most of what you've got.
One of the user interface nuances I've noticed with the UCommand 525 is that there simply aren't enough keys for most devices. For instance, you cannot have a VCR that requires menu functions; the DVD device has no keypad; you cannot control PIP under TV; volume controls aren't accessible from any device that also has a transport. It's not that there aren't enough physical places for functions - it's that the buttons that are there aren't (or can't be) very well utilized.

For example, one of the most demanding devices out there is a DVD player. For a remote to provide complete functionality, it should have controls for power, volume, transport, keypad and menu functions. Adding those requirements up: 1 button for power, 3 buttons for volume, minimum 7 for transport, 11 for a keypad and 6 for menu controls, which works out to a minimum of 28 buttons. It seems that the UCommand's identical complement of 28 buttons should provide just enough real estate for basic control. However, it doesn't work out that way. Using the remote's default DVD template, there just aren't enough preset labels to go around for the UC-525 to be a true "all in one" remote. Yes, you can still learn all the functions you want to "blank" squares that fortunately won't show an inaccurate label, but that isn't ideal for anyone but the original remote programmer.

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