Monday, December 19, 2005

Is it a TV remote or a rocket launcher

If Santa brings a new TV down your chimney this holiday season, you'd better hope he leaves behind a couple of expert elves to help you use your new toy. Unless of course, you happen to be in the very small minority of consumers who completely understand the "codes, aspect ratios, guides, inputs and cyclone sounds" - which are just some of the features on today's TV's and remote control devices.

If you are scratching your head and wondering, when did watching television become rocket science, you're not alone. Kenneth Gassman, Customer Service Director for Miracle Remotes, LLC says, "There are countless functions on TV's and remote controls made in the past several years that no one understands or even wants. For instance, on some new LCD TV's there is a button on the remote that allows you to flip your picture upside down. Are there that many people who watch TV while standing on their head that we need this feature?"

Fast forward to the future, you finally learn how to use most of the important features on your remote and then it gets lost, broken or the dog eats it. Now you have a new problem, finding a replacement remote. Gassman knows first hand the frustrations created by all of this technology madness. His company, Miracle Remotes LLC, handles endless calls from puzzled, irritated consumers in search of the same miracle - a replacement remote that works like the original did - without requiring a degree from M.I.T. to program and use it.

"Retail stores can't carry original remotes since there are thousands of models plus the originals are expensive. For lack of a better option consumers usually purchase universal remotes when they need replacements. Unfortunately, they end up frustrated after realizing universals are very confusing to program, and don't provide all the features required," Gassman explains. "Only basic functions are found on the front of the TV panel. Without the original remote you can't activate features like channel auto programming or access your DVD or game inputs on many sets. Other functions like changing the picture size on newer TV's, are also impossible to work with universal remotes. Then there's the issue of programming codes and instruction manuals almost as long as a novel. Some universals literally need to be connected to the Internet to be programmed. Technology that was supposed to make our lives easier leaves many consumers totally bewildered."

To try to simplify matters and address the need for easy to use full function replacement remotes, Miracle Remotes LLC has introduced The Miracle Remote Series. All the customer has to do is put in batteries, no programming, no codes, The Miracle Remote just works! Each remote is designed to work just one specific TV brand. Plus, The Miracle Remote operates just like the original and can operate all the key features on TV's made from 1988 to the present. The remotes also include improvements for ease of use, such as frequently used buttons being larger and placed at the top of the unit. With eight different models offered, there is a Miracle Remote available to control most major brand TV's.

So the next time you are longing for simple technology that doesn't require standing on your head, go to http://www.miracleremote.com/ and check out the Miracle Remote. As Kenneth Gassman likes to say, "When it's easy to use, it's a Miracle!"

For hungry dogs: remote possibilities

For hungry dogs: remote possibilitiesSunday, August 14, 2005
LOOKING at LIFE Gary Brown Repository Living section editor
“Dogs are devouring remotes.”
The words jumped off the first page of the press release like a headline about Jennifer Aniston dating an alien.
So that’s what’s happening to them.
I guess I can stop looking between the cushions of the couch.
The man who linked the disappearance of television and stereo remote controls to the increase in plastic in the diet of American dogs is Charlie Waters, customer service director for
www.MrRemoteControls.com
a company that sells original replacement remote controls via the Internet. According to Waters, “My dog ate the remote” is second only to “I lost it” as the most common reason given by customers who are ordering replacement remotes.
“There are over 400 million remote controls in the U.S. — an average of four remotes per household,” estimated Waters. “Combine that with 52 million canines living in U.S. households, and it’s easy to see why the remote is going to the dogs.”
OK, I don’t see the trend. I’ve had two dogs during the “remote period” of civilization and neither one of them showed any interest in eating electronic devices. They didn’t even want to snack on a remote.
But, Waters insists that his company gets calls and e-mails daily about it being a dogs-eat-remote world, including a communication from a woman who ordered several inexpensive remotes “with no concern for make or model.”
“She figured she would buy her four dogs their own remotes, and them maybe they would leave hers alone,” explained Waters. “Another customer insisted their Chihuahua would only attack their Emerson-brand remotes, but would leave the other remotes alone. We even had one customer who swore their dog was just trying to change the channel.”
Some dogs apparently can’t miss David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks.”
Dogs aren’t the only pets that think modern technology is edible. Waters said birds love to peck at remotes and rabbits think the rubber keypad buttons are tasty.
But, when your remote control turns up missing, “don’t be surprised if your dog has buried it or chewed it beyond recognition,” Waters said. Why? It seems to some dogs that the remote is similar in size and shape to a bone.
And, Waters’ press release noted that “a remote control has the added flavor of it’s master’s scent, making it an irresistible treat.”
So does my leg. That would make me a little nervous if I had a dog who liked to sleep beside my chair as I watched TV. For the dog it could be a tough decision.
“Let’s see, do I want to eat light and chew on the remote or go for the whole meal by chomping down on his calf ? ...”
It’s not easy to convince a remote-eating dog to try another diet. Many techniques and products have been used, including nasty-tasting sprays. They haven’t seemed to work, according to Gail Spadafori, syndicated pet- care columnist.
“All dogs chew; it’s part of the genetic blueprint of the dog,” she said in her book, “Dogs for Dummies.”
The better approach, she said, is to put the remote in a place where your dog cannot get to it. That’s not going to hurt Waters’ business. Either call him now or call him later.
“We hear it all the time,” he said. “People hide the remote from their dogs and then they can’t find it themselves.”
You can reach Repository Living Editor Gary Brown at (330) 580-8303 or e-mail:
gary.brown@cantonrep.com

Dogs Go Bow Wow For The Remote Control

Dogs Go Bow Wow For The Remote Control
It seems that Fido is using the remote control almost as much as his owner. The next time you wonder, "Where's the remote?" don't be surprised if your dog has buried it or chewed it beyond recognition. Similar in size and shape to their favorite bone, a remote control has the added flavor of its master's scent, making it an irresistible treat.
"Dogs are devouring remote controls," remarked Charlie Waters, Customer Service Director for MrRemoteControls.com, a company selling original replacement remote controls via the Internet. "My dog ate the remote" is second only to "I lost it" as the most common reason given by customers when ordering a replacement remote. "There are over four hundred million remote controls in the U.S.-- an average of four remotes per household," continued Waters, "combine that with fifty-two million canines living in U.S. households and it’s easy to see why the remote is going to the dogs."
Apparently no one has found a solution either, judging by the number of phone calls and e-mails that MrRemoteControls.com receives concerning this problem. From foul-tasting industrial-strength no-chew sprays to homemade bitter-tasting concoctions, nothing seems to do the trick. Gail Spadafori, syndicated pet care columnist says in her best selling book Dogs For Dummies, "All dogs chew, it’s part of the genetic blueprint of the dog. . . . Forget about trying to train your dog to leave the remote alone. Training yourself to put it out of harm's way when it's not in your hand is far easier."
Waters agrees, but adds, "We hear it all the time. People hide the remote from their dog and then they can't find it themselves."
"Everyday we get lots of crazy calls and e-mails from dog owners," Waters chuckles, "including the customer who ordered several of our least-expensive remotes with no concern for make or model. She figured she would buy her four dogs their own remotes and then maybe they would leave her remote alone. Who knows? Maybe the idea actually worked. Another customer insisted their Chihuahua would only attack their Emerson-brand remotes but would leave the other remotes alone. We even had one customer who swore their dog was just trying to change the channel!"
Dogs are not the only pets getting into the act. "It’s not unusual for us to hear about birds and even rabbits destroying a remote," continued Waters. "Birds love to peck at it and rabbits seem to have a special affection for the rubber keypad buttons. Surprisingly, we rarely hear from cat owners."
Once pet owners' remotes are destroyed, they discover that it was more than just a modern convenience. Waters explains, "Many of today's consumer electronics are simply useless without the original remote control. Most universal remotes just can't get the job done--they don't operate such key features as full menu and programming functions, which are necessary on most of today's sophisticated electronic equipment."
Like everyone, MrRemoteControls.com hasn't found the answer to prevent Fido from slobbering on the remote. Though as Waters says, "We are not really looking for a solution. We figure why bite the hand that feeds us?"