Review: Griffin Beacon Universal Remote for iOS Devices

Review: Griffin Beacon Universal Remote for iOS Devices

If you’re like me, you’ve got lots of electronics in every room of your house, most notably the office and living room.  You’ve probably also got a friend, room-mate or lover who is concerned about how much you love electronics but is mostly worried about the vast number of remotes scattered all over your coffee table, couch, end tables, mantle, and, the ones you cannot find, lost in the cushions. You need the Griffin Beacon.

Design

With the same footprint as your manliest beer mug, the Beacon rests inconspicuously in your living room, transmitting Bluetooth communications to IR signals for the electronics.  Powered simply with 4 AA batteries (included), the Beacon does not require fumbling with an AC adapter, which equals less clutter.  It is a very simple device!

Function + Companion App

With support for more than 200,000 components, including Apple TV, and across hundreds of brands, you don’t need to worry when your lady friend hides all of the remotes in the drawer.  Pick up your iPhone or iPad (…Andriod too) and run your entertainment system with ease thanks to the free Dijit companion app.

Beacon is the Mount Madoriyama of universal remotes–it dominates all competitors.  Have you ever tried to program a universal remote? I hope you have, to fully appreciate the ease of setup.  Beacon and Dijit work together using a “remote wizard” which, through a small series of trial-and-error, determines which frequencies your device need to operate.  Kiss the long 4 digit remote codes goodbye.

After pairing the iDevice and Beacon with Bluetooth, Dijit walks you through controlling your system.  Not only does Dijit provide a virtual keypad for input, it also links with your cable provider to provide a channel guide for your shows!  The guide presents all available channels, and includes a search filter in addition to, viewing upcoming shows, cast and crew, and youtube videos from within the app.

Where the app lacks is a system-all control button and the inability to scroll through upcoming shows with the HD filter activated.  Unfortunately, to turn on all of your components at once is impossible-there is no ALL-ON button-each device must be selected and turned on individually.  Also, when filtering shows by HD-only, the guide does not allow the user to scroll through the next hours’ shows.  On the Bluetooth side of things, if your iDevice is out of range for more than an hour, Beacon stops searching for the device to conserve battery.  This requires a quick repairing when it returns to range.

Conclusion [rating: 4.5/5]

Griffin’s Beacon ($69.99, iOS Order Page) is perfect for anyone considering a universal remote… and those man who’s lady friends would prefer to throw all the remotes away.  With a small footprint and battery power, the Beacon is a simple addition to your living room that will make viewing TV even easier and engaging.  I prefer the Dijit guide to the clunky Time Warner Cable system and never have to switch between remotes.  Make the lady in your life happy, buy another electronic device!

Pro

  • Control over 200,000 components
  • Hundres of brands
  • Diji companion app with built in TV Guide for iPhone and iPad

Con

  •  No all-system-on button for Dijit app
  • Does not work on PS3 (Bluetooth only)
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