One For All – 35 Years of Making AV Easier
In these times of massive televisions, huge loudspeakers and hulking AVRs, it's hard to imagine that one of the most influential products in home entertainment history was actually a remote control. There's no doubt that the 1986 launch of the world's first universal remote – the All For One, by upstart US company Universal Electronics Inc. – was so successful that it spawned not just a whole universal remote industry, but a new One For All brand that has become a household name across the globe.
The All For One remote's appeal came from its ability to control almost any brand of TV straightforwardly and imaginatively. It solved a frustrating problem that affected countless households, but which the bigger and more established home electronics brands had no compulsion to even think about, much less find a solution for.
Fortunately, One For All didn't stop at the All For One. Since then, alongside many more advanced and user-friendly universal remotes, the brand has branched out into everything from wall mounts, and TV stands to antennas and AV distribution devices. All of these have one simple motivation at heart – to make the lives of home entertainment fans like us easier without breaking the bank.
In fact, One For All has even distilled its philosophy into a formal statement of intent:
Our mission is to bring ultimate home comfort to you and your family by putting you in control of your own home entertainment appliances, ensuring there is time to relax and enjoy life together. We do this by creating smart technology with the sole purpose of making life less complicated.
One For All has received countless industry and media awards across every part of its range over the past thirty five years, maintaining its reputation for finding better, simpler ways to do things no matter how fast the world of home entertainment technology moves.
One For All's decades of experience is writ large right across its current, diverse range of products. Of course, there's still plenty happening on the universal remote control front, headed up by the Smart Control URC 7980. This can be programmed in as little as thirty seconds to take over control of up to eight different devices, with the process now made easier than ever by a convenient free set-up app. The eight devices it controls don't even have to exist yet, as the app is regularly updated to make sure it covers new products when they appear. It also provides Movie, TV, Gaming, and Music 'macro' routines that can simultaneously activate multiple devices, or you can create an extra routine of your own.
Also standing out on One For All's universal remote slate is the Evolve 4 URC7145 alternative to the URC7980, for people who only have four devices they want to control. Or, if you're of a more single-minded mentality, One For All also carries highly affordable, easy to set-up remotes that can adapt themselves to replace the remotes of any single device in your home. In fact, One For All even sells replacement remote controls for specific brands that follow the button layouts and designs of the original remotes they replace.
Another rich vein of home entertainment woes for which One For All offers a wide range of fixes is TV reception. It has created a vast range of often strikingly handsome internal TV aerials designed to cater for every potential TV need, including ultra-modern flat panel designs that hang on your wall like a work of art. There's also an award-winning Dutch-designed dome-shaped model, the SV 9494, that looks more like a piece of sculpture than an amplified indoor aerial. Sensitive enough to receive signals from up to fifty kilometres from the nearest transmitter, One For All's indoor aerial range also supports such helpful features as active noise reduction filters, full 360-degree multidirectional reception and automatic gain control.
One For All has also turned its problem-solving eye to the complications that arise from today's shift towards wireless technology. For instance, it has come up with HD Bluetooth Music receivers to help you ship music wirelessly around your home, as well as a cool little TV audio transmitter for converting TV sound to Bluetooth ready for transmission to Bluetooth headphones. There's even a two-piece One For All Wireless HD Sender system capable of sending full HD video from one TV to another without the need for any cabling.
The biggest and fastest-growing part of One For All's product range is its TV mounting solutions. While One For All's work in this area may have started out by coming up with practical and convenient wall mounting solutions for all sorts of different room set-ups and screen sizes, the brand has more recently started to branch out into more design-led desktop and even floorstanding TV mounting options.
On the wall mounting front, there are brackets that tilt, brackets that swivel, brackets that tilt and swivel, and even brackets that tilt, swivel and concertina the screen away from the wall so that it can face in almost any direction. Or, of course, you can just go for a simple model that just hangs your TV statically on the wall.
All One For All TV brackets are elegant but simple designs, with high-quality finishes that don't look out of place attached to even the most high-end TV designs. Some options include comprehensive cable management features, easy 'lock and release' mounting, the ability to handle curved and flat screens and remarkably, enough strength and versatility to support TVs up to 100 inches in size, and weights as high as 100kg.
While One For All's wall mounting solutions make it much easier for you to hang your TV up than you might think, most people still prefer to just place their TV in a corner on a piece of furniture or some sort of floor stand. Which makes it unfortunate that the majority of stands or feet supplied with today's TVs tend to be both bland to look at and extremely limited in the sort of mounting options they offer.
One For All's range of desktop and floorstanding TV mounts take any brand of TV with screen sizes between 32 and 65 inches. They cover everything from a straightforward but hugely robust cross-footed tabletop design with adjustable height to cool, ultra-slim silver floorstanding 'poles'; easel-style legs, and even elegant, easy-to-assemble floorstanding tripods that let you rotate your TV through a full 360 degrees, and ship with a free Universal Soundbar holder.
The tripod designs come in oak and silver-grey or walnut and gunmetal options, with real wooden legs, chrome-plated finishes, optional wall anchors, adjustable heights and simple cable management systems. They've proved so popular that One For All is now adding two new all-metal variations, available in Titanium Grey or Cool White finishes.
One For All's range of products has grown from that first universal remote control to a vast portfolio. That's why there's a simple 'product finder' system that has been developed for the most popular remote control, aerial and TV bracket ranges. All you have to do is answer a simple series of online questions, and you'll be steered towards the solution that best fits your needs. This underlines just how much thought One For All has put into simplifying every aspect of your home entertainment life, making it easy to see why the brand has been around for thirty five years – and why it's likely to stay be around for many more decades to come.
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.