Search this site:


October 4, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: GE remote control packaging

RemoteDamon Van Vessem writes in:

This GE universal remote control came in one of those nuclear-blast-proof plastic packages, which are impossible to open without some scissors and cursing.

The remote's instructions were hidden in the packaging between two layers of cardboard. Even though I tried to cut the packaging as cleanly as possible, when the remote was finally liberated, the instructions came out in pieces!

There has to be a better way to package the remote so you don't struggle with opening it and end up cutting up the instructions even when you try to open it up as carefully as possible.


That's silly. I mean, who would buy a universal remote?



Posted by: Bunda the Great at October 4, 2006 12:41 AM

Seems like your going to need to go out and get a set of universal directions.

Posted by: Ben Thoma at October 4, 2006 01:40 AM

Ooh annoying. Especially since the codes needed to program the remote were probably in the now destroyed instructions...

What ever happened to the good old cardboard box? Those were easy and safe to open!

Posted by: Daniel Bathgate at October 4, 2006 01:44 AM

Be happy that you didn't cut *yourself*...

Apparently, cardboard boxes are too easy to open for shoplifters, too, so annoying their honest customers is probably a neglectable side effect for the manufacturers.

Posted by: Cimddwc at October 4, 2006 03:26 AM

I always just cut along the side part of those types of packages. It takes slightly longer than just cutting through the whole thing, but then it's possible to just pull the thing apart on one side and let everything drop out.

And if you do happen to destroy/lose the instructions, the manufacterer usually has free replacements on their website.

Posted by: The Trekkie at October 4, 2006 05:35 AM

_@_v - what's even more broken is that universal remote makers are still stuck in the 80s when remote controls only worked a few basic functions.

_@_v - nowadays electronics put only a few basic functions on the machine and put everything on the remote. you really hafta look for a universal remote that can replace the original...

Posted by: she-snailie_@_v at October 4, 2006 06:42 AM

I HATE those pakages! I think "The Trekkie" had a good idea.

Posted by: David Rice at October 4, 2006 06:53 AM

I think packaging like this has developed because it's less bulky, much tougher and more attractive than a cardboard box, and very resistant to sneaky theft attempts - there's no way for a thief to nick stuff from inside the packaging without taking the whole darn thing.

I agree that there ought to be a better way, but in the meantime the Allegedly Amazing OpenX ( ) actually does work pretty well. It's got one shrouded blade for slicing through only one layer of whatever, and one extensible blade that only extends a little way, so it''ll go through one layer of plastic without - in theory - slicing up the stuff inside. That blade's spring loaded, too, so if it skates off the package and onto your crotch it probably won't even nick your pants.

Posted by: Daniel Rutter at October 4, 2006 07:59 AM

Daniel Rutter,

Thank you very much I think Ill get a dozen of those.

Posted by: arcticJKL at October 4, 2006 11:14 AM

Cutting straight across the guts of the package = "opening as carefully as possible?" I'm tempted to vote "not broken."

Posted by: henrybowmanaz at October 4, 2006 11:42 AM

I was going to say the same thing as henry...

cutting right across the whole thing isn't exactly the most careful. A little thinking beforehand as to what might be inside the package might have prevented all that...

However, that type of packaging begs to be called broken. I too hate dealing with it.

Then again, I'd also hate to deal with the higher prices we would have if shoplifters were more easily able to make off with things (if they weren't in annoying packaging).

Its a nasty little catch 22...

Posted by: Memnon at October 4, 2006 05:05 PM

Another thought for those not too happy with the remotes out there, including the universal ones...

Take a look at the Logitech Harmony remotes (,CRID=2078 ), they are amazing! They cost a bit... the really cool ones are very expensive, but I have one of the cheaper ones, and it is still the best remote I've ever used.

Posted by: Memnon at October 4, 2006 05:10 PM

Okay, that Logitech remote is nice...but I'd like one that costs less than the combined total for the devices it's universally remoting...

Posted by: trolleyfan at October 4, 2006 05:55 PM

um actually ur supposed to cut the side like those ppl said.. and they DO take forever... i bought a new calculator... cuz i broke my old one and it was in that kind of packaging

Posted by: ragingbullxxx at October 4, 2006 10:07 PM

Actually I read about a woman who has the cashier (or some other store employee) open this type of package for her. She claims that if everyone did that that this type of packaging would quickly fall out of favor due to the extra expense to the store of taking a person's time to open the package.

Posted by: ebob at October 5, 2006 12:02 AM

We finally got frustrated enough with this kind of package to get one of these:

Works great, and somehow the use of a tool designed *specifically* to defeat those packages is more rewarding than just hacking at them with a pocket knife...

Posted by: Jeff Garbers at October 5, 2006 01:17 PM

"A little thinking beforehand as to what might be inside the package might have prevented all that..."

Then again, what visual cues are there that the cardboard in the middle is not just for their printed messages, but is actually a layered thing, hiding important information?

Posted by: Zephyr at October 6, 2006 05:12 PM

Well at least it's better than vaccum sealing it in a bag...

Posted by: st33med at October 9, 2006 04:02 PM

There are companys who are trying to find a TRUE universal Remote that has every single button that any electronics involved in TVs.

If Apple made one, I'd buy it because their Macs have a function in which every device works automatically when plugged in.

Posted by: st33med at October 10, 2006 04:54 PM

Comments on this entry are closed

Previous Posts: