Who Is The Master Of The Remote Control In Your Household?
I have to admit that I allow my wife to control what we watch on television most of the time, since we enjoy mostly the same shows, but although she is technically savvy in many ways, there are a few ways in which we differ in our methods.
We live in the UK and have Sky (Satellite) as our main provider of television services.
The Sky remote control is programmable so that it can be used to operate the television as well as the Sky Box, so that regular functions like adjusting the volume and turning the television on and off can all be done using a single remote, which as we all know is a whole lot easier than having to align 2 or more remotes on the arm of your chair, or on a coffee table.
By pressing the “TV” button you can also select different inputs on the television, for example if we want to use the Nintendo Wii or watch Terrestrial Television (new lingo for received via an aerial).
My wife sometimes gets confused however, because she will press the TV button accidentally or on purpose, and then decide later to type a channel number to switch to that channel. Well since the remote is in TV mode and not Sky mode, the television thinks that she wants to switch to a Terrestrial channel, and therefore switches input to Terrestrial and of course there is no signal, since we don’t have an antenna plugged in.
I think she has got used to this now though, but it took a while to explain what was happening.
The real thing that I have trouble with is that because she uses the remote control to select programs, I never know if it’s a live program that we are watching, or one that we recorded earlier. We have the TVR ability in our Sky Box to record programs automatically, even a complete series, which is wonderful, and you wonder how we ever managed with the old VCR tapes, or before that even. I guess what you have never had you never miss, but I know I would miss this now if I had to lose it.
But the biggest difference in our attitude to watching programs is the way we watch the shows that we have already recorded.
The way that I would do it, would be to always watch the recorded version of the show, and don’t worry if it’s already started or about to begin, it doesn’t matter any more.
I would (and when I was the King Of The Remote I used to) always watch the recorded version of a show, and then delete it.
My wife however prefers to watch programs live, even though they are being recorded, so if there are 2 soaps on different channels, one after the other, we watch one live, then have to switch channels and either miss the very end of one or the beginning of the other.
After watching the shows, she then goes through the planner to see what we have recorded for those shows, and deletes the ones that we already watched (live), although the status of them is showing as Recorded not Watched, since we did not actually watch the recorded version.
More than once she has deleted something that said Recorded and that we had not watched, whereas using my method, everything you watched would actually show Watched, which to my “manly logic” means that it’s ok to delete.
I’m not sure if this makes sense to you reading this, but certainly to me it does. Still, after a year or more of dealing with this, I have learned one thing – it’s not worth arguing about, I just let her get on with it, and if I miss an episode of a complex drama or sci-fi series where you need to watch every one at least once or completely lose track, I just stop recording the series, unless I can find the missed episode(s) showing at a different time.
It’s wonderful isn’t it having all this new remote control technology, but we still have to learn to use it, and some use it differently to others.
I guess with more sophisticated television systems, even if there is now only a need for a single remote in our household, it still doesn’t eliminate arguments over who has the remote.
This article was a project for the week for GBE2 (Global Blogging Experience) and was based on the word “Control”.