These days no one has a single piece of electronic equipment at home – we have the TV, the music system the desktop or the laptop and the smartphone and the tablet. We love to keep all these pieces of electronic equipment connected and this is fairly easy. What becomes cumbersome is managing the remote controls. Typically, there are three remote control devices that most people use – one for the TV, one for the music system and one of the cable set-top box. You sometimes tend to lose track and become irritated when you want to pick the remote for the TV and end up picking the one for the music system! But this situation is easily salvaged by universal remote controls.
Choosing your universal remote control
Choose what to control with your universal remote control
A universal remote control is not just meant for your electronic gadgets, but can also work on the other electrical appliances including air conditioners, lights and thermostats and so on. Hence, when you plan to buy your universal remote control, you should, beforehand, think about what all you need to control using it. When you plan properly, your entire home can be controlled with a single remote control and this gives you more power than you can think of. This will help you make the right choice.
The simpler universal remote controls
Otherwise, if you are interested in only managing your TV, home theatre and set-top box using your universal remote control, you can opt for simpler version. These universal remote controls are pre-programmed to handle specific jobs and can be easily programmed so that all the entertainment units get connected through one remote control unit. However, there is a set of instructions that you can execute through these multi-brand remote control units and hence, you should choose carefully.
Macro universal remote controls
The more advanced remote controls have many more features. For instance, when you press the button to start the TV, the remote control may send signals that will adjust the lighting of the room to ensure that your TV viewing experience is of the best category. There are macro programs that are built into these universal remote controls and these macros are able to execute other commands that are linked to specific commands.
Touchscreen and smartphone apps
Some of the universal remote controls also have touchscreen functionality and you can use the gadget just like you use your smartphone. If you are looking for a touchscreen remote control, make sure that the display is clear. Even your smartphone can be used as your universal remote control. There are specific apps that you need to download and install in your smartphone and use it as your universal remote control.
Connectivity with your universal remote control
Connectivity is another point to be considered in universal remote controls. Most of the universal remote controls use radio frequency to communicate signals to the pieces of equipment they are connected with. This means that there should be an uninterrupted signal between the remote control and the device that it is connecting with. However, some of the modern universal remote controls also use RF signals that can travel through walls – you can be in one room and turn on the TV in another room – a nice magic show for kids if you want to entertain them!
Designs and prices of universal remote controls
You would, of course, need to consider the design of the universal remote controls. You don’t want an ugly looking, large remote control to manage the sleek looking and modern electronic gadgets that you are so proud of. And along with that, you should also consider the price tag – remember that more the features you choose, more you need to pay for your universal remote control. One of the ways you can save on the cost of universal remote controls is by going through the different online stores and browsing their catalogs.
Which universal remote controls for which use?
In Canada, Logitech is the most popular manufacturer of universal remote controls. Logitech Harmony 700 is one of the best universal remote controls for beginners. It is less expensive because it doesn’t have touchscreen capability. It can control your TV, your Blu-Ray player and your home theatre system. This remote control can be recharged and this means you don’t need to change the battery every now and then. However, it doesn’t have RF capability.
Apart from this universal remote control, there are many more that you can consider. The other most popular universal remote controls available in Canada are Logitech Harmony 650, Logitech Harmony Smart Control, Logitech Harmony Ultimate One, Logitech Harmony 350 and Logitech Harmony Elite. Check compatibility before you opt for any of these models.
There are other companies that make universal remote controls. Some of the top models from the other manufacturers are LG Magic Remote Control with Voice Mate, Philips Universal Flip Remote Control, Sony RM-S1AM, RCA RCRN04GR Universal Remote Control - For TV Satellite Box Cable Box DVD Player VCR Blu-ray Disc Player and Marantz RC101 Dedicated Second Zone Remote.