Sends RF and IR Good Layout Button prominence and spacing Physical buttons only Flexible Component/Device set up 50 step Macros (pauses don't count) Backlight 8 spare buttons Macro 'Page Jump' no longer applies
4 of the spare buttons should be labelled for colours More Macro buttons/ Device specific macros needed Lacks Favourite Channels Too few special characters now
The example I got was silver and was relatively heavy, but felt substantial. The DVD and user manual were quite a good as an introduction but short on details. In practice this was of little importance because operation was strightforward and intuitive.
Configuration for five devices was quick and easy and it is useful that all keys can repeat. Repeating of learned buttons could be adjusted by pressing the teaching button longer or shorter.
I did not find the red backlight, which illuminates all the keys, offensive
Unannounced changes: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.) Re. Macro Page Jump. Daniel Tonks' useful review mentions: "...if the DVD device’s [Off] button macro was on the TV device when it (the off macro) was saved, pressing [Off] will always change the remote back to TV...It operates this way on device switching macros as well...". However, at least on my example, a macro on a device selection button can be set up to change to another device and stay there. e.g. the following sequence, saved in SAT device, and set to operate as a macro on the SAT button, actually ends with the remote on TV, and not on SAT as I had expected: "Tv : Guide: Pausex4: Up : Ok" - which seems to be a significant improvement
2.) Instead of the additional 20 or so characters for LCD device labelling, the only extra ones are "#", "&" and "_"
3.) 'Pause' steps do not count towards the maximumum of 50 steps for a macro, which makes a big difference. With this I was able to run a macro with a 23 secs delay in it. 50 secs, with100 Pause steps, was possible too, but I did not discover the limit.
Macro can be setup on 10 button only Easy to program Lot of memory IR strength Ergonomics Back light on all button and lcd - the model I have is silver RF signal when used with mrf100
No dedicated Next and Previous transport buttons Need JP1 or harmony to learn discrete command.
Positively surprised. Used my harmony to learn discrete command. Would not buy it alone because there are no pc connection and cannot have discrete command without other remote. Otherwise, really good remote.
Many hard buttons Easy to program and use Huge memory - true learning Relatively inexpensive IR signal strength Nice ergonomics - no tiny buttons JP-1?
Red backlight No dedicated Next and Previous transport buttons WAG factor
This is an amendment/correction to my previous review entry. I did not notice it before, but the RF10 DOES have a 6-pin connector in the battery compartment. I have not tested, so I'm not sure if this is JP-1 compatible or if it requires some proprietary connection.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 7 made on Saturday August 4, 2007 at 7:55 PM.
Philips PHDVR8 Logitech Harmony 720
Many hard buttons Easy to program and use Huge memory - true learning Relatively inexpensive IR signal strength Nice ergonomics - no tiny buttons
Red backlight No dedicated Next and Previous transport buttons Not upgradeable - no JP-1 or USB WAG factor
Note: This is for the new version of the RF10, which has more memory than the 100 or older RF10 (can learn 704 total commands + 10 macros of 50 steps each +16 power macros). It has a silver-colored face, instead of black. Otherwise, it is pretty much the same as the 100, without the gemstone finish and stronger backlighting, but with a more streamlined learning process.
I had to get a new remote when the PHDVR8L ran out of memory and couldn't learn commands from the remotes of a couple of new components. I was looking for a universal that could control at least 6 components, had many hard buttons (prefer them over drilling down via menus - what's the point if a remote is supposed to save you time?), and was a true learning remote - as opposed to many others which made the claim but had very limited memory.
Setting up codes and learning took about 30 min for all 6 components, about half of it deciding where to map the buttons. Some of the preset codes didn't have all of the functions of the original remote, I didn't like the way some of the commands were mapped, and the RF10 didn't have preset codes for two of my components - a Philips HDD DVD recorder and a non-Media Center based home theater PC. But out of about 100 commands learned, I only had to retry learning for two or three of them. And it learned everything. There is no "automatic" remapping, but learning was so painless and quick, it wasn't an issue.
Production quality is not quite as stellar as the 100, but still very good, and it's durable. I accidentally dropped a 40lb barbell on it with only a scratch on the remote.
Overall I think the Sony VRL-600 would probably be a less expensive option, but I like the having the backlight (although I would prefer it be blue/green like the 100), more hard buttons, and the LCD display. Other budget remotes than the Sony don't appear to have the learning capability the RF10 boasts, or they require JP-1 to achieve the same result. I'd rather spend less time on my remote, and more time enjoying my components. Which is also why I rate the RF10 much higher than the Harmony 720, which I returned. It looks cool and is a good concept, but takes too much time and effort to set up perfectly and accomplish the same thing as the RF10 for half the price.
With it being able to learn commands for my obscure PC and new-model DVD recorder, I'm not too concerned about it's future-proofability, even though it doesn't have JP-1 or USB capability. You do need to have the original remotes, or the commands stored on another universal remote to program it or use discrete codes. The only other major problem is the WAG factor - most buttons can be programmed to logically corresponding buttons on the RF10, but the lack of dedicated Next and Previous buttons means they have to be mapped elsewhere, sometimes under the shift fuction, which can be frustrating for the girlfriend.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 6 made on Thursday May 24, 2007 at 10:46 PM.
fast learning very good rf range. If you use the optional rf converter you only get interference when you Denon receiver is turned on!
Back lighting does not light keys, only lcd screen. If component keys are locked to another functions, macros do not work. Page up and down are labeled CTR and are located far from the guide button. There is no input button. If you use macro on and off there is no individual on off button. Short battery life. Audio input choices? vcr 4, tape 2 and phono. Where was this remote when I had sansui egg crates?? The dark paint between component buttons make them indistinguishable.
I have 5 RF 10 remotes that I am too embarassed to sell to customers. Best Offer taken.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 5 made on Thursday March 2, 2006 at 10:53 AM.
easy to program using the learning feature, easy to program macros. very well made. seems to have a long battery life.
manuel can be confusing concerning macros and punchthroughs, needs serious thought as to how you want the remote set up(see below) if you want to truly customize the remote for your home theater
having used this remote and the Sony rm-vl710 for about 2 months i think the Sony universal remote gives one a bigger bang for the buck at half the price of the Unifier remote by URC. my only real complaint with Unifier is that you do have to give some serious thought as to how you want it set up. i recommend the macros be placed on the component buttons (as opposed to the component on/off buttons which may turn your equipment on or off possibly setting off a macro sequence you've programed) with the appropriate delays so that you can operate the individual components without setting off a macro. also note that the punchtroughs need thought to. every time you punchthrough certain commands to specific components it is as though you are "teaching/learning" commands to specific buttons so you cannot "learn" on that button again. for ex: if you punchthrough the cable or sat guide buttons to the dvd component button you cannot use the menu button to navigate a dvd menu because in effect that button has learned a command. perhaps that button could learn secondary command using the shift button functio as descibed in the manuel but this would not be wife approved and you have to remember quite a few button command/ combinations. the manual does not elabote on this, i found out via tech support. overall i found the Sony 710 (that review is for another time) easier to program. for a modest home theater either remote will work fine but the sony costs consideraly less.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 4 made on Sunday March 13, 2005 at 12:45 PM.
Plenty of buttons. Good ergonomics, one-handed usage. Simple and powerful learning. Strong IR signal.
Button labels could be better. No PC connection. Shortish battery life.
I went with this brand because of the near-universal raves all their models have been getting. Also, I decided on this particular model over the URC-200 and URC-300 because you have direct access to all functions and devices without flipping through menus, and it seemed easier to use one-handed.
It has 43 usable buttons, and thanks to the shift button (all remotes should have one!), that number is in effect doubled, making it more than enough for any device. So theoretically you can access over 300 functions with 3 or fewer button presses.
It's comfortable to hold, and has a well thought out button layout with commonly used buttons in the middle. I have smallish hands and can reach most buttons without changing the grip. The buttons have a good solid feel. After 9 months of use (including a couple of drops on the floor), the remote still feels like new.
Code database: My devices from big manifacturers (Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Sony) were in the database, but plenty of functions were missing and had to be learned. My Macab cable box, predictably, was not in the list. However, the learning feature is good enough that this was a non-issue. All buttons can be taught, and there is plenty of learning memory to go. Initially, I learned something like 80-90 buttons which took at most 15 minutes and worked without a single hiccup. All learned buttons seem to repeat the signal if held down. When I later got another DVD player, instead of fetching the manual and trying out codes from the database, I just taught all the buttons in a couple of minutes.
It would be nice however if buttons could be "moved". As it is, if you want to move a given function to another button, you have to re-learn it.
Macros can only be put on the device and power on/off buttons. It's not something I use extensively.
The signal strength is without doubt the strongest of any remote I have used.
I use rechargable batteries (4 AAA) and they tend to last about 2 months which I think is a bit on the short side.
I find the button labels less than ideal. Obviously no hard button remote can have perfect labels for all users -- that's why there are LCD remotes. But even given that, I think there's room for improvement. The remote features such button labels as SLEEP, 6.7CH, TEST, LOGIC, VCR4, TAPE2, PH, CTR, which I would gladly trade for, for instance, Audio track (for DVD players) VCR+ (for VCRs and DVD recorders), Subtitle (DVD), Aspect ratio (TV), Recording speed (VCRs, DVDRs), Clear/Cancel (various). This means that not just anybody can pick it up and know what all buttons will do. Even so, I doubt there is a significantly better remote for me out there, regardless of price.