Universal Remote Controls: Your Best Friend

URCHave you ever had a system where you needed to use one remote for your TV, another for the A/V receiver, and yet another for the cable box or satellite receiver? Or even worse, there was only one person in your home who could actually make the system work on a consistent basis? A universal remote can rescue you from this situation and make it easy for everyone to enjoy movies, music and more.

When most people think about their dream home theater, whole home A/V or other home entertainment system they first think about TVs, electronics or speakers—the remote control system usually isn’t at the top of the list. But the remote is what you touch every day. It’s how you can control everything your system can do without frustration.

A universal remote can control all of your A/V gear; no more juggling multiple remotes. It doesn’t matter if you have components made by different manufacturers, one remote can control everything. Plus, most universal remotes or control systems can do multiple commands with the press of one button. These series of commands are called activity based commands or macros. For example, without a universal remote, to watch a DVD you would need to:

  • Turn on the TV, Select the right input on the TV
  • Turn on the A/V receiver
  • Select the right input on the A/V receiver
  • Turn on the DVD player
  • Select Play for the DVD player

If you have a remote system that can do macros, you would simply press ‘Play DVD’ and the remote would take care of the all the needed commands. After the movie, should you decide to watch TV from satellite or cable, all you need to do is press ‘Watch TV’ and the remote will send the appropriate commands to stop and turn off the DVD player and then select the right input for watching TV. Your installer can even tie in lighting control. In the above situation, you might want to watch a movie in a darker setting. For regular TV viewing you might wish to have more light in the room. With proper programming, your universal remote system can adjust the light level to your liking for any activity.

When deciding on a universal remote, it’s important to note there are three primary types of universal remote controls: touchscreen remotes, remotes with traditional buttons or a combination of buttons and touchscreen.

Some people like remotes with buttons. After you become comfortable with the remote, often you don’t even have to look at the remote to perform many tasks. Others like the simplicity of a touchscreen. With a touchscreen, only the ‘buttons’ that are applicable for a certain activity are displayed. Halfway in-between are remotes with touchscreens and some buttons. And with some remote control systems, you can also use many smart phones and tablets to control your A/V system.

We can help you decide which remote system best meets your needs. We can also program your system so you easily can watch or listen to everything available in your system with a simple push of a button. Don’t neglect the remote system; it might end up being your favorite piece of gear.

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