How to Choose the Best Universal Remote

2009

1. Functionality – basic or advanced?
Decide for yourself first whether you want a universal remote that can do only the basic functions such as power on and off, play, stop, pause, etc; or one that can perform all the advanced functions included in the original remote controls.

If you rarely even use the advanced function buttons on the original remotes, then you might as well get a basic universal remote control that is cheaper.

2. Control range
Don’t feel like getting up and going into the next room to switch off that air-cond? Get a universal remote with radio frequency that can navigate through partitions! A good model is the Logitech Harmony 1000 Advanced Universal Remote.

These are more advanced universal remotes and cost more, of course. If you’re getting this type of universal remote, make sure it can control a good number of devices, or you might as well invest in two standard universal remotes and keep one in each room.

3. Users
Who will be using the universal remote more? Different people like different kinds of universal remotes.

Seniors would prefer larger and maybe back-lit or illuminated buttons that are easier to see. People who’re not so good at devices would like simple and basic buttons just to let them control many devices with one remote control.

Techies like advanced technologies that allow them more flexibility in functions. For instance, an Xbox junkie like me would love this Logitech Harmony Xbox 360 Remote.

4. Rechargeable battery and dock?
I strongly advise you to buy a universal remote that doesn’t need you to configure devices all over again when you change the battery. What a waste of time! If the universal remote cannot keep the configurations when the battery is taken out, then you’d better check if it has a rechargeable battery and dock.

Some people would like a dock because it keeps the universal remote in place and you don’t have to look around for it. Logitech Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote Control comes with one.

5. Number of devices
Count the number of devices you want to control with the universal remote, add a rough number of devices you may add to your home in the future, then get the universal remote that can control so many devices.

This will make sure you’re really getting that ONE remote control for all devices. If you’re frequently updating your home devices, get a learning universal remote like this Sony RM-VL600 8-Device Universal Learning Remote.

6. Types of devices
Are you using common brands of devices at home? Universal remotes come with a listing of codes for many brands and models of devices in its manual, but if you’re using some unknown or rare brand of device, you may have to search for the code on your own.

You can avoid some trouble by checking what types and brands of devices the universal remote can control. A good universal remote for home theater system is the Logitech Harmony 890 Advanced Universal Remote Control, while the Logitech Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote Control is compatible with most systems.

Go to my Best Universal Remote main page or blog for more tips and universal remote reviews.

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