The Television Remote Control

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Girls with TV remote controlThe first television remote control was invented by the Zenith Company in 1950. This remote was connected to the television via a cable, however, when stretched across people's living rooms, it often proved to be a nuisance, tripping them and often breaking . As a result, the cabled remote was developed which was followed by the first wireless remote, invented in 1955 by Eugene Polley. A year later, Robert Adler switched the control mechanism from light to inaudible sound waves, and the wireless remote's popularity soon knew no limits.

Many people have claimed that the TV remote was one of the best inventions ever.  Let’s look at the remote control.



What is so good about a remote control?

  • The incredible convenience of not having to get up to change channels is what most people think of when claiming that the TV remote is the best invention ever.   No longer did people have to sit idle through commercials, or have to actually get up and cross the room to change the channel. 

  • The remote has made the television audience less captive to whatever happens to be on the screen. If viewers don’t want to watch advertisements or if a channel needs to be changed (for inappropriate content for example) a flick of a button can switch just that! 

  • The remote has made it easier to find programs that people actually want to watch.   We now live in a day and age where we have short attention spans, and the remote control has helped us keep our short attention span.  If we simply don’t want to watch something on TV, we can simply change the channel.  This means that we're getting more enjoyment out of watching, and perhaps, for some maybe we are learning more.   Programmers now have to work extra hard to keep our attention and thus have many suitable programs for us to watch.

  • With the hundreds of channels that are now available on satellite services, without the remote we would probably have had to position ourselves close to the television on a pillow to browse through all of them.

  • We can actively watch TV wherever we are, even in the bath and while cooking in the kitchen. So long as we can see the screen, we can interact with the TV, change channels and volume and be entertained.

  • The TV remote was the predecessor of the wireless earphones, wireless telephone and wireless computer keyboard. It somehow focused our attention on the need for being able to do things from a distance.

  • We now have programmable VCR’s and PVR’s and the remote helps to facilitate the movement between TV, PVR, VCR, Radio, Gaming devices and even internet use.  

The remote has been in existence since 1950.  If you are not satisfied that it may be one of the best inventions ever, can you imagine having a TV or VCR/PVR without one?