back to article Just what you needed: A cell phone with a remote control. No, really

Bluetooth has achieved its dream of being in a remote control, sadly it’s a remote for a mobile phone and not a TV, but surely a step in the right direction. The keyring-sized LG One Key can be used to find one's Optimus VU2 handset, fire up the camera for self-portraits and even control music playback, though with only one …


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  1. Bodestone

    because every computer has Bluetooth these days?

    Most but not all portables do. Almost no desktops do out of the box.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: because every computer has Bluetooth these days?

      Although you can buy USB bluetooth dongles in the pound shop these days, which work remarkably well all things considered...

      1. Phil W

        Re: because every computer has Bluetooth these days?

        Indeed, you can even buy branded adapter from a reputable online retailer for less than £3

        Admittedly only Bluetooth 2.0 or 2.1 with EDR, but that will more than suffice for most purposes, and 4.0 adapters can be had for a similar price on fleabay.

        Not sure how any of the above is relevant to the article though? Having bluetooth in a laptop or PC isn't really relevant to connecting a remote control to a TV, or a phone.

      2. Andromedan

        Re: because every computer has Bluetooth these days?

        I have however discovered that those £1 bluetooth dongles often all have the same MAC address, so having more than one in range of each other causes havoc.

  2. Badvok
    Thumb Down

    "Bluetooth has achieved its dream of being in a remote control" - minor correction, but that was achieved a while back when Sony made a remote control for the PS3.

    1. John H Woods

      Yes ...

      ... and mine is still on the set of AAs that came with it, despite daily use.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pretty much every new TV now has built in networking right? Almost everyone has a smart phone in their hands... So why not just stick to cheap IR on the remotes, and promote Smart apps?

    I know I would rather have a better app on my phone than the crappy one I have now...

    I always have my phone on me, but constantly am hunting for the TV remote my kids have hidden!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      AFAIK most TVs have wired networking, not wireless. Which makes it pretty hopeless unless you buy an adapter.

      Perhaps I'm out of date with the current generation of smart TVs though and wireless connectivity is the norm, like with games consoles?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > AFAIK most TVs have wired networking, not wireless. Which makes it pretty hopeless unless you buy an adapter.

        Or just plug the TV wire into whatever is providing your wireless...

  4. Martin Huizing

    Wow, just wow...

    Anyone old enough here to remember that key-chain device from the late 80's? You whistled and it would generate a tone to help you find your keys.

    History does repeat itself!

    1. Annihilator

      Re: Wow, just wow...

      You mean you whistled several times, looked like a nutter to passers-by and occasionally got it to generate the tone. Or alternatively you coughed, slammed a door, boiled a kettle or dropped a pin and it would generate a tone too.

      Such was my experience with them anyway!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow, just wow...

        Or farted quite quietly in a meeting only to have it announced by the keys in your pocket beeping loudly

        1. Martin Huizing

          Re: "Or farted quite quietly in a meeting"

          Never had that problem myself. Mainly because I consciously amplify my bowel gas escape sounds during meetings.

          People around me thought the beeping was a gas leak detector!

  5. petur

    If you want a mobile with a remote build-in

    Get a Nokia n900 while you still can, and install Pierogi, a really nice working multi-device remote. Already supports a ton of devices and more get added frequently.

    And also install TV-B-Gone while you're at it, a nice single-press turn-any-TV-off widget :)

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: If you want a mobile with a remote build-in

      I think there's some kind of gadget you can buy which does the IR part, with an iPhone and Android app as UI.

      I personally have no need for it right now, but when I move I'll have to find it - it's probably the feature I muss most from my ancient Sony Clie PDA (and the only way to change the TV channel in a hotel or bar :).

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: If you want a mobile with a remote build-in

      @petur: so we've got a smart phone to remote control the TV. And a BlueTooth device to remote control the smart phone to remote control the TV. Isn't that cool? (Btw, El Reg, where's the sarcasm icon?)

  6. Jonathon Green
    Thumb Up

    RF remote control? Yes please!

    If you have a non-trivial amount of A/V kit in a typical room then it can be difficult to maintain line of site from controller to appliance. In my case I have a TV, an A/V receiver, two games consoles (Wii and XBox), two set top boxes (one BT Vision, one home media streamer), a PVR, and a DVD player - Generally speaking we can manage to control that lot pretty seamlessly with a Logitech Harmony but from some locations within the room it's quite awkward to get line of site to all the bits of kit which needs to be switched on/off or reconfigured for a particular activity, and if a command gets lost (say due to a cat walking across the coffee table at the wrong moment, someone leaving a pile of books in an awkward place, or not having arms quite long enough to place the remote where it can "see" everything) getting evrything back into sync can be a PITA. Not only that but with an RF solution quite a few bits (the STBs, the PVR, and possibly even the A/V receiver) could be tucked away out of sight altogether.

    You can get "bolt on" RF solutions which use IR emitters to relay signal to the kit (in fact there's a Harmony which works this way) but they're expensive and involves adding even more kit. A standardised RF solution (and Bluetooth would be as good as any other) would definitely be A Good Thing as far as I'm concerned...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advantage of IR remotes

    My sky remote controls my TV and Sky box. And one for all remotes can be set up for all of your devices.

    The PS3 remote, however, cant' be combined with them as its bluetooth.

    Even if you had a multi remote that could do bluetooth, the pairing will throw some of them out. Not being identified as a genuine part will knock out others (some won't want you to buy 3rd party).

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Advantage of IR remotes

      Yes but the PS3 remote is far better.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Advantage of IR remotes

      Solved all that with a Logitech Harmony and the add-on for the PS/3..

      A bit fiddly to set up (I have a serious hate for user "friendly" software, the Logitech config software confirms this to the deepest possible level) but once it works it just does the job..

      1. Michael 28

        Re: Advantage of IR remotes

        I bought the one4all xsight plus during the week. Sadly, I run linux , so I have to set up a dualboot xp just to update it. If bluetooth makes an appearance in remotes , it'll make my investment a very short term one.....good job I kept the receipt.

  8. Eddie Edwards

    Driver vs transducer

    "Bluetooth chips still cost a lot more than Infrared LEDs"

    And car engines cost more than bus wheels. So what? :)

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Driver vs transducer

      Bluetooth "chips" usually include the entire radio, sometimes even the antenna, and if not that's just a PCB trace.

      Feed it power and data and you're done.

      The elephant in the room is regulatory compliance, as once you go wireless the requirements get more expensive to test, although some jurisdictions let you stretch the bluetooth module certification to include your device and others (CE) you'll probably never get caught at Bluetooth power levels.

  9. JDX Gold badge

    Bluetooth has always wanted to be in a TV remote control, but never made it

    Except for the PS3 DVD/Blu-ray remote, which is excellent. No pointing required.

    When a TV costs £hundreds, the price of bluetooth seems inconsequential.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just not impressed with bluetooth, I've had more than my fair share of problems with devices simply trying to recognize each other. When it works, it works, but getting it to work sometimes.....

  11. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    One button?

    Target segment will be Mac users then.

  12. Tommy Pock

    Mobile remote

    My Nokia 7650 had a TV/video remote app on it. I'm glad smart phones are finally catching up with phones from ten years ago

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