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The Benefits of one remote to Control Everything

Universal Remotes not only control your Home Theater Electronics, but they can control your Home Automation Systems too. Combine entertainment, lighting, blinds, locks, and more to create a very unique experience within your home.

It can be rather overwhelming to shop for a universal remote. There are so many options and brands out there. Dolphin AV highly recommends the Logitech brand. Any of their products are very reliable.

Now if you are asking yourself, “How do I choose the right remote for me?”. Here are some helpful tips to find the perfect remote for your home.

1.  Start by determining how many products you’ll need to control. If you’ve got six devices, don’t get one of the remotes that only controls five or fewer. And remember that Harmony remotes should be able to replace any infrared-based remotes, including those for ceiling fans.

2. RF compatibility is a great upgrade — but be prepared to pay for it. Control compatibility refers to infrared (IR) or radio frequency (RF). Every product you own (with the notable exception of the PlayStation 3) almost certainly uses IR control, but that requires line of sight to the product’s IR receiver. If you want to hide your home theater gear in a cabinet, you’ll want to invest in one of the RF models, which include RF-to-IR blasters (small accessories that convert the radio commands — which work through obstructions — to the IR emitters that are in turn placed near the receiving devices).

3. If detailed, multi-step custom macros are important to you, a Harmony One model would probably  be the best choice. A small group of advanced users values the ability to program custom multi-device macros, to do things like raise the lights when putting a movie on pause.  Logitech calls macros “sequences,” but the cheaper remotes only support sequences of five steps — not enough to do extensive programming.

4. The Harmony Adapter for PlayStation 3 is a must for PS3 owners. For reasons known only to Sony, the PS3 does not have an IR port, so it can’t be controlled by regular universal remotes. Thankfully, Logitech makes this accessory, which converts IR commands to PS3-friendly Bluetooth. Yes, it’s annoying that you need to pay an extra $50 to $60 for this, but it works flawlessly.

5. Don’t think $100 is too much to spend for a remote. Yes, it looks like a lot of money. It is a lot of money, especially when you’ve been used to picking up “universal remotes” at the drug store for $20. But trust us: even the midlevel Harmony models are a great investment that are well worth their purchase price.

The software will still frustrate newbies and non-techies. The latest version of Logitech’s software is much improved over earlier versions, but — as good as it is — it can still frustrate those who aren’t techies. And there’s definitely some trial and error involved when setting up a Harmony, even if the process is completely smooth. If you are interested in a Harmony remote and are not sure if you are tech savvy enough to set it up, call on Dolphin AV to set it up for you and demonstrate/educate you on all of the functionalities of your new remote. Dolphin AV services the Hilton Head/Bluffton SC area.

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