Best Universal Remote
many remote controls do you have in your
got a TV, Cable/Freeview/Sky box, VCR, DVD
Recorder, Hi-Fi and Home Theatre Equipment?
remote do you pick up?
Get a Universal Remote
Control Unit and make life easy for your family!
more figuring out which one to pick up to do
Programmable Remote Control
Christmas my wife and I purchased a new TV, Freeview
box and 5.1 Surround Sound / DVD Player system. With
the other home entertainment system items we owned,
we now have 6 remote controls, and my missus was
doing her head in!
I spent pretty much all of Christmas and the first
week of 2006 researching the best remote
control for my money. My budget was to be
a maximum of £100 (US$176), but I eventually
bought my unit for £88 and that included VAT and
delivery charges, and gave me a far superior product
than if I had spent just £15 less on a more budget
wanted something that was going to be easy enough
for my family to use, flexible enough to replace
all of my remotes, was capable of learning any infra-red
commands from my existing remotes, looked good, had
legible commands and an LCD screen that helped you
along the way.
Universal Remote Control should
be able to control every piece of equipment in your
system. For example, to watch TV just one button
press will turn the TV on, the Freeview box, the
Surround Sound system, while simultaneously setting
everything to the required inputs for it all to work
correctly. Changing to a different activity should
be just as easy, e.g. to listen to music CD's, it
will turn off the TV and Freeview, turn on the CD
Player and again adjust the inputs, perhaps even
acting as a remote
control dimmer for turning the living room lights
down, and even closing the curtains
discovered three remotes that seemed the very best
out of the lot, and were in or near my price bracket
holds the purse-strings!). There are loads more,
ranging from software that you can install into your
PDA device (assuming it has an infra-red emitter
and that it is powerful enough), to the exceptional
Phillips "iPronto" tablet
remote, which although being quite awesome in its
abilities and is the ultimate in home cinema
system luxury, its a weeny bit pricey to
say the least - well worth a look though.
after about 3 weeks and hours and hours of research
on forums and user reviews I narrowed it down to
the following three remote control units.
Looks very cool. A bit more pricey,
and rather large. But if you're thinking of having
remote control, there have been some bad reviews
about some of the other (newer!) models. Only
go for the RM-AV2500 which has been on the market
for couple of years now.
Models such as the RM-AV3100 have been reported
to lock-up, requiring the batteries to be pulled
out to reset it, thus losing all your careful programming!
Also the buttons on the RM-AV3100 have been said
to stop working after a few months to a year. Not
very good. However the RM-AV2500 didn't seem to
have this problem.
Home Theatre Master MX-500
This is basically the "professionals" choice.
It is like the industry standard remote of choice.
Robust, straightforward, but can be difficult
to setup for novices, and has been around for
a couple of years now, but still a very good
is the one for me! Its very cool and clever.
Its not the top of the line model (thats the
considerably more expensive flashy Harmony
880 which I think is over-rated, and also
has some design
remembers which items of your setup are off
or on! The other two mentioned above don't.
is "activity-based", meaning rather
than choosing a button programmed using "macros" like
the others, each button has an activity such
as "Watch TV", "Watch a DVD", "Listen
has a unique internet approach to setting
it up. You will need a computer and Internet
connection to access the web site, which
leads you through setting it up, and a cable
(supplied) plugs into one end of the remote,
and the other into your computer. After setting
it up, it uploads a program with all your
settings into the remote, and voila, you
can control your system. You just repeat
the process if you want to tweak any settings.
We found it to be easy to learn and use.
also has a Help button to guide you through
troubleshooting. Mrs. P is very happy now!
Info on the Logitech Harmony 680 Universal Remote
Click here for my review
of the Logitech Harmony 680 universal remote
control and the Logitech
Harmony 880 Review.
Difference Between Universal Remotes and Learning
remotes are a great choice if you've lost
or broken your remote control. A universal isn't
such a great choice if you have an old or unusual
piece of equipment that's not in its pre-programmed
memory. But it's great if you've lost or broken
your remote -- it already knows how to operate
the vast majority of equipment.
Basically Universal remotes come
pre-programmed with the codes to operate hundreds
devices. You select the ones you use and you're
done. Some have additional features such as macros,
which allow you to store a sequence of button
presses onto one key.
remotes receive the infra-red beam from
your existing remotes and store the frequency and
pulses in its memory. You typically can store any button
from any remote on any of the
learning remote's keys, and you can do macros as
well, so a single button-press can turn on all
the relevant equipment, put it in the right mode,
and even tune to your favorite station.
remotes are especially useful when you
have a table full of remotes and you need to consolidate.
The newest ones are specifically adapted to home
theater use, with buttons for balancing
the sound image.
great thing about the Logitech Harmony range
of remotes is that the "setting up" web
site has a database with an absolutely massive list
of remotes that they already know about, you simply
choose the make and model number for your kit, and
yet the Logitech remotes can also learn any infra-red
command codes that it doesn't know about. Best of
Where Can You Find More Universal Remote
There is a massive amount of choice available, and
some very good online reviews and user forums, which
is why it took me so long to decide on the best
learning remote control I could get for the least (or sensible)
amount of money.
I think the best review site can be found at www.remotecentral.com
There are many excellent resources available on Google.com,
simply perform a search for "remote control reviews" or "best
universal remote control" and you will find an
oasis of useful information.
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