We’ve used the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote with the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 DVR from the Atlantic Broadband cable company for nearly two years.
This universal control works as expected, serves adequately as a replacement for the CLIKR-5 remote that the cable company gave us originally, and is affordable.
Benefits, Pros, Features, and Advantages of the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote
This control is about half as thick as the CLIKR-5, and somewhat lighter too.
Controls up to Eight Devices
The SRU4208WM/17 can command up to eight devices. Nice! These include television (TV), video cassette recorder (VCR), digital video disc player (DVD), digital video recorder (DVR), satellite receiver (SAT), CD player (CD), amplifier / receiver (AUDIO), and a set top cable box (CBL).
Rich Function Set
Some of the keys include:
- Fast Forward.
- Thumbs Up.
- Thumbs Down.
- Volume (up and down).
- Channel (up and down).
- Last. Mute.
- All four arrow keys.
Large Buttons on the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote
You can read the number push buttons easily (bold black print on a semi-white background). This simplifies using the Philips SRU4208WM/17 universal remote for the visually impaired. Especially true with the back light ON.
One Glow-in-the-Dark Button
The star button features built in phosphorescence. Place the remote under a bright light for a few minutes prior to heading to bed. Then this button softly glows green all night long. This simplifies finding the remote in the dark of night, and does not drain the internal batteries from running the back light.
Back Lit Keyboard
The SRU4208WM/17 includes a back lit key panel and all buttons light up with almost equal brightness. After each key press, the light stays on almost long enough to find the next key you’re looking for. Indeed, they could have picked a longer light-up time.
Small Batteries but Long Battery Life
The two AAA batteries last surprising long (nearly two years) and we used it quite a bit for many hours of television viewing and DVR operating.
The Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote Features Automatic Shutoff
Saves batteries. This remote turns off after thirty seconds of inactivity on the buttons.
Remembers Device Codes and Settings During Battery Changes
Battery Door Stays Closed
The battery access door stays put through all the drops and jolts we’ve subjected this control to.
In fact, the Philips SRU4208WM/17 universal remote withstands lots of drops without any ill effects. This belies its thin profile creates an appearance of delicateness. Indeed it’s more durable than it looks.
Moderately Powerful Transmitter in the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote
The infrared signal that this Philips unit emits is reasonably strong, as we’ve successfully operated the DVR from twelve feet away. We’ve seen stronger remotes. But this power level does nicely.
Learning Command Feature
We liked that this remote can actually learn the correct commands from the remotes its replacing. We were concerned that the this remote does not include a LIST key found on the CLIKR-5. But this controller, instead, offers lots of keys that we do not normally press. So we could program one of those available keys to issue the LIST command.
Plus, should a button ever wear out, you move that function to another key.
Also allows direct device code entry, if you already know your device codes and thus, have no need to search for them with this feature.
Device Code Search
We do not need the Philips device code list, necessarily, to set up the Philips SRU4208WM/17 universal remote control. Why? Because it includes a code search feature, mentioned above. It allows scanning through its entire on board library of device brands until you hit on the codes that work with your devices.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations of the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote
Given its smaller and lighter footprint, we found that it fell out of the chair onto the floor more often.
This unit features very square and sharp corners, that could break easily. Other controllers we own have rounded corners to alleviate this potential point of failure.
The infrared transmitter strength is not quite as strong as other remotes. It does not work from very far away unless you point it right at the controlled device. With some of our other remotes, we can point them at walls and even dark-colored furniture. Yet they still properly control the DVR. But not so much with this Philips universal remote.
No ALL ON / ALL OFF Feature on the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote
The Philips SRU4208WM/17 universal remote does not include the all-on and all-off feature of the CLIKR-5. So you cannot press just one key to turn on or off all the devices in your entertainment system.
Instead, this control wants you to press the device button for each device you’re controlling in turn. Then you press the power button for each device. So, its common to find the next day, that you left one or more of your controlled devices turned on all night because you forgot to turn it off with this remote. It would be nice therefore, to have a single Power button to turn on and off all devices.
Needs Longer Duration Back Light
We wish the back light glowed longer when you press the light-up key. As it is, the SRU4208WM/17 only lights for roughly five seconds. It’d be better if this light time was programmable, or was at least thirty seconds.
Buttons Did Not Stand Up to Very Heavy Use
The Play push button on ours developed insensitivity to presses less than a year after we bought it. Rather disheartening too, because we paid over $22 for this remote. But at least we could program one of the other keys emit the same command.
Function Keys Too Small
The device and video control keys (forward, play, back, record, pause, and stop) are too small. They’re only about the size of a pinky fingernail, and about half the size of the number keys. This can cause lots of wrong-button presses. This is likely one reason that the play button on ours stopped working well so quickly. Philips might design bigger buttons in the next version.
The Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote Has No Programming Instructions on Case
The SRU4208WM/17 does not include basic setup instructions printed either on the back of the unit. Nor do we find any on the inside of the battery compartment door. So, a lost users manual could mean that you cannot program this remote.
Our Rating for the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote
While we found the Philips SRU4208WM/17 universal remote adequate for our needs, we would probably not buy it again, particularly if we could get our hands on a CLIKR-5 instead. That is a much bigger universal remote than this one, with a much brighter and longer-lasting back light besides. But this isn’t a bad universal remote. It just seemed a bit delicate and flimsy to us. So we worried about breaking it all the time. Thus, we rate this gear at 80 out of 100.
Where to Buy the Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote Control
This unit is likely no longer available new. So check out the second-hand online shops like eBay if you really want one.
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References for this Philips SRU4208WM/17 Universal Remote Review
- 2020-04-02: Added tags.
- 2019-03-02: Added key phrase targeting and more subheadings.
- 2015-12-04: Added appropriate tags.
- 2014-12-22: Moved to the Tom’s Tek Stop blog, added whitespace and a References section, and revised the content.
- 2012-08-22: Originally published in the Tom’s Universal Remote Reviews blog.