| Tuesday, February 21, 2006
| REMOTE REDUX
|Be a control freak with hot new gadgets.
The remote control must be pushing all the right buttons - it's no longer just the meek little touch pad presiding over the family TC or DVD player.
The year, it will be empowerd beyond its wildest AAA battery powered dreams. It'll be asked to operate an Xbox 360 and a Windows Media Center PC. It'll bulk up with Wi-Fi. And, in its most daring mission, it'll control an entire house -- turning up the heat, truning on the home theater and closing the blinds with a single command.
Logitech's Harmony 890 Advanced Universal Remote($400, www.logitech.com)
New Z-Wave technology from Zenys of Denmark. (www.Zen-sys.com) promises control-coordinating appliances, light switches and home-entertainment devices with a remote-without expensive rewiring.
Leviton (lighting) and Wayne-Alton (garage doors) are among the manufacturers developing products using Z-Wave technology, which delivers RF, of radio frequency, signals from one device to another throughout the house. (Other manufacturers have adopted a similar technology called ZigBee).
The 890, whcih can operate up to 15 devices whithin 100 feet, uses a simple online setup wizard for programming commands. It uses a rechargeable lithum-ion battery and comes with a charging station.
Gyration Media V=Center Remote Control (Model GPR6005,$150. www.Gyration.com. due in the spring)
This part remote, part mpuse performs all the basic tricks with a home theater, but it also controls a Media Center PC. A mini-gyroscope turns this remote into a wireless, motion-sensing mouse, so you can summon, video or music files off your Media Center PC from the sofa.
Accoustic Research Wl-Q Universal Remote Control (Model APR2470, $299, www.thomson.net, due this spring)
The Wi-Q won't close your motorized blinds, but this Wi-Fi equipped home threater remote displays a program guide -- along with localized news, weather and sports uwing technology developed by TVcompass of Chicago-on a full color screen thatmeasure a little more than a square inch.
Using its INternet connection, the Wi-Q updates the program guide automatically. It'll remind you with a written prompt, too, when your favoraite programs are about to start. But a program guide on a tiny remote control screen? Well, it means a little less clutter on the TV screen.
Logitech's Harmony Advanced Universal Remote for Xbox 360 ($130, www.logitech.com)
A home theater remote with a set of buttons dedicated to the Xbox 360. Press a button and the 42-inch plasma, the audio video receiver and 360 fire up, ready to play Condemed: Criminal Origin in high-definition with surround sound.
Miracle Remote from Dynatron ($30, www.miracleremote.com)
The Miracle Remote isn't much of a miracle - but it works. Dynatron sells these replacement remotes for a TV brands. They won't work with a TV/VCR or TV/DVD, just TVs. The Miracle Remote does a few things an $8 drugstore remote can't like calling up picture in picture and running the auto-program feature that dials in all your channels.
Otherwise, they're pretty much the same. But these cheaper replacement remotes requires the owner to input coding to match TV, DVD player or CVR brnads.
GE, Find it Universal Remote ($40. www.jascorpoducts.com)
Here's another strange but true remote that includes two way paging technology. It's not just a remote control, it's a search party. The remote comes with a "Lost Item Locator" that attaches to a key chain, cell phone, purse-anything that might get lost. The remote finds a lost item by sending out an RF signal. When you hear beeping, that means your lost item is found. One caution: The remote can only locate item within 30 feet.
(Source: REDEYE/THE HARTFORD COURANT)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 11:11 PM