Tuesday, January 10, 2012


My sister and I bought an HDTV to replace Mom's 1995-era television for her Christmas gift. In theory, this was a great idea--now she could watch programs in HD, and the screen was almost twice as big as her old set.

There's just one problem: the remote.

My favorite remote of all time was the original TiVo remote, fondly known as the "peanut". Here, take a look (thanks Tivopedia):

What a piece of design. 32 buttons to do anything and everything. I don't know anyone who used the peanut who didn't absolutely love it.

Well, Mom doesn't have the peanut with her Time-Warner HD cable box. She has this:

Holy crap. That beast has SIXTY-ONE buttons. It's two steps away from being a Japanese typewriter.

Because of this piece of mediocre design, Mom is quite frustrated, and I don't blame her. It's far too easy to hit a button by mistake and be FUBAR immediately.

What I'm considering doing is buying one of the simpler universal remotes (30 buttons or less), then setting it up to work with her cable box. Over half the functions on the Time Warner remote are totally unnecessary for her equipment or her viewing habits, so I think this would probably work, and it would be significantly less complicated.

Here's my question for you guys: have any of you done this in the past, and is there a particular remote that you recommend?

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