TV remote controls have become ubiquitous to the point where we no longer think much about this technology that makes relaxing so easy. What you might not realize is that, as The Atlantic details, the way our remotes are built, from the TV remote codes they use to the hardware features they offer, has actually reshaped the way we live, and not just when we’re in the living room.
Consider, before there were TV remote controls, watching television was a much more active experience. If you didn’t like what was on the tube, you had to get up and physically change the channel using an analog knob on the set. Today, we can sit on our duffs, controlling not only the TV, but the radio, the air conditioning, and more. This shift from a slightly active form of recreation to complete lethargy is due entirely to the evolution of remote controls.
How TV Remote Controls Have Evolved in the Last 50 Years
- From Wired to Wireless
- More Buttons Equals More Control
- There’s Nothing Your Remote Can’t Control
The most important development in TV remote controls must be said to be the change from wired to wireless controls. This new technology not only allowed us to be lazier when watching TV, it also paved the way to a world of wireless technologies, from cellphones to radios. The development of wireless remotes was also important in that people no longer had to worry about replacing their TVs when the knob or wired controller broke. Nowadays, we can just buy replacement TV remotes, input the codes for the TV, and be off to the races.
As Slate details, the first remote controls had only four buttons: two for changing channels, one for volume, and one to turn the set on and off. Today, we can use our remotes to change color settings, video input, channel, and a whole lot more. It used to be that you could only do many of those things by literally getting into the guts of your television and adjusting the hardware manually.
For Ebay, the biggest change in TV remote controls, whether you’re talking about Panasonic or Sony remote control models, is the implementation of multi-unit support. The 80s and 90s were a nightmare for anyone with a love for the full multimedia experience, as you used to need a separate remote for your stereo system, VHS player, and TV. Even the basic remote controls that come with most TVs can now control all of your hardware with a little tinkering.
What do you think the next great advancement in television remote controls will be? Share your predictions with us in the comments below! Helpful info also found here.