Which Remote Is Best For My Home Theatre?

A lot of people have asked me which remote control is best when setting up a home theatre system. Whilst the type of system you are setting up influences this significantly, there are many good options,  regardless of your configuration.

General Home Theatre

Logitech Harmony Series

Logitech’s Harmony series of remotes have always been well received and you cannot go wrong with any of the product line. These remotes are easy to configure via your PC and their website and the focus on “activities” (i.e. Watch TV) rather than having to power up and set the inputs on each device is a real time saver and ideal for those households where the users are not as technology-friendly.

Logitech Harmony 650

Logitech Harmony 650

Logitech’s first colour screen remote, the Harmony 650 is ideal for a home theatre at a reasonable price and the backbone of my home theatre. Only offering support for 5 devices when it was first released,  Logitech recently upgraded the device to sort 8 devices when setting it up via MyHarmony.

The Logitech Harmony 650 can be purchased here.

Logitech Touch

Logitech Harmony Touch
Similar to the Harmony 650, but offering a higher quality 2.4″ capacitive touch-screen capable of gestures, support for 15 devices and a rechargeable battery.

The Logitech Harmony Touch can be purchased here


For those of you lucky enough to have delved into the world of HTPC’s, the following remotes will be perfect to complete your setup.

Generic USB Remote


To further improve its usability, you can add it as a device into a Harmony remote and only have to use a single remote to control all of your appliances.
Cheap and cheerful, this basic remote has been a solid staple of my media centre for the last 7 years and has never missed a beat. Plug and play without needing drivers, it is recognised as a keyboard.

Purchase this remote here



What about using any remote you have lying around the house? FLIRC allows you to program the device to interpret the IR signals from any remote and have them interpreted as key presses. A simple PC-based configuration tool ensures that all settings are written to the device and can be carried with you – so no need to reconfigure everytime you want to move it to

You can get the FLIRC from here

So what do you recommend?

My personal recommendation is to use a Harmony Remote with a generic USB remote to control your HTPC. This offers the best of both worlds, centralising your control with a single remote – your HTPC included.
Photo Credit: Power Button On TV Remote by Petr Kratochvil


Michael is a technology expert with over 15 years of experience in IT, Home Theatre and Automation. Feel free to send Michael a message here.

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