Universal Remote Controls

By: Dhiraj Bandurkar

Universal Remote Control

Fed up with finding the remotes of each of your electronic devices, then a universal remote control comes as an easy answer. In general a universal remote is a remote control that can be easily programmed to operate various brands and one or more types of electronics devices such as TV, music system, Air-conditioners and many other devices. Typically, the low-end universal remote controls can only control a set number of devices pre defined by their manufacturer, while the mid- and high-end universal remote controls allow the user to program in new controls codes to the remote for controlling a number of other devices. With the increasing use of the universal remote controls many remotes sold with various electronic devices include universal remote capabilities for other types of device, which allow the remote to control other devices apart from the device it came with.

The universal remote controls can be broadly classified in two types like

Device Based Universal Remote Controls
Most universal remote controls that are sold today are device based and they are quite popular. The use of the device-based remote control is simple and the user has to press a button associated with the desired device to control and then uses the remaining buttons to control that single device. Controlling other devices is also simple as the remote control identifies the other devices when the user presses a different device button and then the remote starts sending command to the new device. An example of a device-based remote is the Home Theater Master line of remotes.

Activity Based Remote Control
These types of the universal remote controls are programmed to work on the concept of activities and not on the devices. In this instead of controlling each device individually the user can instead focus on the activity that they want to perform. For instance the user might want to watch a movie, or listen some music, or just watch TV. It is when a particular activity is selected the universal remote control may send out the necessary signals and commands to various necessary devices in to turn on and to configure device to accomplish the desired activity. For instance selecting an activity like watch a movie the universal remote control might turn on the TV, configure the TV to the DVD video input, turn on the amplifier, configure the amplifier to the DVD audio input, turn on the DVD player, and start the DVD playing. One of the most popular activity based remote controls is the Logitech Harmony line of remotes.

The journey with the universal remote control just doesn't stops there, but can continue with the up gradations that are required with the changing electronic devices. That is why many universal remote controls allow the code lists programmed into the remote to be updated to support new brands or models of devices not currently supported by the remote. Interestingly the lower end universal remote controls accomplish this by allowing audible signals to be sent over a telephone to a receiver on the remote. This is applicable when the user calls phone's speaker and then send a signal over the telephone to upgrade the remote for any requested new brand of model of supported device type.

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