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Asked by futternutt - 3 years ago
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joensf Level 83
Answered 3 years ago
Remote Controls for Television

Early in the 1950s it was apparent that no one really liked to get up and down out of the easy chair over and over each evening to change channels on the TV set! Any baby boomer will remember those early days when Mom and Dad had us 'kids' change channels for them. There had to be a better solution.

Early Remotes
One example of an early remote was a small hand-held unit for a 1948 Garod TV set (model 10TZ20), which was called a "Telezoom", it only enlarged the picture with the press of a button, and did not change channels, or anything else, for that matter. All of the early remotes were wired to the TV set, usually with a 20 foot long cable (wire).

Zenith quickly established itself as the leader in the design and development of the TV remote control. A 1950 magazine advertisement (shown below) announced proudly that to have "..Complete automatic program selection in the palm of your hand.... from anywhere in the room..... [was].... Another Zenith First!"

The early remote controls for television went into production in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They tended to be very simple devices capable of changing channels and not much more. The more advanced controls could also adjut volume and turn the television off. Not many were capable of turning the television on again because the power to drive the remote control receiver was also turned off with the rest of the television.
At that time, the majority of remote controls used ultra-sonic signals - sound at around 38KHz. It was a relatively slow and unreliable communication medium and infra-red based remotes were introduced fairly quickly.
Additional Details added 3 years ago
Over the last thirty years or so, infra-red has replaced ultra-sonic completely and functionality has increased steadily. Modern televisions often use the remote as the only method to tune and set up the television. The hundred or more functions seen on a modern remote is a far cry from the three or four function remotes of the 70s and 80s.
*** Sorry, but I knew someone who had a 1973 Panasonic 26" console TV with an IR (infra-red) remote.
It was wireless and activated/turned the mechanical tuner/dial.
The dial turned and snapped into each channel position (2-13) with a decided click.
That was at the early part of the Japanese/Asian product invasion into the American market, back when we still had factories with American workers and built everything we needed here in our own country. That was before the free-trade globalists sold out America with nafta gatt and the wto and sent all manufacturing overseas.
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Richard Level 79 / Retired Dentist
Answered 3 years ago
Sometime in the 50's we got ours. That was when I gained all that weight. Changing the channel was my main source of exercise. I did it for everyone
(I am kidding, but it was some exercise.)
Today I keep the remote held tightly in my hand as if it was my most prized possession. I think there is some manly expression here.
There are so many buttons on it that I have not had time to see what all they do. lol
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Xmetalrocker Level 32 / Pirate ;-)
Answered 3 years ago
The TV was developed in the 1920's and the first remote was actually called "woman" lol and if you pushed her buttons correctly well you wouldn't even have to move to change channels. hahaha I have a feeling I'm in big trouble for this one ;-)
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roshedwardd Level 2
Answered 4 months ago
The earliest example of remote control by radio waves was developed in 1898 by Nikola Tesla and described in his patent, U.S. Patent 613,809, named Method of an Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vehicle or Vehicles. In 1898, he demonstrated a radio-controlled boat to the public during an electrical exhibition at Madison Square Garden. Tesla called his boat a "teleautomaton".[3]

In 1903, Leonardo Torres Quevedo presented the Telekino at the Paris Academy of Science, accompanied by a brief, and making an experimental demonstration. In the same time he obtained a patent in France, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States. The Telekino consisted of a robot that executed commands transmitted by electromagnetic waves. With the Telekino, Torres-Quevedo laid down modern wireless remote-control operation principles[4] and was a pioneer in the field of remote control. In 1906, in the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Torres successfully demonstrated the invention in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore. Later, he would try to apply the Telekino to projectiles and torpedoes, but had to abandon the project for lack of financing.

The first remote-controlled model aeroplane flew in 1932, and the use of remote control technology for military purposes was worked intensively during the Second World War, one result of this being the German Wasserfall missile.

By the late 1930s, several radio manufacturers offered remote controls for some of their higher-end models.[5] Most of these were connected to the set being controlled by wires, but the Philco Mystery Control (1939) was a battery-operated low-frequency radio transmitter,[6] thus making it the first wireless remote control for a consumer electronics device.
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