This product is a Beacon of light for iOS users
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

This product is a Beacon of light for iOS users



If you're like me, you have a half-dozen remotes for your AV equipment in the living room -- and half of them are hiding at any given time. Griffin Technology and Dijit Media have partnered to create the Beacon Universal Remote Control System (http://store.griffintechnology.com/beacon), which can reduce the "which remote? where's the remote?" scenario.

The Beacon is a wireless AV controller that pairs with an iOS device to give you control over your entire home entertainment system. It uses four AA batteries, which will keep it running for about a month. The Beacon works with the iPad, but an iPhone or iPod touch makes a less clunky remote than the Apple tablet. I use an iPhone 4.

The Beacon looks like a smooth black rock. Once you insert the batteries, you push down on its top and it sends out a Bluetooth signal. You sync it with the iOS device of your choice by turning on Bluetooth in your device's General Settings menu.

The Beacon converts Bluetooth signals from iOS device into infrared signals required to control AV components. It connects compatible a iOS device -- the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4 (AT&T and Verizon models), and iPod touch (second, third and fourth generations) -- via Bluetooth with Dijit’s free Universal Remote App. Thankfully, there are no special cases, dongles or wires involved. Also note that it uses an infra red (IR) signal to communicate with components., so can't be used to control components that use a radio frequency (RF) remote.

When your iOS device and Beacon are in sync, the Dijit app will "recognize" the Beacon and you're given a set-up screen that lets you select the AV and/or audio gear you want to control. Each device’s setup can be handled through a “wizard” (which asks "does this button work with your device?") or “list” (you try a variety of virtual remote controllers or make a custom remote) modes. The process is pretty much seamless. I had it working with a Philips HDTV, Dish TV DVR, Sony Blu-ray player and Apple TV in about five minutes.

The Beacon can pair with up to eight mobile devices and supports switching control between the two most recently connected devices. If there are three or more paired mobile devices within range, Beacon will only switch between the two most recently connected. If you want to control Beacon with a device other than the two most recently connected devices, just hold down the Beacon for three seconds to put it into discoverable mode, then connect your device.

The extremely convenient Activities feature lets you program the Beacon to perform multiple actions with the press of a single button.There's no maximum number of devices you can control with the Beacon. However, if you have more than five devices, additional devices will appear on the next screen, as the Dijit app uses standard iPhone/iPad page dot notation to show that there's more than one page.

The US$79.99 Beacon is now shipping and available at the Apple Store and on http://www.griffintechnology.com . Dijit’s Universal Remote App, a free download, can be found on the Apple App Store.

One downside, while I appreciate the wireless convenience, but an AC power supply option would have been nice. I've also heard that the Beacon lacks some functionality in the UK that its US versions have.

The Beacon/Dijit combo will keep you can keep you from juggling multiple remotes. Or spending time hunting for missing remotes.

Just don't misplace your Beacon, or you'll be defeating the purpose.

Rating: 9 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$99.02
Apple Inc.
+1.35
GOOG
$590.60
Google Inc.
+1.58
MSFT
$43.97
Microsoft Corpora
-0.53
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Traps n’ Gemstones Review
Traps n’ Gemstones Review By Campbell Bird on July 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASTLEVANIA JONESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fight mummies, dig tunnels, and ride a runaway minecart to discover ancient secrets in this throwback exploration game.   | Read more »
The Phantom PI Mission Apparition Review
The Phantom PI Mission Apparition Review By Jordan Minor on July 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: GHOSTS BUSTEDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Phantom PI is an exceedingly clever and well-crafted adventure game.   | Read more »
More Stubies Are Coming Your Way in a Ne...
More Stubies Are Coming Your Way in a New Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 28th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
The Great Prank War Review
The Great Prank War Review By Nadia Oxford on July 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PRANKING IS SERIOUS BUSINESSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Though short, The Great Prank War offers an interesting and fun mix of action and tower defense. Get your fish out.   | Read more »
Marvel Contest of Champions Announced at...
Marvel Contest of Champions Announced at Comic-Con Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014 [ permalink ] Announced over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con was the fairly exciting looking Marvel Contest of Champions. | Read more »
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review By Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DULL SWIPINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The pizza power is weak when it comes to this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.   | Read more »
Exploration Focused Puzzle Game Beatbudd...
Exploration Focused Puzzle Game Beatbuddy Set to Make Transition from PC to iOS this September Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
PlanetHD
PlanetHD By Nadia Oxford on July 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPACE MADNESSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad PlanetHD will keep players busy for a while, though its unpredictable physics are a handful to deal with.   | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: July 21-25, 2014
Another Week of Expert App Reviews   At 148Apps, we help you sort through the great ocean of apps to find the ones we think you’ll like and the ones you’ll need. Our top picks become Editor’s Choice, our stamp of approval for apps with that little extra something special. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a... | Read more »
Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client (...
Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: News Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Reddme for iPhone is an iOS 7-optimized Reddit client that offers a refreshing new way to experience Reddit on your iPhone. Sporting a gorgeous, intuitive design and packing more amazing features than we can... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.