The best TV Remote controls on the market right now

So you've fitted your lounge out with the latest bits of home cinema kit, a state of the art television and hopefully a decent sound system too, but now you've got 10 remote controls sharing your spot on the sofa, and that means hassle.

Here we've scoured the home cinema emporiums of the world to find out which remote controls are the best; not only so you can have "one to rule them all" but to also let you keep one hand free for your glass of wine (beer's so not you, it really it isn't).

Logitech Harmony 300i

If you're looking to go all-in-one but aren't ready to spend the equivalent of a nice weekend away, the Logitech Harmony 300i is probably a good place to start.

Coming in at just £29.99 compared to its bigger brothers at the £100 mark and over, the 300i can replace up to four remote controls, but like all the Harmony remotes is programmed not on the device itself but by using a step-by-step process on the product website.

The online library of controllers you can program covers 225,000 devices from more than 5000 brands including Sky and Freeview remotes. The site is being constantly updated and all you've got to do is sign up, connect it to a computer and let the website do the rest.

£29.99


Logitech Harmony 1100

While the Logitech Harmony 300i offers you a basic start into the world of the universal remote control, the Logitech Harmony 1100 hopes to well and truly immerse you in it. It comes with a 3.5-inch full-colour touchscreen - that's the same size as an iPod touch - and a number of tricks up its sleeve.

As an example of the tricks that the device can perform, movie fans will be able to have play and pause buttons immediately available on the screen once they start their movie, and accessing TV controls is as simple as pressing a "watch TV" icon on the device's screen to start up your system.

Capable of learning the codes and commands of 225,000 devices to control a total of 15 units, you can even get an optional dongle so you can control your AV equipment without even needing to see it. Oh, and the rechargeable battery means an end to having to replace them every couple of months.

Price: £359.99


One For All SmartControl

Like the Harmony 300i, One For All also makes a good entry-level offering that works with all the latest digital equipment such as HDTV, DVB-T, iPod docks, Blu-ray, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Full HD LCDs, home cinema systems and MP3 players - ie most things in your home cinema setup.

Boasting a three button set-up process for all the most popular brands, the remote can learn any function from the original remote making this one to look at if you just want to reduce the number of units you need on a daily basis. Those with specific advanced requirements might want to look further afield though.

The One For All SmartControl universal remote runs on four AAA batteries (not included).

Price £24.99


Glide TV Navigator

Most remote controls are long, thin and pointed, but the The GlideTV Navigator takes a different approach instead; by sitting in the palm of your hand.

In doing so, it promises to combine the functionality of a keyboard, mouse and AV remote for living rooms with a media PC set-up.

With a clickable touchpad, the Navigator boasts cursor control, one-thumb scrolling, single and double-click selection as well as Esc, Enter, Back, and Function keys.

The Navigator set-up is comprised of the remote, a charging station, and USB wireless receiver and is compatible with Windows PCs, Macs, PS3 and any set-top box that is compatible with HID devices and works with Windows Media Center, Apple iTunes, Boxee, Apple Front Row, SageTV, Firefox, and any web browser.

Price £119


Universal remote case for iPhone 3G, 3GS, and iPod Touch

If you've got an iPhone or iPod, good news, you've got the basis for a new shiny remote already. The biggest problem, however, is that neither device has an infra-red transmitter to point at your TV.

In steps, the Universal remote case for iPhone 3G, 3GS, and iPod Touch that gives you a hardware jacket to slip over your Apple device, while a free app download from the App Store gives you the software that you'll need to get started.

The device supports up to 20 remotes at any one time, although you'll have to painstakingly input all the codes one at a time. Considering that the software is app-based we are surprised it doesn't offer you pre-programmed settings for the main brands, if it isn't prepared to go the full distance of the Logitech Harmony offerings.  

Price £40


The Magic Wand Remote Control

Described as the world's first button-less, gesture-based remote control, "The Wand" infrared remote control is more on the silly rather than serious side of remote controls.

In true Harry Potter style, The Wand can learn 13 commands, such as change channel or volume control. Users can assign various functions to various moves - flicks to turn on and off, spins to control volume, big swishes to mute and so on.

Compatible with TVs and other home cinema equipment, as well as some iPod docks, stereos and the like, The Wand can control multiple devices at one time - it's a kind of magic.

Price: £49.99


Rowmote Pro

Dedicated universal remotes are one thing but you might be looking to control your media centre, an Apple TV, a computer or more with your remotes in front of your TV.  While Apple offers its own iTunes/Apple TV remote for free for the iPhone, it's limited to just that.

Rather than just let you control iTunes, the Rowmote Pro app lets you control your whole computer from your armchair, be it VLC or EyeTV, iTunes, Hulu Desktop, Boxee, and a stack of more serious office type applications like PowerPoint or Safari.

When it comes to the remote functions (i.e., play/pause skip etc) the app, which works for both the iPod and the iPad offers keyboard and trackpad support available at the press of a button.

There is Apple TV support, however you'll have to hack your set-top box from Apple to get this to work, suggesting the best possible option is to connect your computer to your TV and run it that way.

Price £2.99


TV Remote

Owners of a Samsung Internet TV can now use their iPhone to control their TV thanks to the TV remote app available for free on iTunes.

The free app works as long as you are on the same network as the Samsung TV and gives you full control over the TV using your wireless network to get around the need for the missing infra-red element.

The catch? It only works with Samsung Internet TVs, but if you've got one, it's probably worth checking out.

Price: Free


Pioneer iControlAV iPhone remote

Working solely with recent Pioneer amps and Blu-ray decks, Pioneer's iPhone/iPad app hooks up to compatible kit via a home network and gives a user complete control.

Nigh-on every minutest detail has been covered in the application, with controls for dialogue, bass, audio decoder choice and much, much more. The app also uses the iPhone's built-in accelerometer to great effect, allowing you to tilt the phone to perform certain functions, such as shifting the audio balance around a 5.1 speaker setup.

There's also instructional video built into the app, to help those a bit bamboozled with the technologies involved.

It's available on iTunes for download now. And you can catch a video demo here.

Price: Free


You

What remote controls do you use? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you enjoyed this article, then head over to our World Cup Week homepage where you'll find a collection of features getting ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.



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