One For All URC-7140 £19
2nd Mar 2011 | 12:00
This 4-in-1 remote is flexible when learning new commands for your kit
Also known as the Essence 4, the One For All URC-7140 4-in-1 universal remote may come in at under £20 but offers copious ways of setting up macro and micro commands to suit your needs.
It accommodates up to four device types/modes: TV, Sat, DVD, and AV (e.g. a home cinema speaker system) which can be switched between or used in combination with each other. Cable and Freeview boxes are classed as 'satellite', which could be problematic if you want to switch between several receivers (and a TV and speaker system too). If you have a 'spare' mode other than 'Sat' you can assign them to that instead to avoid conflict.
Solidly constructed, it's easy to hold, with a button layout that mirrors most conventional remotes of recent years. Programming it usually requires pressing 'Magic' before entering a string of commands.
'SimpleSet' is an auto-learning function that assigns popular brands to a number key then attempts to gain control of your equipment while you hold down 'power'. If this fails, you can have the remote search for the control code by entering a button sequence, or enter the code yourself by trying out those in the supplied code list.
Alternatively, you can learn individual key controls directly from the original remote – but if that's broken or mislaid you're required to contact One For All to learn the code required for each desired function.
'Combi Control' enables control of up to three devices at once without needing to switch between modes, and allows you to power everything on off at once with one button. In addition, simultaneous macro commands (e.g. turn on receiver and TV together) can be assigned to a button of your choice.
The URC-7140 proved capable of fully controlling our Panasonic plasma TV, Pace Sky+ and ageing Virgin Media V+ box using the code entry, simple set and Macro features. A nice touch is that if you have a TV and satellite receiver set up, both are automatically linked as a combination, so you can tweak the settings on your TV and control your box with minimal programming.
Those with lots of kit would be better with something more flexible like One For All's slightly dearer Smart Control (URC-7960) unit, but there's little to grumble about here for the money.
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