55 Buttons … whew! And an LCD. The Home Theater Master can do most everything you want and probably a few things you don’t. It’s preprogrammed to operate over 1000 Audio and Video components and will also learn new functions from your old remote controls. It can control up to 8 devices including:
Tape, Mini Disc, & DAT
CD Players & Changers
TV’s & Projectors
VCR’s & TV/VCR
DVD & Laser Players
DSS, DBS, & C-Band Satellite
Calrad HDTV Accessories
Some special features:
* Automatic Audio Volume and Surround Control
* Contains All of the Secondary Functions of Original Remotes
* Audio/Video Punch Throughs
* Macro Buttons
* Customizable LCD Display
* Low Battery Consumption
* Memory Backup
* Back-lit Buttons
To setup the remote to operate your equipment just requires that you look it up in the manual and punch in a 3 digit code. There is also a handy “AutoSearch” feature which scans the built in codes until you find the one that works for your component.
If all of that fails, then you can still control devices by “Learning” the IR control codes from your existing remote control. This can be a tedious procedure but worth it if you have an old TV etc. that’s not listed but you still have the original remote control. The procedure is to point the old remote at the SL9000 and send each code (push the button) on the old remote to the new unit (one at a time).
Automatic Audio Mode is a handy feature that allows you to control your A/V receiver volume and surround controls even while the selected device is different (i.e. the VCR). For example if you press the VCR button twice, the LCD displays “A-VCR” and you can control all the VCR functions as well as change volume and surround setting on the receiver.
Audio/Video and Channel Punch Throughs allow you to set up the unit to control the volume, mute, and channel up/down no matter which device is selected. For example you can change the channels up and down on the cable box while the remote is in the TV mode. Punch through can also be set up for the VCR and CD transport controls (i.e. Play, Stop etc.).
And last but not least … macros … the most important feature in any modern remote control unit. The SL9000 has 5 memory (or macro) buttons (M1-M4 , Power) that will store up to 15 commands each. To expand the number of possible macros, the memory buttons can hold different macros depending on the mode selected. Two modes are available for macros (Audio and Satellite) thus providing 10 possible memory buttons.
For example, here’s my “Go to Bed” macro that’s programmed into Audio M1.
* Send X10 code 6 to my OneForAll receiver.
* Send X10 code ON to my OneForAll receiver (this results in my home control system “Go to Bed” macro to run and gives me 2 minutes to get to bed before all the lights go out).
* Turn the TV OFF
* Turn the VCR OFF
* Turn the Home Theater Receiver OFF
I use this almost every night after watching the latenight news and as far as I’m concerned it’s one of the most useful features of my Home Automation System. Without it … when I’m half asleep … I must find and press several buttons to shut off the entertainment system components and then stagger around the house to find all the lights that the kids have left on before finally getting into the sack.
The SL9000 is a great unit for button freaks. It will control every device including X10 home automation and surround sound home theater systems. It has a backlight so you can see the buttons at night. At a price of $139 this unit may be all you ever need to control your entertainment system and the lighting therein.