Mobile phones are being used for everything these days - if you can think of it, there's probably "an app for that," as they say. One area where we've seen a lot of innovation lately is in mobile devices being used as remote controls for navigating the TV. From hardware devices that pair with headphone jacks to completely software-based solutions, today's smartphones and other connected devices are completely capable of replacing your old TV remote.
This post on Internet-based television is part of a sponsored content series by Intel smart TV.
Below is a list of nearly a dozen "remote control" apps that have caught our interest. We're sure you can think of more. Feel free to add your favorite remote control app to comments section to round out this resource.
Universal Remotes: Hardware/App Combos
RedEye works with an iPhone application to turn the mobile device into a universal remote control for your entire home entertainment system. The newer RedEye mini is a travel-sized version that plugs into the headphone jack. (Source: ZDNet)In combination with a hardware base station,
Another accessory, the L5 Remote, launched at this year's CES does much of the same, but plugs into the USB connector instead. It can also control TVs, DVDs, DVRs, set-top boxes, audio equipment and more. And it works on the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. (Source: The Apple Blog)
Media Center Remote Apps
Both Google TV and Apple TV, two of the biggest name in media center type devices today offer mobile applications for interacting with the content displayed on the TV. The Google TV app runs on both Android and iPhone, but the Apple TV app works only on iOS devices. Google's Remote app offers voice search capabilities, and multiple phones can pair with the Google TV box. Meanwhile, the Apple Remote app lets you control your Apple TV using the same familiar gestures you already use on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
For the media center Roku, there are several remote control applications available. An Android app from developer Gregg Reno duplicates the Roku remote on the mobile device. iPhone users can pick between apps like the DVPRemote app which also features a QWERTY keyboard and the i.TV app which works with Roku, Netflix and TiVo. (Source: NewTeeVee)
The i.TV app is a TV and movie listings app which also works as a remote control for Roku boxes and TiVo HD DVRs. With TiVo DVRs, you can schedule programs to record, too. Another great feature is the pop-up messages that can be enabled to alert you when your favorite show is airing.
HippoRemote lets you control XBMC, an open source media center application that enterprising geeks can install and configure to suit their needs. However, this app's main function is controlling computer applications, Web apps and iTunes. (Source: LifeHacker)
VooMote controls a couple of media center services, including Windows Media Center and Boxee. It also controls apps like Hulu, DivX Player, VLC and others.
Apps From Cable Companies
Android users (2.1+)and, as of this month, Apple mobile device users, whether iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. The FiOS Mobile Remote app lets customers change channels, manage parental controls, pause, rewind and fast forward or record a TV show. Customers can also click on the VOD button on their phone interface and browse and order movies or click on the FiOS TV button to jump to live TV when watching recorded programming. An interesting feature which a normal remote doesn't offer is included too: customers can transfer apps from the mobile device to the TV with a flick of their finger.Verizon has TV remote apps for both
In May, Xfinity (formerly known as Comcast) launched an iPad app remote called the Xfinity Remote App which pairs an iPad to its set-top boxes. With the app, customers can control their TV and DVR, can search program guides and set up shows to record. It also allows for searching through the provider's on-demand programs, which is a lot easier to do on an iPad. Integration with social networks is also supported, namely Facebook. Friends can recommend shows to each other or even "socially view" them together (i.e. watch them at the same time), each on their own TVs. (Source: NewTeeVee)