#448 – Tension

We have too many remote controls at our house. I think the main problem I have with them is that there are a lot of functions that can only be done from the remote. There’s usually a nice big power button on the front of the device but if you want to do something more detailed than that, good luck. I’ve been tempted to get a fancy touch screen programmable remote but my wife would be the first one to admit that that’s not a good idea. She manages to knock one of the remotes onto our hardwood floor 2 or 3 times a day. Does anyone else have to deal with more than 5?

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48 thoughts on “#448 – Tension”

  1. I solved the problem by letting my computer replace all of the devices that normally have remote controls.

  2. PsychoDuck says:

    Really gotta be careful not to mix up your remote controls.

    The Duck Has Spoken.

  3. Fiye says:

    Oh, of course. I got my Cable Box, TV, PS3 DvD/Blu-Ray remote, Xbox remote, VCR remote, DVD remote, and my Windows Media Center remote. Not to mention the one for my stereo.

  4. SEA says:

    Erm…what duck said =p

  5. cyber95 says:

    After a year of searching, I finally found my VCR/DVD player remote! I don’t have my TV remote either, and it’s hooked up to change channels from it, so now I can channel surf properly, and actually watch bonus features in my room.

  6. cass says:

    I put a label (masking tape and pen) on the back of each one and nailed a nail bag to the side of the couch to hold them all. They still keep getting lost! My next step will be to buy retracting leashes (like the ones sold for keys stored on belt-loops) for each and making it so they can’t go further than arm’s reach.

  7. Seraphine says:

    Baking soda and water
    will do that, I heard…
    Wish I was there to see it.

  8. KK says:

    I hate that TV’s now only have the power button, and maybe volume and channel buttons! I have a lot of remotes back home, too. We have a super-remote thing, much like the programmable touch-pad one you mentioned. But we have it stuck to the table with velcro, so it wont fall. My parents tend to drop remotes all the time, so I went out and bought some velcro.

    The super-remote is pretty cool, too. It has space for 6 virtual remotes, and you just switch between them. Then you point the original remote at it, and push a button on it, and the super-remote automatically programs itself to do that button… and you do that for each button you want on it. Then you can “click and drag” the buttons around on the screen. It’s kind of time consuming, but it’s pretty fun, at the same time.

    I’d offer to show you a link, but I don’t think I’d be able to find it, and “back home” is in Japan, so I don’t think they sell it in the US. Sorry.

    Of course, now that I’m at college, I’m more worried about losing the one remote under all the crap on my desk as opposed to dropping the remote on the floor..

  9. RFPT says:

    ahh, the big TV in my house has a lot of remotes, some for things I don’t own anymore. the small TV in my bedroom is so much easier…VHF and UHF dials.

  10. Snakeh says:

    I have:

    TV remote
    Cable remote
    XBOX DVD remote
    PS2 DVD remote
    Radio remote
    PS3 wireless controller
    XBOX wireless controller

    And it’s impossible to find 50% of them :[

  11. JezMM says:

    At my Dad’s house we have about five. One for the TV, one for the DVD player/recorder (this one has something like 50 buttons on it, no joke), one for the CD player, one for the old mini-disc player and one for the newer mini-disc player (essentially the old remote but with a few extra buttons).

    There are more in the house but the others are in different rooms. To add to the confusion the old TV remote used to look almost exactly the same as the CD player remote.

    At my Mum’s house it’s still pretty confusing though. We have three remotes: one for the the regular TV, one for the box that provides us with digital channels (which is accessed via a single channel on the regular TV’s remote, like a games console or DVD player), and one for the DVD/VHS player. It can get sort of confusing when you press to go to channel 14 or something on the regular remote before realising you meant to use the digital TV remote, and that you’re now on a blank fuzzy channel (since there are only 5 non-digital/cable channels in the UK).

    And in recent months of course I’ve gained Wii remotes lying around too. Thankfully those ones are pretty hard to confuse with regular TV remotes.

  12. JezMM says:

    Oh, and as one final remote related story… my brother used to have a digital watch that he could “tune into” TV’s with, allowing him to use it as a TV remote. Many a channel changing war happened thanks to that with no need for physical violence over the actual remote… which was… nice I guess?

  13. DracoZereul says:

    I live with my parents, and we have a ton of remotes around here. In the front room we have two tvs (don’t ask) and we have one for each tv, one for the cable box, one for the stereo/dvd player, and one remote that, surprisingly enough, does nothing, but we keep it in there anyway. My room is kind of strange, too. It’s 10’x10′, so a pretty damn small room, yet I’ve got three remotes, too; TV, Cable Box, and Stereo. It’s a pain at night, because I have to click the Cable Box Remote to shut it off, Click the Power Button on the Stereo Remote so that my favorite station is on, and set the timer on the TV with the TV Remote since, well, I’ve never been able to fall asleep in pitch black dark, which my room is surprisingly good at becoming when I turn everything off. All in all, it’s a pain, since I gotta make sure I have all three of ’em, because god forbid I just sit up on my bed and reach for everything (I told you my room was small)

  14. Murudai says:

    Meh. At home we have ALOT more than 5 remotes. Lets list them.

    – Remote for new TV
    – Remote for old TV (that works with new TV, same brand).
    – Remote for old VCR.
    – Backup remote for old VCR (because original one was dropped too frequently…)
    – Remote for new VCR.
    – Remote for Hard Drive recorder
    – Remote for Digital set top box 1
    – Remote for Digital set top box 2
    – Remote for HD Digital set top box
    – Remote for DVD player
    – and probably some more I’ve forgotten…

    I’m glad I don’t live at home anymore. Getting the TV and associates to do all the things we wanted them to do was a mess… >_

  15. becket says:

    i got to 7 remotes
    and then got touch screen one
    its not bad it bounces well

  16. Painless says:

    Oh, remotes. My Parents house holds a lot of them. Something around 19, and oh, don’t ask what they are all for. Even we don’t know from around one third an if we try them it’s interesting what comes to life. Sad thing is we always forget what they are for the next day :/

  17. sakanagai says:

    I have 9 remotes for my setup, but I don’t necessarily need to use all of them for any task. I got a remote holder a couple years back, though it can only hold 4 remotes. I got one of those Harmony universal remotes, but one of my components doesn’t use IR for its remote. I have to the remote specifically for it as well as the universal to get everything else toggled. That kinda brings me down to 2, however I still use the regular clickers when I’m in a rush since it’s faster than flipping through the menus on the universal.

  18. Ebos says:

    I got a touch screen remote about 4 months ago, it was about 5 days before I could watch anything on TV because everyone in the house wanted to play with it. Then last night i accidentally set my beer on it now it wont work πŸ™

  19. Plankster says:

    Not at home, but at work in the A/V department, we have like 100 remotes, and those are the ones that aren’t being used in various buildings across campus. But, it seems, whenever we try to find the one brand we need, we can’t.

  20. YeahYeah says:

    I currently have only 3 remotes, 4 if we are counting generously.

    -TV remote
    -DVD/Home Theater/Stereo remote (having all 3 features in one package is nice, and the remote even controls my ipod when I plug it into the auxiliary ipod input!)
    -Digital Cable Remote

    Also, I guess you could consider my PS3 controller a PS3/Blu-Ray remote.

    Here is a handy tip for remote storage that I found IMMENSELY helpful, especially when I was in college: Put velcro strips on the backs of your remotes and any place you might want to store them. Put the loops (the soft side of velcro) on the remotes, because it is more comfortable in your hand than the hooks, and put strips with the hooks on them anywhere you’d normally watch TV from. I used to have them on my desk and on my bed in my dorm room. Then, I would just stick to remotes on the velcro and they’d be there when I needed them, even hanging on the side of my bed (I was the top bunk). I even put hooks on the side of the TV to store the remotes when not in use. The system actually worked really well.

  21. Mari says:

    One remote. It’s a Harmony and I love it. I push a button that says “Watch TV” and the television turns on if it needs to, the receiver powers up if necessary, it switches to the proper A/V settings and I’m ready to watch a movie. Then I scroll through a screen of activity options and hit the button by “Play Xbox” and it powers up everything associated with that and switches the A/Vs again. It totally rocks.

    It even beats the Pronto we used to have in my book. The Pronto was a neat idea but the execution was too complex and touch screens hate me. Plus it felt wrong in my hand and was hard to see what buttons I was pushing in the properly lit home theater.

    So I suggest saving yourself the dosh on the touchscreen remote and just getting a Harmony. And the thing has survived two kids that leave the remote on the floor where it gets regularly stepped on, drop the remote, you name it. It’s a hardy sucker, unlike the Pronto which gave up the ghost when it was dropped onto the floor just once.

  22. Trip Hazard says:

    We’ve got :

    2 DVD-R’s, each with their own remote
    1 TV remote
    2 Cable DVR remotes (that can also do channel/volume on the TV)
    1 Switch Box remote
    (1 VCR only recently)

    2 Cable remotes so my wife and I each have our own, no “hand me the remote” when we’re each at our computers.

    I got a sheet of 1″ round inkjet labels, and printed large “1”, “2”, “3” for each recorder and it’s remote. No confusion what operates what.

    (If you can’t get round labels cheap, go to a craft store and buy a circle cutter, print the numbers on sheet label stock, and Bob’s your uncle!)

  23. Micah says:

    My remotes are so completely different, that I’d have to be half asleep or drunk to mix them up. My DVD remote is thick, short, and square. My DVR/satellite remote is long and has a wide front (for a keyboard thing), and the TV remote is slender and not as long. I mean, my TV has a DVD player on it, so sometimes I want to hit play on it, but that’s about it.

  24. phuzzie says:

    am i the only one that thinks Biff is standing a bit close for safety to his supposedly remote-controlled rocket (and he really should have labelled his head-remote…)

  25. speearr says:

    Haha! One day he cuts his hand off, the next day he loses his head….

  26. kenshin620 says:

    Biff’s reading those instruction manuels wrong again!

  27. roy_vf1s says:

    cass, your idea about the retainers intrigues me. I think I may have to do that to the following:

    HDTV remote
    DVD remote
    VHS remote
    Surround-Sound remote

    and leave the spare TV remote able to float about the house, as my father likes to carry it into the kitchen while he cooks. I wish a universal remote could handle all of these items, but the only ones I’ve been able to find are programmed so that one of the device buttons is locked to the dreaded Satellite control, which we don’t have or need.

  28. Hanii Puppy says:

    “I solved the problem by letting my computer replace all of the devices that normally have remote controls.”

    My computer has a remote control :3

  29. Amanda says:

    I just have 2 remotes, but I do have the problem that most of the buttons on the front of my DVD player are broken. So I do actually really need that remote. It won’t even eject the disk if I don’t have the remote, and the remote is a weird one that runs on a watch battery. So… it was certainly fun when I managed to lose said remote for a week. And when the battery died and I of course had no replacement on hand.

  30. Bluedukky says:

    Thankfully we don’t have that many remotes ~

    I do remember a couple of mischievous nights with my friend, who had a universal remote. We’d go round the neighbourhood and change other people’s tv channels from outside the window. They couldn’t have been more confused I think πŸ˜€
    Only if they didn’t have their curtains closed though : (

    Wonder if it still works..

  31. Reg says:

    Arg! I know the pain of having too many remotes, too! My family got a new TV for Christmas with one remote. Then we got another remote for the DVD player. Then there’s another remote that’s supposed to control botht he TV and the DVD player but doesn’t let you access all the menus you need so I still ahve to use the other remotes. And there’s another remote that’s there and I don’t even know what it does… then there are the issues of Wii-motes…
    And Biff had better go grab another one of his spare heads. πŸ˜‰

  32. Graceofbass says:

    I currently have I think 5 remotes, but one is for a fan, so I don’t think that counts.

  33. Archemedes Rex says:

    I’ve had to deal with five at once (TV, VCR, Cable, Stereo, and Lights), so what I did was get some adhesive-backed Velcro and line them all up on a piece of Plexiglas. That way I had a big control panel I could just lean against the coffee table.

  34. Amanda says:

    honey, i drop them more than you know.

  35. Saigus says:

    We have one of those newfangled electronic touch-screen remotes that only works if you are REALLY PATIENT so when you are typing in say channel 123 you’ll get channel 1 (on demand which takes a minute to load) then you do it again then you get to channel 12 and it’s in spanish and you try again and get channel one… well you see the pattern, you can either eff around with it and watch TV or go read a book or do PT or something productive. I’ve learned TV isn’t worth the effort.
    -Saigus

  36. Zantagio says:

    Oh, man, i feel your pain. A remote for each console, the TIVO, the DVR, the TV, the DVD/VHS combo we still have, and we have TWO of the exact same freakin’ remote, only one doing more than just turning the TV on and changing the volume. Had to take the batteries out of the two function remote so i dont get them confused. And i still do.

    ~From the desk of Zantagio Montar~

  37. althea says:

    Seraphine Says:

    February 21st, 2008 at 1:05 am
    Baking soda and water
    will do that, I heard…
    Wish I was there to see it.

    .. nice haiku! heheh

  38. althea says:

    I always get confused at my parent’s house…

    They have TV, DVD/VCR, HDTV, STEREO, and remotes for the airconditioner and the light. And that’s just the living room.

    how bout a universal universal remote that covers all of these… hmmm… I’d like 23 degrees C, dim lighting, watching *some show* and I think I’ll record it too. And set up the surround sound for it. All in one remote.

  39. Kree says:

    I wield remote controls as if they were weapons, sometimes dual-wielding when I have two devices to wrangle at the same time. I don’t really mind having lots of remotes that much, except for the occasion when I can’t find them or they clutter up the desk too much.

    One of those fancy all-in-one remotes (with the screens) sounds like fun, but I’m wary about buying one until I find the holy grail of universal remotes.

  40. Andy tuba says:

    Crestron: it’s a way of life. That, and setting up half a dozen IR emitteers.

  41. AshKetchum says:

    Hah. I have five remotes…three for one TV, two for another. The TV upstairs has no power button…one of the remotes is used for the sole purpose of turning it on and off!

  42. With all the the remotes in the house, my mom will usually yell for me to find the remote.

  43. Psymon says:

    @althea: Seraphine’s “haiku” was inverted; it was 7-5-7 instead of 5-7-5.

    We do not have enough remotes to confuse us (3). The remotes we do have, however, have quite enough buttons to confuse people. I am not confused, though; I simply ignore the buttons I do not need once I figure out what buttons I do need (which is a bigger share of the remote for me than for most people). Is that not what most people do?

  44. LadyLuck1337 says:

    T.V. remote
    D.V.D remote
    Sound System remote
    360 remote
    PS3 remote
    Cable remote
    and the ever annoying vertical blind remote. I didn’t think blinds needed a remote but my fiancee is a bit of a technophile

  45. ///.o Emo Ferret says:

    My dad had a PDA that could be used as a remote. But it broke. ///~T I never got to try it…

  46. Vicky says:

    You should tape all the rmeotes together into one super-remote with duct tape, like in Peep Show!
    …i forget which episode…

  47. Calvin says:

    2 Wiimotes
    DVD Remote
    Old DVD Remote
    VCR Remote
    Old VCR Remote
    Legacy VCR Remote
    Stereo Remote
    Old Stereo Remote
    Legacy Stereo Remote
    TV Remote
    Old TV Remote
    Legacy TV Remote
    Legacy TV Remote Backup
    Grayscale TV Remote
    Old Grayscale TV Remote
    Legacy Grayscale TV Remote
    Alternate TV Remote
    Old Alternate TV Remote
    Printer Remote
    Printer/Scanner Remote
    Laptop Remote
    Alternate Laptop Remote
    Alternate Laptop Alternate Remote
    Old Laptop Remote

    25 Remotes. Not that we still have all the things they go to.

  48. Kyle says:

    Well the more you describe your wife the more it sounds like me, seperated food and droping remotes

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