Universal remote controls for televisions and home entertainment systems are nothing new, and nor is the fact that they are pretty tricky beasts. The worst of them are a pig to install and work sporadically, while the best models are typically extremely expensive which makes them something of a luxury purchase.
Samsung and HTC put the cat among the pigeons recently with the launch of their infrared handsets – the Galaxy S4 and HTC One – which come with integrated universal remote control functionality, and now Logitech which owns the Harmony remote brand is fighting back. The new product, Logitech Harmony Smart Control system is a hardware and app combo which promises to offer the best of both worlds.
The app part works on both Android and iOS, and is available as a free download from the respective app stores. It supports 225,000 home theater devices, and gives you cool functionality like swipe adjust of volume, channel and pause/play. Unlike the Samsung and HTC offerings, this product works by converting a standard smartphone’s WiFi signal into infrared or Bluetooth which can be recognized by your home theater kit, which makes it much more versatile.
Not only will it run on non infrared equipped phones, but it also works through closed doors, no line of sight needed.You also get media player functionality thrown in for good measure. The product is available for $129.99 / £109.00 complete.