Universal Electronic Inc.'s NevoS70 ($1,199) is the flagship model in the company's line of universal remotes. In many respects, this model is an upgrade to and improvement upon the previous NevoSL. The NevoS70 is a vertically aligned, handheld remote with a three-and-a-half-inch LCD touch-screen and 19 hard buttons for basic tasks like volume and channel changing. The NevoS70 has 13 MB of flash memory; within the confines of that memory, the remote can control numerous A/V devices and be configured to control multiple systems around the house.
The NevoS70 comes with a handy stylus and an attractively-styled base station that recharges the remote's Lithium-ion battery. The NevoS70 provides a number of ways to control A/V gear, digital media and home automation devices. It controls most basic A/V gear via line-of-sight IR technology. However, it also has built-in 802.11g, which enables control of any device that uses a compatible embedded Web server, including Web-based cameras and media servers. The previous NevoSL used the slower 802.11b platform. Via Wi-Fi, you can also access and control digital media files stored on a Windows PC or UPnP-compliant media server, with viewable metadata on the remote's screen. The unit is compatible with HTML and Flash, allowing you to view Web content from sites like Weather.com, TVGuide.com, and ESPN.com on the screen. Last but not least, the addition of the NevoConnect NC-50 base station ($299) allows you to control devices located in a cabinet or a separate room using Z-wave technology. The NC-50 provides non-line-of-sight IR control, serial device control, and power sensing.
As you can tell from its features list, the NevoS70 is a high-end controller that is sold only by custom installers trained to program it, using the Windows-based NevoStudio Pro software. The software allows your installer to program a highly advanced control system and it offers a great deal of design flexibility to tailor the touch-screen and hard buttons to your exact tastes. You can even add personal photo files and animated menus, if desired. UEI recently added the NevoXpress Wireless Download feature, which allows installers to program and tweak the remote's functionality remotely via the Internet.
• The NevoS70's form factor strikes a nice balance between the large touch-screen and hard buttons for basic tasks.
• The software offers advanced programming and customization, and your installer can make changes remotely via the Internet.
• As is, the remote can control many devices and multiple systems via IR and wi-fi, and the added NC-50 gives it even more whole-house functionality.
• A trained installer handles the programming for you.
• The RF/Z-wave base station is not included in the $1,199 package.
• The NevoS70's form is a little wide for one-handed operation.
The NevoS70 is a great choice for the more advanced, "connected" consumer who wants a wide range of control options, from IR to wi-fi to Z-wave. The remote itself has a lot of features and is fully customizable to suit your tastes and the ability to control digital media files and view Web content like sports, weather and TV program guides is a great perk.