Using your phone as a smart remote

Have you ever wanted just one remote to control all the devices in your house? You could buy a universal remote, but some of the better ones on the market retail for around $350.

What if we told you that you could get rid of all your remotes and solve your problem for a fraction of that cost? It is possible, and the answer could be right in your pocket.

These days it is possible to turn your smartphone into a universal remote, not only allowing you to declutter your life, but giving you peace of mind should a remote ever break or go missing.

Free solution
Some android phones and devices come equipped with an infrared (IR) blaster, allowing you to access most of the features of a universal remote without the exorbitant price tag.

If your android device has an IR blaster it will be capable of communicating with any device in your home that receives commands via infrared light beams. This will most likely include, televisions, set-top boxes, streaming boxes, home theatre systems, air-conditioning units and many more.

You will need to download an app to access the process, but there are a range of free options that are perfectly up to the task. ASmart Remote IR or IR Universal remote are two good apps with easy to use functionality once installed.

Once the app is installed you choose your device type, brand, and model to set up, then you’ll be presented with your remote.

Low-cost alternatives
If your android device doesn’t come equipped with an IR blaster or you have an iPhone, you will need to invest in a wifi-to-IR converter/adapter.

There are a range of products available that deliver this functionality and they only cost around $50, much cheaper than the $350 you could spend on a quality universal remote.

Installing the correct app on your phone will then allow it to communicate with the converter, which is then able to pass the message on to your relevant devices.

One drawback of this is that a converter doesn’t really have the mobility of a universal remote. This makes it a little less practical to take to other rooms, as it means carting the device from one part of the house to another.

Related articles:
What is at risk in your house?
Streaming devices explained
Give your smartphone a second life

Written by Ben

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