By Jason Snell
February 28, 2018 1:54 PM PT
A Thing We Like: Living room Harmony
I suppose in some ways I am a collector of universal remote controls. Over the years I feel like I’ve tried them all, from old learning remotes to ones with programmable multi-step functions to ones you attach to your computer via a USB and program on a web site, I’ve tried ‘em all. For the last couple of decades I’ve had a multi-channel audio system in my living room—what can I say, surround sound for movies and TV shows is cool!—and that means a whole lot of added remote-control complexity. My TV remote controls the TV, but the audio comes out of speakers attached to a receiver/amplifier, which means I need two remote controls. Throw in a VCR or DVR or DVD player and you really need a universal remote.
My current model is probably my favorite. It’s not remotely perfect, but given the fundamental limitations of universal remotes (most notably that they don’t actually understand the current status of your electronics—Is it on?…