Schedule

Schedule

Wednesday, July 30

1406734200 FLOSS Weekly
1406739600 Tech News Today
1406743200 Windows Weekly
1406750400 This Week in Google
1406761200 Tech News 2Night
1406763000 redditUP
1406768400 Ham Nation

Thursday, July 31

1406826000 Tech News Today
1406829600 Know How...
1406833200 The Social Hour
1406838600 Coding 101
1406842200 Home Theater Geeks
1406847600 Tech News 2Night
1406849400 The Giz Wiz
1406858400 OMGcraft

Friday, August 1

1406912400 Tech News Today
1406916000 This Week in Law
1406923200 Android App Arena
1406934000 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, August 2

1407002400 The Tech Guy

Sunday, August 3

1407088800 The Tech Guy
1407103200 This Week in Tech

Monday, August 4

1407171600 Tech News Today
1407175200 Triangulation
1407180600 iPad Today
1407193200 Tech News 2Night
1407195000 Marketing Mavericks

Tuesday, August 5

1407258000 Tech News Today
1407261600 MacBreak Weekly
1407268800 Security Now
1407276000 Before You Buy
1407279600 Tech News 2Night
1407283200 All About Android

Wednesday, August 6

1407339000 FLOSS Weekly
1407344400 Tech News Today
1407348000 Windows Weekly
1407355200 This Week in Google
1407366000 Tech News 2Night
1407367800 redditUP
1407373200 Ham Nation

Thursday, August 7

1407430800 Tech News Today
1407434400 Know How...
1407438000 The Social Hour
1407443400 Coding 101
1407447000 Home Theater Geeks
1407452400 Tech News 2Night
1407454200 The Giz Wiz
1407463200 OMGcraft

Friday, August 8

1407517200 Tech News Today
1407520800 This Week in Law
1407528000 Android App Arena
1407538800 Tech News 2Night

Most Recent Episodes

Security Now

iOS v7 Jailbroken, iOS Backdoors, and Android Certificate Checking

Tech News 2Night

China investigates Microsoft.

OMGcraft

Command blocks in Minecraft.

MacBreak Weekly

A closer look at OS X Yosemite.

Tech News Today

A recently discovered Android flaw leaves phones exposed to malware and personal data theft.

This Week in Enterprise Tech

Threat Intelligence and Security Assessment

iPad Today

F Sim Space Shuttle, Dulux Visualizer, NPR One

Marketing Mavericks

How to market and monetize you're content online.

Tech News 2Night

OkCupid conducted matchmaking experiments on users

Tech News Today

Samsung's first Tizen smartphone is reportedly delayed indefinitely.

Know How... 55

Make Your Phone Into a Universal Remote

August 8 2013

Today, we’re going to use our smart phone or tablet to control our home theater. This is a project Iyaz was doing in his own home and he did plenty of research to find all the options.

Hardware-based option

The Logitech Harmony Smart Control is a hardware-based solution that makes your smartphone or tablet into your home theater remote control. It costs about $130 retail and is a two part solution. One part is the hub, which sits at your home theater components. It connects to your home network and will send an IR signal to your home theater components when it is activated by its companion app.

The second part is the free Harmony app that is available for iOS and Android. You install the application on your device and it finds your hub on the same network during the pairing process. The Logitech Harmony Smart Control also comes with a backup remote in case you want to go use physical buttons.

Troubleshooting
In our setup, we ran into some issues. To import our old Harmony remote settings, we had to set up a new “My Harmony” account for free and then import our older settings into the new account.

The hub was also sending simultaneous signals to the television and our set top box (in this case, an Apple TV). To fix this, we had to recreate the “Watch Apple TV” activity we had set up. Don’t be afraid to reset your activities if you run into issues!

Apps for your components

Your home theater components may have apps available to make your phone or tablet a remote. In Iyaz’s case, we found that his AVR, TV, and set top boxes (an Apple TV and a Roku) all had applications available for his devices. If your theater component has an Internet connection, there’s a good chance it has an app. Do a quick search in either the Play Store or Apple’s App Store to see if there is a companion app for you. In our experience, the apps weren’t the most polished, but work in a pinch. The downside is that you’ll have to switch apps as you would physical remotes when you want to control different parts of your home theater.

Here are the apps Iyaz showed off or mentioned:

Apps for your Media Center PC

If you’ve got a computer hooked up to your TV, there are companion apps you can use so you can avoid using a keyboard and mouse. The simplest app you can use is a virtual keyboard and virtual trackpad. Iyaz has been using the Logitech Touch Mouse on his Media Center for a number of years. You install server software on your Media Center, then your phone can control things via the free app. iOS. Here’s another, similar option for both iOS and Android: Remote Touchpad iOS | Android

If you’re using XBMC, there is a companion remote app for iOS and Android available for free.

If you’ve made a Mac mini media center, Remote Buddy is a great Mac OS X program that brings lots of control to your Apple remote or smartphone via an AJAX web app. Remote Buddy costs about 20 Euros.

Know-It-Alls

Viljar Kuusk asks "I also Just watched the cracked screen replacement and I'm wondering if this would work for a NEXUS 7? I have a cracked screen on mine and I'm using an OTG cable and wireless mouse and keyboard, but its not the same. Thanks!

Answer: According to iFixit, the glass is fused to the digitizer, so you'll have to get a new screen assembly and that runs around $50.

Questions? Comments?

Connect with us
- Google+ Community at gplus.to/twitkh
- Tweet at us using the hashtag #twitkh
- Email us at knowhow@twit.tv

Don't forget to check out our large library of projects on this site. If you want to search for a topic, try this custom search engine.