When most people under the age of 30 hear the words “universal remote”, they shudder as they think back to memories of their father stomping around the living room, frustrated with the remote their mother bought him for Father’s Day in 1995. We can promise that the days of desperately trying to setup your universal remote are truly a thing of the past! The new universal remotes are a fantastic addition to your living room and setup is simple.
Why a Universal Remote?
While the experience of a universal remote is vastly different than that of the past, the purpose has pretty much remained the same. Essentially, a universal remote serves the purpose of replacing lost manufacturer remotes or eliminating the excessive number of remotes we all seem to collect between our televisions, sound systems, DVD players and the like. Any device that can be controlled via an infrared (IR) signal can be synched to a universal remote.
The most appealing aspect of universal remotes is the price range of available devices. You can add a universal remote to your coffee table for anywhere from $9 – $283. In general, the more tech devices you are looking to connect to your remote, the more you can expect to pay. As you increase in price to the higher-end remotes, you will start seeing smarter functions like custom programming, often referred to as “activities”. These activities allow you to create custom functions. For instance, you can customize a button so that when it is pressed, it not only turns on your TV but also your cable box and switches the input on your television.
New Universal Remotes are Becoming “Smart”
If you’re looking to spend between $50 and $150 for a mid-range remote, there are still some great perks. For example, the Logitech Harmony Smart offers a remote for $79. The Harmony Smart remote offers a smartphone app as well as voice control. The remote also works with Bluetooth devices, which allows it to work with devices that are hidden in cabinets or even in a nearby room.
Lower end remotes offer a great value for those who are looking to eliminate additional remotes. The ease of synching up your devices is much more foolproof than in the past. However, you won’t see nearly as many bells and whistles as the higher-end remotes.
Regardless of the price you are willing to pay, we can guarantee you can let go of your traumatic universal remote memories from the past and replace them with a much more enjoyable experience. While universal remotes have come a long way, we are looking forward to the near future when these remotes have more capabilities when it comes to working with smart home devices such as smart lighting and home appliances. Until then we will sit back and enjoy our clutter-free coffee tables.