I try a Cheep Universal Remote: The URC A6

Univeral Remote Control A6

My wife has been on me to get rid of all the remotes I have for our home theater, but I want to get a Logitech Harmony remote of some sort, but I didn’t want to spend the money right now, so I got the URC A6 Universal Remote for cheep on Amazon.  I thought this remote was going to be awful, but instead I was surprised to find that it is a sturdy well built remote with a lot of features.

It allows for six components to be controlled by the device, and it has several ways to program it.  You can punch in the three digit remote code if you know it or can find it.  You can manually search for the code by going up and down the list, or you can point the old remote a the A6 and program it button by button which does not take as long as you would think.

For my setup I had to use all three methods.  I knew the code for my TV, I searched for my Blu-Ray player, and manually programmed my sound bar, but I got them all working, and it works great.  It also allows for macros, so I can turn on my sound bar and TV at the same time.  It has three grooves on the back that really make it comfortable to hold, and it doesn’t feel cheep.

It may not be as fancy as a Harmony remote but for the money it works and is easy to use, and it has the added bonus of making my wife happy because she doesn’t have to deal with all the remotes.

Should You Subscribe to Funimation?


I was finding the anime selection on Netflix and Amazon lacking, so I decided to try the one month free trial to Funimation a large anime distributor, and after a month I can tell you that this is one of the worst streaming services out there.

When I went on the site it did look like they had a lot content with some shows I had never seen before, and your supposed to be able to watch it in its native language with subtitles or dubbed in English even as it comes out in Japan, but the problem is that the site is so slow you can’t really watch any of it.  It is all stuttery, and the site is super slow to even search the site for shows to watch in the first place.

I love the idea of a good anime streaming service, but Funimation is not it.  I hope they can figure it out, and maybe I will try it out again later after they have worked on their service a bit, but for now no one should use their service.

What Do I Want From Next Gen Consoles?


Microsoft is about to announce its next Xbox on May 21st, Sony already had their announcement, and Nintendo launched their new Wii U, but what do I want out of my next console?  From the sound of things Sony and Microsoft seem to think what I want is to get my Social Network feeds streaming to my TV, and that I want to share everything I do with the world, but that sounds awful to me.  I am not a huge fan of social media as it is, so to have it bombarding me while I play games sounds like the worst thing ever.  So here is what I do want.

I want a platform that is easy to develop for, so that I can get all the latest indie games, and along with that I want an online store that is easy to find stuff in.  I don’t want to have to hunt around for the title I want; I just want it to be there at my finger tips waiting for my money.  Speaking of the store, I want to not only buy little indie games in it, but also be able to buy new AAA games there, and be able to preload them like with Steam on the computer.

For some the whole reason to upgrade is the graphics, and that is less of an issue for me because the graphics for the most part are pretty good these days, so what I want is for there to less loading screens, and clean up the jagged lines.  If the new consoles can do those two things I will be happy.

I would also like more TV viewing options.  The current consoles are already great streaming boxes, but I would love to have more choices, and for more TV companies to do what the CW did, and allow people to watch their shows as they come out without a subscription to cable.  Nice work CW!

I am excited to see what the next generation of consoles will bring, but I am also scared that they will turn my living room in to a place where people are going to shout their social feeds at me.  If I can get what I want above, and be able to turn off the social media I will be a happy camper.

TV Need a Boost Try the Samsung HW-F355


I was trying to get away without a messy looking sound system until I could save up for a good one, but my TV sound was just to lame, so I decided to give it a little help.  I kept looking all over the internet until I found a simple setup with an optical input that didn’t have a ton wires to hide.  What I found was the Samsung HW-F355.

The Samsung HW-F355 has a few inputs: a regular audio input, an optical input, USB, and Bluetooth so you can play music from your phone.  It also has the nice feature that it will turn on when it feels the optical input activate, so it saves you some button presses.

The sound is good, and much better then my TV used to have, but it is not as good as a full fledged 7.1 sound system, but you do get a good bang for your buck.

I am quite happy with my new sound bar system, and it will tide me over until I can buy all the equipment I need for a nice In-Wall system.

Need a new router? Get the Asus RT-N66U


Is your home wireless lagging and disconnecting all the time?  Is the range like four feet from the router? Then you should look into the Asus RT-N66U.  Its younger brother the RT-AC66U just came out, so that means this router is suddenly affordable.

I have never had a router that sets up this easily.  You just plug it in and the first time you launch your web browser it starts the guided setup, and if you are more advanced in your skills there are all sorts of fun things you can do: setup a guest wireless network, install custom ROMs and firmware, use it as printer and file server, VPN, quality of service, and more.  The range is fantastic, I can see my network around the neighborhood, and it works with all the new 5Ghz wireless devices.

The bad points of this router are it doesn’t work on the new ultra fast AC wireless spec, for that you will need to shell out an extra $80 on the RT-AC66U, but chances are you don’t have any AC devices anyway, and you will want to upgrade your firmware as soon as you set this router up, since I hear the earlier firmware was a bit buggy, and didn’t support IPv6, and the new firmware has automatic QOS to help out your video streaming devices.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I love this router, and I am blown away how much better everything connected to it works, and as an added plus it looks cool too.