Have you ever fumbled around with too many remotes?
Do you often find that your PS4 controller is dead because you binge-watched Gilmore Girls?
Wouldn’t it be easier if you can solve all this issues with one convenient little device?
WELL NOW YOU CAN*!
* but only if you fall into an annoyingly small subset of people that possess compatible entertainment devices.
Performance Design Products (PDP), makers of the Rock Candy and Afterglow line of third-party gaming devices, with co-operation from Sony, have released the PlayStation 4 Universal Media Remote.
There are several advantages to combining a PS4 remote with a universal remote. Something that a lot of people desire is a single remote that can control all of their devices (just look at the popularity of the Logitech Harmony). The PS4 Media Remote connects to your PS4 via Bluetooth, but it’s also equipped with an infrared emitter/sensor to control up to 3 other devices. The additional device buttons are labeled TV, AMP, and CBL (television, sound system/reciver, and cable-box/set-top-box, respectively).
I purchased a Media Remote recently, and connecting to the PS4 was easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. It’s a simple Bluetooth pairing, like setting up another controller. Setting up my TV and surround sound, however, a little trickier.
My first attempts were to establish a sync via the Auto-Search feature with my surround sound. The remote rifles through the manufacturer codes via infrared to turn off your devices. 5 minutes go by. Nothing. 10 minutes... Still nothing. 15 minutes? Nah, let’s move on the manual set up! The back of the instruction booklet came with the codes for each brand. I find Sony in the list and I work through 10 codes before I finally get to the last code (of course, that’s the one that works and powers down my device).
Great, power works. Seeking works. FM tuner works. I can even change the input, wasn’t expecting that. Hm... volume buttons don’t work... But that’s why I WANT this to be connected to my surround sound. To control the sound.
I proceeded to add my TV to the remote through the manual method (only had to try two codes for this one), and it has full functionality. I tried to return to the surround sound, but I couldn’t find any code tat worked. Unfortunately the instructions and website say that if I can’t find full functionality, my device isn’t supported. My home theatre is only ~5 years old!
Compatibility aside, the remote itself is solid. It feels great. It’s sleek and slim. Plus, it has full functionality for PS4 navigation. I used it to move around the PlayStation Store, Netflix, and Plex. I can use the PS button, the Share, etc. It takes two AAA batteries, and touts that it will last a minimum of 6 months of regular usage. Those are some numbers I can get behind (my controllers are always dead because my wife and I like to watch TV/movies on the PS4 and it drains the battery quickly).
I’m still able to eliminate the need for a TV remote, so although I didn’t fully reduce the amount of remotes that I need, I didn’t add to the pile either.
I would absolutely recommend you buy this remote if you’re interested in using it to control the media on your PS4. If you’re looking to really take advantage of the universal aspect, just make sure your store has a decent return policy because it seems that PDP didn’t spring for a wide compatibility net.
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Evan Chambers is a fellow video game connoisseur (specializing in the Nintendo variety). He occasionally writes other articles and reviews that you can find here, and sometimes he tries to Twitter, at @EvanChambers.