11 November 2008

Combinatorics of universal remotes

From the wrapping a univeral remote I recently bought: "Controls VCR/DVD combos, TV/VCR combos, and TV/DVD combos!"

This is because it controls two devices, and those are the three types of device that people have. But I guess "controls two devices" doesn't work from a marketing standpoint, so they have to list all 3-choose-2 subsets. (And I also find elsewhere on the packaging "manage up to 8 separate devices with one remote control". Something doesn't add up here.)


Anonymous said...

Are you sure "combo" doesn't mean "combination device"? Like, one box that's both a TV and a VCR, or a TV and a DVD player, or a VCR and a DVD player. Such devices tend to be idiosyncratic, and have unusual IR codes. It would be a selling point to have a remote which could communicate with (the vast majority of) them.

Michael Lugo said...

it might. That hadn't occurred to me.

Unknown said...

Yeah, they could have phrased that better.