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One For All SmartControl URC-7960 review

Take control of all your home entertainment needs with this remote

One For All SmartControl URC-7960
Control all your AV gadgets with the One For All SmartControl URC-7960


  • The price is right
  • Easy to use
  • Works with most devices


  • Macros are tricky
  • Not all devices supported

It's a truth universally acknowledged that the more gadgets you buy the more remotes you need to control them with.

Ergo, unintended domestic strife and a total lack of room on your coffee table for stuff like, well, coffee.

One answer, obviously, is to stop buying so much stuff; the other - more sensible one - is to swap the multitude of remotes for one super-convergent beast that can control everything you want, without going to Click-like levels of insanity.

One For All's latest wheeze then is SmartControl - a remote that promises to be easy to set up, easy to use and with a bunch of simple macros that let you complete Herculean tasks like switching on your TV, Blu-ray player and home cinema system at the touch of a single button.

Smart to set up

Unlike some other universal remotes, the SmartControl looks the biz too - its button-festooned fascia is finished in gloss black plastic, with a rubberised plastic band and a stylish chrome stripe around the middle.

You could almost call it handsome. But the handsome part is what comes next.

The smart in SmartControl is that you no longer have to wade through pages of remote control codes and then painstakingly try each one to see if it'll operate your TV, DVD player, and so on. Instead, the SmartControl has the most common codes programmed in already.

You power the thing you want to control; press the Magic button (woooh!) on the remote, pick the appropriate gadget option (TV, Set-Top Box, DVD, Amp, MP3 and Game) and hold down the button on the remote that corresponds to the brand name list printed in the supplied booklet.

If you can't find the brand listed or can't get it to work, the SmartControl also lets you enter codes manually, or you can switch it into learning mode and then get it to 'learn' the appropriate commands.

Limited appeal

We quickly got the SmartControl to take charge of most of our major gadgets, only failing with one - a JBL speaker dock for the iPod that still wouldn't work even when we finally resorted to learning mode.

More worryingly we couldn't get any of the SmartControl macro buttons to work (TV, Movie and Music) despite repeated attempts.

And, while it supports both the Xbox 360 and PS3, it doesn't work with the Nintendo Wii - although that's not unexpected.

It's also obvious that you can't expect a £25 device to completely take over every function squirrelled away on dedicated remotes. Your mileage may vary.