Remote controls take over the world's living rooms

One third of living rooms in the US and over half of those in UK, France and Australia have four or more devices that need remote controls. So says a survey from universal-remote maker Logitech.

The survey covered 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: US, Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia. In nearly every country surveyed, almost half of remote users needed to press three or more buttons to watch a DVD. Nine out of 10 (93 percent in America, 89 percent and higher globally) people believe their home-entertainment experience would be more enjoyable if they could just push a single button to enjoy their favorite feature film.

In the last five years, people in all seven countries have increased the number of remotes cluttering their coffee tables. The number of French and Australian households with four or more remotes doubled in that period even though few users seem to know how to operate them properly. Since many living room setups are now approaching NASA mission control in terms of complexity, 15-24 percent of surveyed households contain at least one person who does not use living room devices because they can’t operate the remote. A similar number of consumers (between 16 percent and 27 percent globally) have written a guide to their remote control to help friends, babysitters and visitors make sense of their home-entertainment system.

The most shocking conclusion of the survey is that almost one in five Americans owns a device, such as a DVD player or home audio system, that is rarely or never used due to a missing remote.