After opening up the Kameleon from its packaging, I was surprised at its size, its a big remote, but feels well weighted. As soon as you touch the remote it instantly looks used as finger prints get all over the plastic aluminium finish.
After touching the lcd type pad, it feels well made but just a little tacky. The illumination of the device is certainly something, especially at night when no other lights are on. It is very easy to programme, just find the manufacture of you home entertainment systems in the back of the manual and try the codes out until you find one which controls all the features on the original remote, you will find that with well known manufactures, like Panasonic there will be a lot of codes, because of so many models, but you will eventually find the one you need. If a function is missing you can just use you normal remote to send the infra red beam into the kameleon and hey presto, it learns the function.
This is a great piece of kit and has helped me, only fault I can find the aluminium plastic finish is a little poor, but otherwise its a steardy product. One huge advantage over the first generation model is that this one doesnt include a motion sensor. This may seem like a disadvantage but trust me, the motion sensor is just frustrating, if you had the remote on the bed beside you for example every little movement would make the remote light up, annoying you and also draining the battery life.
If your deciding between the Logitech harmony remotes also, I would advise looking into both seriously. The reason I didnt pick the harmony remotes is that my home entertainment set up is a little tricky, especially having a scart box as well, I therefore would not of got the full usage out of the Logitech remotes.
If your looking for a neat modern all in one remote choose the Kameleon, its just like having 6 remotes in one, but if you want to take things to the next level and really take advantage of your home entertainment system, the Logitech Harmonys are quite something, but be prepared to pay a little bit more and live with some of the awful design shapes of the harmonys.
The Kameleon 6 One-For-All is the latest offering in a long line of remotes from Universal Electronics. Having become a leader in the world of wireless control technology, and with millions of remotes sold world wide, the Kameleon 6 provides the features you have come to expect from a universal remote combined with an innovative backlighting system.
The Kameleon 6 will allow you to control up to six devices off a single remote, be it a TV, VCR, CD, DVD, satellite or cable box, home cinema device, or PVR. Virtually any remote control can be cloned using the device, and should you find one missing from the list of pre-sets provided in the manual, you can always use the special update feature via the website.
The Kameleon 6 is certainly an enticing beast. Its rather bulky frame sports a touch-screen backlit interface that illuminates whenever it senses your fingers upon it. Buttons are illuminated in a manner individually tailored to each device, providing a clean layout of keys that are designed specifically for the currently selected mode. Therefore youll see options seamlessly appear and disappear as you switch the remote from, say, TV mode to DVD mode or CD to VCR.
The backlit keys look absolutely gorgeous and are extremely useful when working the remote in the dark. The keys are clearly labelled and ergonomically placed to avoid accidental key-press confusion, although I personally found the placement of the number pad on the bottom, rather than the top, quite counterintuitive as all my previous remotes have followed a top-down structure.
The direction pad, channel up/down and volume up/down keys are raised up in the centre of the remote, and once again highlight these important functions to good effect. Its a little disappointing that the power key wasnt also given special priority, as I feel that its current placement next to the device select keys is a little too concealed for my less-than-nimble fingers.
Similarly, whilst the backlight looks impressive, the remote itself feels quite cheap and nasty. Created out of a fairly low-grade plastic material, and with a highly reflective sheen, fingerprints and marks are attracted to the remotes surface like a magnet. Keeping the device clean and dust free is particularly difficult, and Im beginning to notice slight quantities of trapped dirt begin to form in the nooks and crannies around the moulded fascia.
Using the keypad is an unfortunate bug-bear with this remote. The use of cheaper materials is particularly telling in this area; occasionally your buttons presses are not received or recognised by the remote itself. A stronger, more durable material would perhaps have made for an increasingly responsive finger-touch solution.
This leaves the overall design as being quite a mixed affair; the remote does retain a certain elegance despite its size and relative cheapness, but it still feels quite large and overwhelming in the hand. While button placement is fairly well designed, there are a number of minor flaws that could do with being ironed out, not least the poor tactile response from the keypad.
My previously-owned universal remotes have always been a bit of a chore to get running correctly and the Kameleon 6 is no exception. Once again, it takes a number of key presses, button holds and endless lists of manufacturing codes to get things going; even when using the Quick Search method youre still required to go through a ten-step process. I feel that complicated systems are par for the course with universal remotes, but its still a rather tiresome task, especially when youre setting up more than one remote at a time!
Fortunately, this setup procedure should be a one-time process, and so once youve finally traversed the code-list minefield you shouldnt encounter too many problems with your basic operations. I recommend taking a note of all your codes in the event that you should need them again; helpfully, theres a space reserved for this very purpose within the manual itself.
Should you be unfortunate enough to be missing specialist functionality from your old remote, you can always use the learning feature on the Kameleon 6. Simply point your old remote at your new all-in-one, press the right buttons and the function will be instantly copied over. Again, this is a little bit awkward and cumbersome to perform for several items at once, but it should only be a one-time process and worth the effort in the long term.
Macros also require the, now familiar, complicated setup, but are extremely useful for executing custom commands. It will be doubtful that youll be using these too much, as the pre-existing functionality is pretty solid as it is. However, if youd prefer to operate a single key than go through a complicated list of button presses each time Im sure youll enjoy the efficiency that the Kameleon 6 provides.
The Kameleon 6 also features a special Timed Function so that an instruction can be sent from the remote control after a pre-allotted space of time (up to 60 minutes). This means that you can issue a command from the device without having to be physically present; this feature is particularly useful for creating a makeshift auto-off for products that lack a built-in sleep timer, and has come in use several times in the past.
Should you buy a new device that hasnt got a code in the manual, you can always skip over to the One-For-All website and download an upgrade for the Kameleon 6. Using special audio tones you can update your remote with the latest codes; this is an excellent future-proofing idea in theory, but it can be quite frustrating to work in practice.
Firstly, you need to sign up at the website to access the update section. Then, you need to add the devices you are missing from the list, making sure that you dont go beyond the update memory limit. This is irritating, as a single update can take upwards of fifty percent of the total available space on just a single device. Therefore if you have too many unlisted products in your home, you may have to make a sacrifice or two; whilst this is an extremely unlikely scenario at present, with the Kameleon 6 listing all major and minor brands currently in use, there could come a day when this problem presents itself. Lastly, you are asked to point your remote at the computers speakers whilst a high-pitched squawking downloads itself onto the controller. Again, this method does have its problems, and while testing the feature for this review I found that I needed to repeat the process several times before it succeeded.
Ive been using the Kameleon 6 for several months now, and I have found it to be an above average performer. Whilst it has obviously sacrificed quality for price, and interface reliability for looks, it still retains the stable One-For-All backend technology that will provide bug-free performance for all your universal remote needs. If you are willing to put up with occasionally dubious performance for the wealth of features and good-looks then Id recommend giving it a whirl. However, if you want all the advantages of this remote, but with a more reliable key press system then Id recommend choosing the more traditionally styled One-For-All 6 product minus the flawed Electro Luminescence Technology.