It wasn't that long ago that the market for universal remote controls was off the charts. With the software available for smartphones and tablets, that market has dwindled, but that doesn't mean you don't still have options to lavish upon the TV fanatics in your life this holiday season. Some of these might make them weep with joy.
Combine seven remotes into one with this inexpensive option featuring four favorite-channel buttons, simple sound, macro power (combining options such as turning on the TV, the stereo and the DVD player with one touch) and quick setup (Amazon, $30).
This remote is compatible with more than 6,000 different brands of TVs, DVD players and audio devices. There are three options for simple setup of your devices and six macros to allow you to program specific activities (Best Buy, $30).
This sleek-looking remote control does everything you want it to, and the touch screen makes it both easy and fun to handle. It controls up to eight devices, 5,000 brands and 225,000 device types. Don't feel like getting up off the couch to grab the remote? No problem! You can use your smartphone for one-touch control of up to 50 favorite-channel icons, volume and media playback. Closed-cabinet control is also featured, so you can keep your devices out of view without hindering their performance (Amazon, $130).
They've made the decision already with the name, right? This preprogrammed learning remote can control up to a whopping 18 different devices. It lets you organize favorite channels into four prenamed groups — sports, news, music and movies. The remote has a learning function, so it is never obsolete, and it has the same macro function featured on the URC WR7 above (Amazon, $170).
This device replaces up to 15 remotes and works with over 5,000 brands and 225,000 devices. It is also future-proof. It features one-touch simplicity; sculpted, backlit buttons and an ergonomic design. There are no functions missing on this remote for even the oldest VCRs still on your shelf, and it comes with a charging station (Amazon, $350).
You don't get much higher tech-wise than a Doctor Who sonic screwdriver. In addition to letting you control the TV like a Time Lord (Tenth and Eleventh generations available), they come with special FX true to the sounds that lovers of the Whoniverse heard while watching the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special in November (Firebox, $99-$115).
This remote works with all Samsung 3-D and 3-D Smart TVs. It's the perfect gift for someone who constantly loses things or is in an ongoing battle for the remote in her household. Because it works with Samsung, there is no setup required (Amazon, $80).
This Philips will work with your Philips and more than 1,000 other devices. The SimpleSetup feature receives a customer-satisfaction rating of 92 percent saying it's "good" or "very good," whereas a traditional setup of a universal remote control only receives a satisfaction rating of 59 percent in the same categories (Amazon, $15).
The VIZIO remote control for internet TVs comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard to make using Facebook and Twitter and searching for movies on Netflix and Amazon so much more fun with a VIZIO TV (Amazon, $73).
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