Samsung solar remote for 2021 TVs means no more replacing batteries

Samsung is aiming to put an end to dead TV remotes, bypassing batteries in favor of a solar powered remote control for its latest 2021 models. The Samsung Eco Remote Control looks just like the company's regular, AA- or AAA-powered versions, but rather than a battery compartment there's a solar panel on the back.

That's responsible for keeping the battery inside topped up, while a new design for the rest of the hardware puts frugality first. Indeed, Samsung says that a full charge is good for up to two years.

As for recharging, it'll work both from outdoor light and indoor light sources, so even if your media room is in the basement your remote shouldn't go flat. A USB port can be used for impromptu top-ups. The remote itself is made of 28-percent recycled polethylene terephalate (PET) plastic, with a black metal finish.

It'll be included with all of Samsung's 2021 QLED 4K and 8K TVs, the company says.

Samsung TV packaging you might want to keep

Box overload has become a bigger issue over the past twelve months, as more online shopping means more packaging to deal with. Samsung's contribution for CES 2021 is a push to expand its eco-packaging offerings.

That started with cardboard boxes for select TVs back in mid-2020, and is now spreading to all of the company's Lifestyle and QLED TV models. It'll mean no more oil-based ink and no color stickers, for instance, with a more sober finish to the cardboard that leaves it easier to recycle. However, scan the QR code on the box, and there'll also be more entertaining ways to reuse the packaging.

That will link to online instructions for how to turn them into things like cat houses, kids toys, or household storage, along with other box-based entertainment. The result, Samsung estimates, is the potential for up to 200,000 tons of boxes each year being repurposed, assuming buyers are willing to do some folding and cutting while they're socially-distanced.