TV remotes

Betamax vs. VHS

Back when TV remotes still made clicking noises when you pushed the buttons, there were these devices many of you might recall called VCRs and Betamax. In November 2015, years after Betamax lost the home viewing device war, Sony finally stopped production of the Betamax tapes, much to the surprise of a large population who wasn’t even aware these tapes were still being made.

Sony’s Baby

Sony came out with the Betamax just a few short years after the VCR was made. Because Sony had such a sound reputation when it came to recording devices and the elements that went along with them, the company assumed that the Betamax would be a success. However, there were two major components that made this reality impossible: cost and functionality.

Recording Times and Price

No one is really sure exactly what drove Sony to create a device that could only record for 60 minutes, when most movies last at least 90 minutes. Perhaps Sony was trying to make an extreme effort to end cable piracy? Or more likely, sell more tapes. Since VHS was less expensive and could record for 120 minutes, it was easy enough for customers to make a choice between the two.

At this time, there are still those who are either so devoted to Sony or so set on not being trendy that they continue to rely on a Betamax for their nostalgic entertainment. For those who chose this path in lieu of Blu-Rays and devices that have present-time remote control codes, let the world have a moment of silence as the dust begins to gather on the production machines for Betamax tapes. Farewell, Betamax: The machine that would change for no man.

Remote control

Remote Control Clean-Up

It’s especially important to keep your remote control clean during times like the flu and cold season. The TV remote might even see more action than the bathroom door handle, which means that all those germs are just sitting around, waiting to be picked up by the next person who just wants to watch their favorite shows. Below are some quick tips to help you clean and disinfect your remote so that you and your family can safely enjoy your daily down time.

Avoid Water

There are those who suggest putting your remote in the dishwasher. Don’t do it. Since there are multiple internal contact points, this is really the fastest way to motivate yourself to start playing with all those remote control codes you’ll have to learn when you buy a new Universal remote to replace your existing water-damaged remote. It’s really best to avoid water altogether, just to be safe.

Apply Rubbing Alcohol and Cotton Swabs

Rubbing alcohol is safe to use on the outside and the inside of your device. Simply dip the swab in rubbing alcohol and wring out the excess liquid. Now use it to clean the small areas around the buttons after you remove the batteries. It’s always a good idea to remove the batteries, not just to prevent damage to the internal workings, but to avoid accidentally flipping your television off and on or changing codes or settings. When you clean around the buttons, push down on them so that you can clean the little crevice around them, as well.

Use these tips to ensure that your remote is always free from germs, especially after all those holiday festivities where your home is filled to the brim with friends and family.

The Best Television Channels for Holiday Movies

The sound of snow falling on a quiet street, the smell of fresh-baked sugar cookies, and the feel of a warm fireplace on a cold winter’s night: these are just a few signs that the holidays are approaching. For some, however, nostalgic television programming is the true indicator of the best time of the year. Here are several channels to keep an eye on this winter. So, mark your calendar and sit back, grab your universal remote, and enjoy this sentimental season with the ones you love.

Networks to Watch
The channels below are renown for annual holiday programming:

  • ABC: Offers family-friendly entertainment for all ages, from holiday baking cook-offs, to rebroadcasts of a Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • NBC: Known as the official network of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC also shares live arts coverage for the holidays, including Christmas in Rockefeller Center and The Wiz Live!.
  • Lifetime: Each year, Lifetime airs programming aimed toward women of all ages. Specials include It’s a Wonderful Lifetime starring Dolly Parton, and Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

Can’t-Miss Movies
Many family traditions revolve around a classic winter movie. Here are some of the best, and an overview of when to watch:

  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Aired by CW on November 26th at 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • Frosty the Snowman: This classic from 1969 airs on CBS, November 28th at 9:00 p.m. EST.
  • The Santa Clause: Staring family-favorite Tim Allen. Plays on December 1st at 10:00 p.m. EST, via ABC Family.
  • Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas: available on ABC Family on December 5th at 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life: True to tradition, this classic film is available on Christmas Eve on NBC, at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Stay true to your holiday viewing traditions with a state of the art entertainment center complete with accessories from We offer everything you need to watch your favorite movies and television shows, including TV remote codes, cables, parts, and more. View our selection online, or call 1-855-5-REMOTE to place an order.

How the Internet Changed Television

Thanks to on-demand streaming, gone are the days of waiting weeks for explanations to our favorite TV show cliffhangers. With the advent of the Internet and the instantaneous technology it brought, all it takes is the click of a TV remote to fast forward through lengthy commercials, rent a new Hollywood blockbuster, or watch an entire season of your favorite show in one sitting.

Movie Subscriptions

Before Netflix began its movie subscription service in 1999, film lovers relied on local DVD rental stores like Blockbuster to fuel a weekend of marathon viewing. Most stores carried new movie releases, plus a small section of popular titles from years past. Not only were selections limited, but smaller stores also ran the risk of running out of copies of high-demand releases, resulting in disappointed customers.   

With Netflix, consumers can rent DVDs and stream movies from a seemingly unlimited list, with diverse offerings ranging from new comedies to political foreign films. In addition to stocking nearly any title a movie lover could ask for, Netflix also lists full seasons of countless television shows.

Streaming Services

For years, cable TV has forced consumers to wait patiently for new episodes of their favorite shows. Thanks to the Internet, web-based services like Hulu, Roku, and AppleTV provide 24/7 access to top content. For a small fee, you can watch live broadcasts, full TV series, select movies, and more. It’s no wonder that so many are ditching their cable providers in favor of online streaming.

With Netflix, AppleTV, and more as part of your home entertainment system, you can watch top movies and TV at any time. For accessories to complete your viewing experience, shop We carry universal remotes for household appliances, operating manuals, and more. View our selection online, or call 1-855-5-REMOTE to place an order.

The History of HDTV

HDTV, or High Definition Television, offers a substantially higher resolution than standard television. Though this format originated in Japan in the 1970s, the United States didn’t adopt HDTV until the 1990s, due to a combination of politics as well as technological setbacks. Here is a brief look back at the history of this invention and its arrival in the United States:

  • 1970: Japan’s Broadcasting Corporation, known as NHK, develops a HDTV prototype called MUSE. The system is designed to improve television quality while selling more units, and is nearly an overnight hit.
  • 1980: NHK aims to popularize HDTV worldwide, starting first with the SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers). SMPTE is pleased to learn that HDTV helps cut film production time in half, and they release a study recommending its use.
  • 1987: The United States’ National Association of Broadcasters invites NHK to present their MUSE system to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Though intriguing, it’s largely seen as major competition to American television manufacturers. In an act of political tension, the FCC decides to create a new system of HDTV standards just for America, which results in the creation of the Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service (ACATS).
  • 1993: ACATS creates the “Grand Alliance,” pooling work from several American companies and organizations that created proposals outlining their ideas for new HDTV standards. Participants include AT&T, General Instrument Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Philips Consumer Electronics, Zenith Electronics, and more.
  • 1996: Using findings collected by the Grand Alliance, the FCC officially sets the standard for HDTV in the United States.
  • 1998: The first HDTV broadcast airs, coinciding with the first HDTV set going on the market.
  • 2006: All analog broadcasting is officially phased out of communications in the United States.

For more information about the technology behind your TV, check our blog each week. Here we share maintenance tips, fascinating facts from history, and articles about the products carried at Our store offers TV remotes for purchase, assorted parts, operating manuals, and more to complete your home entertainment needs. Shop our selection online, or call 1-855-5-REMOTE to place an order.

Turn Your Living Room into a Command Center

Love the idea of building a home theater, but just don’t have the space? There are many ways to convert your living room into the entertainment center of your dreams without tearing down walls or going over budget. From adding a new set of speakers, to building a storage caddy for TV remotes, here are a few ideas to transform your living room:

  • Build Your Ideal Command Center: Consolidate all home entertainment devices in one common area of the room to save space. Organize your stuff by purchasing a TV stand or build wall shelves that can fit a DVD player, Blu-ray, and other accessories. If you don’t have one already, be sure to invest in a great stereo system to experience cinema-quality sound from the comfort of your home.
  • Sound Proofing: With your sound system finally in use, you’ll need to take measures to limit the way loud sounds carry through the home. Place area rugs on hardwood floors to create insulation, and block sound from traveling through bare walls and windows with tapestries or thick curtains.
  • Update Lighting: Use several light sources to take your living room from daytime to late-night screenings with ease. For example, use track lighting with a dimmer to set the mood during movies. You can also use floor lamps and sconces for added light during those times when the living room is used for other purposes, like curling up with a good book.

With your living room now set up for viewing your favorite movies and TV shows, you’ll be able to enjoy cinema-quality entertainment without leaving the house. For accessories needed to complete your home entertainment needs, shop the products offered by We carry universal remotes for household appliances, operating manuals, and more. View our selection online, or call 1-855-5-REMOTE to place an order.