The Remote Control

Remember when you had to get up to change channels on TV? Life was so much simpler then.

Actually, in the TV business, life was so much more lucrative and predictable then. You didn’t have to worry about 30 seconds of uninteresting programming driving an audience away. That’s why you could have ‘variety’ shows, like Ed Sullivan, who might have an opera singer, juggler, and Elvis all on the same night.

I digress.

My pocket vibrated last night at the station. Helaine was on the cell phone. The remote for the TV in the bedroom had stopped working. Did I have a clue what might be wrong?

I did. But there was no way to fix it remotely (ha – I made myself laugh).

What probably happened was the code reset button was inadvertently pressed and held. The remote started speaking Mandarin instead of English – or so it would have seemed to the TV.

Do you have the instruction sheet for your remote(s)? Me neither. Though it’s a Magnavox/Philips, their websites had no info.

Google, don’t fail me now.

I popped open the remote, looking for a model number. Of course, there’s nothing but the manufacturers names on the outside. On either side of the battery was a sticker with some numbers and letters. I took a guess and entered “cl015” into a search box.

On the first entry I found pay dirt. The site was and it was filled with postings like this:

I have the CL015, and a Mitsubishi TV- I moved and my code manual was lost in the shuffle, we are set up in our new place and now that the v=codes are gone it is very inconvenient if any one has a code list please email

And this:

I have a philips-magnavox universal remote that controls six components but the only model number I can find says CLO13 by the batteries. I lost the instruction manual for it and I need to know how to program it for my Zenith tv. If someone could please help me out I would really appreciate it. My e-mail address is Thanks.

How many remotes get thrown out every day because there’s no easy way to make them work?

We have at least ten, maybe more. The family room table often holds three – TV, DVD, cable box. And, even though some say “Universal Remote,” they never control all the functions.


So sad.

The correct answer to all the questions was posted by someone going by the name Abrodino. He is today’s good Samaritan in the Fox house.

One thought on “The Remote Control”

  1. We have two problems with our remotes: our dog (a year old Siberian) and our son (seven years old). The dog eats remotes and the boy loses them. After several loses (both eaten and disappeared), we were down to one universal remote. Last week we lost that one, too. The upshot is that I haven’t watched TV at all, since I don’t want to get up to change stations and don’t want to stick to just one station either. The point is that remotes make watching TV easier, and therefore we watch it more often. So remotes are good for your business, Geoff. Just don’t get boring for 30 seconds — athough you’d never let that happen!

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