Thanks Edmond - unfortunately I'm a novice and not familiar with 'punch through' however ... a poster on the previous page provided this link http://www.remotecentral.com/reviews/urc_r50/index6.htm
. I tried the 'inside device' thing
and that appeared to be my problem. My LCD screen goes totally blank but the volume works and I'm good with that. I'm so totally pumped that the volume works now I forgot to even try mute.
Huge thank you for taking the time to offer some advice!! Next - try to program macros and then teach my husband how to use this remote (we've only had it for 3 or 4 years already).
Step 1: Bookmark that link above and hope it never goes away - or find a way to print all the instructions and guidance the owner has provided - totally invaluable!