Any home entertainment user will tell you. The main problem with their system is not placing the five or more speakers in the room, nor trying to get the right bracket to hang the plasma from it's what to do with all the damn remotes.

In steps the Harmony SST-768. A smallish universal remote that not only takes up to 15 different devices, but gets the information by connecting to your PC.

Connecting to your PC using USB cable and then to the Harmony remote website allows you to take full advantage of the 200,000 home entertainment appliances currently in the database. Drop-down menus and setup wizards allow you choose which device you have and failing an initial match you are presented with two further options. Either let the software choose the best one for you, or simply get the SST-768 learn your old one via infrared.

Once you happy with your selections you can fine tune and then better still set up shortcuts. Because the device knows all the settings from your other devices you have chosen this is fairly simple process rather than the laborious macro based systems found elsewhere. All you have to do is tell the interface what the specifics of your system are, such as which channel you watch DVDs or videos on and away you go.

Back in front of the television and it's a case of pressing one button on the remote selecting you shortcut via the LCD display and things start springing into life. In our tests our favourite had to be the “Play a DVD” shortcut. Press one button and the television changed to the correct channel, our amplifier flipped over to the audio setting for the DVD player and the DVD player itself turned on and started to play the disc we had already loaded.

Price when reviewed:

While the SST-768 isn't the most fashion conscious of all the remotes out there (although it does come in a choice of silver, red or blue), such as the one-for-all Kalmelon range, it does the job in hand effectively.

We had no problems setting it up with numerous devices even with a mix of both American and British hardware. All the machines were in the database. If you're looking to de-clutter the coffee table this slightly expensive remote will take out all the hassle saving you plenty of time to sit back put your feet up and stuff your face with popcorn.

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