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OneClick TV/AV IntelliPlug review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Reviewed:

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OneClick TV/AV IntelliPlug
  • OneClick TV/AV IntelliPlug
  • OneClick TV/AV IntelliPlug
  • OneClick TV/AV IntelliPlug
  • OneClick TV/AV IntelliPlug

Summary

Our Score:

8

Electricity is probably the most essential element of our lifestyle after running water; it's the invisible force that powers all our devices and gadgets. There are only two problems: its generation is adding to the pollution of the planet, and its use is subtracting from the volume of our wallets.

The message being sent out at the moment is 'reduce'. Energy saving light bulbs, intelligent dishwashers and efficient fridge-freezers are all helping the problem, but one of the big culprits is still leaving devices in standby. The problem is that the average AV or home cinema system alone can have so many components that you're not really inclined to go and press all their off buttons, let alone unplug any of them from the wall. This is where OneClick's Television IntelliPlug comes in. This modest device will switch off all your other AV gear when you turn off your TV.

Of course, plugs or socket boxes that power down secondary devices when you switch a master device off are hardly new - in fact, I've owned one since the early 1990s. Avid readers might even recall that we've already reviewed an IntelliPlug from OneClick before. So what's different this time around?

Well, as I mentioned, this one is aimed at the home theatre enthusiast and those with a lot of AV gear. The largest and most immediately obvious addition is a permanently attached remote sensor, which should be able to synchronise with your TV's remote control. I'm pleased with the generous amount of cable the sensor comes with (over two metres), but though the plug itself feels quite solid and sturdy, the same can’t be said for the sensor box. The button on top feels incredibly loose, and while initially the base made a very solid impression (being a large chunk of metal with a large chunk of rubber underneath) I was less pleased when the entire base nearly came off at the slightest bit of pressure, only remaining attached by a single contact around which it now pivots loosely.

Of course, this is easily fixed with some glue or even Blu-Tack, and doesn't seem to be indicative of poor build quality in the rest of the device. In terms of looks, meanwhile, the OneClick's never going to win any awards, though that's hardly an issue since it's likely to be hidden behind a table/TV stand anyway. Unlike its predecessor that we tested before, this unit is coloured grey, which looks like OneClick was trying to find a happy medium between people’s often white walls and black TVs/AV-equipment.

The sensor and cable are sensibly black, and the former is shaped a little like a miniature mouse (it's slightly bigger than a nine volt battery). Again, it's not an attractive-looking unit, but at least it's unobtrusive.

The main plug box has provision for three sockets. On top is the 'master socket', while the sides are marked 'peripheral socket' and 'Sky Digibox'. The 'master socket' is, of course, for your television (or projector), the turning on or off of which controls the plug. 'Peripheral', meanwhile, can be pretty much anything from Blu-ray players, consoles, speakers or amplifiers to HDMI switchers - basically every device that can be totally turned off with your TV.

Paul Nicolson

August 7, 2008, 1:12 pm

Over a year it would be good to see what savings you actually make, I use one of these little gizmos with my PC set up.





If you look at the energy that it took to produce the various flights and roadtrips before you actually plug it in, is there a real saving in terms of a carbon footprint.





Makes you start to think that the various green policies are just a big scam for the year 2000 ???????????????

iel

August 7, 2008, 1:46 pm

After I received a HUGE electricity bill a few months ago I set up all my AV and computer equipment feeding off two power strips which can be switched off with one switch. It's not automatic like this product but it made a big difference. Along with replacing all my light bulbs with energy saving ones I have just receioved my quarterly bill and it is shows I have used half the amount of electricity as the same time last year. It wasn't expecting that much difference! The two main switches now go off every night and only come on when I am home in the evening. There's nop oreason to leave the Xbox/Wii/TV etc.. chewing electricity whilst I am not home. The only things that saty on are the V+ and broadband router. Makes perfect sense.

Gavin Hamer

August 7, 2008, 2:14 pm

Does the Sky digibox hole work for Sky digiboxes that record, or would it switch them on to receive updates and then even though it's started recording something switch it off again while the hard drive it writing?





If it's smart enough to play nice with a Sky HD box, then I'll buy it, otherwise the cost of the plug is greater than the cost of the electricity I'd save from other devices.

Andy Vandervell

August 7, 2008, 2:21 pm

No. Anything that records, PVRs, Sky+ etc, need to plugged into a normal plug since they need to be in stand-by to function properly.

stephenallred

August 7, 2008, 2:34 pm

Just don't use this with your high end AV gear. Audio devices, in particular, should be left on all the time. I'm also a bit bothered by just cutting power to devices that are on, a lot of equipment does things a bit cleverer than that when turning off, and it's a huge no no with anything with a file system.

The Pope

August 7, 2008, 2:45 pm

Hi Stephen - can you explain "audio devices in particular should be left on all the time" please? I'm interested to learn what difference this might make versus turning off at the wall.

GherkingTR

August 7, 2008, 3:40 pm

I have this company's eight-socket intellipanel, which powers down my gear when my PC is off. I used to keep my computer in my room, and couldn't stand the midnight hum of four or five mains transformers when trying to sleep.





Re: The_Pope "...it's a huge no no with anything with a file system."


Yes, I would be dubious about PVR's or perhaps MP3 jukeboxes, but with external hard-drives etc, it leaves a short gap between your main appliance's shutdown and total shutdown, meaning no I/O requests will be interrupted. I haven't had any problems yet, and I've saved a packet.


I have recommended these products to many family and friends, and hope to see them become ubiquitous in every home!

stephenallred

August 7, 2008, 5:35 pm

@The_Pope: A good article on the subject of leaving your audio system on permanently can be found here:


http://www.russandrews.com/loo...





I'll add that this makes more of a difference to the sound of your system with the more you have spent on said system. So if you have some cheapy 𧷤 system it probably doesn't mater so much.

itchytrig

August 8, 2008, 1:06 pm

I use the 3 different versions of this plug, the TV one above I have on both my TV's a newer 32" LCD and an older 28" CRT 'chunky beast!'.





My PC setup has the desktop version, which is a must for me as I have printer, 2 monitors, 2.1 speaker, mouse charger, lighting and a network switch which are now all powered off when I don't use my PC. Finally I got the Intelliplug USB version for my mother who again has a printer and modem which are powered off when she is not using her laptop.





I know my bills have been sneaking up recently, but I dare to think what they would have been if I hadn't plugged in these smart plugs!





Stephen, you say anything with a file system? Well my PC has a file system, but you shut your pc down as normal. The plug then powers everything else off, once your computer has safely switched itself off. Then when you power on your PC, a few sec's later all your accessories come back on.





Energy saving bulbs, timers on my modem/router and lighting ensure everything else where I can't use these, ensure all other waste electricity is put to bed :)

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