66 Buttons to the Sleep Timer.

Earlier this week I had the good fortune to spend some quality time with an industry insider. He’s knowledgeable, experienced, and very in-tune with the residential custom electronics industry. The discussion was based around connecting with clients beyond a technical sense.   He mentiond a very funny example of this. The basic jist of the anecdote was someone’s dad had a TV and the visiting son pointed out to his dad that he had a sleep timer on his TV.

son -“Dad, in 90 minutes , this TV will turn itself off”

dad – “Wow ! That’s really something.”

Of course , Jr leaves. 90 minutes later he receives a phone call.

dad- ” You were right, son. it turned off.  Two things I have to ask about this. Why the hell would I want my TV to turn off in 90 minutes and how the hell do I turn it back on?”

Have you ever tried to walk your dad thru the remote for the cable box? Look at the cable remote closely next time you watch TV.  Mine has 66 buttons on it. Add a DVD remote, maybe a surround receiver you’re clearing 200 buttons by now.   Once you get into the menu systems, forget it, you’d have a better chance of finding your way out of the the Amazon river basin with nothing better than a stick of gum and a spork.

The electronics business doesn’t do itself any favors. It’s all about what new features we can squeeze in, what new technological wonders they think the consumers HAVE to have. And funny enough, a good portion of the consumers buying hafta have every bit they can get their hands on.  In reality,  consumers can’t figure out half the stuff once they get it home.

Have you ever read the manuals?  I’d say there’s the problem right there for all of you who said no. But, I have read the manual. And yes, you do have to be a rocket scientist to understand them. So, that’s not the solution.

So, what’s the solution? It’s like anything else we deal with, find an expert.  I’m a smart guy, but I have someone do my taxes. I have a garage and an awesome set of tools, but the dealership does the maintenance on my cars.  I’m not suggesting you call your local, friendly AV expert every time you want to watch the big game. Call them the week before the big game.  We hate getting  154 phone calls the Friday before the Superbowl.  It’s like your lawyer, accountant, landscaper, mechanic, financial planner, etc. We have these various experts in and around our lives to create solutions and solve problems.

A good AV integrator will make sense of it all and get you to a point where it’s easy as pie to use and enjoy all those buttons that came with your gear. They’ll explain the options, sift thru features,  simplify the stuff you want and hide away the stuff you don’t want. They’ll be the expert bush pilot showing you the wonders of the Amazon and delivering you safely back to civilization at the end of the journey.

No more calls from dad, more importantly, no calls to Jr to figure what to do to get the TV back on.

So, put the game on, get comfy on the couch, break out the sporks for that easy pie, and as it turns out the sleep timer button is the  first button on the very top of my remote.  That was easy.

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One Response to 66 Buttons to the Sleep Timer.

  1. Kelly says:

    First of all, I think you’re as close to a rocket scientist as anyone I know. Secondly, I have accidentally rolled on top of my remote and activated the sleep timer, and, unable to fix it, just waited for it to shut off on me with a sense of impending doom. Thanks for being a great Amazon pilot whenever I need one!

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