Let’s say you sit down after a long day and want to enjoy the next episode of your favorite recorded TV series. You have a standard home theater system complete with an HDTV, Surround Sound, Satellite DVR, and BluRay Player. What are the steps you have to take?
First, you pick up the Satellite remote and turn on the DVR, then you pick up the TV remote and power it on. Next, you pick up the Surround Sound Receiver remote and turn it on. Then you have to set the receiver input to Satellite and pick up the TV remote again and set the TV to HDMI 1. If this sounds familiar then you’re probably laughing. If this sounds confusing you’re right. It is. That was 3 remotes and 5 gestures you had to make just to turn on and watch TV.
You’re lucky if can you remember the order it’s all supposed to happen, or maybe you don’t know the order because your spouse or your children help you. Also it might be this is your vacation home and the last time you visited was 6 months ago, and you have no idea what the combination of remotes and gestures are to turn everything on. If any of the above scenarios sound familiar to you, you may be suffering from TMRS (Too Many Remotes Syndrome). Millions of Americans suffer from this disease each day. Symptoms included frustration, lack of sleep and an irrational fear of technology, but there is a cure. INFINITY HD has it. It’s called the control system remote.
Using Control Systems
Control Systems are the most important part of any home entertainment system. Control Systems are devices that seamlessly bring together all the different components and pieces of technology such as HDTV’s, receivers, cable or satellite boxes, and media players into one easy to use interface. Control Systems are generally made up of two primary parts. There is the handheld interface or remote, and the base station or processor. The handheld interface is what you will be using to change channels, change volume and navigate through on-screen menus. It then communicates with the base station or processor which relays those commands to your devices.
Control Systems provide ease of use. Instead of juggling 5 remotes, and instead of pressing 6 buttons in a specific order to just Watch TV, what if you had one remote with one button that said “Watch TV”. Nothing to remember, no remotes to juggle and you can start watching your favorite TV show instantly.
Control Systems are activity based instead of device based. Activity based means the remote is organized into activities that you normally engage in such as watching TV, watching a movie, or listening to music. Device based remotes focus on having all the devices programmed into the remote but lack the ability to automate complex tasks such as turning the system on or off, or switching between devices. Examples of device remotes include DirecTV, Cox Cable and Dish Network remotes. Infinity HD integrates activity based remotes that allow you to control a complex home entertainment system simply by knowing what you’d like to do. These remotes are based on the “activity” and they are programmed to know what devices to simultaneously turn on based on the activity you told it you want to do. It really is that simple.
Benefits of Control Systems
Another benefit of control systems are that they allow all devices to be concealed. No more groups of remotes cluttering up your coffee table or ottoman. No more large pieces of furniture for all your devices or large cabinets that take up valuable floor space under or beside your HDTV. Control Systems do not have to be pointed directly at the equipment in order to work.
Control Systems use RF or Radio Waves that can pass through walls and doors to communicate with all your devices. A control system allows your components to be concealed in any room or closet in your house. So there is no need to have a piece of furniture full of equipment sitting under your TV. You may decide to have a dedicated closet where all your home entertainment system equipment lives stacked neatly in a power rack mounted to the wall like so many of our clients do. You can now decorate the furniture in the room for look rather than function.
Control Systems are a great investment, and they don’t get outdated as easily as other consumer electronics. Some of the brands we carry are URC, RTI and Control4. These are very robust control systems that stand the test of time because they can be continually updated and reprogrammed to accommodate bigger home theater systems and newer components as they become available. It is very likely that even after your new UHD TV becomes obsolete in the distant future, your control system will still be just as reliable and powerful as it was the day it was installed.
Control systems offer reliability. There are low cost remotes on the market that you can easily plug into a PC and program yourself. If you have ever owned one of these remotes you may know the “help button” very well. Every time the TV doesn’t turn on you press the help button and after answering a couple of yes and no questions you are up and running. Yet, what if there was no need for a help button? We at Infinity HD focus on dependability. The brands we carry are so reliable and consistent there is no need for a button to press when things don’t work right.
Control systems also allow you to use your mobile device as a remote control. Smart phones and tablets are almost always within reach making them perfect candidates for remote controls. With a control system you can integrate your iPhone, iPad, or Android into your home entertainment system. If you have a whole home audio system for instance with speakers in every room, you may not want to walk into another room and grab the handheld remote just to turn on the music. With a control system, you can do it right from your phone.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: If I have a control system, will I still have to use my cable or satellite remote?
A: No, your control system combines all remotes into one easy to use interface.
Q: I’m not that good with technology. I’m afraid I won’t know how to use a complex control system.
A: Control Systems actually simplify your home entertainment system. For our clients, they take away the fear and frustration with using their equipment. For instance instead of juggling 3-5 different remotes to watch Cable you can simply press “Watch TV”
Q: I have an HDTV but I don’t have the original remote. Can I still use it in my home entertainment system?
A: Yes, we have a database of virtually every remote that ever existed. We can program your control system without needing the original remote.
Q: I want to use my smart phone as a remote control, can that be done?
A: Yes, your smart phone or tablet can be a remote control. This is one of the greatest features about the systems we install. It allows you, your guests, or family members who have mobile devices to have their own personal remote for your home entertainment system as well. We do recommend having at least one handheld remote because having the physical buttons allow easier navigation while you are looking at on-screen menus.
Q: If I hide my home theater components in a closet how will I be able to control them?
A: Control Systems work on RF (Radio Frequency) Technology that can communicate through walls. Your home theater components can be hidden anywhere in your house. It’s that simple.
Q: I’m always having to change out batteries in my remotes, are their chargeable ones?
A: Yes, we carry many handheld models that can be set in a charging cradle when not in use.
Q: I have multiple rooms with TV’s and entertainment systems. Do I need a remote for each room?
A: Control systems are very versatile. We can design them in many different configurations. You can have a remote for each room, a main remote for the whole house or a combination of the two.