Same sad situation with RCA, once the biggest company in electronics worldwide, as important as Intel+Microsoft, a leader in innovation and technology, in radio, TV, space comms, and much more, and now merely a marketing nameplate. To quote fro their website: "RCA is a global trademark administered by RCA Trademark Management SAS of Technicolor SA." And I think SONY may be next to become a shadow of its glory.
I have a TV that, after it's on for a few monutes make a sound that increases in freqency. After a time, it appears that the tone goes away, but I suspect taht the frequency is simply getting too high for me to hear. I suspect it something in the power supply such as a cheap capacitor.
BTW, it's a "name brand" TV. I saw name brand because to people somewhat older than I the name Westinghouse means quality. There is, to my surprise, a westinghouse.com that if you click on TV, takes you to westinghousedigital.com. According the the web site, Westinghouse Digital is HQ in Orange, CA. But, there is no street address or phone number. Makes me thing that it's a tiny office and everything else is in China. Even the press releses have no contact info.
Had a DS1/DS3 mux board that would progress through boot and then reset itself. After fruitlessly examining/replacing the flash, SRAM, processor, peripheral devices I finally looked at the +5 volt rail with a scope.
At the end of the boot the processor attempted to enable all 28 DS1 channels (1.544Mb/s) at the same time. All these ttransmitters were loaded with 100 ohms each. The resulting current surge transient could not be handled by the defective switch-mode 48V-to-5V DC-DC converter, so the 5V rail momentarilty dipped to 4.2V. This of course tripped the power supply monitor which then reset the processor.
For rarely used devices, I find that poor contacts due to corrosion are a big issue. As you suggested rolling the battery in place can be the cure and otherwise, I remove the batteries, rub the tarnished contact on my pants and replace them. In the case of the well used TV remote, I find that having to push the buttons harder means that the batteries are dying. I'm blaming myself (assuming I didn't push the button) rather than the batteries. A quick exchange of batteries and the device runs as good as new.
Dr Quinne you have a built in detector, it is the oxidation rate of the contact surfaces of the spring that acts to locate the battery. Two first level solutions, bang the remote with your hand, if that fails open the battery compartment and rotate the batteries or remove and reinsert them. As far as pressing harder on the buttons that is again is in part to overcome oxidation or other fatigue effects on the switch membranes. Harder most likely also implies longer giving the detector more time to interpret the weak IR signal. Buying a Smart TV should solve the remote problem forever as you can then wave and scream at the TV to do your channel hopping etc. Except the Smart TV I have has two remotes!!
It's not that we don't have the ability to detect low battery voltage. It's that when people are looking to scrinp on every last penny, the low battery detection circuit and/or sofware just isn't woth that extra hour or two of engineering time.
Knowing when a battery needs to be replaced is also a function of how heavily the device is being used.
Electronic devices need better means for reporting when they have insufficient power. This is one example, my TV remote is another. There comes a time when I push the TV remote buttons harder and harder with less and less effect. Finally I replace the batteries and all is well again. Surely the circuitry ought to be able to detect when there is insufficient power to function fully. If the disposable battery will need to be replaced, knowing whether it is 90% full or 10% full is somewhat academic. What I want to know is when it needs to be replaced.