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Here are the phases of how remote controls evolved through time
- The Early Radio Remote-
All Smart inventors are always finding ways to make our lives easier. One of the earliest customer remote innovations came from the company “Philco.” In the 1930s, Philco launched its amazing “Mystery Control” for the household radios. It resembled a rotary telephone without a handset. The remote operated on radio frequencies. It was wireless, and it was also about the size of a dictionary, so not exactly portable. Television Hits the Scene.
- Television Hits the Scene-
Most TVs had two circular dials that allowed you to change channels on UHF or VHF frequencies. The cable box was an electronic tuning device that allowed cable consumers to convert cable channels to a VHF signal. The cable boxes, like the popular woodgrain version from Hamlin, typically featured a slider including several dozen stations, not the hundreds of channels we see in cable and satellite television today. Eventually, most cable converter boxes still required TV watchers to remove their rear ends from the cushion – not exactly couch potato-friendly.
- The Emergence of the Television Remote-
In the 1950s, American electronic manufacturers started developing handheld devices for controlling televisions. Zenith, an early pioneer in TV remotes, was one of their very first models was called the “Lazy Bones.” It connected to the television set with a wire. You use your thumb to push a single button to tune in a station. Eventually, other electronic companies started developing their remotes. Not only they were marketed but as a convenient way to relax while watching television and mainly used as a way to avoid advertising.
- The Modern Remote Goes Mainstream-
Remote controls were considered a luxury device for many years. In 1979, it was estimated that only about 17% of American the households had a remote control. The growth of cable TV changed everything and wasn’t long until everyone needed a remote, and they started coming standard with every Television set. Already by now, remotes began to resemble the devices we are currently used to see but still had limited functionality. Infrared technology became a norm for TV remotes and is still used today.
- Universal Remote Innovation-
One of the first individuals to work on developing a universal remote control was Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. He left the company in the mid-1980s to start a startup company which developed universal remotes that control TVs, VCRs, stereos. Having multiple remotes was a problem that personally frustrated Wozniak, and he was successful in solving the issue. The first programmable universal remote, “CL 9 CORE,” launched in 1987. The 20-button handheld device came with an LCD screen that could learn signal patterns from other remote controls.
To begin things on a funny note, the remote is by far one of the best inventions in the history of science and technology. Our body, a switched on TV, remote, and the couch make the perfect team. And the words “Surfing The Channels” would not have been in existence. Who would want to sit and stand every five seconds?
There was a time when every remote control was designated to a particular device. In the history of remotes, science took a small, but a very significant leap. Some lazy intelligent scientist came up with this brilliant idea. The normal remote controls were upgraded to universal remote controls, which without second thoughts is nothing less than a boon.
Using this Universal Remotes has its pros and Cons:
The evident one is that it can be used to control more than one device. Let us accept the fact the remote control is one of the household appliances that get misplaced too often. Just giving it a thought, just searching one misplaced remote control itself is something that gets to our nerves. What if we misplace three or four of them? It is definitely a situation that cannot be described in words.
To add more to the list most of the universal controls are equipped with led lights and stuff, so finding them when misplaced won’t be that big issue.
The Universal Remote has its fair share of drawbacks
The main disadvantage when it comes to using a universal remote is the complexity of the functions. Since the technology is to control all the electronic devices, it will take some time to get the hang of it.
Some of the high-end universal remotes need a lot of programming to done to use it up to its full potential. If you are a person, who would not want to get into something on those lines, it is better to opt for the low-end ones where the functions are not that complex compared to the high-end ones.
LAYOUTS AND FEATURES
In Universal remote, there is a power button which is basically to switch on and off the device that is being controlled. A provision is also provided to select the devices such as TV, VCR, DVD to select which device needs to be controlled. The number keys are provided to change the channels and also to set the date and time. A set button is provided for the user to access the already programmed codes. Most of the universal remotes are equipped with D-pads for the user to access the menus in the DVD players.
In the high-end universal remotes allows the user to program command sequence using Macro Programming. With the right programming, these remotes can be used to control any devices without switching. There are few high-end universal remotes that are equipped to make phone calls. These remotes can also be connected to the PCs and configured.