updated 11/24/2006 10:09:58 PM ET 2006-11-25T03:09:58

Logitech 890 Remote
Logitech
$399.99
www.logitech.com

Switching between watching TV to playing a game or CD music on your DVD player means changing your TV or HDTV’s inputs from one to the next, as well as turning on or off the device associated with the activity. That usually means fumbling with a basket-full of remote controls.

Unless you have an all in one remote, like the Logitech 890. By far my favorite remote, you program it via Logitech’s Web site. Connect it to your Mac or PC, log in to the Web site, and click through the various Q&A screens to identify all of your gear.

The site automatically programs the remote based on activities, such as Watch TV — which, for instance, tells the remote to turn on your TV, cable box, and audio receiver, switching all of them to the correct input settings.

Say you then want to play a DVD movie. Press Watch Movie, and the remote tells the cable box to turn off, switches on the DVD player, and changes the TV and audio input settings to the correct ones for watching and hearing the movie. Which means you can say goodbye to all of those separate remotes.

In addition to the usual line-of-sight infrared like regular remotes, the 890 also includes an RF option, which beams button pushes to your gear without actually having to point at it, and through walls if your listening to music and want to turn up the living room volume from the kitchen next door. 

The only small annoyance is the fine tuning of settings, which initially means going back to your computer and the Web site a number of times during the first few days of use, until you have everything just right.

But once it’s all right, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without this little all-in-wonder. 

— Joe Hutsko

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