If you’re like us, you’re using your smartphone and tablet for everything from communicating with family and friends and social networking to taking photos and video. But are you using them to control your home entertainment system?
More and more smartphones are being released with an IR (Infrared) port, so you can get rid of your standard TV remote and control your TV, streaming player, gaming console and other devices using your phone and compatible apps.
Product vendors often make apps available for the products they bring to market or you can also control multiple systems from different vendors using a single app from a third-party vendor.
There are hubs that enable you to control most home entertainment systems (and other smart gadgets) using IR, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Just connect to the hub using its companion app on your smartphone or tablet and control your systems through the hub.
Options for Remote Control Apps
You can use the free iTunes Remote app to control iTunes selections and playlists on your Apple Macs and other devices from your iPhone or iPad. Simply download the app, install it, and share media throughout your home. iTunes also offers free remote control apps for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Samsung TV (for Samsung TV sets), and Roku. All these apps work on the iPad as well as the iPhone.
Consider a single app that allows you to control all of your home-entertainment systems. Examples include the SURE Universal Remote App, Logitech’s Harmony, and the Smart IR Remote – AnyMote App, which all work on Android smartphones and devices. These apps range in price from free to $6.99. You’ll find versions of these same apps for the iPhone and iPad on iTunes.
The Harmony Hub, which is necessary for use with the Logitech Harmony app, is $130.00. Smart IR Remote App vendor, Color Tiger, claims that its $6.99 app controls 900K different smart home devices. The SURE Universal Remote App is entirely free, making it a good choice to try first.
The Blumoo Smart Remote Control is an example of an app and hub product that works with both Apple and Android devices. The Blumoo is compatible with 250K different devices from TV’s, set-top boxes, and sound bars to DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming players, and other home entertainment products.
How to find an app for your home entertainment system(s)
To get the best app for your home entertainment devices and TVs, ask the system vendor whether they offer their proprietary app for use with their product. They should be able to provide you with information, warranties, instructions, and a link to download the app.
If you don’t like the idea of switching to a different app for every entertainment product you have, check out the various remote control apps we mentioned and you’ll never have to worry about losing your TV remote in the couch cushions again!