I try as much as I can to cut down on extra devices in my apartment. It means less devices to maintain, charge, and keep track of. I also try to follow the Alton Brown rule: there are few single-function devices in my home.
But combining remotes has been my sticking point. I dislike the Logitech Harmony line because of how long it takes for all the commands to run, and Infrared remotes I've tried have had just one missing thing that keeps the remote from working for me.
What is the Sideclick Universal Remote?
Enter the Sideclick Universal Remote. This won't replace EVERY remote you have: you'll still use the first party remote that came with your streaming stick or box. The Sideclick attaches to the side of that remote, and is used for your TV, soundbar, and other accessories.
What devices does this work with?
No matter what streaming stick you have, the actual remote works the same. The differences between models come down to what grips ship with the remote; different grips are used to better match with your streaming stick's remote. For example, the remote I purchased for my Roku came with four different grips to better fit the different remotes that Roku has shipped over the years.
The Sideclick is available for every major streaming stick and box except for the NVIDIA Shield TV
What's good about the Sideclick Universal Remote?
Setting up the Sideclick Universal remote is super simple: press and hold the power and B button on the Sideclick remote to enter pairing mode, tap the button on the Sideclick remote you'd like to map, and tap the button on your other remote that you'd like the Sideclick to learn. For best results, have the IR sensors on the remotes pointed at each other, in a room away from the devices you're trying to control.
Once you have the actual remote paired, just find the grip that best fits your streaming stick remote, and click the Sideclick remote in place.
What's bad about the Sideclick Universal Remote?
The major downside of the Sideclick Universal Remote is that the Roku models cover up the 3.5mm headphone jack that is on some Roku remotes. There's no option to place the Sideclick remote on the right side of your streaming stick's remote, so if you use the 3.5mm jack a lot you'll want to look elsewhere.
Other than that, I wish there was the ability to pair it to more than one device. I have it "paired" to both my projector and soundbar in that some of the buttons are set to control stuff on my projector, and other buttons are set to control stuff on my soundbar. Proper multi-device support isn't something I need, but it would have made this a more attractive option for more customers.
Should you buy the Sideclick Universal Remote?
Yes! If you have a Roku remote without a 3.5mm jack — or another streaming stick altogether — this is a great way to combine all your controls in one remote.
Sideclick Universal Remotes are these handy little add-ons for all kinds of remote controls — Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, etc. — that add back some much needed functionality to today's set-top box remotes. It won't replace your existing remote control, but it does augment it so that maybe you don't need something more expensive.
There's a little setup involved, though — you'll be mapping buttons yourself.
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