Control your universe on a budget – Remotely

Remote ControlIn a world of converging entertainment devices, who hasn’t been faced with a coffee table full of remotes? Most of which are badly designed, unintuitive, and just a pain to learn.

When shopping for a universal remote, one can spend hundreds of dollars. Boasting features like an LCD touch screen, USB interface, and an online database of downloadable codes.

But what if I don’t want to spend $500.00, $200.00, or even $50.00 on one of these marvels? Isn’t there a "budget" remote that does what I need?

My main concern was to find one that could replace my current favorite (PVR remote). Now that’s a well designed remote.

The issue was those extra features that your typical universal remote doesn’t have (page up, page down, back , skip, search, and other pvr functions). Most  "budget" remotes (sub $15), not only lack these features, but their layouts are pretty lousy. And to top it all off, they only contain a short list of device codes.

The day I stumbled upon the Philips P6DSS Universal Satellite Remote , as I was browsing through the  electronics department, at Zellers. I noticed it had a similar button layout as my PVR remote "woohoo". Upon closer inspection, I also noticed  the relevant buttons (skip, scan, FF, RW, Play, Pause,and Stop).

This is when I  said to myself, "snap out of it dummy, these are typical VCR functions"… But!, right above the navigation buttons, there laid the (pg up/pg down). That’s what got my hopes up, once again.

The Second criteria it had to meet, was being able to control my XboX console (it’s been my media center since the day I modded it), Anyhow, according to the package, it supports XboX. AWESOME 🙂, as soon as I saw that, I went ahead and picked it up.

Programming was a cinch, all the codes (TV, VCR, and PVR) worked fine. As for the XboX, I had to use the learning feature. It took a few extra minutes, but in the end, it was a snap. Now I can access all the features from my original remotes, and in the case of my tv remote even more than the original.

This slick baby is lightweight, intuitive, and without any compromise in function. And with a price tag of only CA $18, you just can’t go wrong. The only negative thing I could say about it, would be the buttons feeling a little hard to press, and doesn’t seem to have the quickness of the originals. For a guy with hot dog fingers like mine, it’s barely noticeable, and merrits my two thumbs up. 

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