I recently added five new remote controls to my life, via a media room with LCD TV, home-theatre receiver and speakers, TiVO, PS3, Apple TV, Xbox and Wii. Only the last two devices have no remote. Fortunately, the holidays also brought a Surc universal remote
. It’s a slightly large iPhone case that uses an Infrared transmitter to communicate with just about any piece of consumer electronics. An accompanying app includes codes for most equipment and the unit can also learn from any existing remote.
The app can store a bank of remotes for each room in the house—so selecting “Bedroom” puts you in control of everything in that room—and you can customize layouts as much as you want. It takes some time to set up, but once done you’ve got one device that will rule all your other devices. Well, not quite all: non-IR devices, like Sony’s PS3, are left out. But even with that caveat, this US$90 gizmo is very handy if you’re overburdened by remotes.
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