OT Design by the video-game generation

Got a new TV. Just a plain vanilla televisionary set ... I thought.
Used to be ya bought a TV, plugged it in, hooked up the antenna or
cable, turned it on and watched it -- at least until a tube burned
out. Then ya took the tubes to the drugstore, tested them, found the
bad one and bought a replacement for $1.59.
Not anymore! Ya get a "menu". The TV doesn't have knobs, just a
remote with a bazillion cryptic buttons on it. Gotta read the
directions. I finally figured out which button to press that didn't
just get me a new menu of cryptic questions like "S-video or
cappucino?" TV, goddamnit!
Would I rike Engrish, Spanish, Ebonese or Chinglish?
What date and time is it -- or would I rather wait half an hour for it
to figure it out for itself? (If it can tune a channel to determine
the date and time, why the hell can't I watch a program awready?)
Have I ever been convicted of a felony? If so, was it a sex crime?
Just business? And so on....
All I wanna do is turn on the freakin' TV, select a channel and watch
the SOB. It was once easier to buy a house. I'm almost afraid to
buy a new toaster.
I do like the "mute" button, though it doesn't seem to work when
pointed at my older-model wife.
Reply to
Don Foreman
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I picked up a broken VCR recently to use as an RF modulator, so I can send the composite out from my computer into the TV in the living room along a length of coax. Since this is only a once or twice a month thing, the VCR stays disconnected and unplugged in the other room.
The main hassle is that whoever designed the electronics in the VCR (JVC) **insist** that it run through all available channels to test reception before I can specify "line in" and go watch the damn thing. Oh, and if it doesn't pick up any stations it states this and **insists** that it run through the procedure until it does.
So, in order to hook up this VCR as a "line in to RF out" repeater, I have to hook up an antenna and wait several minutes so it knows what channels it can get.
Isn't it wonderful that they know what is best for us?
Reply to
Jon Danniken
Don, you'd go bananas if you had to deal with one of these in an RV that drops AC power whenever the cord is unplugged or the generator is shut off. Either that or you'd have gotten used to it in a hurry.
FWIW, my wife has given up trying to use the mute button on me. She got tired of changing batteries in the remote!
Reply to
Funny Don! We know it is "engineer humor", though. You could open that remote and reverse-engineer it in about 10 minutes; or give you 20 minutes and you could build a whole 'nother one.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
In the 1800's the rich had valets and maids to tell them what to wear etc. In the future we will have Geekies. Oh Geekie please program my VCR etc. At times I use my daughter for this function
Reply to
Conversation with a (borderline alzheimer's) little old lady who bought a new TV a few years back:
"Can you show me how to adjust the color?" "OK, first you press this button to get to the menu, then you use these buttons to scroll through the options until you find 'color,' then you use these buttons to adjust the color, then this button exits the menu." [blank look] "I just want to be able to adjust the color." "Yes, you have to go through the menu. See, like this." [demo repeated] [blank look] "I just want to adjust the color." "I'll just leave it so when you press 'menu' the first choice is 'color' and that way you won't have to scroll through other options. Just press 'menu,' then use these buttons to adjust the color."
[repeat until all hair has been pulled out].
I think she kept waiting for me to go over to the TV to show her where the color adjustment knob was. The very concept of "menu" in this context is foreign to a lot of older people. I don't know how they manage to watch "Wheel of Fortune" anymore.
I've actually had similar experiences when "channel 9 won't come in" on mom-in-law's set and needs to be added manually and other basic operations (and other old ladies) that used to be manageable without a remote control. Oops, that didn't come out right. My remote won't work on the old ladies, either.
And that doesn't get into how to watch a video or DVD on one of these new sets. I still have to coach my wife through that sometimes, and she's generally quite competent with this sort of thing (problem boils down to a multi-device remote with which you have to select "tv/video" from the VCR to watch a video and from the tv to watch a DVD). Don't get me started on routing the sound through the stereo . . . .
Reply to
Not to mention the delightful fact that a misplaced/broken remote means that 90% of the TV's functions cannot be accessed at all, as the front panel buttons/menus don't cover them.
OTOH, just getting rid of the TV is really the best option. More shop time...
Reply to
Don Foreman wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
The man that invents one that works in that situation will be a gazillionaire.
Reply to
They can drop *all* of the modern features and I wouldn't miss any of them.... however, I *would* like to see them fix it so the TV mutes every time commercial break starts.... Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
Hell I'd just be happy if one could figure out how to keep the volume at the same level for the commercials, they sometimes wake me up. The mutt button works but sometimes the rest of the show is missed cuz the familiar voices aren't there to wake me up again...... lg no neat sig line
Reply to
larry g
A station engineer once told me, they don't actually crank up the volume on commercials (that's apparently illegal). What they do is run the sound through a compressor, so its consistently at a high level. The peaks are the same, but the troughs are filled up. Sounds louder. Might be possible to build something to detect that change, & drop a relay in the speaker lead...
larry g wrote:
Reply to
David Brooks
While it is true the digitized and analog models aren't compatible, there is a work-around. That particular function button just isn't labeled. It should be marked "previous channel/wife mute". Previous channel must be her favorite. You'll know it worked when you hear the hush response.
Reply to
Andy Asberry
I'm pretty sure there's been much more that that made off such an invention already. It's called a hearing aid. Th' _off_ button is your friend .
Reply to
Most interesting thread. Proves again the old adage that just because you can do something is not sufficient reason to do something. We appear to be entering another baroque age where even the most simple item is "enhanced" to the point that it is unaffordanble and/or unusable to the majority. Note for Cliff -- this also applies to governance at all levels, both private and public.
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
I tie a 6 foot piece of white string to the remote. It leaves a trail I can follow.
Reply to
Clark Magnuson
How will this baroque age end? Here is a poem about nature's oscillation between refining and revolution:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of "Spiritus Mundi" Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
-- William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"
Reply to
Clark Magnuson
It's called "creeping featuritis" in the industry.
It's a mixture of three factors:
1. Engineers who add an extra button or menu option with completely negiligible dollar cost for the final product.
2. Marketers who pick up on #1 and make requests for unneeded features.
3. Customers who buy products not on their usability but based on some obscene number of features.
Reply to
Tim Shoppa
I cannot think of a single item I own, where I would complain about having excess features. Usually it is the opposite.
Reply to
res and I wouldn't miss any of
Someone a few years ago had developed a box that did such a thing. I don't remember specifics, but there was a big fiasco and a bunch of lawsuits and it disappeared.
I think TiVo has been sued for this as well. I don't have it, but from what I understand, if one records a broadcast using TiVo one can elect to skip all commercials.
Reply to
Nope, gotta do it manually per commercial. 30 second forward skip.
Reply to
Dave Hinz

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