How to Integrate Your Smartphone with Your Home Theater System

If you have a home theater system, you probably have like three to five remote controls lying virtually everywhere in your living room – or hidden somewhere under your couch cushions. On the other hand, if you are a high-tech kind of person, you may have to integrate your smartphone with your home theater system to have a universal remote control of sorts.

Would you like it if you could replace all those remote controls and universal remote with a smartphone? Well, that’s a real possibility with modern technology. Get some popcorn, sit back and read how you can integrate your smartphone with your home theater system.

Benefits of Using a Phone

While using multiple remotes for controlling the home theater system, you know how often a remote is seemingly “lost” when you need it most. On the other hand, using your smartphone as a universal remote means you’ll never look for the right remote, or trying guessing the correct combination for each device on a universal remote control.

Furthermore, like most people, you always have your phone somewhere close to your person, saving you time, tons of frustration and energy. Best of all, most phone apps support full QWERTY keyboard, so you never have to waggle your remote around trying to figure out how to enter the right passwords.

Plus, the clumsiness of having to navigate numerous menus with a thumb-pad can only be matched to tediously hunting and pecking at letters on the numeric buttons. Now, multiply this misery by the number of remote controls you use for your home theater components!

Fortunately, you can use your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet as a remote control for your home theater components. Check out some of these awesome ways you can integrate your smartphone with your home theater system.

Using Wi-Fi to Integrate your Smartphone with Your Home Theater System

One of the easiest ways to integrate your smartphone with your home theater system is by using apps and your home’s Wi-Fi network. The only disadvantage of using this method is that you need to download an app for each of your home theater’s components – if all components are from one manufacturer, you can use a single app.

A majority of cable companies out there also offer users apps that can pair with various devices, so watch out for what your provider has. Many brands also have apps for controlling their TVs via smartphones, and you can use them to control other devices in the home theater setup.

It’s always a good idea to look at what components you have in your home theater. You are likely to find an associated app and see what it offers you in terms of remote controlling.

Using Infrared

Most remote controls on the market work via Infrared (IR) for controlling the associated appliances. Unfortunately, not many smartphones have IR emitters. However, a handful of newer Android smartphones have built-in IR blasters or emitters that can communicate with home theater devices.

If your phone doesn’t have the IR blaster, you’ll need to use an adapter, if you want to use IR for controlling your home theater devices with older iPhone or Android phones. One alternative is dongles that you plug into your phone’s headphone jack.

The other alternative is purchasing a larger, standalone device that helps you control your entire network. With an IR blaster, you can control just about any Infrared device in your home, including your home theater system from anywhere with a smartphone. Your smartphone becomes a multi-remote for controlling all the components, removing the hassle of finding other remote controls.

Using an IR blaster offers you several advantages including:

·         Control over all Infrared devices within range

·         Works with your home’s Wi-Fi connection to get commands from your phone

·         You can configure your device to learn how you like your media settings

·         It is simple to setup

Using Harmony

If you would still like to have a universal remote nearby, but have the added ability to use your smartphone, then consider getting a Harmony home bundle. The remote features touchscreen capabilities that let you control your home theater system easily.

This unit is capable of working with over 270,000 home entertainment devices from more than 6,000 brands. In addition, you can install Harmony mobile app to integrate your smartphone with your home theater system easily.

Alternatively, you can use the Harmony Hub for controlling all connected devices in your home theater setup. Best of all, this nifty gadget is pretty versatile.

Using Amazon Echo

Alexa-enabled devices from Amazon like Echo are controlled by voice and react to commands whenever the name “Alexa” is mentioned. These gadgets can control just about anything in your home, including your home theater system.

In most cases, you can access the Alexa service on Android and iOS smartphones, allowing you to use a virtual assistant to control your system, even when you’re not home. This can be handy if you would like your home theater to play a certain song, decrease or increase volume from another room.

These gadgets can also hear even the most soft-spoken person in your home. To control Alexa from your smartphone – and eventually integrate it with your home theater – you’ll need to:

1.       Purchase the Amazon echo device

2.       Download and install the Amazon shopping app to your iOS or the Alexa app to your Android smartphone

3.       Configure commands and skills specifically for your home theater

It’s important to note that you can speak actual commands through the Alexa app on Android devices. Unfortunately, you can’t do the same on iOS devices, but you can use the same voice commands through the Amazon shopping app. The biggest advantage of using this voice-assisted device is that they are capable of learning new skills.

Conclusion

No matter what you are into, there are numerous options to integrate your smartphone with your home theater setup. Spending a little researching on the right product, apps, and apps for your system will ultimately see you spend less time messing with your setup. Do not forget to check out the best home theaters available on the market.

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