Universal remote controls are your best bet if you don't want the confusion and the clutter that multiple remote controls can make. If you want an easy to use universal remote control that feels good in your hand and has lots of features like an LCD screen and illuminated keys, you are not alone. With so many choices available these days, it can be difficult to find the perfect universal remote. At IntelliReview, we make it easier for you by doing the hard work. We do this by choosing the top models based on the reviews of many different people across various websites. After compiling the data, we have a very good idea of what is going to give you the most value for your money. We call this rating consumer passion. Having a universal remote control that works well with all your home theater and gaming equipment is important, and we understand that. Let us give you a glimpse of the most popular models available. We have a unique way of providing only the very best universal remotes no matter what type of home theater equipment you have.
Pros: Easy to setup, Excellent button placement, Affordable price, Good ergonomics, Matte finish
Cons: Only supports 4 devices, No LCD screen and activity-based controls
Review: With its support for multiple devices, the Logitech Harmony 300 offers greater functionality than your standard remote control. There is a "Watch TV" button on the upper left corner and five programmable buttons that provide one-click access to your favorite channels. The fact that it only enables you to control four of your home entertainment equipment such as TV and Blu-ray player may be a deal breaker for some but for those who are just starting out, this is a great entry level model. Unlike most universal clickers, set-up is much easier. You can connect it to your computer with the supplied USB cable for easy configuration. It is powered by 2 AA batteries and compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Intel-based Mac OS X v.10.4.8 or later. This remote control has a black matte finish which is better than the 300i's glossy black exterior. The buttons are well laid out and the remote itself doesn't feel flimsy and cheap at all. It has a contoured design and the size is just about perfect. At this price point, the Logitech Harmony 300 really delivers. It has a good set of features and its compatibility with up to 5000+ brands along with its growing database ensure that you're always just a click away from a superb entertainment experience. Overall, the absence of activity-based controls as well as an LCD screen can be frustrating but its great value for the money and ability to simplify your life make it an attractive compromise.
Pros: Supports up to 8 devices, Comes with a handheld remote, IR blaster for TVs supplied
Cons: Sparse documentation and manuals, Smartphone or tablet app doesn't offer any more functions than remote
Review: Owning a home entertainment suite also means having to put up with a collection of different remotes for the different components. With the Logitech Harmony Smart Control Universal Remote Hub however, you can have all the functionality you need in a single device. The Harmony Smart Control universal remote hub is unlike your usual universal remote control in that it uses a central hub that controls your devices instead of the conventional single unit that you enter codes into. The flat, glossy hub is configured through a USB connection to a computer, or through a Wi-Fi connection with a tablet or smartphone that has the Harmony app installed, and controls for different devices synced to the Smart Control directly from Logitech for maximum compatibility. An IR blaster is included with the Smart Control for relaying controls to a TV, with space for another one. Plus points are likewise scored for the Smart Control for its compatibility with game consoles like the Sony Playstation 3 out of the box. All in all, it supports up to 8 devices. Although the Logitech Harmony Smart Control can work using a smartphone or a tablet, it just doesnât seem as intuitive and takes up a lot more steps to do a single action. Fortunately, the Smart Control hub comes supplied with a handheld remote. The remote has three dedicated buttons for frequently-used activities; an additional three more can be accessed via a long press on any of the buttons. The Harmony hub works via RF, or radio frequency instead of the traditional IR connection, which lets it work even through walls and cabinet doors. The handheld remote for the Smart Control is powered with a single CR2032 button cell, which could be the only issue with this remote. While both the central hub and the handheld remote making up the Logitech Harmony Smart Control Universal Remote Hub are pretty great by themselves, a little work could be done on another aspect of the product, in this case, the documentation. Setting up the Smart Control shouldnât be a chore, but is one considering the lack of a proper manual. While the nearly-automated configuration available through the Harmony website eliminates the tedious trial-and-error process that you get with other devices, the steps that you do afterwards do take some time. The tablet and smartphone apps also donât really add any more functionality other than what you get from the remote bundle itself. However, with a little patience, the Logitech Harmony Smart Control could be the last universal remote you'll ever need.
Pros: Extensive collection of IR codes across different makers, Rechargeable, Energy efficient
Cons: Web-based syncing needs improvement, May need a little study in order to operate unit correctly
Review: It's a universally accepted fact that the more devices you own, the more remote controls you will have to keep track of. The problem is, the more remotes you own, the bigger the chances that one of them will get lost or broken. Of course, you could settle for an ordinary universal remote control, but with the Logitech Harmony 700, which has a 5000-plus brand library covering more than 225,000 models, compatibility is no longer an issue. In addition to a button layout that is similar to common universal remotes, it has a small but bright colored LCD display interface, allowing you to know at a glance what its current status is. You can quickly choose between your favorite channels, or cycle through your frequent commands. The ergonomic design of this universal remote makes it easy to hold on to, while the keys are backlighted, making it easy to use in the dark. The Logitech Harmony 700 has two dedicated operating modes to use with different devices. The Activities mode turns on the different devices associated with the remote, and for more control over your system, it also has a Devices mode that is used to key in commands to individual machines. Logitech's Harmony 700 can be programmed via the Web or through a standalone installer. Using the installer only gives it support for up to 6 devices simultaneously, as opposed to the 8 devices when used with the web application. Initial setup needs to be done online, though. A pair of rechargeable NiMH batteries powers the remote. It also comes with a USB cord and an AC adapter. If needed, it can use AA batteries as a power source. This universal remote is remarkably power-efficient, often lasting weeks on a single full charge. It is a handy, one-stop remote control for your electronic devices. The extensive collection of IR codes for an equally extensive range of brands is definitely to its benefit. However, the uploading system it uses to actually store the codes into the remote's memory could use some improvement, especially the web-based one. There's also a minor learning curve when using the Harmony 700, but a few minutes of studying the guides and videos on the Logitech website should put you on the right track.