April 21st, 2009


Need a simple universal remote

King Rat - April 21, 2009 9:12 pm

Hello lazyweb!

My stepfather is functionally illiterate. Normally he can get by with help from my brother and I without too much difficulty, as we handle his mail for him. However, we’ve run into a situation where we’re kind of stuck: his television.

He has satellite television because the cable company wanted large amounts of money to run cable from the highway to the house. As seems to be the case lots of times with cable/satellite/television setups, this requires two remotes: the television remote for power and volume, and the cable/satellite remote for channels. The problem we’ve run into is that dad sometimes hits the wrong button and changes the channel, or the source, or something else on the TV or satellite and then only gets a blank screen or static. If he lived next door, we could walk over and fix it. It’s a two hour drive.

tekpal-remoteWhat we’d like to find is a simple universal remote. In other words, one that has only a few buttons and doesn’t require switching from “device” to “television” to use properly. Volume and power operate on the television; channel changing operates on the satellite receiver. Automatically. You’d think something like that would be out there. I’ve wanted something like that myself but never found it, though I haven’t looked particularly hard. It’s necessary for dad, or he’s going to go weeks without TV sometimes when neither my brother or I can get there right away. Before mom died, this wasn’t a problem; she’d fix things.


What would be ideal in appearance is this Tek Pal Remote Control. But that operates only on a TV. A basic two device remote like Sony’s is a little more complicated, but would work if it didn’t require switching back and forth between the two devices. Unfortunately, it does require switching as far as I can tell.

I’ve found a couple that will lock the volume to the television, but none that lock the channel changing to the other device.

So, anyone got any suggestions?