Pros: works with virtually anything, good warranty, inexpensive, easy to use
Cons: a little small for most hands, terrible battery compartment, not a lot of features
I'm one of the few vitims that has 5 remotes laying around. I have a DVD player, VCR, and DishNetwork all hooked up to the TV. I have to keep all of them because the Dish people forgot to set up all of my stuff. I looked up the remote online and the codes only worked for the Sanyo VCR/DVD combo and only the VCR part. So when I was picking up a few fold-up chairs at Big Lots when I looked through the electroncis selection I found a little selection of RCA remotes. There were only two that were universal. One was $6 thahad 3 universal functions but it was loaded with tons of features that are probably found on only the remotes that come with your TV or VCR or DVD player. But I also had Dish, which means I needed a 4 component remote when I found the RCU404. IT's not a feature-full remote but at least it had the basics and hooked up to everything I needed. It had a list on the back that said these and more. Sanyo were listed in the DVD and VCR section but no Memorex was in the TV section but it said AND MORE...and Memorex isn't that small of a brand and when I open the package at home and looked at the codes...oh wow...it works for Memorex.
The RCA RCU404 Universal remote connects to four components for a cheap price, I even found it at Family Dollar but thought I could get something better but I found it again at Big Lots for the same price and just finally picked it up. For $5...of course...it's not loaded with features on most remotes and it's pretty basic, but me, I use the TV at nights and very rarely anytime else so I don't need to use an A-B function or whatever other features are on the other remotes, and if I really did have to I could use the other remote.
It's a pretty small remote which kinda sucks. It's probably more easier to lose and it's small for my hands and my hands are pretty normal sized. It's a pretty sleek looking remote. Some of the remotes have blue and red buttons but most of the newer ones have blue and white buttons.
Like I said it's not loaded with features, if you want more features than the basics then you should definitely step-up to the more expensive remotes, say over $10. One cool feature it has is a sleep function which of course you set how long you want the TV on and then it will turn off. This is pretty cool for me since I often fall asleep to the TV. Just press the sleep button and entire a number 01-99 (you have to press the 0) and then your set up. If you want to cancel just press the sleep button again. There's also a menu button *cough* hint *cough* you can access the menu on your TV, DVD, VCR, whatever. Then you get down to the basic features that if remotes didn't have they wouldn't be good enough for anyone. Volume, previous channel, mute, channel up, channel down, enter, rewind, play, fast-forward, record, pause, and...what am I missing???...oh yeah stop. Oh and I also forgot the numbers too. Yeah it has numbers. Those were all of the features, like I said, for only $5 don't expect tons of features like subtitle, bookmark, search, angle, return, zoom, repeat, random, A-B, etc.
As far as being compatable, I didn't find any known brands in my mind that are missing from the list. I'll be honest with you, there are so many brands that I think it would take at least an hour to list ALL of them. If you need a list simply go to RCA's website (www.rca.com) and search for RCU404 and you should be able to find out what devices are compatable and which aren't. 60% of the brands I'm seeing I didn't even know existed so I think just about anything you own will work.
Setting It Up
As far as setting up the remote, it's pretty simple. First press the "Code search" button and press TV, DVD, VCR, or Satellite/Cable Box, then enter your three-digit code (some brands have only one, others have over 20) and it'll be set-up. If your code doesn't work, keep repeating the process until one works.
Another way you can set it up is auto code search. Unless your brand isn't listed would I try this since it could really cause problems later but this is how you do it. First, press and hoid the code search button with your device on and when the light flashes let go and select tv, vcr, dvd, or satellite/cable. Then press enter so it stores the code and makes sure it works.
For me, and the two fresh alkaline batteries, it got up to three feet which is a good enough distance for most.
Well here's another pain. It takes two AAA batteries, simple right. But the battery case is a pain in the a$$ to close. The backing seems to large for the remote and it will take you a little while to play around with it until it fits. Luckily, since it's a remote, it probably won't need battery replacing for a long time.
RCA and Thomson Inc. has a 90-day warranty against defects and workmanship. One thing great about this warranty is that you don't even have to pay shipping to replace it. The other thing about this warranty is that since the remote is only $5, I'd much rather buy a new one since it won't take a few weeks to get my remote back.
The Bottom Line
I'm glad I no longer have to carry around Sanyo, Memorex, and DishNetwork remotes seperately. Now I only have one. The RCU404 is a pretty good remote. It's not feature loaded and it's kinda small for most people but it works with almost anything, is a very inexpensive replacement, and is easy to use. Plus, it has a strong warranty. The RCU404 is a good general replacement for any universal remote or getting rid of that four remote rack on your TV stand (don't be ashamed, more people should use them if they have that many).