For those couch potatoes out there whose worse nightmare is losing the remote control, relief comes in the form of the snappily titled Universal Programmable Control Unit.
The Marantz RC5000AV (click here to take a look) is a versatile and snazzy device that can talk to almost all your home entertainment equipment.
It's not too bulky at 138x92x38mm, and with four AA batteries it weighs a bit less than a can of Coke (430g). The case is designed to sit snugly in the palm of your hand, from which it'll send instructions to your television, video, hi-fi and DVD player.
Apparently, the RC5000 can handle the control codes of virtually any brand of infra red control. You'd think it'd be bristling with a forest of little buttons but actually it comes with only seven, including mute, volume control and channel selection.
Most of the work is done through an LCD touch-screen. The display can be personalised, so that you stick the BBC1 sign onto that channel's pages. The best feature is probably the macro settings, which let you transmit up to 255 commands in one click. This lets you play a certain list of CD tracks, or start up a movie.
You don't even have to use those four AA batteries. Instead, by keeping the RC5000 in its docking station you can keep its rechargeable battery topped up. If by some accident the batteries run flat you won't lose your settings and macros as they're safely stored in non-volatile flash memory.
Alas, technology this cool comes at a price. To be precise, £295 (inc VAT).
- Marantz RC5000 AV Universal Programmable Control Unit
- £295 (inc VAT)
- Control any piece of home entertainment electrical kit with this remote
- 430g (with batteries) or 290g (without)
- Four AA batteries or NiMH 4.8V rechargeable battery pack
- 320x240 pixel touch-screen LCD
- Seven programmable direct access buttons
- Editable macros (up to 255 commands per macro)
- 1Mb non-volatile flash memory
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