Clear Your Remote Clutter - Use a Universal Remote

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One of the most useful accessories for a home theater is found in the universal remote. If you are unfamiliar with its purpose, functions, and available features, this article will provide you with an overview to the device.

What Will It Do For Me?

A universal remote for your home theater integrates a number of devices in your setup. For instance, if you have a television, receiver, speaker system, satellite system, and a digital video recorder (DVR; such as Tivo), you would probably want to investigate reducing the remotes you have to one central remote.

This is where the usefulness of these remotes is seen. Most universal remotes include basic functions to control such devices. The remote will allow you to choose which device you would like to control, where basic functions can be utilized, such as power, channel, and volume selections.

Lower-end universal remotes involve a set number of codes that you will be required to enter in order to get the device(s) to work. Compatibility ranges with the quality of the remote. Not surprisingly, setup can be frustrating with lower-end remotes. In some cases certain devices may not be compatible with universal remotes (especially those that are lower-end remotes).

What to Look For

If you are interested in more control and convenience in a universal remote, you may want to look at a higher-end universal remote control. Typically, you can enter this realm with a great deal of control and convenience for $100 to $200, and beyond for more advanced models.

In these models, control is quite advanced. You will have control of more devices than in lower-end models, commonly 15-20 devices instead of perhaps 5 on a lower-end model. Repeaters can extend the range of such remotes, Bluetooth compatibility is seen, and RF-compatible signals are able to be realized in this higher-end market. Macro programming is a strong feature, where you can setup a number of devices to perform a function with the press of a button.

These models also offer many convenience functions. Backlit remotes, increase status information, and visual representations are seen on some higher-end models. In general, higher-end universal remotes offer basic comfort advantages, such as the shape of the remote and comfortable and soft buttons.

What to Consider

If you are considering a universal remote control, either of these options may be appropriate for you. First, consider what your budget will allow. For some a couple hundred dollars is not that significant for the money of a home theater. Others may find the convenience and control not as useful for their needs and budget.

However, many find this type of remote incredibly useful for their needs. With one touch of the button in many advanced models, your television, audio, and video signals can turn on, and you can also program other elements in the room (such as your video game system, stereo, and even remote-controlled lighting) to come on in coordination, or in a separate macro. The universal remote control may be just what you need in order to see increased control and comfort for your home theater.

Tags - Sony STR-DN1000 Receiver

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