Griffin’s Beacon Lets You Channel Surf From Your Android Device

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A handful of new Android tablets can take control of your television thanks to their built-in IR blasters, but Griffin has just come through with a solution for those of you stuck with less versatile hardware. Enter the Beacon, a standalone IR transmitter that helps turn your Android device into a remote control.

Setting up the Beacon itself is pretty straightforward — just pop in four AA batteries (ugh), pair it with your phone via Bluetooth, and you’re off to the races.

As we’ve seen with the Xoom 2s, having the necessary hardware is only half of the equation. Users also need to download the Dijit remote app from the Android Market in order to actually make the Beacon work, but thankfully the initial setup process is simple. The app contains a pretty extensive list of supported TVs and components, so getting the whole home theater up and running shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

An iOS-friendly version of the Beacon has been making the rounds for a while now, but the Android model has just begun to trickle out into the wild. Considering its $69.99 price tag, the Beacon isn’t much less expensive than some fancy dedicated universal remotes, but that’s not really the point. I’ve often made mention of how I’d like to be to control everything around me with a single device, and devices like the Beacon and the Harmony Link help make that (admittedly naive) vision more real.

Quick word of warning: the Beacon only works with devices that run Android 2.3.3 or later, so those of you looking to make the leap better have all your updates in order first.