FirstCuts: Is ESPN's Remote Worth $300?

Although ESPN needs free publicity about as much as I need a hole in the head -- and I haven't had my hands on one of these to actually try it out -- it's getting close to Father's Day where we talk about ridiculous gadgets your pops might want. Enter, the ESPN "The Ultimate Remote" Universal Remote. (In case there was any confusion, it's made by ESPN and it's a remote.) ↵

↵But what does this remote do that makes it the ultimate, you ask? OK, no sarcasm here: the feature list is pretty impressive. ↵

↵
↵⇥-- Click365 wireless network provides instant updates to TV listings, sports, weather, news, and more ↵⇥

↵⇥-- Real-time access to sports news, scores, game updates, box scores, standings, ESPN.com, fantasy leagues, stats, schedules, and more ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥-- Browse TV listings with multi-day guide; works with broadcast, cable and satellite ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥-- Internet browser provides links to online content, information, and search ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥-- Versatile messaging feature lets you text your friends and family ↵⇥-- remote-to-remote, e-mail, and mobile phone ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥-- Light sensor adjusts LCD to room brightness ↵⇥

↵
↵The one major downer is the price, which is a hefty $299. This shiny new red toy is trying to jump straight into the ring with Logitech, and not just the low-end models, but the higher end ones most people probably gawk and point at when they're shopping at a big box electronics store. ↵

↵ ↵Just a few cursory thoughts ... ↵

↵

↵Bright red? Really? Aesthetics alone will lose some customers who want things to blend with their black or silver home entertainment equipment. ↵

↵

↵Will this thing be a battery hog? Just having the screen built in is enough to drain batteries, but then you add in the possibility of frequent text messaging and you'll definitely want to invest in some rechargeable batteries. ↵

↵

↵Is this better than having these things on your phone? I'm sort of torn because as best as I can tell from the description there is no service cost to text or browse to pull scores. This is a major coup if that's the case. However, I feel like smart phone users are so married to their handsets, they aren't likely to hand over browsing and texting duties to another device so quickly. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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