Sony’s RM-VL600T is pre-programmed with the control codes needed to control a wide range of Sony’s own TVs, DVD players and other devices, so it’s the obvious choice for people that own lots of Sony kit – especially as you can now pick it up for less than £30. It can control eight different devices and also has a useful ‘macro’ option that allows you to assign a series of commands to a single button. So you could create a macro that turns on the TV, DVD and an amplifier all at once, and then route the DVD audio through the amp to give you the full home cinema experience.
There’s also a brochure supplied with the RM-VL600T that contains codes for products from other manufacturers, and we were able to use this to very quickly set up our Samsung TV, Denon CD, and Sky+ box. Yet again, though, this universal remote control stumbled with our Pioneer Blu-Ray player. The option to send test signals to the Blu-Ray player in order to locate the control code didn’t work, which meant that we had to painstakingly train the remote control by beaming signals to it from the player’s original remote.
OneForAll Energy Saver URC-8350
Most of us remember to put our TVs and other devices into standby mode to save power. However, even standby mode consumes a small amount of energy, so OneForAll’s Energy Saver includes a special ‘Power Plug’ that lets you turn all your devices completely off at the mains. Just plug your devices into a multi-plug electrical strip, and then plug the strip into the Power Plug, and you can then turn the mains power supply to all your devices on or off simply by pressing the ‘energy’ button on the remote.
The remote control itself is a fairly basic model that can only control four devices, but that was just enough for our Samsung TV, Sky+ box, Denon CD player and Pioneer Blu-Ray player. Setting up the remote was easy for most of these devices, but the new Pioneer box caused problems. AllForOne’s technical support people were very helpful - as you’d expect at 50p per minute for support calls - but we still had to tediously ‘train’ the Energy Saver one command at a time before it would control the Pioneer, so there’s room for improving the process by which you update this remote control for new devices such as Blu-Ray players.
Reg Rating 75%
More Info OneForAll
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I have a harmony 525, and it is fine, although I get the odd send a million signals burst from it, and lately the backlight has been on a lot more than it used to be (running the batteries down).
Sometimes the help button turns on my projector, which is the last thing I want to happen for a few seconds before I go to bed...
Programming it is quite painful - in fact, I've had mine for 3 years or more and I still find that I want to tweak it every now and again, and when I come to plug it into the PC, I somewhat lose the will to live.
You can get kits to control your PS3 via IR, but they seem to involve cannibalising a Sony bluetooth remote, and they don't work when the PS3 is in standby. But you can get them.
You have a very valid point, but you'd be suprised at the level of tactile feedback you get from the soft cuishony surface on the Mk1. You can feel the microswitch buttons just beneath the surface, which gives you some guidance on where to press, and the button area reserved for each is big enough for even the chubbiest of thumbs.
I could certainly understand that critisism applying to LCD touch screen devices though, which without visual stimuli, becomes just a flat sheet of glass
@ Peter Hewitt - Virgin Media
The One-For-All URC7556 (the stealth model shown) can talk to virgin media boxes using codes 1060 or 1068. Dunno about V+ boxes.
It can also control freeview boxes, but the site does not give any codes I could see.
Usually with these remotes if the box is over a year old and it's not too niche then it will work.
Feature set warning
Note that the cheaper Harmony reviewed here and the Harmony ONE that has been mentioned in the comments already both lack the red/green/yellow/blue buttons, used by Sky and Freeview and Xbox. Thus you have to assign these to other buttons which is lame. Instead try the 785 or others that have the coloured buttons built in.
Even if a remote existed with bluetooth, I think the Bluetooth used by the PS3 is a proprietary version, so wouldn't help. Useless. It's essentially forced people to have another remote lying around. Wish the 360's IR receiver was better too. Anyway, drifting off topic. Have had a Harmony for a year now and my wife thinks it's the best thing ever. Only one remote for all my countless pieces of kit and just has to press "Watch TV" or "Watch DVD" or "Stream music" etc. without having to understand anything. Even if it doesn't work because someone has walked past or pressed a button on the amp or whatever, she just presses HELP and it asks her what isn't working and fixes it. Genius.
Harmony Works for Some
It seems that users fo the Harmony 525 are in two camps - those who get it to work, and those who don't.
One benefit and drawback of the system is the upload of user learned "codes" (as in the reviewer's Blu Ray unit), however any errors or wrong keys that crop up in this procedure are then spread around future users like some virus - and as a result cause maddening frustration. Codes for totally different equipment to that named creep in this way, and some devices never work, and the only support consists of randomly uploading codes in the hope that something will work. "Support" is never ending, but eventually the pain of holding a phone for so many hours is the limiting factor.
The Logitech forums are not indexed on the Internet search engines, so the only time you become fully aware of the enormous number of frustrated potential users is when you get access to that, and it is soul destroying when you find that after many hours of trying, your particular kit is never going to work with it, as others have given up long before you.
This Logitech DON'T tell you, but you won't ever forget the experience: I won't make the mistake of ever buying Logitech products again.