Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

TV Remotes
Matt Seinberg

I remember the first television remote control I ever encountered. It was at my grandparent's apartment in Brooklyn; they had a black and white Zenith 19-inch television. Zenith was the first company to offer a remote control, which everyone called a clicker. It had two buttons, 1one each for channel up and down and one for volume; maybe, it had three buttons. I guess there was a power button.


Now most every electronic component has a remote.

Heck, you can even get a remote app for your television on your smart phone. Some work, some don't, more on that later.

My first television that I bought myself was a 19-inch color Motorola without a remote control. That was when Motorola actually produced televisions in the US. It was among the top producers along with Zenith, RCA and GE. Now, none of those nameplates exists, today. The Zenith brand was bought by LG years ago and Thomson acquired the RCA and GE names.

I paid $312 for that television and had it for many years. I remember the day it died quite well. I turned it on; the picture flared and slowly went to a pinpoint white dot, and then nothing. I know that I didn't get it fixed. I probably got another one.


I had two VCRs, for dubbing

The next television I remember is a 25-inch RCA monitor and receiver. It was the first television to have input and output jacks; other components could be plugged into it using RCA cables. I had two VCRs, with the ability to make copies of tapes. I also had it running into my stereo, so I could really listen loudly. It has a huge remote that could also control an RCA VCR and other components as well. The remote died before the television did.


A high-pitched sound started the television warmed up.

That television had one major problem almost the entire time I had it; a loud, high-pitched noise occurred as soon as the television got warm. Luckily, I had a service contract on it, but it was carry in service. Lugging that large television in my car was not easy. I went to work for a large retailer soon after, and met the RCA rep. After I explained all my problems with the television to him, he changed the contract from carry in, to in home service.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I had to wait at home for service, and finally one technician figured out what was wrong and was able to fix it.


Next I got a 32-inch Sony.

When Michelle was about a year old, I was involved in a car accident and about two years later the case settled. With some of that money, I bought a new Sony 32-inch large tube television. That television lasted until a month ago, when it died a quick death.

The RCA moved to the living room, and our 19-inch MGA television went into Michelle's room. When you're bottle-feeding a kid at two in the morning, the television was a necessity.

In my living room at one time, I had six remotes piled on top of one another. They were for the television, Kenwood surround sound system, Sony DVD player, Sony multi disc player, cable box and VCR. There is no longer a VCR in the living room.


Now, I have only four remotes.

Now there are only four remotes, television, Kenwood and two for the Sony. Now, I just have to figure out how to get the cable remote to work the television.

My dream would be to have a Logic Harmony remote that will control everything. That would be a nice gift, don't you think?

Hint, Hint.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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