Here’s an article on the the design and implementation of the TiVo remote control. I find it amusing because this was essentially the project I had to do for my human-computer interaction class last year. We were essentially told to redesign television — to come up with some sort of system, be it redesign remote, settop box, whatever.
My group came up with a remote that had a little screen on it, kind of like a pda, that could receive data about whatever channel you were on or channel that you’d like to be on. It was essentially taking one of the preview type channels and putting it onto the remote, so you could continue watching your show and browse at the same time. The biggest problem would have been cost. The other thing that we came up with was a page button, something all remotes should have, so you can page your remote when you lose it.