Others are experimenting with Wi-Fi. Acoustic Research, a brand of Thomson, is getting ready to ship the Wi-Q Universal Remote (model ARR2470, $299 SRP). On its own LCD screen, this universal remote is able to display an electronic programming guide (EGP), which is updated using a built-in Wi-Fi connection. It can also display other information, such as news, sports and weather, localized by zip code. TVcompass, a Chicago-based company, partners with Thomson to deliver the content.
When all is said and done, universal remotes can still be a tough sell for retailers. But with the complexity being reduced in set-up and GUIs, dealers may be able to make a better case for them. And as Universal Remote’s Sienkiewicz says, “The margins are high!”