Blumoo works like the Logitech Harmony Ultimate Hub, receiving signals from a smartphone app and then blasting out the appropriate IR signals to control your TV, stereo receiver, DVD and Blu-ray players, CD player, cable box, whatever. While the Ultimate Hub connects to your smartphone over Wi-Fi, Blumoo uses Bluetooth 4.0, so it works even if your Wi-Fi is down.
It’s easy to set up, and while the app badly needs an interface makeover, it’s a convenient way to make all your entertainment gear work together smoothly, regardless of brand or vintage. Blumoo supports 225,000 devices from over 5,000 brands, and the app makes adding new ones easy.
The Blumoo device is about 2 by 3 inches, looking like a small futuristic coffee mug. One wire trails from the back, leading to a connector with ports for the AC power brick, the included 3.5mm-to-RCA audio cable, and an optional infrared extension, which isn’t included. All you have to do is plug it in and set it near your home theater gear.
You can use the app on a smartphone or tablet running Android 4.0 or higher or iOS 6.0 or higher. Your device has to support Bluetooth 4.0, so for iOS devices, that’s iPhone 4S, iPad 3, and iPad mini and newer. There’s no native iPad app, but the iPhone app’s overly small buttons actually benefit from being blown up to 2x on an iPad screen.
Once you’ve got the universal remote features up and running and tweaked to your heart’s content, the Blumoo app’s other two tabs feel like inconsequential add-ons, but they do add value. The Guide tab shows you what’s on TV, based on your service provider. The Music tab gets you to control your streaming music.
Blumoo retails for $129, but you can get it from Amazon for $99.