Remote codes that don’t work, Format vs. Erase All, CRT TVs are still wonderful (if you can find one!)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 39, 2007

Q: I recently purchased a Sylvania 15″ digital LCD HDTV to use with Dish Network. My Dish remote does every other thing it should with the Dish receiver, such as channel selection, program guide,system info and recall. I cannot program my Dish remote to turn the TV on or off. I am also unable to control the volume or mute with my Dish remote. My Dish user guide has a list of device codes for Sylvania, but I have been unsuccessful trying to program my Dish remote with the codes, and I am unable to receive any help from Sylvania or Dish network. Could you possibly send me the device code so I can program my Dish remote to handle all the needed functions?

-John Gasda

A: Unfortunately I do not have access to any different codes than you do. What you are finding is that remote codes do not always work, or sometimes they can work some functions of a device, but not all. This is most obvious with DVD players and receivers, which usually have brand or model-specific functions.

Your Sylvania TV is made by Funai, so you may want to try codes for Funai televisions. If that does not work, your best bet is to get a learning remote control, which learns the functions from your existing remotes. This will enable you to program it with all of the functions you need and assign them to buttons as you see fit.

Learning remotes start at under $30 and can be priced into the hundreds for more full-featured touch screen models. A good place to learn about them is www.remotecentral.com. Get a learning remote and program it and your frustration will be over.

Q: I know there are two ways to erase my digital camera’s memory card, with either the “erase all” function or the “format” function. What is the difference between them?

-J. Duchess, Pittsburgh, PA

A: When you use “Erase All” you will delete all the pictures on the memory card except for ones you have locked or protected. When you use “Format”, you wipe the card completely clean and erase absolutely everything, including the pictures which were locked or protected. It also configures the card with files and folders to optimize it for use with the device formatting it. It’s a good practice to format a memory card the first time you use it and when changing between devices, for example when moving an SD Card from an MP3 player to a digital camera, or even when changing between different cameras. Of course, make sure you download and save your music or pictures first!

Q: Our trusty ol’ 27 inch TV is on its last legs and we would like to replace it fairly soon with a HD set of approximately the same screen size. I seem to remember one of your columns stating that you still prefer the picture quality of CRTs to those of other technologies. Is that still true? If so, what are your recommendations for HD CRT TV models in the 27-inch to 32-inch size range? I’ve heard that some companies, Samsung for one, still make

them.

-J. Morgan, State College, OA

A: If you don’t mind devoting a bit more space for your TV compared to a flat panel model, a direct view (tube) CRT is still the way to go for picture quality. Few are available now, but you are correct that Samsung still makes them and their picture quality is excellent. The Insignia brand at Best Buy has a good picture with HD sources, and is very inexpensive- under $400 for a 30″. I’d recommend the Samsung if you don’t mind paying a bit more for it.

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