Consumer Electronics too Complicated ?

MetaFacts have run a survey of over 32,000 PC and non-PC users, it seems that most users think consumer electronics are too complicated for the average user to operate - what do you think ?

- Mike

Comments (11)

  1. Mike Jones says:

    AV systems are especially complicated, you can’t take advantage of advanced (or some basic) features without reading the manuals first!

  2. Brendan says:


    Just today I was trying to work with a few high end consumer level HDTV’s and have them tune to a specific channel… it took 15 min one of these units, not because we were inept, but in an attempt to ‘dumb down’ the interface (in fact this is the only feature they did this too). On this particular (not to be named (Elite my rear!) unit) you cannot manually add a channel, instead you must do a full band scan. Later, you can delete any unwanted channels, but you must first do a full scan. Even if the desired channel is RF channel 3 and you’ve already passed it in the scan, aborting it does not good because aborting the scan after the desired channel has been reached cancels the entire scan as well as forgets about the channels found thus far.

    Don’t even get me started on the number of different antenna’s on the back of these sets and how most manage them via the remote *shuddering*.

  3. ShadowChaser says:

    Decades after the invention of the remote control, you’d think they could come up with some sort of standard 😉

    This is especially important with satellite and/or digital cable systems. Nothing interoperates, making it a major pain just to record a show or change the channel of the tv.

    The *ABSOLUTE WORST* is DVDs. Products are built for consumers, not for arcane backwards movie studios. I can live with regionalization, fine. But then you add in menus you can’t skip, 5 minute long advertisements, 2 minute FBI warnings, etc. I remember when DVD came out people complained that they couldn’t press the "play" button and have the movie play. Kind of a simple concept, you’d think!

    Do you know any one person who has read the FBI warning? Why do I care about this the 10,000th time I’ve seen it? Or when I put in a DVD and it comes up with an advertisement for a "new" movie that is coming out 5 years ago?

    Then there is the fact DVDs have "settings" menus. Can’t I just specify the settings in my DVD player’s menu and have the disk automatically use that? Shesh.

    Another fun example are 3rd party car stereos with their flashing blue meaningless leds, messages you can’t turn off, and more buttons than anyone knows what to do with. And of course, the "next track" or "volume" buttons are small and/or located far from the drivers seat.

    And *ahem* the worst I’ve ever come across is Microsoft’s new keyboard designs (sorry). After having keyboard the same for over three decades all of a sudden I find every keyboard with changed pgup/pgdn/insert/delete/end/f-keys.

    I don’t need a "save" button, I need an F5 or an F6 button. I mean, what happens when I go to press F11 to step-into my debugger and end up pressing delete? or mail? ARGH 🙂

  4. Anonymous Coward says:

    Here’s how to skip the pre-movie cruft on my dvd player:

    1. Insert disk;

    2. When the cruft starts, turn off the player;

    3. Turn it back on;

    4. Hit the Stop button;

    5. Hit the Play button: the movie starts.

    This is usually faster than sitting through the cruft, but it still takes long enough that I have time to curse the lawyers & marketroids who put the cruft there in the first place….

  5. Paul says:

    I agree with the "dumbing down" of electronics, sure it might benifit those non-technos but even now with auto setup, videoplus, one touch record… most of those people still can’t use them.

    Also think XP’s a really good example, sick of having to reinstall it only to be hit with This wizard, that wizard, popup help descriptions… how much cpu does all that rubbish take up? why can’t we go back to the old days were you choose the type of install…

    Please select installation type:

    1. Thicko

    2. Profesional 🙂

  6. Dan McCarty says:

    Also, instead of having to watch the FBI warning for the zillionth time, try this:

    Go to Select Scene

    Pick Chapter 1

    It usually takes you right to the opening credits.

  7. tezz says:

    Blu-ray Price and Spec. sharp Japanese Products Newest

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