When expanding home theatre setups, the last thing that you may consider throughout the process is how many more remotes you will be adding to your setup. To reduce the need to switch between remotes, a universal remote is a great solution. Universal remotes are typically an item that will need to be budgeted for in advance unless you opt for an entry-level remote. If you are looking for solid budget-friendly options, One For All has made two of them. The One for All URC 7880 Smart Control 8 and the One for All URC 7935 Streamer Remote are two budget beaters that provide a lot of value for their respective price tags. I had a chance to try these remotes out ion my home theatre for a couple weeks. Here’s what I learned.
A Note About Both Devices
Before diving into the review, a very important note. In our lives, we have all surely made this Christmas morning mistake: forgetting the batteries. Both of these remotes do not contain the 4 x AAA batteries in the box. So, keep in mind that you will need to grab a set of batteries before you start.
One for All URC 7935 Streamer Remote
We begin with the smaller and less expensive of the two offerings, the One for All URC 7935 Streamer Remote. This device is meant for smaller home theatre setups (it is initially set up for just a Samsung television and a Roku streaming device out of the box). If you have a single streaming device, TV and sound bar to account for, then this remote will provide all of the control for your devices that you will need. This may also be a great solution if you have lost your television remote, for instance, and are looking for a little more remote for your life instead of simply replacing the existing television remote.
How to set up One for All Streamer Remote
The One for All Streamer Remote takes about five minutes to set up. It may take a little more time than a device with a screen, but it’s still pretty speedy. Essentially, you will need to:
- Know the manufacturer of your television
- Look in the included instruction manual for the appropriate code
- Press a series of two buttons on the device (like the TV power and back button, for instance)
- Wait for a flash of colour on the device’s inner light ring
- Input the four-digit numeric code into it
The complicating factor for setup isn’t the lack of a screen, it is that there are no dedicated number keys on the device. Without a screen or number keys, punching in the remote codes is cumbersome. However, this is only a problem if you no longer have your original device remotes.
The One for All Streamer Remote can “learn”
In addition to inputting setup codes, this device can also “learn” functions directly from other remotes by easily copying remote functions from them. Learning from other devices is not a new concept, but it is very straightforward to use here.
Any device that functions using an infrared signal can be used. Much like the code input method, you will need to:
- Press a set of two buttons on the One for All remote to begin the learning process.
- Once the LED flashes on the device, you can press the button that you want to program on the One for All URC 7935 Remote.
- Then press the matching button on your original remote (this will work as long as the remotes are about an inch apart).
- To program the entire remote using this method, you will need to program each individual button separately.
Even though the “learning” method for programming your remote does require you to set up each button individually, the One for All URC 7935 is relatively easy to set up and you only need to do it once over the lifespan of the remote. However, it may take you a few minutes looking through the instruction manual to understand. In addition to being simple to set up, the remote possesses a series of buttons at the bottom of the device that allows for quick access to your favourite streaming apps as well as a colour shifting backlight.
One for All URC 7880 Smart Control 8
The second of the two remotes, the One for All URC 7880 Smart Control 8 is a little more expensive, but provides a lot more value for your dollar.
This device lets you control up to eight different devices through easy switching at the top of the device. You can easily switch between your TV, set-top box, DVD or Blu-Ray player, sound system, sound bar, game console, and media players. It’s a much larger device than the Streamer Remote, but provides more functions (like recording for set-top boxes). Like some more robust universal remotes, it has a series of smart activities that can be programmed. I did wish these activities had dedicated buttons, but this is a very small nitpick against the device. This device can be set up using the same method found above, but this remote comes with one other very handy method.
The One for All URC 7880 comes with a very handy (and free) companion app that can have you up and running on all of your devices very easily. This app is very simple to use because the remote connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth. Additionally, this app in conjunction with a built-in speaker behind the battery door of the remote will allow you to find your remote if you lose it. When you lose it and use the app’s “Remote Finder” function, it will emit a loud noise for easy tracking. The device uses Low Energy Bluetooth to ensure that your remote won’t have its batteries drained unnecessarily.
Final Thoughts about Both Devices
Both of these remotes are great options; you will need to pick and choose based on your budget and your device count. I prefer the URC 7880 Smart Control 8 because it allows for a higher device count on the remote while providing easy setup through a companion app and some cool add-ons like the remote finder feature.
However, if you have a smaller home theatre set up in a spare room, for example, the URC 7935 Streamer Remote might be a perfect solution to control a TV, sound bar and single media streaming device.