Even in the age of voice-activated systems, remote controls are still a critical system component – and the best universal remote even more so. In today’s post, we’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions about the best universal remote, what their essential functions are, how you can maximize the use, how much your budget should be, and which are the popular models among consumers.
We hope this guide will help you understand this gadget better.
What Is a Universal Remote?
Simply put, universal remotes are remote controls. You know the one that comes with your television? That’s it. However, they do more than just flip the channels and adjust the volumes in your TV.
If you’re initially wondering if there’s any need for the best universal remote, we can think of two scenarios.
First, you want to have less remote controls but still allow you to streamline your audio-video system function. Second, you’ve misplaced your original remote control and getting a replacement is pricey.
The best universal remote is the ideal solution in those scenarios. Most universal remotes utilize infrared. Also called IR, infrared uses the same signal code that remote manufacturers use.
Cheap VS Expensive Universal Remotes
Everyone wants to save money. To get the best universal remote with the most significant saving, opt for the kind that works by using a protocol of button presses to set up the promote. This selects the correct instructions and settings for the hardware.
Sony and Panasonic have used minimal instruction patters over the past ten years for their televisions. This means you can repeat the patterns until you discover the instructions that allow you to control the television model you are trying to use.
Spend a little bit more, and you find mid-tier universal remotes. These ones have accompanying mobile apps and massive databases that allow you to choose the receiver or TV you’re using from your mobile device.
This is an easier and faster way to incorporate new devices into your universal remote – especially if you change the setup of your AV.
Generally, the more devices you want to incorporate, the best universal remote value you can get. For instance, Logitech’s Harmony Elite is working with a maximum of 15 devices with just one universal remote. On the other hand, cheaper and lower-end models can only support one device.
Similar to a majority of scenarios in technology, looking for the best universal remote boils down to the standard use-case question. Are you looking to replace a lost remote control, or do you prefer to use only one remote instead of multiple ones to control your systems?
The Best Universal Remote: Premium Group
When you start seeing the more premium group of universal remotes, you’ll find ones that allow you program custom macros or settings. These settings can make a singular button or touchscreen activation to initiate multiple commands all at once.
An example of a remote setting is turning on your digital cable box, TV, audio receiver, changing the receiver to the channel you want, and choosing the right HDMI input for your TV.
Another popular example of a remote setting is turning off all your devices with one press of a button. Bottom line is it’s up to you to set up the configurations you want for the custom macros.
Who Makes the Best Universal Remotes?
In the world of universal remotes, Logitech is arguably the most prominent player. This brand makes the best universal remote at the higher-end quality.
Mobile Phone Options
We’re at an age where most solutions we need is one tap or click away from our mobile phone – and home entertainment is one of the benefactors of it.
Some mobile phones work as universal remotes. However, they’re not the phone models you may be thinking. For a mobile phone to double as a universal remote, they’ll need to have an IR blaster.
Sounds futuristic, but this feature allows mobile phones to send out a signal as a standard remote control does.
Is it Worth the Money?
This may be the question you’re looking to find the right answer to. The best universal remote can control your home entertainment center, your smart home features, and your IR gadgets.
If you want the advantage of simplifying your home media system and conveniently controlling your smart home controls, then universal remotes are well worth the money.