CNET First Look
Is Caavo the ultimate high-end universal remote?Caavo has built-in HDMI switching, voice control and app integration all encased in real wood. But can it dethrone Harmony?
[MUSIC] You're looking at the most advanced universal remote we've ever tested at CNET. And for $400, it better be. This is KaVo, and it's nothing like a standard universal remote. It's a two piece system that consists of the box you see here and a companion clicker. Under the removable, real wood top plate is space for up to eight devices. For our test, we used all eight slots, connecting four kinds of streamers, two game consoles, a Blu-Ray player, and a Verizon FiOS cable box. The included remote communicates with the box via Bluetooth, controlling all the switching. It's a slick, medium-sized clicker with a matching wood grain on the bottom. I like to see backlit keys and better differentiation by Feel, but it gets the job done. Cabo's on screen display is another unique feature. It lists all connected devices and lets you easily select one and activate it. Cabo also works with the apps themselves, like Netflix and Amazon Video. Choosing one from the app menu automatically launches it on your preferred device. You can also perform voice searches by speaking to the remote, or with Amazon Alexa, but be aware that you'll be using Cabo's own system and menus, not the ones on your streaming device. [MUSIC] Cavo's coolest features is watch lists which gathers a bunch of signed in apps and lets you easily access and resume watching TV shows and movies. It's a great way to unite various devices and get you to the stuff you want to watch faster. So what's not to like about Cavo? Aside from the price the main problem is it doesn't support HDR video. On a 4K blue rays as well as game consoles and streamers. That's a big deal if you have a new hight end system and pretty inexcusable in a device this expensive. Phobos unique take on a remote control and has a lot going for it but it's tough to recommend at this price without HGR.