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AUTOMATION / REMOTE CONTROLS

Harmony Remotes Replaced By Free Phone & Tablet Remotes

By David Richards | Tuesday | 05/10/2010

Logitech is set to come under pressure with their Harmony remote range as consumers start to use free Smartphone and tablet applications to control their home entertainment devices vs. proprietary remotes that need to be programmed either by an installer or specialist retailer.


Already devices like the Harmony remote are starting to look old hat and expensive at up to $500, as vendors such as Foxtel, Samsung, LG and Sony deliver new applications that give users complete control of their devices for free.

The new Samsung TV remote which can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPad will next month be made available on the Android platform as well as the new Samsung Galaxy Tab as well as a new range of Android Smartphones.

At the recent IFA show in Berlin, Samsung used its new Galaxy Tab to demonstrate its Home Watcher app for Android. This device will allow users to control Samsung washers and dryers, refrigerators, microwaves, and home entertainment devices from a tablet or mobile phone.

Samsung's TV remote which is available for free from the Apple application site, allows users to control devices using Wi Fi for both a Samsung TV and a multitude of other devices connected to the TV. 

Recently Apple updated its iOS Remote application to version 2.0. The free Remote app is now optimised for the iPads larger display and supports streaming from shared libraries over wireless networks with computers running iTunes and the new Apple TV using AirPlay.

At the recent CEDIA show Sony showed off their free AV Receiver remote, which is an iOS universal remote application for its wide range of media appliances. While Apple's Remote application allows you to queue up music from your library and control speaker volume, Sony's allows you to control room lighting and stream internet TV or broadcast radio.

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