Here's the deal: the One For All Energy Saver remote is designed to save you money, reduce your carbon footprint and generally reduce the remote clutter in your life. The eco problem with AV equipment is standby, of course -- by not turning off your TV, DVD player and home cinema system you're wasting money by lighting up an empty room with the glow of half a dozen LEDs.
The Energy Saver consists of two bits: a wall plug, into which you plug a power strip, and a remote control. The idea is that you'd have your TV, surround-sound system, games consoles and DVD players all connected to it, then at night, you press the special button and kill the power to all of those things that really don't need to be on all the time. Your Freeview recorder or Sky+ should be left on, of course, so you can just plug those in another, uncontrolled socket.
If you're dubious about the benefits of all this or think it might be another pointless gadget hopping on the save-the-planet bandwagon, One For All wants you to know that it thinks we're collectively wasting £900m a year. Forget the polar bears, that's a massive chunk of change. Sure, you could reach behind the TV and flip that wall switch, but let's be honest, there are probably spiders back there, and we guarantee you'll have to contort yourself into all manner of strange shapes to reach the power switch. Who can be bothered?
What this remote aims to do is make it so easy to turn everything off at the wall that you've got no excuse. Not even the spiders. It doesn't use infrared for the power-off, so you don't need to be able to see the plug (yes, we checked). And being a One For All, the supplied remote will also reduce the number of different remote controls you use for your AV gear. And we dare say, reducing the number of controllers will reduce the number of batteries you chew through, saving you even more money.
The socket does draw a small current of its own, a little under 1W in fact, but if you're saving so many other watts, we think this is a reasonable sacrifice. The remote comes with codes to control quite a number of devices, but if yours isn't listed, One For All can do updates on your controller over the phone, which is quite handy.
You can add more sockets to the remote too, so you can control more appliances, and each can be controlled separately with a unique key press, which means you don't have to turn everything off at once. The energy saver remote costs £40, which is £3 more than One For All reckons it will save you each year. So if the company is right, you'll start saving money 28 days into the second year of ownership. You can buy the Energy Saver from most well-known electrical retailers, right now. -Ian Morris