On Gear Live: 5 Unique Gadgets to Trick Out Your Home Bar

Tuesday March 8, 2005 7:08 pm

Couch Potato Tormentor Review


Couch Potato Tormentor

Not surprisingly, many of you showed great glee in the fact that there was a gadget that would allow you to annoy those who enjoy their home entertainment. The Couch Potato Tormentor was announced a few days ago, and we have had a chance to play around with it for just about that amount of time. If you are thinking of picking one up to annoy your roommate or loved one, we have all the details on this little device. Check out our review of the Couch Potato Tormentor after the jump.




INITIAL IMPRESSIONS


The Couch Potato Tormentor is such a simple little device, that there really isn’t much to say about it. In the plastic package sits the tiny unit, along with an instruction booklet that explains how to set it up to do what you want it to do. After you go through the steps in the setup process, you should be good to go for a fun time. So how did it stack up?

At first glance, the Couch Potato Tormentor looks like a piece broken off of a childs toy. It is basically just a battery compartment attached to a tiny motherboard, and fits into the palm of your hand. There really isn’t much to it at all. It has one button, used to either program the device or turn it on. It also has a red LED light, which basically is also to tell you whether you are setting it up right, or when it is in operation. The last essential piece if the IR transmitter, which is what sends the signal of choice to your device of choice in the room.

Couch Potato Tormentor



USING THE UNIT


Setup was the most difficult part of the experience for me. When I first took a look at the setup instructions, it looked like it wouldn’t take more than just a couple of minutes. You simply put the batteries into the Tormentor, press and hold the button down for a few seconds, and point your remote control at its IR port while holding the button command that you want it to learn. You then pull away from the unit slowly while continuing to hold the remote button down. The thing is, this has to be perfectly aligned for it to work. It seems that even the slightest amount of inaccuracy led to failure during setup. It was quickly becoming the Couch Potato Owner Tormentor. It turned out that my Harmony 688 Universal Remote has three different IR blasters which allow it to control a bunch of different devices at once. This way my problem. I went and found the stock TV remote and tried again. After three or four times, it finally picked up everything and was ready to go.

Couch Potato Tormentor



It first tried the unit just by holding it in my hand and turning it on after finishing the rest of setup, which was a breeze. It worked nicely from the couch. I programmed in the “Channel Up” function for the television, so every few minutes it would change the channel on the TV. The Couch Potato Tormentor did work as specified, and would even torment the wife if I wanted it to do so. Unfortunately, interrupting her viewings of 24 and Lost are not something that I am willing to do, as I appreciate my marriage.

Couch Potato Tormentor



FINAL VERDICT


Description As for you, if you have someone that you would actually enjoy tormenting, I say go for it. It works, and it’s so small that it can be easily hidden anywhere in the room. In fact, it has adhesive Velcro included in the package, which allows you to stick it just about anywhere that you feel would be inconspicuous. The only fault with the device, which I guess is really a fault of life itself, is that this isn’t something that you are going to want to use for more than an hour or so - and more often, just a few minutes. That is unless, of course, you are just one evil bastard. That being the case, this is really more of a novelty item than a long term use device. Of course, the price is cheap, and it is a fun little device.

Product Information


Company: For Play Electronics
Name: Couch Potato Tormentor
Price: $15


- Andru Edwards

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Comments:

I wonder how fast it would take for someone to figure out what was going on.


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