Keep Your Cars Safe with Momentum Garage Door Opener Controller – Make Tech Easier

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Garage door openers have been around for decades, but now you can go high-tech with yours. The Momentum Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener Controller with Built-in Camera doubles as a security camera as well as a controller for your existing opener. While keeping an eye on your vehicles from an Android/iOS app, you can also open and close your garage door remotely from the same app.

This controller is quick and easy to install and works by plugging in the camera and connecting it to your Wi-Fi network. It works with most garage opener models made since 1993. It works alongside the Momentum app for iOS and Android by showing multiple camera feeds at once as you track the field of vision around the camera.


You can create custom rules and settings in the app and store important data in the cloud. A micro SD card slot allows for an extra 128GB of storage. You can receive notifications on your device if the camera detects motion or sound.

The camera is also equipped with a built-in microphone and speaker for two-way audio that allows you to listen and talk to anyone in the garage. Don’t worry if someone is headed out the door and you forgot to tell them something; you can grab their attention via the speaker.

Along with video and audio, you can also open and close your garage door remotely, meaning no more worries if a big storm comes up and you realize you forgot to close the garage door. You can do it from the convenience of the Momentum phone app.

Get this controller with built-in camera at 20% off for just $79.88.

Make Tech Easier may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Use Your Smartphone's Camera to Test Remote Control's Batteries – Make Tech Easier

Make Tech Easier

Is your remote control faulty? Or is it just that the batteries are dead? Your smartphone can help you to answer these questions.

We’ve all been there. You’re surfing channels lazily while reclining on the sofa. Then all of a sudden, the remote starts to misbehave. You begin to notice slow response times, and at times the remote may even stop working. Out of frustration, you press the buttons harder, lift the remote up higher, or maybe even give the batteries a bite (I’ve tried that one).

At this point, you can’t help but wonder whether there is something wrong with the remote, the TV, or the batteries. But there is a powerful, yet lesser-known, trick that you can use to determine whether your remote control is on its last legs. And this trick is hidden right inside your smartphone’s camera. Here’s how to go about it.

Testing your remote control’s batteries with your smartphone is an easy task and should take just a minute or two of your time. Here’s how to do it.

1. Pull out your smartphone and launch its camera app. Next, tap to switch to the selfie (front-facing) camera. Now point your remote control at the front-facing camera. Then press and hold a button, any button on the remote while pointing it towards the camera.


If your remote control is functioning properly, you should see a flickering light originating from the remote’s IR blaster. If you don’t see a flickering light or the light is very faint, it means you probably need to replace your remote control’s batteries. And if even after replacing the batteries with new ones, the flicker of light does not appear, then your remote is the problem, in which case you might want to consider replacing it.


This trick does not only work with smartphone cameras. It can also work with any other digital camera out there. So if all you’ve got is a laptop, try using the built-in webcam, and it should do the trick.

Note: Not all smartphone cameras will work. Some camera apps have built-in technologies that might bar this trick from working. So before you conclude that your remote is faulty, it’s wise to try using a different smartphone camera to see whether you’ll get the same result.

A standard remote control typically sends signals to your home theater or TV using a beam of infrared light. This beam gets picked up by a sensor in your home theatre or TV. The thing about infrared light is that just like ultraviolet light, it lies outside of the color spectrum that is visible to the naked eye.

Once the remote emits flashes of infrared impulses to the TV sensor, the sensor interprets by telling your TV which channel it should tune to.

A smartphone’s camera has a lens that acts more or less like the TV sensor when a beam of infrared rays is projected towards it. Unlike the human eye that is unable to see these rays, your smartphone camera can detect these infrared rays easily, and that’s why a flickering light appears on the smartphone’s camera.

Smartphones have come a long way to become the most versatile devices on the market today. They can perform multifarious tasks, some of which are lesser known, like the ability to test the functionality of a remote control’s batteries. Also, check out our article on 10 ways to make good use of your smartphone camera.

Now that you know it’s possible to test your remote control’s battery with just a smartphone, why not try it out at home. Remember to share your experiences with us in the comments section below.

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Simplify Your Appliances with Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Plug at Nearly 50% Off – Make Tech Easier

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Smart home appliances and devices make our lives so much easier being that we can control everything from one device. It makes many sometimes wish all their appliances could be smart home appliances. There’s good news for these individuals. Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Plug will simplify all their appliances and devices and make them all work off one remote.

No one likes to get up off the couch to turn off the light, turn on the iron to warm it up, turn on the stereo, turn the Christmas lights off, etc. And sometimes these appliances and devices are just hard to reach. Etekcity can change their lives.

You can work your devices and remote control plugs different ways: you can either have several outlets connected to appliances and devices and just one remote, you can have several remotes for just one appliance or device, or any other combination you may devise. It’s up to you!

These plugs and remotes couldn’t be easier to set up. It’s just a matter of connecting the plugs to your appliances and plugging them into the wall, then pressing the learning button to pair it to your appliance or device and the remote.

The strong RF signal will beam right through doors as well as walls and can work as far away as 100 feet in the line of sight, yet it won’t interfere with any of your other electronics.

Save money on electricity bills and save with these remote control plugs that are 44% off for just $21.98.

Buy Now!

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The Best Ways to Remote Control Kodi From Your Couch

The Best Ways to Remote Control Kodi From Your Couch

Do you need to control Kodi remotely, but are not happy with the default remote control option? Many alternative Kodi remotes are out there, falling into different categories. Let’s take a look at available solutions so you can find the best Kodi remote for you.

The 8 Types of Kodi Remote

The Kodi remote you’re already using is one of these standard types. But which one is it, and what is on offer if you decide to switch?

  1. MCE Remotes: Devices compatible with the Windows Media Center Edition (a variant of Windows 7

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    ) standard can be used on Kodi.
  2. Wireless and Bluetooth remotes: Various wireless and Bluetooth remotes are available that should run with Kodi.
  3. CEC-Compatible remotes: With an increasing number of HDTVs, the remote can actually control Kodi!
  4. Game controllers: Whether you’re running Kodi on your game console or not, a controller can be used if compatible.
  5. Smartphone or tablet: This will typically be through an app, although Kodi can display a remote interface over HTTP.
  6. Home automation: Voice-controlled home automation solutions can be used to control Kodi.
  7. Voice control: Some apps have been developed that provide enable voice-based navigation of Kodi.
  8. Keyboard: Finally, you have the option of a traditional keyboard.

Let’s look at these Kodi remote alternatives in depth.

1. MCE Remotes

If you’re looking for a dedicated, low-cost option, MCE-compatible remotes are your first port of call for Kodi remote control.

Typically shipping with a USB infrared receiver, MCE remotes almost always work out of the box. Additionally, their functionality is included in all-in-one remotes, so if you have one of those for your TV, you’ll find this works with Kodi.

2. Wireless and Bluetooth Remotes

Many media centers come with wireless (RF) or Bluetooth remotes, or at least the option to use them. If the device you have installed Kodi on has such a remote, then you should be able to use this.

These remotes—such as the Rii Backlit Air Mouse 2.4G MX3 Pro—are ideal for navigating the menus, selecting media to watch, and so on. Sadly, inputting text can be slow, even with the onscreen keyboard, but this is a small price to pay for the convenience of a good remote control. However, more recent remotes often come with a built-in keyboard.

Rii Backlit Fly Mouse 2.4G MX3 Pro Multifunctional Wireless Mini Keyboard And Infrared Remote Learning For KODI, Google Android Smart TV/Box, IPTV, HTPC,Mini PC,Windows,MAC OS,Linux OS,PS3, Xbox 360

Rii Backlit Fly Mouse 2.4G MX3 Pro Multifunctional Wireless Mini Keyboard And Infrared Remote Learning For KODI, Google Android Smart TV/Box, IPTV, HTPC,Mini PC,Windows,MAC OS,Linux OS,PS3, Xbox 360

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Meanwhile, if such devices aren’t included or supported out of the box, find out if a USB port is free. If so, you may be able to connect a wireless or Bluetooth remote that ships with its own (pre-paired) dongle.

3. CEC-Compatible Remote


Now, this one may surprise you. If your HDTV has HDMI-CEC (or simply CEC, or some other similar title) functionality, you may be able to use your TV remote to control Kodi.

You’ll need to check the TV’s documentation here, in order to find out where to enable it. Note that different manufacturers have given this technology different names, based on the “Consumer Electronics Control” abbreviation. Googling your TV model name, and the term “+CEC” will help here.

For many people, this will be by far the most convenient option for Kodi remote control. It keeps control of your media center with the same device you use for your TV. Fewer remote controls always makes for a simpler life.

4. Game Controller

It really doesn’t matter what sort of game controller you’ve got. If it has a USB cable, it will almost certainly work with Kodi. Your controller might be an old Xbox or Xbox 360 controller, a PS3 or PS4 controller, or even a Nintendo Wii controller. It can even be a controller styled in tribute to a retro gaming device.

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (Bulk Packaging) (Black)

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (Bulk Packaging) (Black)

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Once connected, you may need to do some configuration. In Kodi, go to Settings & System Settings and select Input & Configure attached controllers. Here, you’ll find the controller mapping window. Click Select to start, then press each button (or move the thumbstick) as it is highlighted on screen. Soon you should have configured the controller to work with Kodi. Note that if you make a mistake, you can Reset and redo the process.

5. Smartphone or Tablet

kodi android

Looking for something a little more convenient? There’s an official Kodi remote app for Android and iOS, and with this you gain full control over your media center. (You might be interested to know that mobile app remotes for Windows 10 Mobile and Ubuntu Touch are also available). With a touchscreen remote, you can even enter text more easily, as it is sent via your device keyboard.

Even if you don’t use the official Kodi remote app (there may be compatibility issues), third party options are available too. And if you’re still having problems, there is also a web interface that you can use instead. Although slower than an app (imaging a web page that reloads each time you tap on it), the web interface nevertheless makes a convenient remote if installing an app isn’t an option.

Download: Kore Official Remote for Android
Download: Official Kodi Remote for iOS

6. Home Automation Control Systems

Several professional-level products have been produced that have Kodi functionality. These are not dedicated to Kodi, however. Rather, these systems are capable of controlling other technology around the home.

Kodi’s developers have been working for several years to integrate the technologies with Kodi, and are often used in conjunction with a dedicated mobile app. Devices from Allonis, Total Control, Control 4, iRidium Mobile, and Crestron all fall under this category.

Further details and an up-to-date list of system providers can be found on the Kodi wiki.

7. Voice Control Apps

Some voice control options are also available for Kodi remote control. These currently come in the shape of third party mobile apps, although there is every chance a home automation system could introduce voice commands in future.

Rather than wearing out your thumb, a voice control app will let you instruct Kodi what to do. Want it to launch YouTube? Not a problem: just ask! Apps like Yatse and Unified Remote on Android are particularly good at this, so look at these first. For iOS, consider Blue Remote for Kodi.

Download: Yatse: Kodi Remote Control and Cast for Android
Download: Unified Remote for Android
Download: Blue Remote for Kodi on iOS

Note: At the time of writing, if you have installed Kodi on an Amazon Fire Stick

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, the Voice Remote is incompatible with Kodi.

8. Keyboard

Last but not least, you could just use a keyboard to remote control your Kodi. You’re thinking of a typical USB keyboard, aren’t you, with a long cable trailed across the floor. This is an option, but it’s not exactly ideal. Other keyboards are available.

We’ve already looked at Wi-Fi and Bluetooth remotes, but there are some brilliant wireless keyboards that work in the same way.

After all, it’s difficult to use Kodi without inputting text. You can’t search without one, or install (legal) third-party add-ons

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. Sure, the on-screen keyboard is adequate, but that’s about as good as it gets.

Perhaps you want a keyboard and mouse combination, with a built-in touchpad. Or a handheld keyboard the size of a standard remote. Whatever your preference of size and connectivity, a keyboard should be on your wishlist.

Not Happy Controlling Kodi? Swap Remotes!

With so many Kodi remote control options available and compatible with the majority of Kodi systems, it shouldn’t take long for you to find the remote solution to suit you. It WILL be one of those listed above; so just make sure you configure Kodi to use external remotes

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How to Set Up a Kodi Remote Control

So you’ve successfully installed Kodi? Now you just need to add a remote control! In this article we explain how to easily set up a Kodi remote control.
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Image Credit: BrianAJackson/Depositphotos

What Is Amazon Music Unlimited? All Your Questions Answered

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