Originally Posted by genx80s
So a $10 Philips universal remote should work for this? If so, I will probably do that. I only found one SE-R0152 remote on eBay and it is $18.95. I found another site selling one for $29.95.
When we try to bargain hunt for complex electronics, it almost always blows up in our faces. Forgive me, but it was unrealistic of you to think you would just be able to pick up some random eight year old DVD recorder and it would come with the matching remote and work perfectly all for the low, low price of $25. It doesn't happen that way, except for a very few lucky people. You really need the genuine remote, even if it pumps up your investment total to $50: if that is too much for you, then sell this Toshiba and wait until you can afford $125 for a complete new recorder.
These machines need their original remotes, they are basically computers dedicated to making DVDs and the remotes are the "software" that runs them. I recommended the Philips universal because it seemed you couldn't find the Toshiba remote for a decent price, but the $18.95-$29.95 you're seeing are very decent prices (most replacement recorder remotes run $44.95 and up). The Philips can likely be programmed for most of the functions, but they will be awkward, mislabeled and in the wrong places. Once you begin to use the machine with any frequency you will be bothered by missing function buttons you thought you "didn't need" from the correct remote. It truly isn't worth the $10-15 you might save: go for the original remote if you decide to keep this recorder.
If the person who sold me the recorder was truthful, I think he said he never used it to record DVDs and only used it as a DVD player and VCR. Cosmetically, it looks basically new with no noticeable wear.
If true, of course thats very nice: "low miles" beats "worn out" any day. Just be aware that "hardly used" doesn't guarantee anything with a DVD recorder: they're voodoo electronics that don't follow the logical rules that apply with other devices. The biggest variable is the burner: even the best ones are weirdly different from the burners sold for PCs. A PC burner can last several years and burn a couple thousand discs, while you could buy a brand new DVD recorder and it will die on you after three hundred discs.
Also, burners in general are ticking time bombs: they somehow begin deteriorating the moment they leave the factory. A burner that sits new and unused for six years is about as likely to fail today as the same burner installed in a PC and used every day for those six years. Plus with recorders made between 2003-2005, you have the added complication of the Chinese capacitor scandal (they sold millions of failure-prone counterfeit parts to all the major consumer electronics companies early in the decade, causing defects in everything from coffeemakers to laptops). IOW, it may be a nice "mint" recorder, but don't assume you'll get five years out of it for your $25. Most of us have been lucky to get 30 months on average, and that with recorders we bought new for $400 in 2006. DVD recorders are outrageously short-lived products.