Turn the remote for your streaming video set-top box into a universal remote

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sideclick-remote-control-1

The TV in my bedroom has what has to be the worst remote ever created.  It seems to be underpowered, and there’s an opaque cover over the wimpy IR sender that means it sometimes takes what seems like a dozen tries to get the TV to simply turn on or off.  I need to get a universal remote for that TV, and the Sideclick seems like what I actually need.  I have an Apple TV connected to that set, but there’s no cable box or anything else connected to it other than a coax cable for the cablevision service.  The Sideclick remote, now an active Kickstarter project, is a “side car”, if you will, that holds the remote for your Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Amazon Fire TV Stick and adds rudimentary controls for your TV.  If you need to access the TV’s setup or menus, you’ll need to use its own remote, but the Sideclick lets you turn the TV on and control a few other functions.  The keys on the Sideclick are marked channel up/down, sound up/down, and source.  Since you have to program the functions using the TV’s original remote, you can actually program them for your favorite functions, even assign the volume buttons to control a soundbar.

Funding for the Sideclick continues until Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 8:34 PM EDT; pledges already have exceeded 50% of the goal.  A few early-bird pledges are still available; $25 gets you one Sideclick of your choice, with shipping expected in November 2015.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, News
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  • Lawrence Chen April 25, 2015, 1:17 pm

    I want to support this project, but I’m having trouble deciding which versions I’ll be wanting… as I currently don’t have any of these devices connected to my main HDTV. But, as I’m strongly thinking of cutting cable (after a few channels went missing, and they insisted that they would need to charge me for them to come out and check my wiring, etc. But, I had checked and redone all my inside wiring, including disconnecting some devices and returning 4 cable cards and 2 tuning adapters. Making it a problem on their side. Which they eventually got magically fixed a few weeks later….but caused me to miss, near live, viewing of 4 Doctor Who shows last fall, almost to the point where buying a season pass to get it from Amazon might have made sense, except for the steep price they wanted for the first episode….)

    I own a Roku XDS, but haven’t decided on upgrading it as it nears EOL. I’ve purchased other products, that I haven’t gotten around to unboxing yet. Such as both the Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire Stick…. But, plan to do once I get around to figuring out who I’m going to rewire my home theatre setup (the current HDMI into DVI switcher and then needing a DVI to HDMI converter to get the signal into my display is odd, wish I had snagged the HDMI switcher before the company dropped out out of the direct to consumer market…the switcher is nice in that it can learn an IR signal, so by using a one of my 5 TiVo devices it’ll switch the input for that device…) Hopefully neither will be like the Boxee, that by the time I got to wanting to hook it up…they announced their move into Samsung. It was around then that my Samsung DLP HDTV (43″) from 2000 entered mechanical failure, where I replaced it with a 50″ LED Samsung smart tv, though I still only mainly use it as a display. But, I finally got the size of display that I had gotten rack for. 😉

    Meanwhile, with the fresh influx of iOS devices (finally reached breaking point of Android phone not lasting to the end of my service contract…. got an iPhone 6 Plus to go with an iPad Air 2, which I had gotten for digital content that was exclusive to iPad…even though the print version is [also] free to qualified individuals, like me.), it might be time to replace my first generation Apple TV (which I had hacked to be a Boxee, before they went to their own hardware…)

    I suppose I could just back one of each version, even if it means I end up not needing any of them 😉

  • Julie Strietelmeier April 25, 2015, 3:02 pm

    I’m really tempted to get the Roku version of the Sideclick.

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