Pros / It’s inexpensive.
Cons / The buttons, and the writing on those buttons, are incredibly small.
Verdict / The GE 8-Device Universal Remote comes in at the bottom of our list because there was simply nothing about it that made it stand out.
To directly quote some of our reviewers, "I don't like this" and "I'm struggling to find anything positive to say about this one." The keys aren’t backlit, and although they are spaced far apart and easy to find by feel, the most common keys, such as for volume and for channels, are small and difficult to read.
This was the only universal remote we tested that failed our distance test. All other remotes we tested worked up to 21 feet away from the devices they were synced with, but not this one. The GE stopped working exactly 10 feet away, so we wouldn’t recommend this remote if you have an overly large living room.
This remote does have some upsides. The GE pairs with eight devices, far more than some of the others we tested like the RCA RCRN04GZ 4-Device remote. This includes your TV, Blu-ray, DVD, VCR, DVR, cable, satellite, digital converter box and streaming services. Despite this impressive capability, we just couldn’t get over the look and feel of the key placement on the face of the remote.
Programming is certainly easy. You simply press the setup button and then select the key you’d like to sync with your device, such as a Blu-ray player, TV, cable box or VCR. Then, as with most remotes, you type in a code corresponding to the brand of your device until finding one that works. The instructions recommend you write down the code for future reference so you don’t have to repeat the process in the future. You can also use auto search, which requires similar steps but searches the codes for you so you don’t have to type in each one. Either way, setup is a cinch.
The GE requires two AAA batteries and will automatically shut off if any key is held for 8 seconds or more, which is meant to save battery life. In their hands, though, our testers thought the GE felt too lightweight and flat, especially compared to the ergonomic Inteset 4-in-1. There was also a lag if, for instance, you turn the volume way up and then immediately turned it way down. Overall, this remote didn’t impress us.