The subject of Sony remotes is a painful experience for some of us at Crave. Ever since we purchased what was touted as an uber-remote nearly a decade ago (the "Commander"), we've been scarred ever since. In addition to finding it virtually impossible to program, it has an exceedingly uncomfortable box-like form--it's like carrying around a small answering machine instead of a remote.
So it is with some trepidation that we view this new model on the Japanese market, a table remote that takes another squarish form at 3.8 by 5 inches. Unlike the Commander, at least, the RM-PZ1FD is inexpensive ($17), looks surprisingly simple and even comes in fashionable colors. That's because it's supposed to look good sitting on a dining table, as Fareastgizmos suggests, where it theoretically doesn't need to be picked up as often because it works with three infrared LEDs for "wider-angle cover."
The kicker is that it's waterproof so it has some chance of working even after junior spills his apple juice for the third time in the same meal. But then again, if you need a special remote for the dinner table, you might want to ask whether the family is watching a wee bit too much TV.