During the last couple weeks, I've spent a fair amount of time playing with universal remote controls. Primarily, it's because I was working on a review of Logitech's Harmony 700. Despite a long-time love of home theater gear, I've somehow got by for years without owning a true universal control. Sure, the remote for my DirecTV DVR was capable of turning the volume up and down on my home theater receiver, but it couldn't handle the trickier functions.
Well, after some time with the Harmony 700, I was sold on having one controller that could synch up every piece of equipment in my system. So, I finally broke down and bought a universal remote. I even paid an extra $50 for an adapter that allows me to control my PlayStation 3. The PS3 uses a Bluetooth connection, so the adapter was a necessity.
I guess what I'm saying is I'm a convert. While I'll continue to dissect stock remotes when reviewing new TVs and components, my main system will - from now on - be run by a single controller. If you've held off on a universal remote, maybe this is the season to put one your holiday wish list. Or, even better, you might consider wrapping one up for the TV lover on your list. It's a really good feeling being able to do whatever I want with a single control. Now I just have to be sure not to lose it.
Photo © Logitech