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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.