Where's that remote?

Where is that remote? A valid and common question most of us have probably posed at one time or another.

And yet, no good solution. Well, there probably is one out there for $19.95 or something, but I haven't seen it. And chances are anything out there would involve me replacing my beloved TiVo remote with some substandard chunk of plastic.

So what to do? Well, I understand the TiVo folk are hard at work engineering Series3, so if it's not too late, may I make a wee suggestion?

WiFi-enable the TiVo Series3 remote. Why? Let me count the ways:

  1. Two-way communication. You can press a button on the TiVo console to have the remote beep or make some kind of audible/visible response as to it's location.
  2. Enough with the infrared already. That's sooo '80s technology. I'd like to be able to fire my remote without having to point it at the TiVo directly.
  3. You could send TiVo remote signals from your computer (including one to locate the remote). Change channels or turn things on and off.
  4. Program the remote to control other devices that aren't supported from factory defaults.

I hope there's more at work in the Series3 than HDTV. Thanks to the TiVo Hacks book, there's already a nice wishlist of what people want to do with their TiVo's. With HDTV's resolution, it wouldn't be out of the question to enable web browsing on the thing. Or reading e-mail. A small-footprint, wireless keyboard with builtin trackpad/trackball/thumbpoint device would be ideal for this. As if I don't spend enough time on my couch as it is...

And here are some other thoughts I have related to the nextgen TiVo.


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I'd like to be able to subscribe to a shared or centrally edited To Do list. "Just record everything Ted says is cool." Does Home Media Option giving you anything like this, or are you pretty much confined to your own machine?

Derek said:

No, no, no. No WiFi remote control.

Many of us have very nice univeral remote controls. They control like 17 different devices simultaneously. They have nifty macros to do things like "change the TV to the [TiVo] input, set the stereo to the [TiVo] input, change the channel to CBS" or whatever.

If you need to point your TiVo remote directly at your TiVo may I suggest checking your batteries. I've been known to have my remote pointing 180-degrees away from my TiVo and have it still function just spiffy.

I'm also a little confused about how you could "Program the remote to control other devices that aren’t supported from factory defaults." ... those other devices all use IR for their remotes (or, in rare occasions, RF, but *those* are thankfully being killed off). How is WiFi going to enable you to talk to my unsupported stereo receiver?

Bill said:

So the rest of us should suffer and have to use some infrared 80s technology since a few of you have "universal" remotes. Too bad for you. Move into the 21st century. Off with the infrared and in with the WIFI!!!


This article was published on February 24, 2004 2:55 PM.

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