Universal Remote Control Units
One Remote to Rule Them All
Nearly every piece of consumer electronics equipment today is sold with what the manufacturer call a "Universal Remote Control." An overwhelming majority of what passes for a universal remote is usually anything but an actual "universal remote control." A universal remote control is a dedicated piece of hardware that is designed to control multiple electronic devices in a house. A few extra buttons on top of a remote that came with your clock radio, along with a few codes in the owner’s manual, simply doesn’t cut it. Today’s universal remotes are surprisingly affordable, and come in models with a comfortable grip that are fully customizable.
This’ll Teach You
Often universal remotes will compensate for the finite number of manufacturers and devices they can include in their programming manual by having a "learning" feature. The "learning" feature enables a Universal Remote to accept infrared codes from another remote and "learns" that sequence so it can mimic that exact IR command.
If you’ve ever had the displeasure of programming a learning remote, you know why this isn’t a popular feature. Who wants to program codes back and forth for every single little function on a device? The sequence to teach the remote the new IR code is usually a cryptic series of buttons that will have you scratching your head. If the remote doesn’t include non-volatile memory to store the new codes, you’ll have to reprogram it with every change of batteries. The best feature of learning remotes is not having to resort to it (they can be a real pain to use). Today’s universal remotes can be computer programmed through USB. USB enabled universal remotes are much more efficient than their learning remote predecessors.
You can easily avoid teaching your remote a new IR code by using one of the many PC connected remotes. These will have updated codes available from the manufacturer’s website for you to download. Simply connect your remote to your PC and update it for the latest codes to run your newest pieces of hardware. Some Universal Remotes can even connect directly to the internet via your wi-fi hotspot and instantaneously download codes without having to connect to your computer. The Wi-Q Wi-Fi remote can even provide content wirelessly to your TV directly from the internet. The features provided by a remote are reaching far beyond mere control of a few devices.