One For All XSight Plus £50
11th May 2011 | 10:00
Control up to 12 devices with this mid-range universal remote
The One For All Xsight Plus is a universal remote capable of controlling up to 12 devices. When docked with your PC via USB (sadly, £50 doesn't get you built-in Wi-Fi) it can be configured and upgraded via One For All's very newbie-friendly EZ RC website.
While this is essential for creating activities/macros and (up to 24) favourite channel lists, if for any reason web access is not an option you can still use the included learning functions if the pre-stored remote codes don't work.
The rubberised backing makes gripping it more comfortable than its angular appearance might suggest, but it's not the most elegant design. The buttons have a cheap, plasticky coating but are sensibly arranged, sporting pads for oft-used features such as calling up the Guide and PVR functions.
Tilt functionality means it can be set to turn on when picked up. A small backlit LED screen at the top displays info in an unfussy manner with three main options to choose from: 'Devices', 'Activities' and 'Favorites' [sic].
Whether connected to your PC/online or otherwise, setting it up to control a device requires choosing your device type (e.g. Satellite, Cable box, TV) your brand from a list (non-mainstream receiver makers such as Technisat and Dream Multimedia are catered for) giving it a name, then entering the model or remote number if known.
You then test out stored or downloaded codes in sequence by pressing buttons until you find one that controls the device. If these don't work more can be downloaded when online or you can try to learn the code by placing the remote next to the original.
Happily, the XSight Plus gained full control of our four-year-old Panasonic plasma, including turning it on where others had failed. Selecting Virgin Media as the manufacturer, we also had success from the off testing the first set of remote codes on our Virgin Media TV powered by TiVo box.
Getting it to operate our Pace Sky+HD was as easy as picking Sky as the maker with no need for model number, though we had to try a few codes to gain control.
Setting up activities – such as turning on our TV then our Sky box – also proved painless. They can be mapped to menu options such as 'Watch TV' or 'Listen To Music' or you can create your own.
Build quality may be lacking but this beginner-friendly remote replacer is well worth considering.
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