Gadget: Griffin Beacon Universal Remote Control

IF THE Christmas elves have brought you yet another electronic gadget with a remote control, chances are your coffee table is fast becoming crowded by a herd of buttoned black beauties.

Having returned home to Edinburgh for the holidays, I found my dad juggling between four different remotes for the TV, BT Vision Box, DVD player and HiFi. Determined to lasso this infrared herd into some form of order, I purchased him a Griffin Beacon.

There are a multitude of universal remotes on the market, but the big selling point of the Beacon is that it works via the Dijit App for iOS or Android. This means your existing iPhone, iPod, iPad or Android smartphone can be transformed into a remote control extraordinaire. Installing the free Digit App is painless and configuring it for my specific Panasonic LCD TV was a case of running the automated wizard which pinpointed the correct model.

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How does it work? The Beacon itself is a fist-sized infrared pebble which connected via Bluetooth to my dad’s iPhone. When you press the power button on the Digit App it sends a Bluetooth signal to the Beacon which the Beacon relays into an infrared signal to control your TV or other electronic device. Since the core software of the Beacon is a regularly updated App, little foibles are continuously being addressed by the manufacturer. That said, I did encounter one big disadvantage for my dad’s particular set-up – there’s currently no way to corral a BT Vision set-top box, as in their wisdom BT have locked it from being controlled by third party remotes. As long as you’ve not got a BT Vision box, at £59.99, the Beacon is one of the most effective ways of wrangling your remote control herd into order.

£59.99 from, for more information see

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