Product Reviews

Best Universal Remotes

The Universal Remotes Review

You are getting ready to watch a movie at home. The first thing you do is find the remote control. Possibly two or three or four remote controls. You need one for the TV, one for the DVD player, and one for the speaker or stereo system. Did you ever lose track of which remote goes to which device? You need a universal remote control that controls all of your devices in one unit. You say you already have a universal remote. One that took you forever to set up for each device, typing and retyping the manufactures codes and repeating the process or some combination of buttons; power on, set one , program code, power off device one, etc.; until you finally get it right. Once programed, each time you need to turn a device on or off there are multiple buttons to enter depending on which device or combinations of devices you are trying to use. The Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control solves all of these problem and more.

The Top Pick

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control – Silver

The Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control controls up to eight devices from one single remote control eliminating the need to fumble through multiple remotes every time you want to watch TV or listen to music. It is compatible with over 225,000 devices from over 5000 brands so it is sure to work on almost any device in your home. There is a one touch button system that makes it easy to use. If you want to watch a movie on DVD just hit the ‘watch a DVD’ button and it will automatically turn on all of the necessary devices in the proper order so you are ready to enjoy the movie. A bright color display on the remote allows you to easily see what see what setting you are on and makes navigating the system easy. The set up for the remote can be done on a PC or MAC and is designed to be done easily and quickly. The Harmony 650 can also be used for some gaming systems like Wii or XBOX 360.

The Competition

  1. Ray Super Remote – Touchscreen Universal Remote Control:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0189VKE2A/?tag=ramreviews-20
  2. Blumoo Universal Remote:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JEMMD9Q/?tag=ramreviews-20
  3. GENERIC TOSHIBA Chunghop RM-96:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UALHG0Q/?tag=ramreviews-20
  4. Universal Remote Control MX-450:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001HKLA60/?tag=ramreviews-20

Considerations for Choosing the Best Universal Remote

Supports:

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control: This remote replaces up to 8 remotes, reducing complexity and clutter in your living room.

Ray Super Remote: Connects all major brands of TV, set-top box, receiver, sound bar, and DVD & Blu-ray player. It can stream players like Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Blumoo Universal Remote: The Blumoo makes watching TV smarter by instantly connecting your Apple and Android devices to your home entertainment equipment. With Blumoo and the free mobile application, you can control all of your entertainment equipment, find what’s on TV, and even stream your favorite music through your existing audio system all directly from your phone, tablet, and Apple Watch.

GENERIC TOSHIBA Chunghop RM-96: This acts as a universal device to connect to TV/SAT/DVD/CBL/CD/AC/VCR.

Universal Remote Control MX-450: This remote can control up to 18 devices. It uses Narrow Band width RF or IR to control all devices.

Screen:

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control: With the bright color screen, one-click activity buttons, and control of devices, Harmony 650 lets you access TV, movies and music effortlessly, even in the dark.

Ray Super Remote: It has a capacitive touch display, that is the largest and most vibrant in the industry, and make it easy for crisp images and ultra-smooth scrolling, swiping and tapping.

Blumoo Universal Remote: Blumoo’s interactive channel guide saves time, allowing you to search shows and find detailed information right from the Blumoo app. No more random channel surfing or using slow on-screen guides.

GENERIC TOSHIBA Chunghop RM-96: It screen is large enough to provide smooth scrolling and swiping.

Universal Remote Control MX-450: It has a color screen for easy viewing and can be programmed to use RF control with the addition of the MRF-260 base station.

Compatibility:

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Control: It can support over 225,000 devices from more than 5,000 brands.

Ray Super Remote: It can easily control thousands of devices with infrared (IR), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Moreover, it can easily connect home devices like Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips Hue Lights.

Blumoo Universal Remote: Blumoo’s cloud syncing feature allows every mobile device in the house to have access to the remote. Customize your remote layouts to create and edit one touch buttons so anyone can set up the TV, movies, Xbox, music and more.

GENERIC TOSHIBA Chunghop RM-96: It acts as a Universal touch screen Remote Control for almost all the devices.

Universal Remote Control MX-450: It controls optional URC lighting and do not have to point the remote at the device you are controlling to adjust your settings.

Buyer’s Guide

There are so many universal remote controls out there today that do so many different things. They can range in price from $20 for a simple one function universal remote upwards of $1000 for you fully interactive smart universal remote. So when shopping for a universal remote it is important to know what you want to do with it. It’s important to know how many devices you need to it to work, the type of devices you need it to work and where you want to be able to work your devices.

Most remotes work on infra red (IR) so they need a straight unbroken line from the remote to the device. You need to be in a direct line with it. If you wanted to work devices from another room or further away you need to get a remote the sends a radio frequency (RF) signal. This works on radio frequencies so the signal can be received from another room or around obstacles. This is handy if you have part of your AV system in a closet or stored out of sight.

Universal RemotesSome remotes come with macro capabilities. This is a function that allows you to turn on or off any programed combination of devices with a single button. If you want the TV to play through your stereo every time you watch it then with one button like ‘watch TV’ it will turn on anything you want along with the TV. For more advanced remotes in a house with smart devices you could even have the lights dim as part of the ‘Watch DVD’ one touch button. This would turn on your TV, DVD player, stereo system and dim the lights to a preset level. You could program any combination of function to happen at the touch of just one button.

If you have devices from multiple brands put together into one complete system you would need a multi-brand universal remote. Most of these come preprogramed with the codes for major brand devices. Some multi-brand remotes however may only work the basic functions on your devices. It may only be able to turn a TV on and off and work basic menu features but may not be able to activate a more advanced function like picture in picture. These remotes will vary in how many functions they can perform for each device so be sure to know what you want the remote to do before you purchase one and find it does not perform the functions you need it to.

A lower cost remote will generally work strictly by button commands. This is usually fine as they only work a few devices or just simple functions. Some of the mid grade remotes may have an LCD display for easy navigation on your devices or to assist in the button commands. The high end remotes come with touch screen command systems along with button controls. These may even be fully interactive with smart house devices, smart phones and tablet. There are now learning universal remote controls that can learn the function codes, codes that are not normally in the default programming of a remote by the manufacturer, from the devices original remote control. This allows the remote to learn all of the detailed functions of a device not normally available with other remotes controls. Again, if you know what you need you will be able to narrow your choices of universal remote controls and get the one that fits best for you.

With all of the remote controlled devices out there it is hard to keep up with the differences and changes in technology. Getting a universal remote control that can add new devices or learn form other device remotes is one way to try keeping up with technology. They are not all expensive and all serve a different purpose but they are becoming more and more necessary to keep control over our ever growing entertainment systems and electronic devices.

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