When I posted my remote control rant the other day, Doug Harris pointed me to this great Christopher Mascari post from 2008 detailing the history of TiVo’s remote. One anecdote:
The designers were adamant about keeping the remote’s button layout as simple as possible. But with the DVR’s numerous features, the designers needed to create lots of extra buttons. To keep things straight, each button needed to have a distinctive feel, giving the ability to control the remote without even looking at it, which Newby described as a “key Braille-ability” surprisingly helped by the “blank finger parking spots between keys” that were equally important.
I owned a (second generation) TiVo and I can confirm that it did indeed have a brilliant remote. Nearly everything about it felt perfect. So I could not be less shocked to learn how much thought and care went into the creation of that remote.
And naturally, TiVo’s big-name television manufacturing partners hated it.