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My Favorite TV Remote Control

Favorite TV remote control

One terrible side effect of having a home theater system are the remote controls for the various components.  Typically there's one for the TV, the AV Receiver, DVD player, and perhaps a Cable/Satellite box;  Instead of the last item, it's an HTPC for me.  If only there could be one remote to rule them all…

There almost is.  If you really want that, then Logitech offers their Harmony line of remote control products.  I bought the Harmony 620 for about $50 at Costco.  It's backlit, programmable, and sleek looking.  Too bad it's also not the easiest thing to use and the buttons very small.  Add to that there is no well placed, or perhaps even any, dedicated power button for the device you want to control.

The thing I hate about most remote controls is that they do NOT have a backlight or aren't fully backlit when a button is pressed.  That gripe of mine was basically laid to rest when I found the GE 24929 (seen in top half of photo) Universal Big Button Remote control.  It can control up to 4 devices and has a backlight!

Now since I am talking about my favorite TV remote here, and not my favorite HTPC remote the Snapstream Firefly, let me explain why it is a hit with me…

Yes the backlight of course.  Also too, it was $15 at Home Depot and that makes it even a cheap replacement remote.  There are well placed buttons that are BIG and easy to figure out.  If you have an IR receiver in your HTPC like the Antec VERIS it will even work with that!  Two letdowns are it didn't handle shutting of my Onkyo receiver (on=yes) and couldn't exit to the home menu in my LG BD390 DVD player.  But otherwise it worked well with everything else for the basics albeit having a tad small directional pad.

If you buy it and can't seem to get it to work with some features then try a different code.  For example, the included code list never mentioned anything about Windows Media Center but if you looked at the GE/Jasco website you will find it.  One trouble I had was the digital "." wasn't working for my Sony TV at first until I switched codes.  Right now the GE 24929 remote is my favorite.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

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