STUFF ESSENTIALS – Universal remotes

If your life is anything like Stuff's, right now you'll be sitting in a pile of crumpled Christmas wrapping paper attempting to work out which remote

If your life is anything like Stuff's, right now you'll be sitting in a pile of crumpled Christmas wrapping paper attempting to work out which remote goes with which of your shiny new living-room gadgets. No more! Program the lot into a single, if you like universal, remote...

 

Philips Prestigo SRU8015 £100

www.philips.co.uk

A classy, full-colour, backlit LCD screen forms the centrepiece of this 15-in-1 remote (above). Slim and neatly laid out, it's a joy to use, with 4MB of internal memory for its extensive library of commands and icons plus any additional ones you care to program in.

Logitech Harmony 1000 £279

www.logitech.com

Here's one for serious multimedia installations. The 3.5in LCD touchscreen uses customisable icons to allow you control up to 15 devices – although bear in mind you'll need to wire it up to your computer, as the 1000 retrieves code from over the internet. Expensive, yes, but if you can afford all the kit it controls, you can afford this.

Meliconi GumBody Light £30

www.meliconi-av.co.uk

It's big, ugly and has a daft name, but the GumBody Light is actually very good at its job. It controls all Virgin and Sky hardware, and just about any Freeview box too. The rough finish stops it from slipping off the sofa, and there's backlighting for use in the dark.  

One For All Kameleon 8-1 £70

www.firebox.com

The latest Kameleon is an 8-in-1 learning remote, and as with the company's previous devices its killer app is a touch-sensitive, tactile body. Only the relevant 'buttons' for the item you are controlling light up, and the movement sensor means it needs a mere nudge to spring into life.