Budget Remote Works Fairly Well, But You Can Do Better For a Few Bucks More
Jan 5, 2008
Review by John Staradumsky
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Compact, operates a surprising number of features.
Cons:Doesn't operate them all, buttons stick, shift key combinations are annoying.
The Bottom Line: OK for very basic applications, but not recommended for anything more elaborate.
One of the annoying things about electronics these days is the fact that if you lose the remote, you cant really do very much with them. That has happened to me more times than I care to recall, but most recently with my Sylvania DVR-90DEA DVD recorder. Sure, I can record and play and such from the unit, and even set recording speed and OTR (one Touch Record) in 30 minute increments from the deck itself. But its impossible to get into the menu, and without the menu discs cant be finalized to play on other DVD players. Knowing this, manufacturers often charge a pretty penny for replacements, too.
Recommend this product?
So, I bought a GE RM24912 (aka JASRM24912) Universal Replacement Remote as an alternative. At about $5, it was a low-priced alternative, and really not something I expected to fill the bill. Still, I thought I would give it a try and see how it panned out. After all, I could always return it if it didnt work out, and you, dear reader, could gain the benefit of my experience.
I do like the compact size of the remote, about six inches long and two wide by one thick. Its also form fitted to the contour of your hand for an easy grip, and very lightweight. Youll need two AAA batteries to power it. Theyre not included, but what do you want for five bucks? You can control up to three devices with the remote.
There is a trade-off for the small size, and thats a limited number of keys. These are:
Interestingly, the SETUP button can be used as a shift key and allows extra functions by pushing shift and another key. For example, SHIFT+INFO=MENU, SHIFT+MUTE=OK, SHIFT+CH-=NAVIGATE DOWN, etc. Most of the keys with dual function are marked to let you know you can do this.
Programming the remote was a snap with the enclosed code list sorted by brand. Stickers are included so that you can write your codes down, too, and affix them to the remote. You can also get them at the GE electronics website.
Much to my surprise, the remote performs most of the functions I want to use on my DVD recorder. It allows me to play and stop, navigate through feature menus on prerecorded discs, and most importantly get into the setup menu to finalize discs. It put me back in business for the most part. One drawback was that though I can fast forward and rewind discs, theres no way to skip through chapters because no key corresponds to that function. I also cant record from the remote.
The auxiliary key I used to program my DVD player can instead operate a VCR, laserdisc player, CD player, set-top HDTV box, and certain audio components. I cant imagine that anyone would want to replace their cable or satellite remote with one so limited in function as this one. Still, it will at least turn the box on and off and allow you to change channels on it.
I had a little less luck programming the remote for my Magnavox TV. Although it will turn on and off, I can change channels and volume settings and pull up menu screens, the navigation buttons refuse to work, and therefore I cant toggle through the options. This has the effect of rendering the menu button useless.
After using the remote for a while, I did find the two-button shift combinations to be sort of a pain. Then too, the buttons have a tendency to stick. The good news is that there is at least an automatic shut-off built in case they do.
If youre just looking for a cheap replacement for basic functions on a simple device or two, then this might be OK. But for the most part Im going to suggest giving it a pass. Both Philips and RCA offer universal remotes with a lot more functions for about $2.50 more, and for another buck or two on top of that you can get even better ones
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