Universal Electronics NevoStudio 2.0 NevoSL Software

It's been several months since I originally reviewed the NevoSL remote. And after holding so many other small, lightweight remotes since then - various models from Harmony, Universal Remote Control, and Monster Cable - it was nice to have the Nevo back in my hand recently. Its heft and build quality immediately rekindled all the reasons I liked it the first time around: its razor-sharp, high-resolution graphics and sleek, sexy, Museum of Modern Art styling looked every bit as good as I remembered.

But two big changes have happened to Nevo. The first is entirely cosmetic: For $1,099 ($300 more than the standard silver model), you can own the limited edition, high-gloss black version. Like upgrading to a premium paint option on a new vehicle, this doesn't make Nevo perform any differently, but the sexy, shiny black remote and matching charging cradle do ramp the chic up to a new level.

The other big change is more far-reaching, having to do with programming the remote's functionality. The Nevo Studio software has been given a version 2.0 makeover and incorporates many features that will be welcomed by both programmers and users. Installers will enjoy the faster programming and new off-site service, while users should benefit from lower programming costs, especially if any changes are required after the initial setup.

One new feature is called SuperFast Device Swapping. This allows automatic replacement of all commands previously programmed for a specific component to be transferred to a new replacement component in one step. So, should you decide to upgrade to that new flat-panel HDTV or make the plunge to Blu-ray or HD DVD, reprogramming the remote will be fast and easy.

Another great addition is NevoXpress Wireless Download. Using Nevo's built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, programming updates or changes can be made off-site by the installer and uploaded to a server back at Nevo headquarters. Then, so long as the user has a Wi-Fi network in his home, he can perform a simple updating procedure that requires no software, cables, or special know-how (just press Reset on the remote and hold down the OK button to begin the download automatically). The installer can check the server to see if the customer downloaded the new program, then follow up to either nudge the customer to initiate the download or check on the revised program's success. Very cool.