How to be smarter than a teenager
Our living room is not unlike most others. We have a TV, a VCR, a cable set top box, a DVD player, a stereo with cassette deck, CD player, radio tuner and even a turntable for any vinyl that may still have life. The problem of course is that each of these components has a different and often non-compatible remote control. Since I installed most of the equipment I don’t have any trouble deciding which remote I need to accomplish the task at hand. My wife, Judy, on the other hand, a very intelligent articulate woman, is sometimes rendered clueless as to how to turn on the TV.
For example, our normal set up includes watching TV from cable. To do this one needs only to turn on the cable box and the TV and you’re home free. That is unless our wonderful friends at Duke Energy have not interrupted our power, even for a short time period. If we lose power, our TV set defaults to Channel 2. For the cable box to work the TV must be tuned to Channel 3 or 4 and the cable remote can’t change the channel on the TV set. Who knew?
To watch a DVD requires one to choose VIDEO #1 on the TV and use the remote for the DVD player. My wife doesn’t even try to watch a DVD. The same plays out for the VHS, the radio the CD player. Heaven forbid if you want the sound from the TV to be played out over the stereo speakers. What are we to do?
One solution, since all three of our sons are living out of town, is to rent a teenage kid. We ruled that out since we can’t afford the food bill. So that brings us to the UNIVERSAL REMOTE. There are several on the market that one can program to handle all the devices from one simple-to-use hand held device. Some actually have a small video screen like a cell phone. Commands are as simple as “Watch Cable” or “Watch DVD” or “Record a Program.” The remote knows what devices are required to accomplish the request and sends signals to all the appropriate devices moving them to the right settings. You can put away all the old remotes and use this single device. Some of Universal Remote Controls require you to have a home computer to program all the settings.
I priced a few models recently. They run from $50 to $300 depending on the features. Seems to me a small price to pay for marital accord, and we can’t afford to feed a teenager.