The picture on my new 40″ Samsung LCD HDTV is amazing, but the sound, not so much. So I plugged the audio output of the television into the auxilliary jack for my Bose Wave Radio (model AWRCC1). Much better! But then I encountered a new problem. When the TV audio is external, the TV remote can’t control it. Luckily the radio has a remote (otherwise I’d have to walk across the room to mute the TV when the phone rings), but I’d rather have the TV volume on the same remote as the rest of the TV controls.
First I tried to set the auxilliary button on my Time-Warner Cable remote to the Bose radio. The cable remote instructions list these codes for Bose audio equipment: 070, 170, 224, 374, 409, 460, 532. I tried them all, but none of them worked. So then I tried the scanning method, holding down the channel button until the radio turns off. But it never turned off.
I did an internet search on controlling Bose devices with universal remotes and found a plethora of contradictory information, none of which solved my problem. So I called Bose customer support. Their products may be pricey, but they sure have good customer support. I got someone on the phone immediately, and he was knowledgeable. He explained the problem instantly and gave me the solution.
And now I’m sharing it with you.
You Need a “Learning” Remote
Many people think that the Bose codes don’t work because Bose remotes use radio frequencies rather than infrared. But this is only true in their high-end home theatre equipment. The Bose Wave Radio remote does use infrared, but – and this is the missing piece – Bose did not set up codes for programming a universal remote. You can’t find the right code because there is no code. To control a Bose device, you need a universal remote with “learning” capability. It has to be one of those remotes where you put the original remote nose-to-nose with the universal and “teach” the universal by pressing the corresponding buttons.
You don’t need a $200 Logitech Harmony remote to do this. I spent some time looking at the extremely complex manual for the Harmony and decided no way. I found another remote that is nearly a tenth the price and, in my opinion, far better: Universal Remote Control URC-WR7. I got it for $27 at Best Buy. Amazon is currently selling it for $21.44.
It took just a minute to get it working with my Bose Wave Radio. Even better, I have it set up so the volume controls for my TV and Blu-ray both use the Bose device. You can’t do that with any other universal remote. It’s a feature they call “punch through”, and it’s fantastic. You can make functions from any device available from any component. A reviewer for the Sony Universal Remote complained that it switched to the TV component whenever you pressed the volume control, so beware of that one!
Tip on using the learning function with the Bose remote: Holding down the volume Up or Down button is a different command than a single press of Up or Down. You need to program both into the universal remote.
The URC-WR7 also has macro capability. I set it up so when I turn the TV on or off, the Bose Wave Radio turns on or off, too. There are other things you can do with the macros – I haven’t finished exploring all the features.
So no, you don’t need a separate remote for volume if you use a Bose Wave Radio to output the audio for your TV. It’s easier and cheaper than you think – you just need the right universal remote.
[[Edit, 10-Dec-13: It turns out that the information the Bose Tech Support guy gave me was incorrect. While it’s still very handy to have learning capability in this remote and I use it heavily, there is a code that works for the Bose Wave Radio – at least to control on/off and volume: 409. I discovered this because my original WR7 stopped working and I bought a new one. The new Bose code was listed in the booklet for the new remote.
However, the code does not work with every button. If I use the AUX button, it works; if I use the AUD button (where I want to put it), it does not work. I’ve found this problem with other devices, as well. For example, the code for my DVD burner works on the DVD button, but not on the CD button. This is irksome because I want to put my Blu-ray player on the DVD button and the DVD burner on the CD button. This thing where not all codes work with all buttons is an annoying limitation in the WR7. I don’t know why you can’t use any button for any device.]]