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In addition to looks, Fobis Technologies has also improved remote disassembly, something that’s required for programming and battery changes. Instead of one screw for the battery compartment and another for setup controls, the Weemote dV has a single screw that loosens the two blue plastic panels to reveal a battery compartment with two AA batteries and three programming buttons marked “A”, “B” and “C”. The lone screw is even held captive by the rear panel, so there’s no chance of losing it, and screws into a threaded metal insert on the front panel, so there won’t be an issue with stripping plastic threads.
The remote feels solid and durable (as it should with so many layers of plastic), with no bending, creaking or rattling. Although the white lightly textured plastic may collect finger prints quickly, the remote should clean up easily with a damp cloth.
Three keyed setup.
To prevent inquisitive little fingers from making accidental setup changes, the setup keys are normally hidden beneath the front plastic cover. There are three basic things you can do with the Weemote dV, each corresponding to one of the setup buttons: enter a preprogrammed code, learn infrared codes, and reset the remote.
The Weemote dV includes a preprogrammed code library for its primary device, DVD players. A total of 66 brands are covered, with about 95 distinct codes. To enter one, hold down the [A] button until the LED turns red. Now, type in the four-digit code located in the back of the manual using the arrow keys. The arrows are assigned digits 0 through 3 like the points on the compass, with the top key as “0” and the bottom one as “3”. If the entered code is valid, the LED will blink three times in confirmation, otherwise it will simply go out.
If you don’t feel like manually trying various code numbers, it’s also possible to manually search through the entire database. After entering code setup mode, press the [Menu] key and then use [Up] to test various “Play” signals. [Left] backtracks, and when one works press [A] to save. The chosen code number can be “blinked back” later via the LED. The Weemote dV has a convenient sticker located inside the battery compartment to record the programmed number.
Although the code list seems fairly complete with a wide range of lesser-known brands such as Alba, Konka and Yamakawa, it’s nearly impossible for a preprogrammed database to be one hundred percent complete – never mind new brands and models that come out after the remote’s introduction. Even my commonplace Sony DVD player failed to respond to one of the 7 built-in codes. Fobis has neatly worked around that problem by adding a code learning feature to the Weemote dV, something not available on any previous Weemote.
Nine learning spots.
By adding code learning, the Weemote dV is no longer limited to controlling just DVD players. Now, any button can hold any command to any device. Although there are just nine places to learn, one could configure the Weemote dV to operate basic TiVo functions, televisions, satellite receivers – anything at all. Of uncertain necessity, during regular use the LED will blink red when transmitting a database code, and green for a learned code.
To start learning, hold the [B] button down until the LED turns green. Now press the button you would like to learn on, and the LED will blink off once. Press the source button briefly on the remote you’re capturing from, and the LED will again blink once. Now press the source button a second time, and the LED will blink twice. Continue this process for any keys to be taught.