When I made my own NFL remote

Actually, it was an NHL remote, but who’s counting. Back in 2014 I showed you how easy it was to customize a DIRECTV remote. What I didn’t say in the article was that the first try, with Lions blue paint, turned out about as well as the Lions season that year. So I did the whole thing again with Red Wings red and white. It looked a lot better.

Those were the days.

Until a few years ago, you would see these home theaters with a massive amount of customization. I knew a guy with seven TVs in his man-cave: one big one in the center and three smaller ones on each side. He’d decorated it with memorabilia from his favorite team and the whole experience was great.

Really that sort of experience started to fade away when the recession took hold in the late ’00s but it took a while for it to really disappear. Today even those high end home redecorating shows don’t really feature a home theater anymore.

It’s a foregone conclusion that they don’t have custom colored remotes either.

Why have things changed?

I think some people would point out the income inequality between older folks and younger folks. This isn’t a political blog so I will tend to stay away from that argument. I think there’s a much simpler explanation: Home theater isn’t special anymore because home theater is everywhere.

It used to be, you would spend in the 5-figure range for a big TV and decent sound system. It was something you could really be proud of, and if you had invested in it, you could show it off. Today for about $700 you can get a TV and soundbar that blow the doors off anything you could get ten years ago at any price. In order to get performance greater than that, you can still spend $10,000 for a 110″ TV and Dolby Atmos sound system. But unlike years past, today’s sub-$1000 systems are really quite good.

So, you don’t have to be a real enthusiast to get great picture and sound. Everyone has it within reach, and when that’s true, it stops being the sort of exclusive thing that people show off and excessively customize.

Not to mention…

It’s considerably harder to get that Genie remote to come apart than it was with the older white remote. Actually, in truth it’s precisely as easy to get it to come apart. The real challenge is getting it back together and having a usable remote when you’re done. If anyone has been able to do that, let me know. I’d love to feature a new “Genie NFL Remote” article like the one I wrote oh so many years ago.