updated 10:50 pm EDT, Fri October 8, 2010
Hardware/software combo includes program guide
My TV Remote is a new iOS app and hardware combination that turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a universal remote capable of controlling TVs, set-top boxes, DVD players and satellite receivers with individual screens to control each device and a personalized Electronic Program Guide as well. While users can just download the free app and use the Electronic Program Guide, the program's real purpose is to be connected with a $10 hardware device that uses the headphone jack to add infrared remote capability, allowing it to work with a wide variety of remote-controlled AV components.
Users can download the app and then activate the IR functionality for $10 (upon which the company will send a single hardware IR adapter free), or buy the retail package (available at some online and brick-and-mortar retailers as Amazon, J&R, TekServe and Andorama) which includes two IR hardware devices for $20.
The main advantage, makers Rys Media say, is that the program is much easier to set up and use than hardware "universal remotes," less expensive, and allows the iOS device to show only the buttons necessary for each device, making them easier to control. The built-in EPG service requires occasional wireless internet access for configuration and updates.
The program also allows buyers to optionally share their TV viewing choices with family and friends via FaceBook Connect. The service periodically adds new device codes, meaning that if a user adds additional remote-capable equipment, it can usually be added to My TV Remote's controls.