I want you to take a moment and think about that ever present technological friend, the remote control. How many remote controls have you got in your house? One for the TV? Another for the DVD player? How about the Freeview box? The home cinema set up? How about if you’ve got a separate Hi-Fi system, you could have different remotes for the CD player, amplifier and receiver. The smart ones of you out there may have invested in a single universal remote control and programmed it to control all of your gadgets. But what if you could do away with all of them, even the universal remote, and control all of you gadgets using your phone?
Well, that dream is about to come true for you, but only if you own an Android phone and a new Onkyo receiver. AV equipment manufacturers Onkyo are showing how committed they are to home entertainment convergence with the release of a new application for the Android mobile platform which will allow you to control your Onkyo gadgets using just your smartphone. With a large, easy to read, easy to use colour touchscreen, and the ability to download apps whenever you want smartphones are a near perfect device to replace remotes. But this app won’t only allow you to control your Onkyo AV equipment, you’ll also be able to stream music directly from any Android device directly to any Onkyo AV equipment using a local wireless network. Perfect if you can never find the right cable or are annoyed that most AV equipment manufacturers only provide an iPod dock for connecting third party devices. The remote control section allows you to navigate menus and control various functions, such as selecting between different input sources or adjusting the tone and volume. Along with this it can be used to control the output in different rooms in a multi-room set up.
The app, released as a free download this month (August 2011) is currently compatible with the Onkyo TX-8050 stereo network receiver, but will also work with all of Onkyo’s network receivers released in 2011. Hopefully other manufacturers will sit up and take notice and we’ll soon live in a world where you can control all your different gadgets with your smartphones. If nothing else, it’ll save us from hunting around for AA batteries at 1am when the TV remote stops working.