"Millions Confused By Digital TV"

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Rasczak, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Can you believe this article:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3122584.stm

    How can anyone find it "laborious and demanding" changing channels on a Digital TV set-top box? And the comment:

    ...is utter rubbish! How is pressing channel up or down in anyway like using a PC? Studies like this should really not be given airtime.
     
  2. nathan_silly

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    I can understand where people are coming from. I know of a few eldery people who can't even use a mouse and move around the screen.

    I guess they're should be a "dumb" option in the digiboxes/built in digital tuners that bypass all crap/logo's moving stuff etc and basically just makes it look like the normal TV, with no confusing graphics on screen etc.
     
  3. Ridcully

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    I think it is more related to getting digital tv on to the screen and sorting out the inputs. I may be wrong but this highlights one of the design problems with TVs.

    As most TVs do not default to the last input ie AV1 but instead always revert to the tuner when switched on, problems are always created as you have to do something extra to get digital TV rather than it just being there when you switch the TV on.

    If you think about it, to get a picture from a set top box in this situation you either, have to rely on it being switched off, remember to switch the tv on first and then rely on the av auto detect of the TV, when you switch the set top box on. Or know how to use the AV switching function of the TV which most normal people do not understand.

    Having seen many people who do not understand this I think this is the main problem.
     
  4. Rasczak

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    Can they not read? I'm sure such things are stated in the manual.
     
  5. Ridcully

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    Yes they can read and yes such things are in the manual. However normal TV does not require you to read the manual to watch it. To set in up once, yes, but continued use, no. Until digital tv reaches this level ie removes the problems I suggested earlier, it is too "laborious and demanding".

    As for your comment its in the manual, how many people can correctly set a video without some else helping. All the info required is in the manual.

    In fact any piece of modern day consumer electronics that requires you to read the manual is basically flawed. It shows that not enough research and thought went in to the user interface. As an example Sky's own marketing people have discovered that using the red button for something other than record (as per every other piece of electronics) on Sky+ has caused immense confusion amongst users.
     
  6. KraGorn

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    Agreed 100% ... I'm appalled to think why my poor mum is going to have to get to grips with when her analog TV no longer works .. I'm damned annoyed at the way the industry is going with this, typically over-engineered and incomprehensible. :(
     
  7. Starburst

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    I remember many a TV report years ago saying more or less the same thing when VCR's were making a serious impact on the highstreet and in homes and required a good read of the manual.
    Future generations of both TV's and STB's will simplify the frontend and perhaps in the short term the more technically ignorant (in the nice way) should only purchase from retailers who will install and setup the hardware for them or of course rope in the younger generations of their families to help out:)
     
  8. hornydragon

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    IDTV!!!!!

    Soon as IDTV is the norm this problem will not exist.


    Perhaps the choice of STB shoul have more about usability than about price and ay stb with rf out will work on a normal telly all you do is switch the set on and use the stb remote!
     
  9. pwiles1968

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    I agree the operation of these things should be transparent, the government want 90% of the population to be using digital so they can turn off the analogue broadcasts they have got no chance.

    I know it is hard to comprehend but people do have problems installing and using modern electronics, look at half the threads on this forum, it is not their fault, but the way it looks it is not going to get any better, DD, DTS, EX, ES, PL2x, Neo 6, Logic 7, CSII, THX, :eek: Need I go on, I don’t find it a problem myself, but hell I can understand why people get confused.:confused: :rotfl: :confused:
     
  10. Origin

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    Ridcully makes some very good points...

    Remember that a large proportion of the population consists of pensioners - and that proportion is set to grow. When my father (62) recently upgraded his TV, he was very confused about "this digital thing" - and he's one if the pensioners who knows perfectly well how to use a PC, internet connection and email!

    Having replaced his knackered 15 year old TV (with no SCART socket), he had no idea the new one would automatically switch to showing the VCR when he pressed the play button. The slight delay between pressing play and the VCR operating its AV switching signal didn't help matters much!

    When I took round my Freeview box (to see if he would have good enough reception in his area) the confusion grew even further. That has 2 SCART sockets, an RF loopthrough, audio outs, a digital out and a serial socket on the back. Bear in mind that he's still trying to remember where all the settings are on the TV's extensive menu system.

    I agree that some of the comments in that BBC report were downright stupid, but there's a long way to go to make this stuff easy enough to understand for old people. IDTV's should become part of the solution, but they're still too much of a bolt-together of two technologies, and generally so expensive many people won't go near them, especially all those pensioners.
     
  11. MartinImber

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    I know of three pensoners with IDTVs

    Mother in law- ITV2 fan
    My parents
     
  12. duncs

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    To be fair, I can perfectly understand this.

    I develop Computer Software for a living so hope that I am quite technicaly minded but even I have problems. This issues with the current set up of TVs are

    1 - too many connections
    2 - too many connection types
    3 - too many buttons on a remote
    4 - the UI on digital is far too confusing.

    Assuming you have a tv with 3 scart and 1 componant, a digibox with 2 scart (1 s-video and 1 componant), a video with 2 scart (1 input/output and one input only) and 2 componant (1 in and 1 out). How the hell would you connect these up? Well, I would draw a diagram and work out the best way, but a pensioner would be lost.

    Then you have your three remotes with a total of 100 buttons between them. You turn on the TV, then the Digibox and then the video. Is The video or the Digibox active on the TV? Hell knows as it depends on how you wired the lot up and the funtionality of the TV and Video. So you change channel on the video but it doesn't change on the tv, then you change on the TV and it does change, then you want to watch something on the digibox but you cant get that to change because you are now on a different channel on the TV. Nightmare!!!

    I won't even go into the screens you have to negotiate with setting up the TV or using digital.

    What is wanted is this.

    A box that plugs into your TV. Into this box you plug in your digibox, video and AV decoder. Using a simple menu, you tell the box what device you have on each port. A single remote controls this box so you can throw away all your remotes bar one. When you want to change channel, volume, watch a video or DVD, the box works out the best routing for the cables and switches the sources over.

    I know some AV systems are heading in the right direction to do this but they still have a long way to go.
     
  13. owenw

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    Considering the way things are "progressing" I can't see it getting simpler at all but more and more complex. Manufacturers have to out do each other to give the "bang for the buck" in their products.

    The trend is toward more connectivity between AV and computer systems as well as home automation etc. Therefore AV products will inevitibly become more computer-based.

    There will always be a need for backwards compatiblilty as well as the lastest top quality connections - expect to see firewire on everything on future technology along side the existing analogue and digital connections of today.

    10 years ago I had 3 - 4 remotes on the coffee table now I have 8 - 10... and universal remotes seem to cause more trouble for some than they solve. How many of us have accidently put the TV in standby accidently instead of the DVD player? I know I have and I have a pretty good grasp of AV and technology in general.
     
  14. scarty16

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    sod the old people, they are holding up progress, if they stopped whining and started trying to learn new things, we wouldn' have any of these problems.

    They seem to think being old is some sort of excuse for being lazy and refusing to learn new ways of doing things
     
  15. Origin

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    Scarty - while your comments sound a bit inflammatory (or just plain ignorant!), I can see where you're coming from.

    My uncle (70) is actively proud that he doesn't know a thing about computers and quite pleased to announce that he never intends to learn either! But, he also had Sky until very recently (probably connected to the TV using just the RF connection, by the Sky installer), and would happily buy more AV equipment if it allowed him to watch yet more TV. But he'd be stuffed if there were any extra SCART cables etc. to sort out himself.

    On the other hand, my mother is determined to try and understand developments, but navigating all the features on the TV's OSDs are a challenge, and as for PC's - well, it's just too complicated for someone who spent their life using a typewriter and filing cabinets. On a typewriter you press a key and it types a letter. On a piece of AV equipment or a PC, you select one option and it could effect numerous other options or disable other features without any prior notice...
     
  16. owenw

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    Methinks the 16 in Scartys nick could reflect his/her age? :)

    There are at least 2 strikes against people of a certain age understanding current technology:

    1) The older you get the less able you are to grasp new ideas. When you're younger you can quickly learn new concepts and they become second nature. This is especially true of the techology you grown up with. That's why 3 years olds can be more proficient with computers than their parents who may only had access to a PC in the last decade or so.

    2) The amount of jargon used in the industry makes learning relatively simple functions a chore for many. Also, many manuals leave a lot to be desired when it comes to explaining basic features and often omit or poorly explain complex functions.
     
  17. hornydragon

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    Erm you seem to have over complicated matters some what mate!!!!!!(i have never seen a digibox with component) standard VCR only do compsite normally over scart!!!! And you can use RF for all of these anyway no hassle Channels 1-5 6 VCR 7 STB (funny box according to the mother-in-law) and to record STB set VCR to 6 simple as pie I have set this up for 80+ year olds who if you take time to explain it all in suitable language can work it all no hassle!
     
  18. Origin

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    "...and to record STB set VCR to 6 simple as pie..."

    Let's just hope they remember to leave the STB turned on, and set to the right channel. Or perhaps the average 80 year old can remember how to program the video *and* the STB to turn on at the right time?

    As someone already mentioned, firewire is the only real way forward. As soon as a new peripheral is plugged in (DVD player/recorder, STB etc.) everything else in the system recognises what it is and what it can do (record/play audio/video / decode Dolby etc.). Then you'd easily be able to program your VCR to record any other source; the VCR could just turn on the external source and set it's channel/frequency automatically. And only one thin cable between every device. Mmmmm...

    Actually, I can't believe this doesn't exist already - does it?
     
  19. MartinImber

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    Component - Netgem I think
     
  20. scarty16

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    16 is not my age in fact it is less than half my age, I just find that old people use being old as an excuse for not trying out new things and learning new ways of doing things, they just use the old "I've been doing it this way fro 30 years" excuse.

    I have an 80 year old uncle who installed braodband, why because he wanted it, read about it, learnt about it and installed it.

    Age is physical it is not a state of mind.
     
  21. malcom

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    Although scarty16 could perhaps put things in a more diplomatic way with regard to old people. I know where he is coming from.

    I don't think it is as simple as being a matter of a persons age. It is more likely the fact that people in general do not like "change".
    And will try to stone wall it for as long as they can and allow others to think for them.

    I used to work with a 50 year old woman who could not understand video recorders at all so would not buy one. Put simply she was too mentaly lazy to learn about these new toys. A couple of years passed and her job was on the line soon to vanish.

    This women faced with reality soon learned to overcome her tech phobia and now someone that could not operat a simple VCR went on to learn in just a few days how to operate one of the more complex Photocopiers in her office. Job saved.....She could do it. The moral of the story is that young or old if people resist change because they think they can, then they simply won't
    change and bother to learn.



    I think it is misguided to believe because someone is old they cannot grasp things. If they "Want too" and that's the key then they surly can. Age is of little consequence assuming there are no medical reasons to set them back.

    Ok. as a person that is getting older by the minute. Waiting for the postman to deliver my 100th birthday message from the queen. (Just joking i am only 98 and a bit) :D :D I feel better now..:D
     
  22. scarty16

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    I agree it is fear of change is the root of the problem, but you also get shear bloodymindedness as well.

    I have and will spend hours helping somebody (whatever age) if they are trying to learn, but if they show no interest in learning then they can go swing for all I care. I just happen to come across it more in the older generations that all.

    Now if you want to get me started on retired people shopping at lunch time or going for Slooooooow sunday afternoon drives that is another matter!!!
     
  23. malcom

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    :D Why not start a new thread on the topic. But i suppose it would be off topic here though.....:D



    That reminds me of someone else I used to work with. It was my boss who was clueless and would just not learn. Had the memory span of a goldfish. Don't get me started or I will need several more therapists......:D :D
     
  24. owenw

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    plenty of space in "General Chat" for a good old moan about blaaaady Sunday drivers and stubborn old gits :D

    All these posts remind of Harry Enfields old gits sketch :D:D
     

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