The fire is realistic, especially behind a screen that masks a bit the shape of the box in the fireplace. The flames are great, the logs kinda look realistic, the heat output is weak. The remote is a simple on and off. to select heat buttons have to be depressed requiring removal of the fire screen I am using and selecting one of the two heat settings. The product does retain the heat settings if remotely turned off and on, but I want to use the fireplace ambiance, and occasionally use heat. This is the mose realistic "fire" I have experienced so I put up with a little extra work.