Do new remotes make watching tv easier?

OK, anyone remember when you had to actually get up to change the TV channel?
Well, things have come a long way since then. The latest remotes go far beyond the
push of a button, and they're coming with more and more "smart TVs." Consumer
Reports wanted to see whether they actually make watching TV any easier.

You use one from LG like a wand. It moves a cursor on the screen to navigate the
menu. But it's not perfect. The remote makes it harder to navigate the usual TV menu
and to perform normal functions such as change the input from the cable box to the
antenna. It also has voice recognition. That's fine for searching the Web but it didn't work
well for regular TV viewing.

A Panasonic TV comes with a traditional remote and one that performs basic tasks
such as volume and channel changing and a touchpad for smart-TV functions such as
searching the Web. Though the second remote looks cool, like most remotes that come
with TVs it's not universal, so you can't control your cable or satellite box.

Samsung also has a set that comes with two remotes. The touchpad one can be used
as a universal remote. Plus the Samsung set has gesture and voice controls. But
Consumer Reports finds that they make some things more difficult, such as turning up
the volume.

So do the newest TV remotes really make watching television easier? They're really
designed to help you navigate apps, do searches, and surf the Web. And from what
Consumer Reports has seen, they do it pretty well. But if you're just trying to catch the
latest episode of "Mad Men," you're better off with your regular old remote.

More televisions are coming with Internet capability, and that's where touchpad remotes
shine. Consumer Reports says that although those remotes have some kinks to work
out, you can expect to see a lot more of them in the future.

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