Blog Post #350:  So, how old are you?  (remote control)

Blog Post #350:  So, how old are you?  (remote control)

Taken from:

I remember as a kid having a television with maybe 13 channels – and probably only 4 – ABC, CBS, NBC and maybe PBS.  To change channels, you got out of your chair and went to the TV, and turned a dial. Sometimes it was clear enough to see, and sometimes it was like watching in a snowstorm.  The screens were small – 13” (diagonal measure – as compared to today’s huge measurements).

Now, not all was perfect, sometimes you might have to change the antenna to get better reception; some people put aluminum foil on the rabbit ears to get better reception; some people put antennas on their roofs to get stations better.  BUT – we had TV’s!!! WOOOO!!!

There were many times when I stood with a mirror in front of the TV while my dad was behind the TV adjusting the horizontal or the vertical images and he needed me to show him how it looked (so he wouldn’t have to crawl out from behind the TV to see).

Then remote channel changers came along – and cable television (with 200 channels – and sometimes nothing too interesting to watch).   

What a joy – I can sit in my favorite chair watching a show (and maybe recording another, or having ‘picture-in-picture’ so I can see one program in the main screen and another in a small screen.  I could change the channel from my chair, adjust the sound and color, and even set a timer so it would go off after an hour (so I could take my nap).

But, now Amazon has a voice activated control through their Alexa device.

“The newest Alexa gadget can turn on and control your TV, cable box, sound bar and more using just your voice.”

Now I can say “Alexa turn on the TV”; or “Alexa go to channel 25” (in our area that is the weather channel) and more.

Our son-in-law (and daughter) have four remotes on their coffee table: one for the power; one for the speakers; one for the Tivo / Netflix device; and one for something else (and … to confuse his father-in-law).

But, with the this new device, all I need to control the system will be some simple voice commands.  The article states:

“The Amazon Fire TV Cube infuses your TV and other entertainment gear with the ability to be controlled with just your voice. Designed to sit happily in your AV system, this diminutive little box aims to replace a coffee-table full of remotes with “Alexa” voice commands. Or at least keep you from reaching for the clicker quite so much.”

I’m not sure how it will work at our daughter / son-in-law’s house with two five-year-olds.  One will be saying I want to watch Peppa Pig; the other Thomas the Tank Train; son-in-law saying “Alexa turn to the Purdue football game”; and our daughter saying “Alexa turn to HGTV” – and probably at the same time.  

So, from TV’s that were all snowy and needed adjusting, and requiring physically getting out of a chair to change channels – to a voice activated remote.  We’ve come a long ways!!!


Think about it!!



Posted by Bruce White

Leave a Reply