LG Magic Remote: Pick Witch channel to watch

Just as he who controls the Spice controls the universe, he who controls the remote controls the living room. And if you’ve seen My Neighbours the Yamadas you’ll know the almost magical power the remote control can have in the living room. LG are aware of the levels of reverence necessary for the device and have announced an all-new Magic Remote for its CINEMA 3D Smart TV range.


“Magic” seems a bit farfetched for a plastic stick with a couple of buttons on it. Fortunately the remotes does much more than that and utilises voice, gesture, point and wheel control to exercise commands.

Apple raised the bar for voice technology, simply by claiming that Siri was magic and putting the (often disappointing) technology in the hands of millions of eager customers. Voice recognition is fast being integrated into all manner of devices and expectations go far beyond barking simple commands like “Shields Up!” or “Engage”. LG Magic Remote uses new Natural Language Recognition software makes giving voice commands as easy as regular speech – users can simply say “Show me Gangnam Style video” and the new Magic Remote will understand that you are about to show off your horse riding dance skills to your mates.

“LG is committed to providing innovative home entertainment solutions and the Magic Remote is a key pillar of the CINEMA 3D Smart TV user experience. Building on an already impressive feature set, the latest version boasts accurate language recognition and its gesture, wheel and point control options makes the Magic Remote stand out amongst its competition as a truly intuitive device.”
Havis Kwon, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company

Too many remotes clutter the desks and tables of people around the land so it’s a relief to know that devices ranging from Smart TVs, set-top boxes, sound bars and Blu-ray players can be effectively managed with just one Magic Remote in the living room.

With the point feature, the LG Magic Remote becomes an extension of the human body, making it an ideal motion-based video game controller. The wheel control is perfect for scrolling up and down web pages or zooming in and out when using applications such as Google Maps. And by making specific gestures with the remote, users can quickly access oft-used menus or perform frequently needed functions, which might be a little faster but is also a fun gimmick.

Top 3 Christmas Gifts For Teenagers

Teenagers are notoriously difficult to please and none more so when it comes to Christmas presents! During this intensely difficult age teenagers are too old for toys, too young to appreciate the fineries of food, drink and home décor and are intent on adhering to the rules of ‘coolness’ that are set in the school playground. In fact one of your safest bets when it comes to aspiring to see that seemingly inherent scowl transform into a smile on Christmas Day is to stick to gadgets as gifts.

When it comes to receiving the latest hot and trendy gadget, even the most moody of teenager will be hard pushed in curtailing a smile!


Ninja Mini Stealth TV Remote

One of the biggest modern afflictions to burden a teenager is when he/she is not given complete control of the TV remote.

If your household is one endless battle over the remote control, then making light of the situation by giving your teenager the Ninja Remote Stealth Television Control is bound to light up an otherwise permanently morose face!

The fun and tiny Ninja Remote fits onto a keychain, meaning that mischievous teenagers can have full covert control of the TV. Created by Swamiware LLC, this keychain remote can control up to 500 brands of televisions, is ultra-easy to program and is workable within seconds. Simply point to the TV, hold the mute button to program, and hey presto your teenager will have hours of fun infuriating the family!


SE-0303OR Power Button

Boosting a white and orange face and a jet-black strap the SE-0303OR Power Button certainly looks teenager-stylish but what exactly does this gadget do? Well it’s designed to keep your precious teenagers or anyone elsefor that matter safe, whether they are out jogging – teenagers?!? – hanging around a park with their friends – now that’s more like it – or simply walking to school on a dark winter morning.

This comfortable to wear alarm Doberman safety device enables wearers to simply hit an emergency alarm, which will immediately alert people of their distress. With bright, flashing lights wearers can be seen more than a mile away – okay so your teenager might not thank you for that aspect of this gadget but I’m sure he/she will agree that the SE-0303OR Power Button is pretty cool!


Time Machine Tabletop Clock

There’s something about time machines and time travel that never fail to absorb and fascinate young minds.

The Time Machine Clock is essentially a clock that is extremely fun to watch. Turn the entertaining device on and watch in wonderment as time passes whilst observing the science of physical energy as a battery operated motor lifts a steel ball bearing onto a concentric track at regular intervals – Guaranteed to entertain on Christmas Day at least!



Hands on with the latest Griffin App Powered Accessories gear

Griffin were kind enough to invite us down to a space-age camper van in Central London to play with their latest and greatest App Powered Accessories range and nibble on a doughnut. How could we say no?


Our inner child was delighted to play with the Crayola Colour Studio HD, that leveraged hundreds of pounds worth of cutting edge technology to replicate scribbling with crayon. And it was totally worth it. A Griffin rep patiently explain all the subtleties of the app to me, subtleties that were totally lost as I was hard a work colouring in a monster and some curtains. It’s incredibly engrossing and with the well-designed iMarker digital stylus, you can easily forget you aren’t colouring in with a conventional crayon and just focus on enjoying the experience. iMarker safely interacts with iPad’s Multi-Touch display, allowing the ColorStudio HD app to differentiate between the child’s input (fingers, swipes, etc.) and the iMarker automatically. Of course they bring a little more to the table than simply colouring in and in ColourStudio HD you can create pages that move and react as they colour; combining custom-produced pictures, animations, music, sound effects and high quality special effects.

Our inner middle age man was delighted by the sensible remote control solution the Beacon Universal Remote. Griffin has partnered with software developer Dijit to make an iOS Universal Remote Control app, enabling fingertip control of your entire entertainment system, thanks to hardware and app integration from Griffin and Dijit. The Dijit app uses a constantly updated device code library to make setting up controls for your TV, set-top box, sound system, media players and more simple and intuitive and for components not yet included in Dijit’s library, the app also includes an integrated learning feature. We were a little disappointed that the iPad app was simply an iPhone app scaled up, but “they are working on it”.


Best of all, our outer child was ebullient to play with the Helo TC, a iOS controlled helicopter. Charged via the magic of USB, the Helo TC is navigated by a flight deck module that slots into your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and transmits infrared signals to the helicopter giving you total flying control. There are two flight modes available, you can use the Multi-Touch display to control the Helo TC’s throttle and flight controlled joystick or Helo TC’s Tilt-to-Fly, which uses the iOS device’s accelerometers to control the helicopter’s flight.

We were crest-fallen told have the flight desk, which feels nice and chunky, placed in our hands, only to be told that we had a flightless prototype in our hands. However our spirits perked up again when they told us the prototype was the only one in the UK and the dinky little helicopter we’d had our grubby mitts all over was worth £10,000. The actual version will be ready for Christmas and will sell for much, much less.

Beacon Universal Remote is available this month from Apple stores nationwide and online for £54.99.

Crayola ColorStudio HD, £24.99, from Apple, includes Crayola iMarker digital stylus (AA batteries included), a free download of the ColorStudio HD App, periodic content updates, and built-in user tutorials.

TC Helo will be available in time for Christmas and can be yours for under £40.

For more information, visit www.griffintechnology.com

Echostar SlingLoaded HDS-600RS: TV anytime, anywhere

Set-top boxes have a really hard time. A lot of people will have Sky or Virgin. Most TVs now come with Freeview included. So why do you need a set-top box? Echostar pioneered the hard drive recording technology which we have come to love and use everyday as used in products like Sky+. Echostar and Freesat have worked on creating a product which differentiates itself and provides unique features.


People are becoming more mobile and want more things on the go. The ability to watch TV anywhere on any device is the heart of the Echostar SlingLoaded HDS-600RS. Essentially, it is a Freesat+ HD digital television recorder giving you the choice to watch stored programmes on your iPad, PC, Mac or mobile device. Yes, it is compatible with the iPhone and android devices. Have you ever visited a friend’s house and wanted to show them an episode from your favourite show which have you recorded but it is on your set-top box at home? Or maybe you are overseas and you do not want to miss your must-see show? Eastenders anyone? Well plug in your iPad and voila! The connects to the SlingLoaded HDS-600RS at home and using the App you can control the settop box as if you are on sofa. The App acts like a remote with all the functions you would expect.

Space will not be issue as it has a huge 500GB hard drive to store all the TV and movies you want, up to 100 hours in HD. BBC iPlayer comes with the box on launch. ITV Player and 4onDemand are due to follow suit soon so catch-up will be easy. The box is easy to setup as you connect to your TV and broadband and create a Sling account and you can watch TV anywhere you like in HD. I remember when I first watched SD TV after getting my HDTV. The difference was shocking and I could not believe how much I was missing out! So I find it imperative that this upscales SD TV services. Aesthetically, it has touch controls which are easy to use. It has a sleek look and will suit any living space. It has all the features of a set-top box including TV Guide and 150 channels.

Now here’s the bad news. It costs £349.99 for the box. Viewing on PC, Mac is free. If you wish to watch TV on your iPad, the App costs £19.99. I know! For £349.99 why on earth are you paying for the App? We agree. The App should be free. But apparently it down to the costs of developing the App. There are plenty of cheap set-top boxes but the ability to watch TV anywhere is unique and very convenient. Would I pay £300 extra for the privilege, no. If you like the sound of SlingLoaded, you can preorder it now on Amazon and it will be available on 1st April.

Xsight: One remote to rule them all

Here’s how it goes in our house – small boy wants to play the Wii. Okay – we need the silver remote to change channels on the TV – where is it? Hunt begins, with husband lifting up sofas and small boy risking neck by diving underneath. Next, cushions come off the sofas and there is rummaging , which usually comes up with spare change (which small boy immediately pockets declaring it ‘mine’), crumbs and something that could be a dried up raisin or a piece of guinea pig poo (sorry TMI). Turn on Wii – sound blasts out – now we need the black and silver remote to adjust volume. Repeat whole sorry process.


Yes, the hunt the remote game – a familiar pastime with families up and down the country. So could one remote be the answer to our dilemma? Sure, we would still have to know where we put it – but surely one remote will be easier to keep track of than the three or four we currently have? That’s what the good folk who have just released the Xsight Lite and Xsight Plus think.

The remotes can control six or 12 devices respectively, and Xsight has tried to make it easy, with setup that can be performed straight out of the box. There is no need for an internet connection. Once you’ve sorted out the basic operation, there is an option to add more advanced commands and customisation via a PC. To set up the remote to control a device, simply hit languages, device, type and hit the power button. And that’s it.

If you do have an internet connection, you can set up profiles, so that if you want to watch a DVD you just press one button and it turns on the TV, DVD and amplifier as well as switching to widescreen mode and so on.

The Xsight can, says its makers, be programmed to work with more than 2800 brands, covering pretty much every audio visual device on the market. And because there is such a range of products now available, such as internet TV, 3D and EPG, Xsight has moved to screen-based control solutions, to keep the number of buttons on the actual remote to a minimum.

The Xsight Lite (URC 8610) supports six devices, six activities and 12 favourites.  It has a 1.44″ high res colour LCD screen in a high gloss housing and costs around £39.99.??The Xsight Plus (URC 8620) supports 12 devices, 12 activities and 24 favourites. The 1.44in high res colour screen sits in an aluminium and high gloss housing, and is?backlit. It costs £49.99.

?For further information visit:  HYPERLINK “http://www.oneforall.co.uk” www.oneforall.co.uk

GEAR4 Unity: The ultimate iPhone remote control?

GEAR4 turns your iPhone into a universal remote without ridiculous plug-in hardware. Instead of connecting your iPhone to a bulky and usually unflattering add-on peripheral, the UnityRemote sits in the centre of the room and interacts with the iPhone via Blueooth, meaning no physical connection is required. As soon as you walk in the door and boot up the app, you’re ready to go.


As a Bluetooth device, the remote not only works with the iPhone, but also the iPod touch and iPad. And it’ll control everything from TVs to Hi-Fis, Blu-Ray players to digital TV boxes – anything that has an infrared receiver. Even if your home entertainment kit isn’t listed in the device’s extensive library, it can learn how to control the product – there is almost no product that this won’t work with.

The device itself is a small, black sphere with four infra-red outputs set in opposing positions to flood the room was infra-red instruction. It’s powered entirely by three AA batteries, so there are no trailing cords to worry about. Although there’s no word on battery life, with Bluetooth and IR,  it’d be safe to assume that purchasing some rechargeables would be a good (and green) idea.

The iPhone app, the brains of the operation, takes full advantage of its medium. Alongside traditional buttons, users can set gesture-based controls to affect the TV – swipe up to change volume, for example, or to the side to scroll through channels. It’s a totally novel way of television control – one that definitely needs to come as standard on new TV remotes.

The app’s interface is also extremely customisable, letting the user programme it to display only relevant controls. It can also mix and match, so television volume controls can be merged with the DVD player’s ‘play’ and ‘stop’ functions, for a one-stop solution to home movie playback.

Users can also set-up ‘actions’ to control multiple devices simultaneously. For instance, after setting the system up, one touch of an ‘action’ and the remote could turn on the TV, DVD player, digital TV box and their home cinema sound system.

The UnityRemote is available now from John Lewis retailing at £99.

Five essential gadgets for a stress free Christmas Day

Christmas Day can actually be quite stressful, especially if you’re the one doing the cooking. With you’re living room carpet disguised by a layer of wrapping paper, whilst you frantically peel the spuds, you may not believe it when we tell you that certain gadgets can be a great way to help alleviate some of the festive tension. Here are five of the best gadgets for a stress-free Christmas Day.

Image courtesy of Flickr user obbino

Diesgo TV Go

If you are the one battling it out in the kitchen, life on Christmas Day can get pretty lonely. To help obstruct such isolation, you may want to place a Diesgo TV Go in the kitchen.  As this portable, wireless internet TV, with a 3.5 inch screen, means at least you will not miss out on all the Christmas entertainment. Although the achievements of this multi-talented device do not stop there, as it can also be made into a digital photo frame, an MP3 player and an alarm clock that can be programmed to let you know when the turkey’s cooked – At last a gadget to prevent over-cooked turkey!

Cooper Cooler Handy Chiller

The first of the guests arrive and you offer them a drink. Doh! You’ve forgot to put the drinks on chill. Fear not. Simply put ice or water into the Cooper Cooler Handy Chiller, place a bottle or can into the unit and it is miraculously polished-up within minutes.

Wahl electric knife

It’s always a bit unfair that the person allocated to carving the turkey has to remain considerably sober compared to everyone else. Not anymore! – As, with its easy grip rubberised handle and an operating switch with a safety lock, carving the turkey couldn’t be simpler and safer.

TV remote control keyring

Bickers over the Christmas television itinerary can begin to wear a bit thin by Christmas Day. This is when a tiny TV remote control keyring gadget may step in, enabling you to instantaneously create silence and peace by turning off nearly any television without being detected.

IDAPT charging station

“Mum, my iPod’s already ran out of battery!” Sound familiar? To lessen the burden of every family member trying to recharge their new gadgets at once, the IDAPT charging station allows you to recharge up to four different gadgets at one.

One For All and all for one! Universal remote control comes to the PS3

With so much technology available, a small army of remote controls is to be expected. How many times have you had to look for a lost remote? There are so many remotes but none have been able to control a Playstation 3 so you up until now you have always had at least 2 remotes. The One For All URC-7960 remote can not only control your Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, but MP3 speakers, surround system, TV and Sky.


My coffee table is overflowing with remotes for everything gadget under the sun. I have always ignored previous universal remotes because none of controlled the PS3 so I never found the point of having one if it does not actually control everything? Due to the wide spectrum of gadgets it can control, the One For All URC-7960 sets itself apart from its competitors.

Setup was easy with 3 simple steps. The remote connects with the PS3 using a separate Bluetooth adaptor. For other devices it will use infrared to connect. You can turn off the PS3 using just one button rather than having to confirm. The remote is quite smart as it can copy functions of the original remote and extra functions can be programmed. The remote has a comprehensive amount of buttons so I found all the functions I needed on the remote. If your remote has a unique function like LG Simplink then you may need to program it.

The All For One URC-7960 remote gets even smarter with its SmartControl function. You may already have a universal remote but when you switch between devices you still need to choose which devices to control as it can only control one device at a time right? Not with the URC-7960. You can control up to 3 of the devices. You can choose one of 3 settings made for TV, movie or music. For example, with the TV setting, you can control your TV, Sky and surround sound all at once. With the music setting, you can control the MP3 speakers and surround sound. Overall, an impressive, intelligent remote that does more than rival universal remotes. The days of looking for my remotes are over!