One For All URC 4081 Video Expert Universal Remote Control (Titanium)

One For All URC 4081 Video Expert Universal Remote Control (Titanium)

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One For All Remote Control: Thanks Mr. Fluffy!

Jul 14, 2002 (Updated Jan 21, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Glow pad, nice contoured feel, recessed 'set' button, tons of features.

Cons:Some keys are a little too small, odd placement of the pause button.

The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a replacement remote control that won't drive you crazy when programming it I highly suggest the One For All Video Expert URC-4081.





An odd title isn't it? But yes, it is true; I do owe Mr. Fluffy [a name he does not respond to], the rabbit that loves electronics, for this modern day lifesaver. If you don’t know anything about rabbits, they will eat pretty much anything that is on the floor. To date he has chewed through cable wires, video games controllers, a part of the rug and eventually took a liking to the buttons on my Sony television remote control. Now, one number missing from the control pad isn’t that bad, but when he ate all the little rubber numbers away I had to start looking for something that would accommodate all the electronics in the livingroom. This includes a DVD player, Sony television, GoVideo VCR deck, cable box and stereo. This proved to be a true challenge and eventually I had to admit defeat and axe the stereo from the line up. It was impossible for me to find a remote that would be compatible with every make and model so I picked up the One For All Video Expert.

When you first see this remote you think Yeah, this is going to be fun entering miles of codes to get it to work when in fact, in less than ten minutes I found the correct codes for every component in the livingroom [minus the stereo, this remote doesn’t have a ‘stereo’ button]. Ten minutes might seem like a long time to enter codes, but in some cases you have to enter several codes to get the correct one for your piece of equipment. Even so, the end result definitely justifies the time invested.

Features

The One For All Video Expert URC-4081 has every option you can imagine – except one small feature that could prove to be the killer for this remote – no ability to adjust the tracking for the VCR. So far I haven’t found a way to adjust the tracking on the GoVideo and until recently this hasn’t been an issue. The GoVideo deck doesn’t have a tracking button on the front of the unit – this was done from the remote control. There is a built in auto-tracking stabilizer but some tapes need a little extra nudge.

The Remote Beam

Maybe it’s just me but remotes have really come a long way in the past couple of years. No longer to you have to aim directly at the intended target to change a channel, increase the volume or power down. This features a long strip on the end of the remote that gives you a ton of leeway when performing a function. With the old Sony remote I had to literally have the beam lined up with the television in order to get it work properly. This is a great feature since a few of the items are pushed back into the wall unit – I don’t have to do some type of aerobic series of movements in order to change the freakin’ channel.

The Glow Pad
Another extremely nice and useful feature of this remote control is the glow pad. This is not something that works off of the batteries and turned on when a key is pushed, this absorbs light so you can see the different keys in low light or darkness. Mine glows for about 5 – 10 minutes depending on how bright a light it was exposed to. The off white keys are the ones that glow [item selection, volume, channel, numeric pad] so you are kind of out of luck with the gray keys [VCR and DVD controls, picture in picture, menu, record, pause, display and F series] but the first few minutes the lights are turned off – the illumination is strong enough so you can navigate through all the keys and options.

Channel and Volume

This section of the remote is similar to the DVD and VCR function keys. They are large enough so you can use them effectively and with little room for error but not so big that you accidentally press them. The mute button is located in the center of these four keys so you can access it easily. The volume controls are the horizontal keys and the channel keys are the vertical keys. This took me a while to get used to but after three to four days I was completely accustomed to it. Above this section of buttons are the F series, something I have not used. These are available to program in different sequences of items – example: if you have a more than one DVD player or VCR hooked up, this allows you to program different machines for different ‘hot keys’ so you can operate your Sony VCR and Panasonic DVD player with the F1 while F2 will operate your Samsung DVD player and Panasonic VCR.

Numeric Pad

Some remotes have huge numbers, others have ones that are so small you need a toothpick to press them with any accuracy. The One For All Video Expert URC-4081 numeric pad is just the right size. They are sculpted numbers, not just round or square nubs with stenciled numbers on them. I liked this feature since this remote gets a ton of use and eventually the numbers wear off. Sure everyone knows how to count but it just looks sloppy when the numbers wear off. You also have a previous channel key in this section that allows you to revert to the last channel you were viewing. This is great for watching two shows at once – especially for me since I still can’t figure out how to use the PIP [picture in picture] function.

The Mystery Key

“V. Config”. This is supposed to allow you to consolidate your most used electronics so you don’t have to constantly have to push the item buttons [cable, VCR, DVD TV] to get something to work. This would be nice so I can change channels thought the VCR rather than having it change the televisions channels and messing up the program. I never bothered to program this option since it seemed like I’d never really use it. For me it was simpler to just press the TV button or VCR button than to go through the somewhat elaborate and tedious sequence of codes to program this button. So, for now with is a worthless option however those that are in dire need of this have it at their disposal. Maybe I read the instructions wrong – so if someone else owns this and uses it – please leave a comment about your programming experience.

DVD and VCR Controls

Set up in a circular fashion, you have the ability to play, fast forward, fast forward scan, rewind, rewind scan and pause from this area. These controls are for both the VCR and DVD player you may have hooked up. The “record” key is located on the bottom right and is red. To activate this you have to hit the record button twice so I suggest you do this then hit the pause button, then unpause it when you wish to record. These buttons are smaller than the channel and volume control keys so give yourself a little extra time to get accustomed to it. The pause button is located in the bottom left hand corner and I am still trying to get used to this. I would have liked to have seen it closer to the ‘play’ and ‘stop’ buttons but I guess you can’t always get what you want.

Assorted Oddities

In additional to all the above mentioned options you can perform with the One For All Video Expert URC-4081 you also get picture in picture programming [as well as the corresponding swap and move keys], sleep function, exit menu button and of course the main power off and on switch [top left button].

The Feel

I know everyone has at least one friend that considers his or her remote control a sacred object – something that is coveted and revered. I am not that obsessive about my remote but will admit that I have gone through my fair share and gave them up because they were too awkward to handle or just didn’t feel right in my hand. The One For All Remote Control does take a little getting used to – but that is the case for any new remote control – especially after you’ve gotten accustomed to a particular remotes feel, weight and contour. This has a fat base and sculpted top portion. The part the rests in the palm of your hand is nice and thick so you don’t have to worry about it flopping all over the place when you use it. In case you are curious, URC stands for Universal Remote Control.

Appearance Titanium … Atomic Number 22

Now before you get all lathered up and start drooling, this is silver. Don’t try to candy coat the fact. It is plastic and it’s silver. The listing at Epinions tosses in the color Titanium into the product name as a consumer gimmick – and that’s all it is. It has no effect on the remote whatsoever. It does however make it stand out from the basket of remotes I have sitting just out of reach of Mr. Fluffy. All the other remotes neatly tucked into the basket are black so this makes it easy to pluck out of the pack. So far it hasn’t shown any sign of wear or scratches but the control area does get dirty – mainly from the grease form your fingers and general dirt that comes with the territory. I guess I could pull out the Q-Tips and start cleaning it but the last time I attempted that [with a computer mouse] I ended up having to make a late night trip to Best Buy to purchase a replacement.

Online Help

Don’t worry about losing the programming guide that comes with this remote. Visit www.oneforall.com and you can find the codes you need to program your remote. This is great if you need to add a new product to the line up or upgrade to a newer model of remote and want to use this in another part of the house. You can download the entire manual or get specific codes and general information from the website and if it isn’t listed be sure to check out the discontinued section.

You can also see all the different models of cable boxes, televisions, VCR’s and DVD’s that this will work with at the site. I never had a problem finding a code but the DVD player and television did require multiple entries to find the correct code. I won’t both listing all the different manufacturers that this remote supports but the One For All website boasts that they have the largest collection of codes for a massive number of products. I fully expected the digital cable box [Explorer 2200] to be the biggest problem since it was newer than the remote but after three code entries it worked perfectly.

The Bottom Line

Considering that this was relatively inexpensive about a year ago, I say I have more than gotten my money out of it. It’s still working perfectly and keeping up with a massive amount of use. The two AA batteries last about four to five months at a time and replace easily. The batteries may last longer if you don’t use it as often as we do. There is no safety screw assembly on this so make sure you keep it away from smaller kids. I picked this up at Wal-Mart for about $11.00 and recently saw that they had them on clearance for $5.00. I am kicking myself for not picking up a few extras for when this one dies but it’s worked so good so far that the thought didn’t enter my mind.

The picture shown at Epinions is rather funky. It has some weird blue hue to it and this is simply not the case. To view a correct picture of this remote control please visit this link. http://www.audio-direct.com/cgi-bin/pgen_asp/pagegen.asp?itemnum=URC-4081. Ignore that ridiculous price of $19.95 – that is so out of the ballpark it’s not even funny. You can also see the cool “swirl” pattern on the face of the remote. Get used to looking at the picture to see this accent because after a month or so of use the face of it starts to blend together and the swirl goes bye-bye.

Overall I am more than happy with this purchase and if this one dies, I will replace it with the same model if it is still in production. For the amount of use it gets, it has held up perfectly with no problems whatsoever. I highly recommend this to anyone that is suffering from “cluttered remote syndrome”, has lost a remote control or needs to replace one that has broken.


Happy Clicking and as always, thanks for the visit!

^V^ Freak ^V^

© 2004 Freak369


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