Today’s Fire Wire Holiday gift suggestion is for the audio gadget hound with 6 different remotes on the coffee table. Do them a favor and simplify their life with a single simple solution – The Acoustic Research Xsight Touch universal remote ($250). This intelligent device allows you operate up to 18 different audio/video components using its bright touch-screen LCD color display and simple to use button configuration. The remote control offers simple setup from the device itself or from a connected PC (via USB, using supplied software) for more advance setup functions.
The Xsight Touch remote control offers two ways of controlling your home entertainment devices either by the 2.2” LCD Touch Screen Display of via the backlit keypad.
Settings Menu: The Settings menu lets you add or delete devices, learn functions from your original remote control, and adjust various options on your remote.
Devices Menu: The Devices menu gives you direct access to all the devices the remote is set up to control. Selecting a device puts the remote into the correct mode to control the device selected. If you select TV, for instance, the remote will control your TV. Once you have selected a device to control, the remote screen displays the “soft” keys for that device. These are keys that your original device remote may have that the Xsight Touch remote does not have hard-keys for.
Activities Menu: The Activities menu gives you access to all of the One-Touch Activities you have set up using the EZ-RC Remote Control Setup Wizard software. An activity lets you condense a multi-step action to a single touch. For example, you can create an activity called “Watch Movie” that will automatically execute all the steps needed to start watching a movie on your home theater system. When you have set up your Activity, it appears on your touch screen in the Activities menu. When you press this on-screen Activity key, the remote automatically sets up your home theater for Watching TV, Watching a Movie, etc.
Favorites Menu: The Favorites menu gives you access to your Favorite Channels, which you choose using the supplied EZ-RC Remote Control Setup Wizard software. You can choose up to 70 favorite channels.
Personal Profiles: You can create personal profiles for each family member by using the EZ-RC Remote Control Setup Wizard software to group your favorite channels for each family member or type of programming. For example, you can make separate favorite channel lists for Mom and Dad, or you can make favorite channel lists by genre (like Movies, News, or Sports).
Lithium-Ion Battery: The Xsight Touch universal remote control operates off of a single rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. The battery comes partially charged out of the box.
Charging Cradle: The supplied charging cradle allows you to recharge or operate the remote control when docked in the cradle. The remote fully charges in approximately 3-4 hours.
Built-In RF (RF extender required): The Xsight Touch remote has the capability to transmit Radio Frequency (RF) commands. Used with the ARRE433B RF extender (sold separately for $100), the Xsight Touch remote can control your devices even if they are hidden in a closed cabinet.
I found the Acoustic Research Xsight Touch universalremote easy to set up and a breeze to use with its intuitive menu choices. I especially liked the ability to create personal profiles for additional family members. For those individuals who like to keep their components inside a closed cabinet, the RF extender is an invaluable solution.