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How to Choose a Universal Remote Control

So your coffee table is beginning to look a lot like a thrift store. Various remote controls strown all over the place. You need to juggle different remotes to turn the TV on, operate your cable TV box, and Blu-ray player? There is a way to fix this clutter and use just one single remote to control every device you own!

This guide aims to discuss what you should consider when looking to buy a Universal Remote Control.

When choosing a universal remote control there are many things to consider however, the most important item above all others is the number of devices you want to control with it. The ultimate purpose of the universal remote is to eliminate the coffee table clutter most of us deal with on a daily basis.. Many satellite and cable TV providers supply their own remote control. Some go as far as to call them universal remotes, yet they typically control just the TV and the satellite or cable box leaving you with a mess of remotes remaining. A good universal remote control will operate your TV, satellite/cable box along with your other devices including a DVD/Bluray player, stereo receiver, media player and others you may own. The next thing you want to check is to be certain it will actually control the devices you currently own. Many remotes sold these days don’t have a way to update their software and they won’t work with any new devices you buy. A backlight is also a great feature making it easier to find buttons when the lights are off. Try adjusting the volume at night while watching a movie in the dark without a backlit remote and ruin the mood by turning on a light. Trust me, go with one with a backlight.

Over the years I’ve gone through various Universal Remote Controls, and they always seemed to fall short in one category or another. Whether it was lack of memory to “learn” fuctions from the other remotes, the software wasn’t updatable to work with new devices, or the buttons simply stopped working after a year or so. So I sought to research as much remote control information I could online through Google and product web sites. Then moved to trying them each out in the stores around my home.

One of the best universal remotes I’ve found that meets the criteria I discussed earlier is the Logitech Harmony 650. This Harmony remote will not only control the number of devices most people own, but because it’s programmed via the web with its constantly updated database it will work with all of your devices, including those you may purchase in the future, thus future-proofing itself as they say.

I’ve been using this remote for about a year now and it has performed well. Battery life is at about 3 months and the buttons are well made, feeling very solid, yet provide no sound with “clicking” which is a big plus in my book!

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