Thomson ROC3205 3-in-1 Remote Control Review

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I think this is a Euro-only device, but I bought this 3-in-1 universal remote yesterday for my father-in-law here in Poland and I consider it an example of some of the worst quality CE design in the free world. Add the fact that the remote was broken right out of the box and you’ve got one of the biggest turds I’ve ever laid eyes on.

The remote cost about $20 and has some sort of slide-out design inspired by cellphones. That inspiration, however, was apparently liberally tempered by a dose of LSD and a an alarming desire to cut costs. I’m sure if Thomson could have made this remote out of chewed up newspaper, they would have. However, chewed up newspaper would have more structural integrity than the chintzy plastic they used to house the remote.

When you slide out the device, a tiny keypad appears allowing you to enter numbers enter set-up mode. Yes, I saw all of this in the see-through package, but until you hold the remote in your hands and realize how small it really is, you just don’t understand why you shouldn’t buy it. I brought it home, read the indecipherable manual, and removed the little stickers hiding the 3 volt lithium batteries — clearly slapping in a dual-AAA housing would be too much high-end design work. Then I pressed some buttons. Nothing. I went and bought two new batteries, replaced the old ones, and pressed some buttons. Nothing. That a device as simple as this could come out of the factory broken suggests that the quality assurance staff at Thomson are often drunk. It’s a small PCB, some buttons, and some batteries. This isn’t the Space Shuttle.

I look forward to returning this device to the RTV AGD people here in Warsaw. That should be a real treat involving hours of paperwork, three clueless clerks, and ID checks. Say all you want about Best Buy, but those stoned kids know how to get you in and out of the store without destroying your life in the process.

Bottom line: Avoid this remote.

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