One Ring to rule them all?

Before I start off with a situation I am sure some of you are familiar with, let me provide a quote which I guess most of you are familiar with

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings

I am sure the lines above need no introduction, but they definitely need some context. When I moved to the US, my first instinct was to purchase a TV, since a TV and internet are the two things that are absolutely essential for my survival. So with the TV I needed to get a cable service or a dish, which came with its set-top box.

To ensure that Tanuka wouldn’t get bored sitting at home, I got her a subscription to Netflix. Initially we were content with watching the movies on our laptop. But soon it felt too underpowered. So we got a DVD player. I like to think of myself as someone with foresight. Since I have a large number of DVDs from different countries I needed a DVD player that could play DVDs from multiple regions. So I got one of those.

In due course of time I bought a MacBook and a handycam. Very soon the speakers on my TV started feeling underpowered. So I bought a home theatre system. I then took a fancy to Nintendo Wii and managed to get my hands on one of those. Next I wanted to get a nunchuck for the Wii to try out games like boxing. I also thought it might be a good idea to play against another person. So one more Wiimote and one more nunchuck.

As time went by, I fulfilled one my my long-standing desires – getting an HDTV. There was an offer on at that time, which let us get a free upconverting DVD player. OK, so we got those. A few months later I wanted to move from my analog audio, which was essentially comprised of a large number of cassettes and vinyl records, to a digital format. So I needed a cassette player. It would be a bonus if that could manage to record directly to a digital format. Well, I managed to get one that recorded from cassettes to MP3. I still need to get one for the vinyl records.

Now I have one remote for my old TV, one for the set-top box, one for my DVD player, one for my Mac (Front Row), one for my handycam, one for my home theatre, 2 Wiimotes and 2 nunchucks for my Wii, one for my HDTV, one for the upconverting DVD player and one for my music system. There are 13 remotes/devices in all. Some of these are proprietary (4 for the Wii, 1 for the Mac, 1 for the handycam and 1 for the music system) and I hoped that the others could be replaced by one of them. Unfortunately I had no such luck. I had the highest of hopes from my Comcast cable remote and my Samsung HDTV remote, but they were the first to fail. At the end of it all I could just combine the HDTV and the upconverting DVD player remotes.

I could not find the one remote to rule them all and I am stuck with 12 remotes now. **Sigh**.

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