Not long ago, someone we know was house-sitting for family members while they were on holiday. They left ample instructions on what to feed the cats and where to put the post when it arrived, but failed to mention how to use the seven (seven!) remote controls in their living room for the simple purpose of watching television. As a result, he spent the first day accidentally opening and closing curtains, playing music he didn’t know how to turn off, and watching a beautiful snow storm on the television while it proudly proclaimed ‘no signal’ at the bottom of the screen. Not only did he waste time working out how to use them all, the house owners came back to an electronics setup with lots of different settings from the one they left!
It’s true, most of us probably understand our own collection of remote controls, even if nobody visiting would. But what if there was a better way? A universal remote allows you to control all your devices with a single controller. Some do this by literally copying the output from your existing remote and storing it against a button, while others come pre-loaded with set-ups for huge swathes of known equipment models. They can look like anything from a normal remote with a few extra buttons to a touch-screen extravaganza with more functions than an Excel spreadsheet.
While you’re at it, if you’re tech savvy, you should also consider boosting your home entertainment experience by budgeting for an LED TV
and a home theatre
system of your choice. Honestly, we all know that the devices matter as much as the hype of the movie, show, or song, right?
What about making the ease in your living area even better? If you have a smart TV, consider a mini keyboard
so you can type searches on Netflix, Amazon and Youtube – trust us, it’s a lot faster than choosing letters one at a time from an on-screen menu! Type everything you need from the comfort of your sofa.
The craving for an easier, unique, or fancy way to control your electronics can be answered in a single purchase. Through our research, we found universal TV remotes can be relatively cheap and affordable. You can pay anything from as little as $5 or as much as $750.
You may wonder why they come in different prices. Well, the variation is basically due the prevalence of features. For instance, a remote with radio frequency connection and a customizable LCD display is more costly than one without. Similarly, those which are highly compatible and can control more number of devices may also cost you more.
The idea is to avoid the cheap universal TV remotes because they may not meet all your needs. Instead, we recommend that you prioritize those features you need for your setup (with a little leeway for new additions), even if that means purchasing on the higher side. Remember, the right choice will see you through more than one generation of electronics purchases, so think of it as an investment.
Now, let’s browse more features to consider while making your pick.
A universal TV remote makes control of your devices less cumbersome by not only reducing the number of remotes but also improving ease of use. Here are some features to look out for:
- Number of Devices Controlled - Gives you freedom to control several devices at a time. Ensure the remote supports everything you need it to
- Backlight – Improves ease of use even at night
- Power Supply – Offers power security for longer and uninterrupted use
- LCD Display – Makes it easier to customize and navigate
- Motion Sensor – Improves efficiency of use both during the day and night
- One-Touch Activity Buttons – Easy switch between devices
- Weight & Design – Find one comfortable to hold and use
Construction and Design
Universal TV remotes are definitely different from the conventional ones. They come with an LCD display for prompt navigation through the variety of control options.
Worried about the many devices you need to control? Rest easy. Some of these remotes are built with one-touch activity buttons to enable you to seamlessly switch between your devices. Moreover, some are as light as 0.3 ounces to give you a comfortable feel while operating – gee! This is what everyone needs, and you shouldn’t be left behind.
If you can, try to have a feel of the remote you’re expecting to buy so you know whether it’ll be comfortable for you. Also, look for one made of sturdy, well-bonded plastic – if it works the way you want, you’ll be using it for a long time.
Performance and Ease of Use
The days of rummaging through a heap of remotes are finally over! Universal TV remotes come with the capacity to operate several devices at a time. This drastically cuts down the number you need – possibly to one remote! How wonderful, right?
Other than this, most of these universal TV remotes come with 2 AAA batteries to get you started. To save battery life, go for one with a motion sensor that wakes up when it senses you moving it. The minute you grab it, you are good to go.
Don’t forget that for easier use irrespective of the time of day, we recommend you go for a universal TV remote with a backlight. Moreover, one having an LCD display will make your control prowess even better.
Now, you hopefully have a good idea what you’re looking for and which factors are important to you. Therefore, let’s browse our picks to help you find your preferred choice.
Consider your entertainment setup and what kinds of features would go well with it before you purchase. If you have a complicated set-up with numerous devices, a remote with programmable buttons will help to make things simple and easy. Whatever you're looking for, these brands have an option that suits your needs.