The Good Controls up to 15 devices; 15 activities; color screen; cable and satellite channel logos; no PC required.
The Bad Rotary wheel underperforms and has odd button layout; most keys are too close together; remote is a bit heavy; no rechargeable battery option; somewhat expensive versus competing models.
The Bottom Line The Philips Prestigo SRU8015 universal remote offers relatively easy setup and good control flexibility, but it's sabotaged by a poorly implemented scroll-wheel control.
|Philips Prestigo SRU8015||Logitech Harmony Elite||Logitech Harmony 650||Logitech Harmony 900||Logitech Harmony Advanced Universal Remote for Xbox 360|
|Price||$350 Typical Price||$350 Typical Price||$350 Typical Price||$350 Typical Price||$350 Typical Price|
Philips Prestigo SRU8015
Universal remote controls have become increasingly popular due to the consolidation and convenience they provide the home theater buff with an increasingly burgeoning rack of gear. While manufacturers have approached the technology in a number of different ways, we tend to be partial to the PC-programmable technique used onLogitech Harmony remotes. There are alternatives to this concept; we've looked at remotes that use Wi-Fi to display TV programming schedules like with the Acoustic Research Universal Smart Remote ARRU449 and we've seen basic remotes that simply offer button-based programming (no PC at all). The Philips Prestigo SRU8015 falls into that final camp. There's nothing truly innovative or outstanding about it; it's just a relatively easy-to-use universal remote that falls within the $80-to-$120 price range. But while the predecessor SRU8010 model offered simplicity and the potential for customization at a great price, the Prestigo SRU8015's addition of a scroll-wheel makes it a bit more polarizing from a usability perspective.
When you first pick up the SRU8015, you'll immediately notice its weight --at a half pound, it's definitely among the heavier wand-style remotes we've tested. There's not much of a disadvantage with a heavy remote, just the louder smash it'll make if you happen to drop it on the floor or onto something else.
The remote is outlined in a silver plastic that should mesh well with today's home theater devices. While it's ergonomically designed for using the rotary wheel located in the middle of the remote, you may find yourself stretching or even using two hands to reach buttons north and south of the wheel. Most of the buttons have a satisfying tactile feel to them, with the exception of a few vanity buttons that are tougher to sense whether or not they've been pressed. The SRU8015's full-color screen is nice and bright with plenty of customization options that allow you to control brightness and dimming. Every key on the remote is backlit, allowing for operation in dark situations.