The TV and its many remotes!

One thing is for sure: Today’s TV will never be stolen. The thief has no hope in hell of getting it to work.
Last Updated : 22 September 2023, 19:56 IST

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Back in the days, the TV was a simple gadget. You switched on the TV, and it sprang into action. No complications. When the second channel was introduced, the change was intuitive. You physically shifted the knob to move to the other channel.

Now, cut to the present. You are at your relative’s home for a short holiday. Your relative is away for the afternoon. All you want to do is watch some TV. You pick up the TV remote and press the button. Nothing happens. The TV is as dead as dead can be! You punch a few buttons at random. Something happens. The TV glows, all grey, with a waterfall noise to go with it. You hope it will morph into some colourful pictures. It stays stubborn and grey. The only control you have is two-fold: you can either switch the TV on or off. Or reduce the volume of the waterfall noise.

You vigorously tap the remote. Perhaps the battery is worn out. You walk up close to the TV. You flash the remote at different angles. Maybe the rays will bounce off the wall and breathe life into the TV. By now, you are at your wits end. There is irritation. There is anger. Above all, there is wounded pride. How can you not get a simple TV to work? After a half hour of turning the TV on and off, you give up.

By now, your relative is back. She asks, “I thought you wanted to watch the cricket match on TV?” How do you answer this question? You pick up the same remote. “It’s not that remote! It is the other one!” You feel like shouting, “Why did you hide the correct remote and send me on this wild goose chase?” A few clicks with the other remote, and now the TV is alive and kicking!

It is now the next afternoon. Your relative is again out. The cricket match is still on. The only difference is that you now have two remotes in your hand. She did explain some HDMI-1-2-3, but it was as clear as cow dung! A few clicks of the first remote and some of the others—you try it all. In your hands, the TV does one job consistently: it stays grey with the same waterfall soundtrack. An existential question comes up: why does a TV even need two remotes in the first place? To rub salt into the wounds, a probing question comes your way: "I thought you studied computers!"

One thing is for sure: Today’s TV will never be stolen. The thief has no hope in hell of getting it to work. Only the TV owner knows the magic words. At best, the thief can melt the gadget and sell it as scrap metal!

Published 22 September 2023, 19:56 IST

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