After only about two months in the App Store, Roku’s addressed my biggest complaint with their free virtual remote control. In addition to navigating one’s digital media streamer by swiping, Roku has now integrated a ”standard” D pad option that responds to individual taps. While it does get the job done, the presentation seems a bit spartan – beyond what I assume are promotional Netflix, Pandora, and Crackle shortcuts that mirror the physical Roku LT remote. And speaking of physical remotes, not all contain the instant replay button – and this oversight should be a primary draw for Roku’s iPhone app. The updated app also includes faster Home screen loading and improved device discovery, having no difficulty locating my latest hardware. However, there’s still no sign of an official Android or iPad app. Should you have just such a need, check out Cassidy Napoli’s “Remoku” creation that enables Roku control via a web browser.
Archives For Remotes
In the last year, a whole lot of iPhone-based universal remote controls have hit the scene. We’ve primarily focused on the higher end offerings, like Peel and RedEye shortly, as potential Harmony replacements or successors. Yet that may be overkill for certain situations or demographics. And I’ve just been turned onto MyTVRemote – whose intentions may not be as grandiose, but may still provide a compelling solution dependent on one’s needs.
While they’ve flown below my radar, RyzMedia has offered My TVRemote for some time… and they’ve got news to share today. A more colorful and potentially more aesthetically pleasing IR blaster replaces the original. I’m told the range is a modest 14 feet, yet I envision using this as a second universal remote in the bedroom. What I like about this solution, over say an L5, is that the IR blaster sits atop the iPhone – meaning you don’t have to hold your phone upside down. Continue Reading…
ZNF regular Chucky seeks our assistance in choosing the right iOS IR remote solution for his situation…
I’ve always avoided Harmony universal remotes. I’ve never really liked the Harmony UI, in either the touchscreen or physical button incarnations. But now, with the variety of iOS based universal remotes available, I’m suddenly interested in getting myself a universal remote with a better UI.
In figuring out which remote to buy, I have specific needs, which may greatly vary from yours. I place a high degree of value on software that is easy to use on a daily basis, easy to customize, and easy to initially learn. I’m willing to “teach” the new remote my button codes by pointing old remotes at it. In short, I’m willing to spend 1 day setting up the new remote just the way I want in order to enjoy it the next 364 days of the year.
The hardware must be functional, with a minimum of hassles on a regular basis, but I’ll take good software over good hardware for this project.
Also, I rarely watch live TV, and prefer scheduling my DVR recordings from the massive real estate and fine control offered by desktop or laptop computers, so programming “discovery” is not high on my priorities.
Here are the devices I’m looking to control for my single room media center: Continue Reading…
What’s New in Version 1.2
-New channel search feature which allows you to search channels in the guide by channel number or station name (Ex: ESPN, etc)
-New fast channel indexes in the guide allow you to quickly jump to a group of channels by channel number
-New disk space meter in My Shows lets you see the percentage of disk space the DVR is using
-Fixes crashing/connection loss issues when waking the app from standby or resuming after multitasking
-Significant performance improvements
While TiVo’s couch-based DVR companion is amongst the most well rounded and visually rich, the interface can get a bit busy. The new channel search (bottom, center pic) is a prime example. Continue Reading…
Over the last year or so, we’ve come a long way from those initial, unsightly and simplistic iPhone IR remote control dongles. And Peel ($100) represents the next generation of virtual remote. In fact, it’s potentially a contender to replace your Harmony.
The Peel solution consists of an attractive iPhone app, a small orb-like thingy (“fruit”) that you’d place on a coffee- or end-table, and a wireless transmitter (“cable”) that connects directly one’s router. The Peel fruit and cable communicate via the ZigBee spec, as opposed to garden-variety 80211 WiFi, so the fruit may get up to 6 months of power from the included C battery. But the networking is transparent as setup is a breeze – connectivity is automatically configured with next to no intervention. Sync and go.
Configuring Peel to control the devices in your AV cabinet is also fairly efficient. It may not offer the same level of complex interactions as found with Harmony, but it also doesn’t require endless tweaking from a computer. Peel’s iPhone app quickly walks you through the process of registering your components. I had a loaner unit controlling my Panasonic plasma and FiOS DVR in just a minute or so from the couch. A minute later, I had my Roku added to the mix with the television inputs correctly mated to their respective set-tops. Continue Reading…