Had to get a new universal remote for the TV. Back in the day, before remotes, you got up and walked to the tube and fiddled with the knobs. Nothing was automatic, and the picture would do all manner of funny things, roll horizontally or vertically, compress, snow, and you had a row of knobs to turn to balance things. Sometimes you had to climb up on the roof and turn the aerial to get a signal.
The remote we had was going bad. Push the buttons, nothing happened, or sometimes it would do other than it was supposed to do. Probably I would have just gotten up and fiddled with the controls on the TV and put off buying a new one, but these days, there are no controls on the TV, it's the remote or nothing.
I changed the batteries, didn't help, so I tooled on over to Best Buy and got a user-friendly new one.
It's the cat's pajamas. Has a button says, "Watch TV." Push that, everything that needs to happen for that lights up, presto. Done? Push the power-0ff button, tah dah!
Once can get apps for one's iPhone or iPad if one wishes, but I would rather a remote that can live in the drawer of the little table next to the chair in the living room.
The old universal remote I had worked by copying the signal from the separate remotes for the TV and VCR and whatnot. Don't have a VCR any more, but the new one, you plug it into your computer, go online, then download the control codes for whatever brand of whatever you have, and there you go.
If, for some reason, things don't work as they are supposed to work, the remote's help button asks questions: Is this the problem? Hold on a second: Did that fix it?
Great living here in the future ...