Reports of the demise of universal remotes may have been premature, reckons Mark Craven
With Logitech recently announcing plans to offload its Harmony handset division, and most AV products now controllable via dedicated smartphone and tablet apps, you might think the last nail has been hammered into the universal remote coffin. One For All has other ideas, bringing its Simple 4 to market with a tempting £22 price tag.
Styled in grey and white and with curves reminiscent of Virgin's TiVo handset, the Simple 4 (also known as the URC-6440) certainly doesn't come across as a budget proposition – and the sense of low-level luxury is helped by its orange backlight.
Despite the presence of multiple manuals, setup is relatively easy. A few button presses are all that's required to have the Simple 4 assuming control of a range of kit (TVs, PVRs, Blu-ray players, AVRs) from the usual manufacturers. It can handle up to four devices at once, and, via the Simple Set online tool (a USB cable is supplied to connect the remote to your PC or Mac), future products should be accommodated.
In use, the Simple 4 is really quite neat. Using a single handset to control a Panasonic flatscreen, Sony Blu-ray player and Sky receiver is somewhat liberating - particularly for other members of the Craven household. My only issue is with using it to control an AV receiver - here you'll need the Simple 4 to 'learn' functions from the receiver's handset, such as input selection or DSP mode, and you may find the setup faff not worth the bother. But for a second room system, it's a worthwhile addition.
One For All Simple 4
Price: £22 Approx
Want the latest issue of Home Cinema Choice? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!
Want to see your home cinema system featured in the pages of HCC? Click here for more info.
Love home cinema? Sign up to our emails for the latest news and special offers!
Home Cinema Choice is proud to be a member of EISA.
Visit www.eisa.eu for more info.