Home Theater Remote Controls

You can control everything from lighting to room temperature with one device

RX-LHT_1909-screen-shot_s4x3 © 2011 CEDIA. Used with permission.

The best thing about a home theater is that it incorporates multiple devices and technology to create a one-of-a-kind cinema experience. With so many devices, you would have 10 or 12 remotes to juggle in a dark room. But a high-end, illuminated universal remote control can duplicate all the remotes in one device, making your life much easier.

Heating, air conditioning, lighting, drop-down motorized projection screen and drapery can all be controlled remotely, so choose a remote that can work with non-AV equipment.

Some features you may want to look for in a universal remote control include:

  • One remote to control AV and non-AV infrared and RF remote controlled devices
  • In-remote backlit display (LCD screen)
  • Illuminated buttons
  • Integrated charging stand to avoid use of batteries
  • Easy to see and use buttons
  • Task controls (controlling multiple actions and devices from one button)
  • Computer interface and PC-based programming
  • Manufacturer-provided database of device programming codes

Remotes have become extemely customizable. Some let you program them using your PC, while others use touchscreen cell phones to allow you to customize everything down to the button layout. You can identify each device and create tasks such as turning on the TV, disc player, AV receiver, closing the drapes, changing the temperature and dimming the lights—all with one touch of a button on the backlit display of the remote. The PC interface connects the remote to a database of thousands of devices. For the rare device not in the database, the remote easily learns controls from the other remote.

Just as with AV equipment, heating/air conditioning and lighting remotes can be replaced by the universal remote such as the Harmony One shown here.

Remote Control of Lights and Heating/Air Conditioning. There are a number of remote controllable interfaces for both lighting and heating/air conditioning. When doing a new installation, include remote controlled thermostats, lights and sockets in your requirements.

For existing rooms, you can add wall switches, outlet and connectors of overhead lights that all can be controlled via a remote. Thermostats also can be changed to units that use a remote control. There are even models that can be controlled via a wireless routed and though an Web-based interface, but unless needed for the whole house, remote controlled devices will work well for a home theater.

Next Up

Home Theater Multi-Media Devices

Plan for traditional hard-wired devices like a Blu-ray player as well as Internet-based content sources.


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