Can dad ever get enough home entertainment toys?  TV, DVD player, Surround Sound A/V receiver, Satellite or Digital Cable Box, TiVo or some other DVR, and more!  And now, how can he (or the rest of the family, for that matter) control all of them?

I found something that makes it easily worth the $90 suggested price tag, but it’s an even better bargain, as you will learn later on in the article!  UEI, Universal Electronics, Inc., the maker of this product, is a company with a long and distinguished reputation for making great consumer electronics products. I have used their One For All brand remote controls for many, many years. They have been among my favorite value-based replacement TV remote controls.

I have to say that the One For All Kameleon 8 is for the dad (or grad) who will READ the manual. This is mandatory.  Set-up takes time and patience, and may involve a couple of quiet hours to get the job done, and that’s just the way it is.  DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that the Kameleon 8 is for impatient users who want a remote to set itself up or to be set up without some effort.

Once it’s configured, however, it works GREAT!

Kameleon 8 can be set to control all the entertainment center components.  What’s more, it can be set to perform macros – in one button push, turn on the TV, set it to the proper input, turn on the AV receiver, set to the correct input, turn on the DVD player, push the play button, etc. It just takes time to do it all with all the steps necessary.

It starts with a nice gimmick.  The unit has a motion sensor built in, so when there is the slightest movement around it, the backlighting turns on, and then off a few seconds after any motion ceases.  This is great for conversation, but it can be an annoying battery-depleting function, which is best turned off after the WOW! of the out-of-box-experience wears off.  It’s better to set backlighting to turn on only with the push of a button, and then to turn off a few seconds after no more buttons are pushed.  And speaking of buttons, these are “virtual” buttons.  The surface of the device is a membrane with switches below the surface.  When the backlighting is off, it’s just a dark, unlit background.  It looks pretty cool just sitting there all by itself and it will certainly be a conversation piece beyond its functionality of reducing the clutter from lots of different remote controls.

Kameleon 8 can control up to eight home entertainment devices, including TV, VCR, DVD player, personal video recorder, cable box, satellite box, and audio/video receivers.  With codes for over 2,400 brands and models of equipment, it’s compatible with virtually anything you can throw at it.

The built-in intelligent illumination causes keys to become backlit only for the device being controlled, which eliminates confusion that can occur from too many key choices and from unnecessary complexity.  In fact, once it’s set up, I found day-to-day use to be pretty intuitive. In time, I can see that the rest of the gang here at Gadget Central would get to know and like the Kameleon 8, but I have had it for only a couple of weeks.  It controls my TiVo, and that’s the most important capability!

Out of the box, it’s simple to set up for basic operation. However, if the user wants to take advantage of the advanced macro features, this is what will take some time.  But, once it’s set up, that’s it.  Just use it.

This is a great gift idea, made even better because I found it online through a search at www.nextag.com for a delivered price of under $52!

More information is at HERE or call 330-405-8620, the UEI helpline.

Retail locations selling the One For All Kameleon 8 remote include Best Buy, Circuit City, Sharper Image, selected Wal-Mart stores and Good Guys.

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