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ESPN The Ultimate Remote
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- Text-message friends and family directly from the remote
- Browse select websites and even shop online on your remote via click365 technology
- 2.2-inch QVGA screen has a built-in light sensor that automatically adjusts brightness according to room lighting
- Control virtually countless devices with easy setup--no PC required
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From the Manufacturer
One-handed operation--all features are within easy reach
Imagine this: You've already got a killer home theater system. And you're a multitasker--you like to sit on the couch with your laptop and your Blackberry by your side, as well as all your system remotes. As you watch the game, you're browsing the web for information on your favorite teams. You like to drink your morning coffee and watch the local news while browsing online for the latest weather forecasts, stock information and worldwide news stories. In short, you like to stay connected--even if it means having a coffee table covered in gadgets.
What if one single remote could do all that?
Introducing the ESPN Ultimate Remote
Developed by tvCompass, Inc. ESPN The Ultimate Remote runs on click365 Wireless Interactive Entertainment network, a content service platform for interactive TV, messaging and digital media. The WiFi device boasts a color LCD display, advanced remote control TV functionality and mobile content offerings from a number of click365 partners. ESPN The Ultimate Remote is the "second screen" for the home entertainment viewer.
The ESPN Ultimate Remote is the sports fan's ultimate companion. Clear the clutter off your coffee table with a universal remote designed not only to unify your existing remotes by controlling virtually countless devices, but to wirelessly download program guides, sports scores and play-by-plays, and more. As you watch the big game, get advanced team and player stats right on your remote. Get up-to-the-minute scores from all the latest games. Even keep up to date with your ESPN.com fantasy teams without ever leaving the couch.
Not Just for Sports Fans--Weather, Program Guides, Text Messaging and More
Great as the thought might be, you can't watch sports all the time. ESPN The Ultimate Remote offers functionality to more than just sports fans. Get the latest news and weather on the vibrant 2.2" QVGA color LCD display. The click365 wireless interactive network provides instant updates to TV listings, sports, weather, news, and more. You can even shop online using the ESPN Remote.
Get personalized multi-day program guides for broadcast, cable, or satellite television. Browse TV listings right on the remote without needing to change the channel or even turn the TV on. Five-day weather forecasts are just a click away, so you can plan your day while watching the morning news. Watching TV at night? The LCD screen has a light sensor that self-adjusts brightness, so you won't get any distracting glare.
Not only that, but the ESPN The Ultimate Remote offers text messaging, so you can instantly keep in touch with friends and family. Text to another ESPN remote, or to email, or to a mobile phone. Get the latest scores and stats for the big game and text them to your friend's Blackberry as he waits in line at the airport. Send your mom a link to a product you saw on TV you think she might be interested in.
click365 technology makes your remote your portal to ESPN.com
and other popular web sites
The ESPN Ultimate Remote is a snap to set up. In a matter of minutes you can install new equipment settings on your remote right in your living room. There's no need for a PC, drivers, or software--just select your home theater equipment type and the manufacturer, and the remote will help guide you to the correct equipment code for your device. Can't find the right code? No problem, you can still program the ESPN remote by learning the manufacturer's supplied remote. And any new equipment codes get beamed to the remote, so it never becomes obsolete.
The remote connects to your existing home WiFi network, and even supports WEP and WPA/2 encryption, all without the need for additional drivers or separate PC software. Just browse the available wireless networks, put in your password and logon information, and the Ultimate Remote stays connected to your home network.
As Easy to Use as It Is to Set Up
New gadgets and new technology are cool, but they should always be simple to operate. And despite having more advanced features than any other remote on the market, the ESPN Ultimate Remote is easy to use. Its familiar mobile-phone-style navigation means that you get one-handed control for all your devices. And with automatic backup of user-programmed remote control settings and self-updating firmware and equipment codes, there's no tending required--it "just works".
Learn more about ESPN The Ultimate Remote. Take a product tour
If you want to know more about what ESPN The Ultimate Remote can do for you, click the image at right to take a product tour. Learn about the remote's powerful features as well as about click365 content partners you'll have access to, right on the remote's LCD screen--all with no subscription fees. It's all just right there, at your fingertips.
Top Customer Reviews
Adding in devices was fairly straightforward but for my devices there was some trial and error involved. For example, I have a panasonic and sony tv. The sony was no problem but for the panasonic, the remote presented a lot of different sets of codes and I had to go through quite a few before I got one that worked. Later, I realized it didn't have all the keys and I had to go back and look (more carefully) for the right set. I finally got the right one. I also have Dish which it knew straight away.
The home menu of the remote looks very much like a cell phone with icons for applications like TV listings, weather and messaging. The weather icon changes with the outside temperature and conditions which is nice. If you 'click' it, it gives you a five day forcast which is a feature I would use quite a bit.
The tv listings are an amazingly useful feature. I immediately setup a 'lineup' with only the channels I watch in it. I also set up some favorite shows that then appear in their own list. If you click on these then the remote tunes that channel which is very neat. I found I could hold the remote vertically, while looking at the screen, and it still changed the channel meaning the IR must come out of the remote at an angle and you don't have to worry too much about pointing it. The data always seemed to be correct and you get descriptions about each episode. The beauty of the tv listings is simply that you do not need to switch away from the current show to find out what's on other channels - an essential if anyone else is trying to watch TV!
The remote also has activities which allows you to set up 'watch dish', 'play ps3' and 'all power off'. I was skeptical that this would work and plesantly surprised when the remote, seemingly by magic, worked out from my keypresses how to change the input on the TV. My only gripe is it chimes after changing the activity and volume doesn't work until you press 'ok' which seems to be unnecessary. Oh, the remote does not work with a PS3 (which is blue tooth - nothing does) which is a downer. I still got it to change inputs on the TV for the PS3 by putting in a 'dummy' device which helps.
The remote is loaded with other features, some of which I am still finding by accident. For example, the 'ESPN' icon opens the ESPN Mobile site for all that has to offer. It is very handy to be able to access this although you might want to make the font bigger (which you can). There are other mobile sites too, such as WSJ and ABC news. There is even the mobile Amazon site although I am not writing this review through it! You can add in your own mobile links and store them in 'favorites'. I already use this more than I do on my actual cell phone (and its free because its over wifi, of course).
There is an icon called 'Headlines' which has news snippets and pictures in it that are loaded instantly. If you want the full story, you can click through to a slower but more detailed page in the browser.
Messaging can send email and text messages which is fun for trash talk and taunts. The text messages are free. There is a search icon that is good for finding out trivia and plot explanations for confusing movies! It even has a version of minesweeper with online high scores.
In summary, it is a fully loaded device unlike any other remote. It doesn't come without downsides including the things already mentioned. It is not particularly comfortable to hold, some of the keys are a bit wobbly, it is bright red (although I knew that when I ordered it) and it might seem a bit complicated. But it is fun and functional and has people talking when they see it (although I'm fed up of explaining what it does).
+ The screen is attractive and functional for basic surfing and TV listings
+ Nice backlight for buttons and remote functions
+ Great content integration for sports fans and information junkies
+ Nice extras like texting and emailing from the remote
+ WiFi performance is good and customizable for secure wireless
+ Great software design allows for frequent updates
+ The nice mix of functions will allow me to use my laptop and cell phone less
- Pricing is somewhat high
- The remote buttons are busy and require manually learning some functions
- Hard plastic buttons are less functional than rubber buttons
- The directional pad and second 4-way pad are redundant and should be combined
- Setup is painful and requires a long manual process for most devices
- Remote logic requires some work
- No RF and Blue Tooth capabilities
- Lacks a touch screen which some people prefer
- Battery life seems weak
- Poor product packaging
- The device database seems difficult to navigate and incomplete
- Alternatives like the Harmony lineup offer more maturity for AV remote junkies
Removing the remote from the package is a chore. Normally I wouldn't even mention that, but removing this packaging is literally dangerous and time consuming. Scissors alone will not be the best option.
The instructions imply that you need to fully charge the unit before setup, but my unit was ready to go before charging. Setup starts with wireless networking, which will auto discover broadcasting wireless access points but will allow you to enter your WEP/WPA password for secured networks. After entering your location data, you must register your remote to activate the web features.
Device setup is the weak point of the device. You have to set-up each component by manufacturer and search through codes for the specific models. This is a terrible process for most devices because getting the exact code will require tons of luck and way too much time. The auto-discover feature is basically useless because it will identify devices based upon the power function alone. You will think you've found the right one when the power button works, only to discover that other functions do not. Some other methods to find the codes exist, but this basic method is a huge con. The option to manually learn the additional functions is also less than ideal.
Setting up activities like "Watch TV" or "Watch a DVD" is also a weakness. Users must manually map out functions and program them. The questionnaire that the remote uses to walk you through this setup is bare-bones and not very helpful, leaving much of the manual configuration to the user. Follow all this up with trial-and-error testing, and you've got a very long process ahead of you. Again, contrasted against the simple PC application that the Harmony uses to intuitively set up its activities, the ESPN Ultimate really falls short in the ease and flexibility departments.
The LCD display looks good, but is not designed for full web browsing. It's just a very convenient way to get sports scores, weather, etc. True, I normally always have my laptop with me. But having this will allow me to use my laptop less. And being able to get channel listings without stopping a DVD is also an unpredicted convenience I am very happy about.
The buttons are back-lit, but I'm not crazy about the solid plastic feel of the unit. Standard soft remote buttons would have been better in my opinion.
As a remote, the ESPN Ultimate is good but doesn't include RF and Blue Tooth, which are necessary for certain next gen devices. I know that won't be a deal breaker for everybody, but basic IR requires line-of-sight to work and is a definite weakness.
Having to switch your device to perform basic functions is also annoying. When you're watching cable and go to change the volume, it automatically adjusts the cable volume instead of the TV volume. You have to switch to the TV or AV device and then change the volume. A simple example of something even my stock remote does better out of the box.
Another basic TV function that was annoying was that this remote didn't automatically understand the difference between the info button and guide button for scrolling through TV listings.
However, the excellent feature of TV listings on the remote's screen more than makes up for that. You can see the channel guide and directly select right off the remote.
The web surfing feature is very good. I already am familiar with the differences in mobile web sites versus the regular web, and this is the same web that my old cell phone uses. ESPN is probably one of the few mobile sites that's well designed, and there are also links for Yahoo news, WSJ.com and Amazon.com.
The unit seems to lose battery power much quicker than I would like. Plan on docking this thing in the charger nightly. Only two days without docking will result in a low battery indicator.
The web browsing capabilities are the saving grace of the unit and will probably be in competing devices before long. The remote control functions are not the best in class, but they are adequate once you invest the time in setting everything up. Areas for improvement include adding PC setup capability, improving activity logic, and improving the feel of the remote.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I want my money back. I don't know how they sell this for $250 on the product website. This thing is WORTHLESS. Let me count the ways.