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Caavo Control Center: The Perfect Universal Remote?
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Post 1 made on Thursday March 25, 2021 at 13:40
Lurking Member
January 2005
Let me end the suspense by saying the answer to my question IMHO is yes and no.

I want to start out by telling where I am coming from experience-wise with URs. Having had numerous high end and extensive A/V systems, I have been in pursuit of the perfect universal remote for over 15 years. and have owned various models of Philips Prontos, Logitechs from the more basic ones all the way up to the Elite and, most recently, The Roomie Remote app on my iPad.

The Roomie Remote is very powerful and can connect to devices via ethernet for a very reliable connection and can provide feedback. I have been on the lookout, however, for a replacement because I really like physical buttons over touch screens. I have never had a touchscreen that did not often require multiple button presses to execute a command. There is nothing more frustrating, for example, than fast forwarding and having to hit play multiple times causing you to go past the point that you wanted to get to and making you then have to rewind.

The Logitech Elite was a good compromise in having physical buttons for most functionality combined with the flexibility of very customizable touchscreen buttons for certain functions. The touchscreen was actually pretty responsive, too. I finally gave up on it as it was always a little fussy and was prone to glitches. I also had to replace my hub after warrantee expired, and when the second one died I gave up.

My wife was frustrated that she, and any visiting guests, could never watch the TV in the Living Room without me because the control was so complicated. It would be okay if everything worked perfectly, but all too often something would go wrong.

I recently did a lot of research on the Caavo Control Center. While it is primarily targeted to streaming devices, you can also control your TV, disc player, cable box and soundbar or AVR with it. The system comes with a box that has 4 HDMI inputs, a optical digital audio input and output, and an HDMI output. The handheld remote that is a pretty simple design and connects to the control box via Bluetooth. It comes with several IR blasters.

You can control devices via network, Bluetooth, CEC over ARC connections (for devices that support that) and IR using the blasters.

My Living Room AV setup is pretty basic with an LG TV, Yamaha soundbar, Oppo universal disc player, Amazon Fire TV Box, and Roku.

The playback devices plug into the control box and the HDMI output connects to the soundbar and then to the TV. Setup was a breeze- when I turned on the Caavo it identified everything plugged into it, including the disc player. and walked me through the setup process. For control of the disc player it had me press several buttons and it identified the right IR codes. It is able to learn IR commands, but I didn't have to do that.

You don't have to set up routines as when you select a source device it configures everything to work correctly. When you hit the power button, it powers up to the last source you were watching. The press of a button brings up the list of all sources if you want to change to something else.

You can customize the functionality of the buttons, but you are limited to pretty basic functions, and there is no way to change the button label. One cool feature though, is the when you rest your finger on a button a little box pops up in the lower right corner of your TV that shows the button and tells you what the function of the button is. There is also pretty cool voice controls.

For streaming devices, there is deep search functionality. You can say, for example, "Watch Law and Order", and it lists all sources for the show for you to select from.

This is so easy to use, my wife loves it! We have been using it for about a month now with nothing more than minor hiccups. For our basic Living Room system, this is the perfect universal remote for our needs.

While I would love to put one in my Home Theater room, I have to recognize why it is not the perfect for every application. The major issue is, though it supports 4K UHD video and advanced surround sound audio, including Dolby Atmos, it does not support Dolby Vision, and is not likely to for the foreseeable future. I don't really need that in my living room for basic viewing, but I do appreciate the image quality improvement for sources that support it on my giant screen in my HT.

Also, you are limited to four video sources. Lastly, it currently only allows you to power on and off, control volume and mute Audio Video Receivers. You cannot change surround modes and other advanced functionality.

Full disclosure: I watch my cable in the Living Room via the Xfinity Roku app, so have never tested the cable box functionality.

So if you like physical buttons and simplicity, and can live with the limitations, I think it is the best current universal remote.

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