Thursday, August 13, 2015

WDWHTY: Radio Frequency Remote Controls

WDWHTY - Why Don't We Have These Yet?

I've been using the same remote controls for decades. Even the cable boxes and televisions I bought in the past 5-ish years have come with these things.

Radio Frequency Remote Controls
It'd be really nice to have radio frequency (RF) remote controls. They can clearly make them from the Playstation 3 controllers and wireless mice that I've used. I loved those things -- got rid of them a while ago for various reasons. If there was a response delay, I didn't notice it. Most importantly, making sure the remote was pointed at the TV was never a problem. Walk 20' away and don't know which side the IR receiver is on? No problem! Out of space and have to turn the device with its sensor facing to the side? No problem!

Seriously, I remember having the IR receiver orientation problem with projectors at work and school a bunch of times. Having to run around the room to try all four sides, or trying to look for the little black window from 10-20' away were not fun things to do.

Funny-ish story: I used to change the channels on the television by pointing the remote in the opposite direction as a kid. The signal seemed to bounce off the wall -- I felt like a genius.

Why it probably isn't as readily available?
The reason for this one's probably pretty simple: cost. I'm going to guess that more traditional, infrared based remote controls for various electronic devices are cheaper to manufacture and design. They've been around since I was born decades ago.

Battery life would probably be shorter too. My remotes usually last a year or more on a fully charged NiMH or alkaline battery. The wireless mice I've used have lasted at least a week though. Battery shouldn't be that terrible. And the USB receiver that came with my mouse was shockingly small.

Maybe the newer devices or more expensive receivers have them? Whatever, just had to get that off my chest.

P.S. Why is there so much lag sometimes when I use the remote control for my DVR?

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