These programmable wands might actually be magical.
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If your home theater is a complex ecosystem of receivers, screens, and speakers, eventually the remote control situation reaches critical mass: Misplace one clicker and the whole chain is broken.
Be honest, are your clickers controlling you? Maybe it's time to pick up a universal remote. Since the mid-1980s, these high-tech controllers have been a silver bullet for overwhelmed home theater owners everywhere.
The entry-level options can control your TV, cable box, and disc player simultaneously, but the really high-end stuff can be programmed with macros to handle all kinds of complicated, multi-device tasks. No matter your budget, there are benefits to be had.
NOTE: Logitech more or less dominates the universal remote market, at least on the mid and high end of the price spectrum. If you're looking for an extremely basic model, there are plenty of options from brands like RCA, Philips, and GE, but if you want the good stuff, it's Logitech or nothing.
There are plenty of affordable universal remotes out there if you're looking to take control of your home theater on the cheap. These clickers might not have fancy LCD screens or smartphone apps, but they're still miles ahead of any factory TV remote.
- MSRP: $29.95
- Amazon Rating: 4.5 with 20 reviews
- Designed for Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Nvidia Shield, and Xbox Media Center
- Macro programming (up to 15 commands)
- LED backlit buttons
- MSRP: $49.99
- Amazon Rating: 4.0 with 252 reviews
- Controls up to 8 devices simultaneously
- Programmable hotkeys
- Compatible with 225,000+ devices
If you're willing to spend a little more, you can get into some pretty cool clicker territory. Most midrange remotes offer improved build quality and a more robust feature set than the more affordable options. Some even offer companion apps and smart home functionality.
If you've got a serious home theater and want nothing but the best, a truly high-end universal remote—which will run upwards of a couple hundred dollars–should be on your list. These no-holds-barred controllers deliver the cutting edge of home automation and AV synchronization.