Put Down Your Remote and Pick Up Your Tablet
By Robyn Wright
In my house, the clickers (remote controls) always seem to be missing or, if we can find them, the batteries have mysteriously disappeared. This is no longer a problem though, because I can use my tablet to control all of our home entertainment devices. No more missing remotes; no more digging through the sofa cushions; no more missing batteries. Everything is in one place, right on my tablet, which I usually have in my lap anyway.
One caveat is that your home entertainment devices need to be current. You cannot control your console TV from the 70s with a tablet. Anytime you are buying a new TV, DVR, stereo, or other equipment, be sure to check out those extra features, like being able to control them with apps. Be on the lookout for devices that say they are Wi-Fi ready. Bluetooth ready and Airplay compatible are other terms you might see. My preference is for Wi-Fi, so I can almost always find an app that will turn my tablet into a remote.
Once you see what your connection capabilities are, then you can look for the apps you need. Start with the manufacturer’s website to see if they offer an app themselves. These will be the easiest to use, since they are specifically designed to work with your device.
If you cannot find a manufacturer’s app, then it’s time to search your favorite app store. Again, search for the brand name first to see what you can find and then move on to searching for terms like “TV remote,” “DVR remote,” etc. Because there are so many options and configurations, you have to find what will work with your tablet and your entertainment systems. Search for “remote control” and you will be amazed at the options.
Most of the apps are very intuitive and easy to set up. Many will allow you to control devices by room – one setup for the living room, one for the bedroom, and so forth. There can be a lot of options, just take your time, and don’t worry, you won’t break anything. One small warning: the kids (okay, and adults too) will think it is fun to add the remote apps to their devices and change the channel on you when you aren’t looking!
Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!