Everybody has been there at some point in life. It’s a ubiquitous sighting that occurs in almost every home. The typical coffee table, bedecked with a litany of remote controls, strewn about the place. Differing sizes, colors, shapes, brand names (you have to color-coordinate with the device) and just about any other variations one can imagine. Imagine? You know that you’ve either seen it or have been a part of this little laughable affair yourself, so there’s no need to imagine.

Well, how does one get beyond the half dozen or so remotes just lying around the house, waiting to be eaten by the dog? The easiest and more common approach to this is a universal remote, which acts to not only replace your vast collection of remotes, but adds to the experience, convenience and comfort contemporary technology brings.

The capabilities of different universal remotes include the ability to program from computers, learn macro codes; which attach multiple commands to a single action on the remote, you can set up what’s the equivalent to a jump or flash drive right on the remote so in case batteries go out, you won’t have to re-program all over again.

Other upgrades to the universal remote include adding LCD and touch screen facility to the arsenal. LCD screens add a layer of elegance in that you can access and command more different features while you watch and having it back-lit doesn’t hurt, either. The touch screen remote takes all of this technology a bit further with the ability to not even have to push a button. You just glide through the heat-censored, spacious screen, selecting what you want and what you don’t.

There’s one thing that you might not have considered and that’s the ability for your universal remote’s signal to travel through the walls. Typically, all remotes need a clear line of sight in which to transmit the infrared beam to the device. You know, that little red flash at the end of the remote. That’s why if you don’t have a clear signal to it or because your batteries are too weak, you won’t be able to transmit that command to the device. Well, much like AM and FM radio waves, which travel through walls and such to reach your home or your car, the remote uses radio frequency (RF) waves to broadcast the command. This is a good option if you’re audio and video equipment is stored in a small space or elsewhere in the house. You can be in other rooms and do all of this through a central base station.