Previously, I wrote about reducing the amount of cables behind your desk with a wicker basket and thought it would be nice to find a way to tame my remotes. The blinQ may be it. It organizes my remotes in a drawer in my kitchen where I don’t have to see them anymore.
After I got my Droid, I thought that I’d have little need for my iPod Touch 3G, since their features closely overlap. But again and again I find other uses for the Touch. Here’s my latest: a universal remote that lets me find shows — not channels — regardless of the source. If I want to watch FX’s Louie, I don’t need to face the sluggish Comcast UI to see when it’s on, or search my DVR to see if my wife recorded it, or look it up on demand. With my Touch and the Q dongle, I simply type “Louie” and I get the show.
RyzMedia, BlinQ’s manufacturer, gets it. And I wonder why are we still dealing with numbers on channels in 2011? It’s like having to memorize IP addresses instead of domain names. And now that Comcast has added still more advertising to its tuning menu, I’m more than happy to leave that interface behind.
The Q plugs into your audio jack and sends out an infrared signal to your set-top box, TV, DVR and, as they claim, devices you haven’t even bought yet. Once you install the app and plug in the lollypop shaped Q, you enter your zip code for live TV, then program your devices. It’s so easy that I know I’ll use it for hotel stays. Once it’s running you can see the most popular shows, by location, provider – or friends, if I choose to activate the social feature. Not a bad idea because we are already sharing odd little shows we discover. That’s how I found Louie
There are other universal remotes out there: The New Potato FLPR has some good reviews. Still, for under 10 bucks BlinQ is hard to beat. With it, I’ve also started saving on AA batteries.