Top 4 ridiculously priced remote controls

Remote controls serve a simple purpose: they control things remotely, so why are there remote controls in the 3, 4 and 500 dollar range or even as high as $2699? They don't come with the gadgets they are meant to control. These are quite literally just the controllers. Let's take a look at some of the highest priced remote controls and see what people think of them and what features they have that may (or may not) justify their beefy price tag.

Philips Color Pronto Remote Control - TSU9600

View attachment 2377 This remote control comes in at over $2500. In fact, it is selling on Amazon right now for $2699.99. However, I have seen it around the web for as low as $655.00. It is meant to consolidate all remotes into just one as all Universal remotes are created to do.

It boasts a 640x480 resolution touch panel, a 3.7" VGA LCD TFT screen, 64 MB of RAM, and Wi-Fi capabilities. It has built-in control for Escient (can control an Escient Fireball music server without having to use a video monitor) and Lutron lighting.

It is a stylish unit to say the least. Many people agree on that but most also agree that it is difficult to configure for the inexperienced. Some even said that they needed to hire someone to come set everything up.

Most will agree that they didn't pay the high ticket price for this beauty just for the universal aspect. They like how it looks and for some they admitted to wanting the bragging rights.

It took some time, spanning several days in fact, for one customer to "program" the device to control his: Panasonic plasma TV, TiVo HD, Toshiba HD DVD player, Onkyo receiver, Sony PS3, and Roku SoundBridge. As you can see there is a wide range of device types and manufacturers that it can handle.

The device itself has Internet connectivity and will display the current weather, etc.

A couple people have complained about intermittment behaviour of the device. They claim that the remote would just continuously reboot until the battery would die. Some say this is because of user error, some suggest hardware. Others report the problem never occurring for them at all even after over a year of use.

Many have reported poor battery power and that they were required to keep the device on the charger constantly. Some say that is because they didn't allow a complete drain of the battery in the early stages of use, similar to how a cellphone or laptop computer needs a full battery cycle to extend its life and have it work correctly.

Philips TSU9400 Pronto Universal Remote Control

View attachment 2378 Here's another attractive remote by Philips with a giant price tag. This one has prices ranging from $899 to as much as $2399. Again, people find this remote difficult to configure and say that it is geared towards AV installation specialists or IT experts.

Prgramming is done with JavaScript and the average comment regarding the programming and config tools is that they are "fairly good." Customers find that the giant IR database isn't very easy to navigate, a common complaint for Philips remotes and some of their other products.

Like the TSU9600 previously discussed, many find this remote takes hours or even days to configure, and often requires an extra expense of hiring someone to do it. Experts even say that it takes a days work to configure the remote to control the average home theater setup.

It has built-in WiFi that allows streaming of video to the unit's display. Like the previously discussed unit, although not mentioned, it allows for RF extenders allowing the control of devices in other rooms or hidden behind walls or furniture.

It is worth noting that most haters of the expensive Philips remotes are lovers of the Logitech remotes. They find that comparable products (feature-wise) in the Logitech line are easier to user and way more affordable.

Universal Remote Control MX3000 IR and RF Color Touch Screen Remote

View attachment 2379 This stylish univeral remote by a company aptly named Universal Remote ranges in price from $679 to almost $1000 from what I have found on the web.

Many long time users of this remote "love it." Many novices were able to program it themselves and enjoyed doing it. One user says this remote is significantly better than his Harmony 1000 in terms of how simple it is to configure for his devices, although he had a tough time programming his Apple TV with it.

Although users still stand by this remote today, they find that there is very little manufacturer support and have to go in the "wild" to find experienced users, custom software, and Internet forums for guidance and assistance.

URC MX-980i Universal Remote Control MX980i

View attachment 2380 This remote rings in at over $570 on Amazon but I have seen it across the web for as low as $299. Users find again that this remote control often requires a professional at a cost of about $300 to be setup properly.

It is PC programmable, it has a large, bright color LCD display, an open programming architecture, Narrow Band RF capability, and near seamless integration with other control devices, according to the specs.

Is buying an expensive universal remote worth the expense?

I like free stuff. Plus I'm a reduce, reuse, recycle kind of person. Or perhaps I'm just frugal, maybe a bit cheap. But when I think of the $2,500 someone spent on a Universal Remote and the stress they had trying to get it working, I think of how I could have paid a virtual assistant $25 to find and setup some software for me that could potentially do the same or a similar thing. Then I think about the gorgeous smile my daughter has because I put money into her dental work rather than a remote control with a fat price tag. But hey, I'm different :)

Maybe getting up to change the channel isn't such a bad thing.


I am completely dumbfounded by this article. The author has obviously done 0% research on this and in addition, doesn't seem to even have the first clue what she is writing about.

And control systems from 7 years ago? That have been discontinued a long time with newer and cheaper models. A teenage aspiring journalist would have caught that one.

I would suggest a couple of things:
1) Learn something about the subject you are writing about. This would include interviewing some professionals on what exactly things do, costs of alternatives, and pros/cons.
2) Make sure your information is up to date.

I can't even bring myself to read any of your other articles. Why would I? You have shown a complete lack of professionalism and I feel your posts will be filled with incorrect and misleading information.

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