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Having too many remote controls is a royal pain in the neck. Over the years I have tried many of these universal or all-in-one remotes. From the £200 Marantz touch screen, to one of the one4all remotes that I now use, this one from Philips came somewhere in between my testing and I will let you know what lets it down.
It is not all bad though. The remote is very nicely made, feels nice in the hand and has a nice simple interface. The top half of the remote has a touch panel, which lights up to reveal various touch sensitive buttons. The bottom half has proper keys for volume, channel changing, menu, guide etc. as well as a scrolling wheel, with four way clicker in the middle and an OK button.
Adding a device is easy, just go to the set up menu, scroll to add device, select the type of device (TV for example), then follow the on-screen prompts. There is a built-in database of devices and it seemed to cover all the equipment I have. Once a device is added, you get either one bank or two banks of buttons on the top half of the remote. It is nice in the way that the touch part only shows the buttons (by lighting them up) that you need. It is very responsive and controls everything from the one device.
£50 to £60 is not cheap, so although it does the job it does have one major flaw. Batteries... three AA cells run the device and with medium amount of use they only last about 4-5 days. What use is that. OK, so you can use rechargeable batteries, but a device like this needs a charging docking station if it is going to eat batteries that quickly. If it had a charger, for the same price, it would be ready for use all the time.