Philips Prestigo SRU8015
Philips’ Prestigo is an attractive and versatile device, and one that is impressively easy to set up and use – most of the time.
The Prestigo allows you to control up to 15 different devices, which should keep even the most avid home cinema buff happy. It can also control lighting and other home automation functions, although we wanted to focus on audio/video kit for this review. As soon as you insert the batteries, an Installation Wizard appears on the 2in colour screen, asking you which devices you want to control and then guiding you through the set-up process for each device.
The Wizard worked really well with most of our devices – in fact all we had to do was enter the name of the manufacturer, without even having to worry about model numbers or codes. However, it hit the now-expected snag with our Pioneer Blu-Ray player, which meant that we had to train the Prestigo one command at a time by beaming signals to it from the Pioneer's own remote. So while the Prestigo works well with many common brands and models you may still need to put in a bit of effort to get it to work with newer devices.
OneForAll Stealth URC 7556
The Stealth is a bit of a bargain, following a recent price cut to just £13. It’s limited to controlling a maximum of five devices, but that should be enough for most home users, and we found it one of the easier remotes to set up.
Like the other OneForAll controls, the Stealth is supplied with a list of codes for TVs and other devices from all the main electronics manufacturers, and you simply enter the relevant code to configure the Stealth to control each device. Using these codes enabled us to set up our TV and Sky+ box in a matter of seconds, but again our gleaming new Pioneer Blu-Ray player caused problems as it was too new for the Stealth to have a suitable code immediately available.
That meant we had to ‘train’ the Stealth to control the Pioneer one command at a time. Fortunately, it has a ‘magic button’ option, which is designed for that specific purpose and makes the training process a little easier than it is on most of these remotes. That ease of use combined with the bargain price makes the Stealth a good starting point if you’ve never used a universal remote before.
Reg Rating 75%
More Info OneForAll
Next page: Logitech Harmony 525
I have a harmony 525, and it is fine, although I get the odd send a million signals burst from it, and lately the backlight has been on a lot more than it used to be (running the batteries down).
Sometimes the help button turns on my projector, which is the last thing I want to happen for a few seconds before I go to bed...
Programming it is quite painful - in fact, I've had mine for 3 years or more and I still find that I want to tweak it every now and again, and when I come to plug it into the PC, I somewhat lose the will to live.
You can get kits to control your PS3 via IR, but they seem to involve cannibalising a Sony bluetooth remote, and they don't work when the PS3 is in standby. But you can get them.
You have a very valid point, but you'd be suprised at the level of tactile feedback you get from the soft cuishony surface on the Mk1. You can feel the microswitch buttons just beneath the surface, which gives you some guidance on where to press, and the button area reserved for each is big enough for even the chubbiest of thumbs.
I could certainly understand that critisism applying to LCD touch screen devices though, which without visual stimuli, becomes just a flat sheet of glass
@ Peter Hewitt - Virgin Media
The One-For-All URC7556 (the stealth model shown) can talk to virgin media boxes using codes 1060 or 1068. Dunno about V+ boxes.
It can also control freeview boxes, but the site does not give any codes I could see.
Usually with these remotes if the box is over a year old and it's not too niche then it will work.
Feature set warning
Note that the cheaper Harmony reviewed here and the Harmony ONE that has been mentioned in the comments already both lack the red/green/yellow/blue buttons, used by Sky and Freeview and Xbox. Thus you have to assign these to other buttons which is lame. Instead try the 785 or others that have the coloured buttons built in.
Even if a remote existed with bluetooth, I think the Bluetooth used by the PS3 is a proprietary version, so wouldn't help. Useless. It's essentially forced people to have another remote lying around. Wish the 360's IR receiver was better too. Anyway, drifting off topic. Have had a Harmony for a year now and my wife thinks it's the best thing ever. Only one remote for all my countless pieces of kit and just has to press "Watch TV" or "Watch DVD" or "Stream music" etc. without having to understand anything. Even if it doesn't work because someone has walked past or pressed a button on the amp or whatever, she just presses HELP and it asks her what isn't working and fixes it. Genius.
Harmony Works for Some
It seems that users fo the Harmony 525 are in two camps - those who get it to work, and those who don't.
One benefit and drawback of the system is the upload of user learned "codes" (as in the reviewer's Blu Ray unit), however any errors or wrong keys that crop up in this procedure are then spread around future users like some virus - and as a result cause maddening frustration. Codes for totally different equipment to that named creep in this way, and some devices never work, and the only support consists of randomly uploading codes in the hope that something will work. "Support" is never ending, but eventually the pain of holding a phone for so many hours is the limiting factor.
The Logitech forums are not indexed on the Internet search engines, so the only time you become fully aware of the enormous number of frustrated potential users is when you get access to that, and it is soul destroying when you find that after many hours of trying, your particular kit is never going to work with it, as others have given up long before you.
This Logitech DON'T tell you, but you won't ever forget the experience: I won't make the mistake of ever buying Logitech products again.