May 28, 2010
| by Lisa Montgomery
So, you want to use your iPhone as a remote control? There are a couple of ways to do that.
If you are getting your content through a computer-like device, such as a Media Center PC, Apple TV or Xbox, you have many options at your fingertips, so to speak.
With special software running on your entertainment server, apps like XBMC Remote (and others listed below) essentially turn your iPhone into a secondary display, so you can navigate your TV shows, movies and other content just as you would from your handheld remote and TV display.
For example, while you’re watching Flash Forward on the big screen, you can hit the “info” button on the iPhone to learn more about the actors. Or you could flip through your movie collection and double-tap to send a flick to the big screen.
What you cannot do, however, is control your traditional A/V gear with these apps. You’ll need to reach for a traditional universal remote to turn the TV on and off, or to tee up the Blu-ray player.
Or you could team up your iPhone with special hardware to turn the handheld into a real universal remote, capable of operating your entire theater with the press of a button.
The hardware takes WiFi or Bluetooth commands from your iPhone and converts them into infrared (IR) signals that can be understood by TVs and other consumer electronics. We’ve rounded up a sample of products and apps to get you started.
Click here for 10 Ways to Use iPhone as Remote Control.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.