Such a silly question, right. But how many remotes does it take to watch your TV. I was recently at someone's house over the holidays and it took 3 different remotes to watch TV, one to turn on the TV, one to turn on the cable set top box, and one to turn on the receiver. Hit a wrong button, change the wrong remote's channel button and you were SOL. For our short time there, it was best to simply not touch the remote till all systems were on and working.
In our own house, we need one or two different remotes, and tend to leave the cable box on 24/7 to simplify the process. Cumbersome, but eventually habit forming. So perhaps the ultimate TV screen will be managed 100% from one device, whether a single remote, mobile app device, or physical buttons on the set. Yes, they still exist and for one TV set we still use the set's buttons.
Want to move from a cable network to on demand to a DVD to web video, one remote. Ahhh the simplicity. And perhaps that is what will ultimately appeal to the consumer, the ability to control all, without fumbling with multiple remotes. That is until, everything is 100% voice controlled: "Siri, please turn on the TV to ESPN. Thank you, Siri." Can I look forward to that at this year's CES?