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What is with the Consumer Electronic (CE) Devices?

Why with todays technology are the Consumer Electronic companies still doing the same thing they were in the 1960's?

I have a Rather large collection of CE devices and the boss is making comments like:

  • Too many wires.
  • Too many remotes.
  • Too complex.

Some of the issues and devices we have:

  • Television  - Sony TV (KE-42TS2) 42” Plasma
  • VCR  - Sony VCR (SLV-N51)
  • DVD  - Sony DVD (DVP-CX985) 400 DVD/CD Juke Box
  • Stereo Receiver  - Sony AV Receiver (STR-DA30ES)
  • Satellite  - Sony Satellite (SAT-HD300) DirecTV
  • CD Player  - Sony CD Jukebox (CDP-CX153)

Some of the issues:

  • Just controlling these items takes 6 remotes or One Harmony Remote (Thank Goodness for Harmony)
  • Now I really like the Idea of Sony 400 DVD/CD juke box. But, the interface to put in the DVD info sucks. They have a feature to read the DVDs but it fails to read most of the DVDs. There is no method to search for all movies by Actor or Producer or any of the things I can do with Real Media for MP3’s.
  • Then of course there are the many different video connections. The VCR only has composite video. The DVD, to get the best picture uses component video, the satellite dish, for the best picture we use DVI.
  • The Sony AV Receiver, a few years old, will not Up or Down convert any of the video signals and has no DVI so switching them via the Sony AV Receiver is worthless. I see where the new Sony high end ($2,000+) will perform up-converting to from composite to S-Video or componenet video but not to DVI. It also has two DVI in-outs and one DVI outputs.
  • The Sony TV, has all of the input connections (and its own tuner) but now I want to add a MCE with DVI and there is only one DVI connection.

Why could we not have all the devices with a fire-wire ports so we could have one wire to connect them together?

Or with the Wi-Fi capabilities today, why not have Wi-Fi embedded in them and could they all discover them selves? With a PDA with Wi-Fi we could control any of the CE devices.

Then there are the Tivos and the MCEs that portray to make it simpler, but they really make it more complicated.

Tivo has there own way of doing things and of course they could not get together with the MCE folks and come up with a seamless way to let the Tivo box work seamlessly with a MCE box, or visa versa.

Then throw in HDTV from DirecTV and then there is another mess. No Tivo and no MCE works with DirecTV because of course DirecTV has yet another way to do things.

Apparently rule number One with all these companies is “Protect Our Turf” and then rule number 367 says do what is right for the customer.


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