If your household is anything like mine, you’re familiar with the epic battles between kids over the remote control — as in who holds it, what to search for, what to watch and what not to watch. I’m lucky if I ever get my hands on it at all. So when it came to testing a new touchscreen remote (yes, touchscreen!) called Ray Super Remote, I knew playing around with it would require clandestine mode, after the kids went to bed. Yes, it’s that awesome.
In fact, it’s so gorgeous and looks so smart-phone like, when my toddler did see it, she handed it to me and said, “here’s your phone, mommy.”
There are several universal remotes we’ve recommended in the past, including Pronto and the Logitech Harmony of yore, but we’re stepping into completely new territory here into super remote status with a combo of touchscreen technology, sleek user-friendly design, and Netflix-style smart recommendations that change based on your viewing habits.
You’ll find right away it really does replace all your current remotes — I tried it with the four we have — truly making it an all-in-one. It works with your TV and cable/satellite remotes of course, along with controllers for Roku, Apple TV, Xbox consoles, Blu-Ray and DVD players, soundbars from lots of top brands, and more. Be sure to check compatibility with your own devices just to be sure.
The one exception is a Fire TV but that should be remedied soon.
Also, the Ray Super Remote is a snap to setup. While I consider myself a techie, I’m still glad there’s nothing more to setting up Ray than following onscreen prompts.
Beyond pure universal remote functionality, this is indeed a smart remote that’s designed to get to know your viewing preferences. During setup, it asks you about the genres of shows you like, then starts to filter based on your preferences and viewing habits.
The Ray Super Remote also has what they call Discovery technologyy, making recommendations, like if you like ________ you might like _________ . Perfect when you’re out of ideas for family movie nights.
You can even designate favorite channels and rate the shows it selects for you, to improve the recommendation engine, and set reminders for those you don’t want to miss — though in all honesty, most of us are probably using DVR capabilities when it comes to remembering to record live TV events.
But hey, there’s got to be one person out there in the world who doesn’t have the season opener date and time of Game of Thrones committed to memory.
OK, now onto price. Ray is $249 which definitely is on the high side for universal remotes — though it is more affordable than earlier touchscreen models we’ve seen in the past which ran as high as $400. Also know that if you crack that LCD screen you’re going to be in trouble. So even though this is a remote that’s so easy that kids can use it, you need to decide whether you can trust them too. Especially little ones.
Or maybe this becomes Mommy’s Special Mother’s Day Gift or Daddy’s Special Father’s Day Gift and you leave it at that.
There is a 15 day money-back guarantee which is nice, but the 90 day limited warranty against defects doesn’t cover breakage. So if you are going to get one, we strongly suggest using an Amex Platinum or other credit card that offers purchase protection. Because if you’ve got an entertainment junkie family, this is one truly smart universal remote that really makes viewing easier and more fun.
Let the family remote control battles really begin.
Find the Ray Super Remote for $249. on the Ray website along with videos and info that can answer any questions you might have. Thanks to the company for sending CMT a unit for review consideration.