Schedule

Schedule

Sunday, November 23

1416769200 The Tech Guy
1416783600 This Week in Tech

Monday, November 24

1416852000 Tech News Today
1416855600 Triangulation
1416861000 iPad Today
1416873600 Tech News 2Night

Tuesday, November 25

1416938400 Tech News Today
1416942000 MacBreak Weekly
1416949200 Security Now
1416956400 Before You Buy
1416960000 Tech News 2Night
1416963600 All About Android
1416972600 Padre's Corner

Wednesday, November 26

1417019400 FLOSS Weekly
1417024800 Tech News Today
1417028400 Windows Weekly
1417035600 This Week in Google
1417046400 Tech News 2Night
1417048200 Android App Arena
1417053600 Ham Nation

Thursday, November 27

1417111200 Tech News Today
1417114800 Know How...
1417118400 Marketing Mavericks
1417123800 Coding 101
1417127400 Home Theater Geeks
1417132800 Tech News 2Night
1417134600 The Giz Wiz

Friday, November 28

1417197600 Tech News Today
1417201200 This Week in Law
1417219200 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, November 29

1417287600 The Tech Guy

Sunday, November 30

1417374000 The Tech Guy
1417388400 This Week in Tech

Monday, December 1

1417456800 Tech News Today
1417460400 Triangulation
1417465800 iPad Today
1417478400 Tech News 2Night

Tuesday, December 2

1417543200 Tech News Today
1417546800 MacBreak Weekly
1417554000 Security Now
1417561200 Before You Buy
1417564800 Tech News 2Night
1417568400 All About Android
1417577400 Padre's Corner

Most Recent Episodes

The Tech Guy
The Tech Guy 1137 November 22nd, 2014

Will using a VPN encrypt a VOIP call?

This Week in Law

Does a broad privacy policy grant a company access to customer data?

Tech News 2Night

Uber's bad PR Prompts Changes at Lyft

Tech News Today

Google and Rockstar settle their patent case

The Giz Wiz

3D fruit printer, Mous Musicase, Nomiku sous vide, and more!

This Week in Computer Hardware

Dell's 60Hz IPS Monitors, Gorilla Glass 4, and Windows 10.

Coding 101

The holiday pricer.

Tech News 2Night

Google's Tool to Remove Ads

Home Theater Geeks

3D Audio, Acoustic Room Design, and Anythony Grimani.

Marketing Mavericks

LinkedIn, HR resumes, Social Footprint

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.