The perfect entertainment system can be a thing of technological beauty. There are a few components every great entertainment system includes: A nice television and a good sound system are fairly standard. Then, there are the various set-top boxes, including DVD players and recorders, Blu-ray systems, video-game consoles and other components. But with great power comes great responsibility: How do you keep track of all the remote controls?
Enter the universal remote control! These gadgets eliminate the need to keep track of half a dozen -- or more -- remote controls. A good universal remote control gives you access to all your entertainment system's features from a single interface. Some even include settings that let you switch your entire system to different functions. Press one button and the remote switches all your equipment so that you're watching live TV. Push another and suddenly you're ready to watch a Blu-ray disc.
There are dozens of different universal remotes on the market. Some aren't as packed with features as others. You may have to enter model and serial numbers into the remote itself. Or you may need to use each component's remote control on the universal remote to configure it properly. Other universal remotes let you set up and program the remote control through a Web-based interface.