Sold on its own, the SmartControl costs about £25 and can control up to six separate devices. However, the PS3 model that we tested includes a separate Bluetooth transmitter, which enables it to control a PS3 game console as well (it can control an Xbox 360 without the adapter). It can even control iPod docks too, which is a nice added bonus.
Like the less expensive Essence 4, the SmartControl PS3 is pre-programmed with OneForAll's 'SimpleSet' of control codes, which enables it to work with a number of popular electronics brands, so I had no trouble getting it to work with my Samsung TV, Sky HD box and a few other devices.
There was no SimpleSet option for controlling my FetchTV Freeview box, but its 'search' mode did allow me to scan through available codes until I found one that worked with the machine.
However, as with the Essence 4, I still had to finish off by using the training mode to program in some last commands from the FetchTV's own handset.
However, I did struggle a bit with the set of 'SmartControl' buttons that are supposed to perform tasks such as simultaneously turning on a TV and set-top box or games console. The manual isn't particularly helpful here, and it took a bit of random button-thumping before I managed to get everything working properly.
Even so, the SmartControl's sheer versatility is rather attractive. I was dead impressed that it was able to control my Philips Fidelio iPod dock, so it's worth considering as long as you have the patience to figure out its rather complex set of buttons and controls.
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