Universal Remotes—A Sad Story of Neglect


Shocking results from a remote control survey underscore that it might be time to buy a universal remote control.

Nov. 10, 2010 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Maybe it’s because technology is so ingrained in my life. If I’m not talking about it, I’m wondering about it; maybe that’s why this little factoid I ran across recently seems so shocking: According to a study by Wakefield Research and Logitech, almost half of remote users need to press three or more buttons—usually on multiple remote controls—just to watch a DVD.

I guess I just assumed (wrongly) that by now most consumers, at least those who own good home entertainment systems, had invested in a universal remote control.

The results of this study were released just last week, so the data isn’t outdated, as I immediately suspected. No, this is current info, which makes it all the more bewildering—and eye-opening.
Just because universal remote controls have been around for a long time, doesn’t mean everyone has one. Neither does it mean that people clearly understand the value of a product like it.

It’s important then, that as a purveyor of information about consumer electronics we continue to cover the virtues of “old” tried and true technology just as much as we do new cutting-edge products and systems.

More findings from the Global Remote Control Trends Study, which was commissioned by Logitech:

  • Almost one in five Americans own a device, such as a DVD player or a home audio system, which is connected but rarely or never used due to a missing remote.
  • Even when people have the remote, between 15 and 24 percent of households globally have someone who doesn’t use their electronic devices because they don’t know how to work the remote.
  • A similar number of consumers (between 16 percent and 27 percent globally) have written their own personal “Remote Control for Dummies” guide to help their friends, babysitters and visitors decipher their home entertainment system.

Tell us what you like and don’t like about your current remote, or what you wish your current clicker could do. It might be high time to buy a universal remote.

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