Dollar Store Review: Electra 5 in 1 Universal Remote

I know I haven’t done one of these in a while but I couldn’t find anything to write about. But I did run across something interesting. It’s a 5 in 1 universal remote control which sells for $2. Granted it’s more than a dollar, but even at $2 it’s fairly cheap.

The brand name on it is Electra, although it’s basically a Sony, at least on the inside. It’s built around the Sony RV-V301 design. Although the case is obviously not anywhere near that of the Sony product. I have a Sony RM-V701 which has a black case with rubber bumpers on the top edges and bottom to prevent damage from falls. (Something every remote should have.) The Electra RM-V301 has a very cheap silvery case. The Sony’s case feels heavy and solid while the Electra’s feels lightweight and very cheap. The battery cover of the Electra barely stays on. But for two dollars one has to expect some compromise.

It’s hard to completely compare the two because the Sony is a more advanced model. But it’s clear from the model numbers, and the tech support number in the manual, that the Electra is based upon the Sony technology.

In trying it out I found that I was able to control my receiver to a limited degree as well as my Sony built VCR. I don’t have a DVD to try it on and I use my computer as my TV so I couldn’t try those features. I did however have trouble getting it to control my ExpressVu box, which the Sony does fine. This could be because the RM-V301 design upon which it was based is an older design that is older than the ExpressVu box, which is a problem with many universal remotes. The remotes are only as good as the technology they’re built to handle, so anything made after the remote was designed may not work with it.

The lack of satellite box control would probably be the biggest downside for me. But it is based upon a trusted design. How well it works for you depends upon your equipment. As a toy it’s not bad, after all it’s only two dollars. It’s fine if you would like to put away your extra remotes or you have an old VCR or TV which you no longer have the remote for and don’t want to spend money on. But if you’re dependent upon it and looking for something you need to rely upon, I suggest looking elsewhere.

Also worth noting that you can find Snow Mints in the stores right now. They’re basically a mint toffee and quite good but they’re also very popular and don’t last long. And they only seem to appear around Christmas, but are usually sold out by December. So if you see them, grab them.

I have a couple other dollar store items which I’ll probably do reviews for later.

EDIT:

For those looking for codes, they appear to be the same ones for the Sony model. Here’s a link to the Sony page for their remote and the codes:

http://esupport.sony.com/perl/model-documents.pl?mdl=RMV301

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/RMV301_codes.pdf

(Further Edit:)
The manual for the RM-V301 remote can be found at:

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/RMV301.PDF

It explains how to find codes for components that are not listed.

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22 Responses to Dollar Store Review: Electra 5 in 1 Universal Remote

  1. Abai says:

    I try many times how does this device work for the Tv remote. mine is panasonic Tv. first all this device has no any power light to see battery work or not. can you plz help me out. thank you and have great day…

    • Unfortunately I don’t have the instruction sheet handy so I can’t give exact instructions, but the general procedure is to program the correct code into the remote first with the unit, in this case a TV, turned on. There is a list of codes that should work for your make and if none of them work then you’ll have to scan for the correct code.

      You may find that you can only get close with the code and that while the code may turn the TV on and off it won’t control all the features. Channels and volume usually work but menu and navigation may not.

      However, since the remote is based on an old design it’s quite likely that anything made within the past five to ten years may not work. This would be particularly true if you’ve got a modern HD LCD or plasma set since those sets didn’t exist when the remote was designed. This would probably be the primary reason why the remotes are so cheap.

  2. David Zarkin says:

    I just bought the 6 in 1 remote control at Dollar Tree and I can’t get it to work because the instructions are unreadable even with a magnifying glass. I want it to work with my Sony VCR and am ready to throw it out. Where can I get instructions for this thing? dzarkin@netzero.com

  3. yusur says:

    i saw this remote yesterday at dolarama , i wanted to buy it but then i deside to get back home and read about it, actually i want it for topfield reciever which is old enought , but i didnt find a good information about how to install it on this reciever ,can you help me please …

    • You’re likely to have to scan for the code. Although if the receiver isn’t listed it’s possible that it’s not compatible. Not all remotes are compatible with all devices, and even if they are only a few are full compatible. You may find that some features won’t work. Although generally the more expensive the remote the more likely it is to be compatible.

      It really comes down to whether you want to risk a couple dollars on a remote that might not work for you. If you really need a remote then it might be worth the risk. If it works then you’ve saved the money you would have spent on a more expensive remote but if it doesn’t work then you’re only out a couple dollars and you could probably find something else to use it with.

  4. glen says:

    how do you get therm-v301 to scan codes on its own for televisions

  5. derick B says:

    Junk pure and simple. Keep your $2 and buy a hotdog. This remote is total junk.

    • It is only $2 so one can’t expect much. If you’re looking for something to properly control your entertainment system then you’re looking for something about $50 or more. But if you just need something to turn your old analogue TV on and off it’s fine. I mostly use mine right now to turn my amplifier on and off, and change the volume. (The remote for it died.) I also have an old VCR, whose remote also failed, that I use it on. So it’s okay for old equipment that you don’t want to put the money into.

  6. bonnie says:

    what the code for citizen what do i press to get it to work thank you

  7. Heather Campbell says:

    I just bought this remote & I can’t seem to get the remote to pick up a code for my “Citizen C500 DVD” player at all! I only bought this remote for this player because the remote that came with it is lost! Please help me out… thanks! =)

    Heather

  8. shauna says:

    Thank you this was very helpful! i recently lost my booklet and needed the codes but i didn’t want to buy another remote for it.

  9. Nicole says:

    i tried it for my sony tv just wanted a remote that i could use for volume and the only code it gave for sony didnt work and with no lights or anythng to show its working im not sure that it even does but i guess thats what you get for 2 bucks lol

    • If it’s a digital TV (LCD or plasma) then it’s probably too new for the remote and may not work. You might try scanning for the code. Usually universal remotes are pretty good when it comes to TVs.

  10. Adam says:

    I boought this remote for $2…it cheap.. but it doesnt work.. i have Emerson tv with DVD+VCR combo.. it didnt work with any one of them.. . it is an old tv.. it should have worked..
    i think it is waste of money to spend it on this remote..

    • It is a gamble. The other option is to spend $10 or more. I have been able to get it to work for a TV and VCR separately. Make sure you are programming the codes correctly.

  11. Princess says:

    I tried this remote with an old Craig TV and it did not work. Tried it again with an old model Sharp TV, it still did’nt work. All the codes listed on the manual did not work for either TVs. I thought the batteries were flat because there is no led light but after reading the comments here, I’m convinced the remote is just a waste of money. The $2 is not worth the frustration of trying to get it to work.

  12. reddds says:

    it work great for me

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