Smartphones and Tablets Turned to Home Theater Remote Control

As technology rises from time to time, people are also adapting to it. Since technology has been boosting from the time it started up to now, a lot of inventions and innovations were created. It has also been a very helpful way to improve our lifestyle. Technology is a big help if people will use it in a proper way.

Two of the greatest innovations that we have today are smartphones and tablets. Most  people these days have any of the two. Smartphones aren’t just simply phones used for calling other people anymore. They are built with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than your basic phone. Likewise with your tablets, you can also surf the web through WiFi connection, Bluetooth, personal hotspot or mobile data. Also, the features and specifications of your smartphones and tablets depend on their versions. The more modern it is, the more it has advanced features.

One of the things that your smartphones and tablets can do is to become your home theater’s remote control.  Yes, you have read it right. Your own smartphones and tablets can turn to your home theater remote control. So, let’s take a look at these various options:

1. Single-Device Control Apps

There is a high chance that your A/V product has a free control app for your smartphone and tablet. In case you own an A/V product, you can use that app to control the A/V product through your smartphone or tablet. As long as they are both on the same network you can control devices from anywhere in the house. It is easier and more convenient to use your devices than the remote itself, because of the touchscreen feature. Not only that, it’s also because it’s faster and more enjoyable to control a device with your handheld devices. But the drawback here is what it’s name implies, each app can only control one device. Which means you can use your smartphone or tablet to control one TV, receiver, Blu-Ray player and other A/V products.

Samsung, LG and Panasonic have single control apps for iOS and Android.

2. Universal Remote Apps

If you’d like to control multiple devices, then you have to download the control app to your smartphones and tablets. You will also need to purchase an IR converter to convert your smart devices controls into a signal type your home theater devices can understand. The control app is usually free to download while the IR converter has to be purchased. Here are some good products which you may try: Peel for $99, Griffin Beacon for $70 and Satechi Universal Remote for $25.

After you have downloaded and purchased these apps, you may then use your handheld device as a universal remote. But still, there are only a few activities which you can do with these products. They won’t delve deeply into home automation realm, unless you use higher-end universal remotes.

Usually, only a single converter box works for multiple handheld devices, which means every member of the family who has a smartphone or tablet can set up their own control interfaces and create their own favorite channels.

As a suggestion, you may check this product called the iRule which costs $50 to $100. It allows higher degree of customization and flexibility.

3. Advanced Control System Integration

For those who are trying to build a modest home-automation system on a budget, setting your smartphones and tablets up as a remote control is a good alternative. As we all know, not all of us can afford to have our homes fully automated. That is why this can be a value-oriented alternative to people who are on a tight budget.

Generally, most of the apps that you need to use your smartphones and tablets as a home-automation device are available directly to the consumer through iTunes and Google Play stores.  However, depending on hardware and control systems they may still have to be programmed by an installer. These system have a high degree of flexibility and customization which is why a do-it-yourself solution isn’t always the best.

For the in-home control, many of the apps allow remote monitoring and control, that is why even if you’re away from home you can still keep an eye on things like security, lighting and temperature.

These are just some of the ways in which you can use your smartphones and tablets to a more advanced use as a home theater remote control or home automation control center.

About the Author:
Ysabelle Fort is a Communication Arts student from Chicago. She is a freelance writer at . You may follow her on Google+ and Twitter.