Yup, Consumer Electronics Still Suck

I’m reminded again just how crappy traditional consumer electronics are. My inlaws have a recently purchased Vizio Internet-enabled TV. It is, on its own, a decent product by the standards of the consumer electronics industry. The bundled “apps” are pretty easy to access and use with the included remote control. The setup screens aren’t completely impenetrable, etc. But using it with their older progressive-scan Sony DVD player is a nightmare.

For one thing, the DVD player’s own setup controls are crap, and are made even crappier by having to accommodate settings for “enhancements” of dubious value. The worst part though is that when you play a letter-box format DVD, it doesn’t automatically switch to a reasonable full-screen mode, instead, it shows the thing in the middle of the display, with a big black border all around. I can push a button to toggle among the other widescreen modes, but it takes some fussing to figure out which one looks best (Zoom, I think, but I’m not sure).

I don’t know if Apple will ever expand beyond the Apple TV, but there is still sooo much opportunity for them to remove the suck from watching TV and movies at home.

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