What reciever has the best GUI through HDMI? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 159 Old 03-17-2012, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I really think that the company that comes out with a really nice looking GUI through HDMI that is on par with an apple gui will take the lead in sales. Is it out there yet? Very hard at best buy to get a demo because they do not have anything hooked up anymore to a TV in my area any longer. Everything is just sitting on the shelf.

What is out there these days? Is there any of these (Denon, Poineer, Yamaha, Onkyo, HK, Marantz) that do a WOW GUI over HDMI for volume overlay and airplay or Dlna etc?

Anyone with screenshots shoeing how they look?

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post #2 of 159 Old 03-17-2012, 04:00 PM
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I'm not sure how it compares with others but yamaha has a new hd GUI that is better than anything else I've used, but I admit I haven't seen what many of the other manufactures offer as far as modern on screen displays.
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post #3 of 159 Old 03-17-2012, 05:28 PM
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I can't say a pretty GUI is very high on my list of priorities when I shop for audio gear, probably just above AM Stereo and short wave radio.

I am much more concerned about sound quality and functionality than how pretty a GUI looks, especially considering it gets used for an hour or two during initial set up and then only pops up when you change volume or inputs. I hope that all the brands you listed continue to put the vast majority of their R&D dollars into improving sound quality and adding new functionality.

Most manufacturers have greatly improved the look of their GUIs over the past few years. I have a new Integra; I wouldn't call the GUI pretty, but it's easy to use and tells me what I need to know. It's much better than the white text on top of a black box GUIs that everyone had not too long ago. Pretty close to perfect in my book.

One area where most manufacturers have improved usability was by adding Android and iPhone/pod apps to control gear. If you stream music from a computer the app makes browsing and selecting music much easier. It also allows me to turn my TV off when selecting music. The Android app looks pretty good, I would assume the iPhone app is similar.

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post #4 of 159 Old 03-17-2012, 07:32 PM
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i think i don't care what the gui looks like, as it has zero impact on the functionality of the avr...

frankly, i'd be just as happy with the old text interfaces...

why are people so hung up on these things? as another poster noted, you use it for setup and then almost never use it again, especially since most cem's have some type of functional "web interface" now...

- chris

 

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post #5 of 159 Old 03-17-2012, 07:42 PM
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I just purchased a wireless blue-ray player. It has crazy interface and network capabilities, absurd actually. I would go with a simple avr and push your GUI fetish into the blue-ray player.
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post #6 of 159 Old 03-17-2012, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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HAHA well I would not say I have a fetish but you guys sound like those who defended dos over apple or windows! LOL Apple has made a huge impact with products that do one thing very well, give the person a wow experience when using the product.

I have been using AVR's for years and have a Denon right now. Now in order for me to really be able to use this denon I have had to look at Batpig's translation site several times to do the simplest of functions. That is retarded from a marketing standpoint.

A simple, functional yet good looking GUI will expand the market and sell more units and give a fun factor to the purchase. I am really technically very adept and have set up several of my friends home theaters. It is a true pain in the butt.

An integrated GUI that not only helps with setup but acts as a gateway to switching inputs and seamlessly interacting with airplay and DLNA would make a huge impact on the showroom foor and sell more units and keep our hobby alive!!!! If all the major players in HT came up with slick GUI's and one of them decided they would rather not and instead put the money into "important" things only, that receiver maker would be driven out of business in two years.

Too bad a great receiver like my Denon is so difficult to set up and using it is fine but it could be a lot better.

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post #7 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 02:08 AM
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Why does a 400 dollar smartphone have more processing power and more intuitive GUI than a 1500 dollar AV receiver? Well mostly because the AV receivers are decades behind the times - all using separate proprietary hardware and software platforms. Those things cost money to develop and then they don't have enough money (or customer orientation) to put together a decent GUI. And since these are closed platforms no one else can help them either.

In fact the performance of all these receivers is basically indistinguishable, so really it should be 2 or 3 competing platforms. At which point you'd see better GUIs. But when Onkyo, Sony, Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, Rotel, NAD, Cambridge, Arcam, Anthem, Samsung etc are all developing their own separate platforms, well no surprise the resulting GUis are still stuck in the 1980s. Consolidation way overdue here. Few of these "competitors" are adding any value. If the were, they wouldn't be selling consumer appliances that are barely acceptable on an industrial product in this day and age .
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post #8 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 04:59 AM
 
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I use a 1920*1080 1:1 pixel mapping with wireless keyboard and WMC remote.
This htpc can also playback movies for home theater.
Who wodda thought?
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post #9 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 05:39 AM
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@psblake...

sorry, that dos/windows analogy isn't anywhere close...

fwiw, yamaha tried to sell something similar to what you are asking for... it flew off the shelves so fast that you were able to buy them on closeout for about 35% of msrp within a year of introduction...

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post #10 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 07:06 AM
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Harman kardon and yamaha have the best GUI imo.
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post #11 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 07:07 AM
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Harman kardon
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post #12 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

@psblake...

sorry, that dos/windows analogy isn't anywhere close...

fwiw, yamaha tried to sell something similar to what you are asking for... it flew off the shelves so fast that you were able to buy them on closeout for about 35% of msrp within a year of introduction...

How is the analogy not close? Same arguments back in the day (yes I do remember). DOS is faster, computer makers need to focus on performance not fancy interfaces. Anyway, never heard of the Yamaha experiment would be interesting to see one.

Love my DEF TECH!
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post #13 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osamede View Post

why does a 400 dollar smartphone have more processing power and more intuitive gui than a 1500 dollar av receiver? Well mostly because the av receivers are decades behind the times - all using separate proprietary hardware and software platforms. Those things cost money to develop and then they don't have enough money (or customer orientation) to put together a decent gui. And since these are closed platforms no one else can help them either.

In fact the performance of all these receivers is basically indistinguishable, so really it should be 2 or 3 competing platforms. At which point you'd see better guis. But when onkyo, sony, yamaha, denon, pioneer, rotel, nad, cambridge, arcam, anthem, samsung etc are all developing their own separate platforms, well no surprise the resulting guis are still stuck in the 1980s. Consolidation way overdue here. Few of these "competitors" are adding any value. If the were, they wouldn't be selling consumer appliances that are barely acceptable on an industrial product in this day and age .

+++++++1

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post #14 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 07:15 AM
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Well you got to admit the GUI looks a lot better than it did around 2005 when most all of them looked like a DOS program.
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post #15 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

Why does a 400 dollar smartphone have more processing power and more intuitive GUI than a 1500 dollar AV receiver? Well mostly because the AV receivers are decades behind the times - all using separate proprietary hardware and software platforms. Those things cost money to develop and then they don't have enough money (or customer orientation) to put together a decent GUI. And since these are closed platforms no one else can help them either.

In fact the performance of all these receivers is basically indistinguishable, so really it should be 2 or 3 competing platforms. At which point you'd see better GUIs. But when Onkyo, Sony, Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, Rotel, NAD, Cambridge, Arcam, Anthem, Samsung etc are all developing their own separate platforms, well no surprise the resulting GUis are still stuck in the 1980s. Consolidation way overdue here. Few of these "competitors" are adding any value. If the were, they wouldn't be selling consumer appliances that are barely acceptable on an industrial product in this day and age .

Don't forget to compare the market size of AVRs to SmartPhones..
One is in the the millions..
And the other is in the 100 millions..
To decrease manufacturing costs significantly, unit volume is required..

Just my $0.02..
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post #16 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psblake View Post

How is the analogy not close? Same arguments back in the day (yes I do remember). DOS is faster, computer makers need to focus on performance not fancy interfaces. Anyway, never heard of the Yamaha experiment would be interesting to see one.

But remember Dos was also free (sort of, microsoft didn't really care about pirating) and it dominated the market and soon Microsoft was able to use that big market share to push people into a GUI.

Apple products have the "cool" factor and for most users who don't care about where files go, less control and just want something to work no matter how archaic or closed the system might be, might really enjoy an incredible GUI. Now the question is, how many homes have 5.1 system? The users who use apple or who are fanboi's are probably the same people who prefer Bose lifestyle systems. Easy and simple to put together and all you do is throw in a disc and get great/mediocre sound.

Do these people really need a GUI? Or a system that is integrated and just works?

Remember an AVR is just a piece of the puzzle. You need a bluray player, tv and other components to get it to work. Where Apple products are the medium that the user interfaces with 99% of the time.
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post #17 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CElee View Post

But remember Dos was also free (sort of, microsoft didn't really care about pirating) and it dominated the market and soon Microsoft was able to use that big market share to push people into a GUI.

Apple products have the "cool" factor and for most users who don't care about where files go, less control and just want something to work no matter how archaic or closed the system might be, might really enjoy an incredible GUI. Now the question is, how many homes have 5.1 system? The users who use apple or who are fanboi's are probably the same people who prefer Bose lifestyle systems. Easy and simple to put together and all you do is throw in a disc and get great/mediocre sound.

Do these people really need a GUI? Or a system that is integrated and just works?

Remember an AVR is just a piece of the puzzle. You need a bluray player, tv and other components to get it to work. Where Apple products are the medium that the user interfaces with 99% of the time.

You know you threw gas on a fire when you start talking OS they are tools I use all 3 at work OSX,Win 7 and several distro's of Linux campaigning one against the other will not justify the means they all have their plus/minus.
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post #18 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CElee View Post

But remember Dos was also free (sort of, microsoft didn't really care about pirating) and it dominated the market and soon Microsoft was able to use that big market share to push people into a GUI.

Apple products have the "cool" factor and for most users who don't care about where files go, less control and just want something to work no matter how archaic or closed the system might be, might really enjoy an incredible GUI. Now the question is, how many homes have 5.1 system? The users who use apple or who are fanboi's are probably the same people who prefer Bose lifestyle systems. Easy and simple to put together and all you do is throw in a disc and get great/mediocre sound.

Do these people really need a GUI? Or a system that is integrated and just works?

Remember an AVR is just a piece of the puzzle. You need a bluray player, tv and other components to get it to work. Where Apple products are the medium that the user interfaces with 99% of the time.

Microsoft products being nearly free? No, Microsoft always charged for their operating system. That is how they became one of the world's most valuable companies for a while.

Microsoft not caring about piracy? No! Microsoft again became one of the world's most valuable companies by making sure as many people as possible paid money for their product.

An archaic file system??? How is it archaic and how is Microsoft totally modern?

Apple users buying Bose systems? No. All the following brands of receivers support Apple products:

Pioneer
Onkyo
Yamaha
Denon

and I didn't bother checking the others like HK, Rotel, NAD, etc.

Any......

Can we please get back to the OP's question?
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post #19 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 09:14 AM
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I believe the FUD factor with Computers rivals that of AV gear.
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post #20 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psblake View Post

How is the analogy not close? Same arguments back in the day (yes I do remember). DOS is faster, computer makers need to focus on performance not fancy interfaces.

Because no one is making an argument based on perfomance. The argument is that it doesn't matter what the GUI looks like because you hardly have any need to use it. The actual user-interface that people use on a day to day basis is the remote control, and the front panel display. Windows (and Apple's Macintosh) wasn't a better looking MS-DOS, it was a whole new way of doing things. Upping the resolution, using more stylish fonts, and prettier icons isn't going to making using an AV receiver any easier even during the phase when you're setting it up and forced to use the GUI a lot.

The have already been mentioned in this thread a couple of ways AV receiver manufactures have actually already tried to change how users can use their products on a day to day basis. A lot of people love using these new smartphone apps to control their receiver. In multi-room setups they're unquestionably a game changer, a much cheaper and more convienent option then having a installer setup a custom controller for you. AV receivers also have web interfaces now, probably not a big factor, at least no so far, but at least it's a new of doing things.

The fact is if you're using the same remote control to select from prettier versions of the same menus you haven't really improved anything. For AV receivers to become more user friendly the change has to be much bigger, more much revolutionary than that. For example, a hypothetical Apple designed receiver would probably do away all the inputs, surround modes, configuration options and other needless complexity that only confuse users. Probably include speakers with custom connectors because users have a lot trouble getting those connected correctly. Design a small simple remote with only a few buttons to worry about. Only then would they'd start working on the slick GUI.
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post #21 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psblake View Post

How is the analogy not close? Same arguments back in the day (yes I do remember). DOS is faster, computer makers need to focus on performance not fancy interfaces. Anyway, never heard of the Yamaha experiment would be interesting to see one.

stop. think. the analogy doesn't work...

it's not a commentary of dos vs. windows, frankly i really don't care about that...

you use the gui to set up, and that's it... and it's not that hard...

you use dos/windows as the interface between you and the computer... you use it for everything... in order for your analogy to work, you'd have to use the gui for everything... volume, channel changing, source changing, stop/start/ff/rew, and so on... that would be a royal pita... we have that wonderful device called a "remote control" that does all that with a simple push of a button...

what you are asking for would make it HARDER to use, not EASIER...

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post #22 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Ridge View Post

Because no one is making an argument based on perfomance. The argument is that it doesn't matter what the GUI looks like because you hardly have any need to use it. The actual user-interface that people use on a day to day basis is the remote control, and the front panel display. Windows (and Apple's Macintosh) wasn't a better looking MS-DOS, it was a whole new way of doing things. Upping the resolution, using more stylish fonts, and prettier icons isn't going to making using an AV receiver any easier even during the phase when you're setting it up and forced to use the GUI a lot.

The have already been mentioned in this thread a couple of ways AV receiver manufactures have actually already tried to change how users can use their products on a day to day basis. A lot of people love using these new smartphone apps to control their receiver. In multi-room setups they're unquestionably a game changer, a much cheaper and more convienent option then having a installer setup a custom controller for you. AV receivers also have web interfaces now, probably not a big factor, at least no so far, but at least it's a new of doing things.

The fact is if you're using the same remote control to select from prettier versions of the same menus you haven't really improved anything. For AV receivers to become more user friendly the change has to be much bigger, more much revolutionary than that. For example, a hypothetical Apple designed receiver would probably do away all the inputs, surround modes, configuration options and other needless complexity that only confuse users. Probably include speakers with custom connectors because users have a lot trouble getting those connected correctly. Design a small simple remote with only a few buttons to worry about. Only then would they'd start working on the slick GUI.

An Apple designed receiver would have an interface like an iPod Nano that would allow you to use all the inputs, surround sound modes, etc as easily and as quickly as the Nano allows me access to all of my music library.

I wouldn't expect the receiver though to fit in the palm of my hand, however since it would be reliable and have to have certain size and build quality.

And an Apple designed receiver would allow me to use Speaker B with ease, instead of having to jump through hoops like a receiver designed by a more Microsoft mentality. I mean come on, why did I have to go through all this just to use speaker B?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1396436

Let's get back to what the OP wanted to talk about instead of Microsoft fanboys trying to say ease of use is a bad thing.
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post #23 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 10:50 AM
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^^^

how hard is it to use speaker b? hook them up, and select them...

geez... do you guys want someone to chew your food for you first too?

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post #24 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

stop. think. the analogy doesn't work...

it's not a commentary of dos vs. windows, frankly i really don't care about that...

you use the gui to set up, and that's it... and it's not that hard...

you use dos/windows as the interface between you and the computer... you use it for everything... in order for your analogy to work, you'd have to use the gui for everything... volume, channel changing, source changing, stop/start/ff/rew, and so on... that would be a royal pita... we have that wonderful device called a "remote control" that does all that with a simple push of a button...

what you are asking for would make it HARDER to use, not EASIER...

I guess i am not making myself clear. I think the only way AVR's are going to widen the consumer base is to make the GUI more than a crappy text based setup tool like dos was years ago. The GUI should be the hub of everything you do on the receiver. GIve the user a NICE graphic representation of the volume changing. the input selection. Album art screen savers etc. That is all a GUI does anyway takes what used to be text based and makes it prettier and more "GRAPHIC" so a user can see what they are doing while they are doing it.

Harder to use? The receivers these days could barely be harder to use! I have to go to batpigs site to get a translation of what I want to do in a basic setup of my inputs, outputs, features, and anything else I want to do.

This is what I would do if I was creating a new high end receiver. First a very large 5-7 inch LED display on the front of the thing so that you could actually see what the receiver is displaying without getting on your hands and knees to look at it. This would also display album artwork, movie artwork netflix info etc. if you choose. or just display the basics. Of course you would have to have a dimmer on it for dark viewing.

Then everything that happens in the receiver would be displayed onscreen. For instance VOLUME, input change, DTS, DOLBY, and not just some ugly text based bar or text but a nice looking graphic representation. Just some thoughts. Remember if WE the hobbiests and people who have been involved with this passion for years still have trouble and frustration using the equipment how do we expect the masses to really adopt it as well?

Love my DEF TECH!
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post #25 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 11:22 AM
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How does a GUI that in your mind would be easy to use widen the consumer base ??
That makes no sense at all.
You either need a AVR or you don't . If ease of use is the only concern then buy a Bose closed system & do what your wife says
ccotenj is right does Apple need to chew your food ?Then Make Apple sauce to use to a AVR ? You have been drinking the Apple Cool-aide way too long ...
You set up the AVR with the units on board GUI & then your done .
I myself don't want to HAVE to Buy a Apple product to use my AVR .
Nor do I want to pay extra for a AVR that has to license fees to Apple .
I M H O

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JAZZ IS NOT DEAD IT JUST SMELLS FUNNY ; FRANK ZAPPA
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post #26 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 11:28 AM
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post #27 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 11:40 AM
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If you install any of this for a living and I do clients love eye candy even over performance plain and simple it sells if they can control it with an iPhone/iPad or Android phone or tablet it sells they could care less about a forum bias or who belongs
to what fan camp. I also imagine when Win8 surfaces they will want that also.
Sat,Tivo and cable box GUI sells also the prettier the display and easier to steer the better it sells.
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post #28 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 12:00 PM
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What a thread. I agree with the OP. This thread is a perfect example of why disruptive technologies are disruptive. Companies are reluctant to change, and sometimes that thinking extends to the entire industry. The entrenched view leads to the mindset of "why do we need to do it differently" and "we're the experts and it's not difficult for us." Let me humbly suggest as a rarely-posting member here that the enthusiasts, the hardcore read-every-word-in-the-manual-and-debate-it-online group: you are not the market.

One thing that strikes me about AVS Forums is that half the threads are about "what should I buy" and the other half has everything to do with the user experience: about how to set up the gear, or why item A doesn't work with item B. Even the enthusiasts have a difficult time setting up and operating this stuff.

Gear is getting more complicated. We all have digital music players, and we want that music on multiple devices but accessible from all. We have video too. And photos. Plus we like our houses to have multiple zones for distributing that content. We cannot do that by putting more buttons on a remote control.

From a business point of view, the questions are whether more people would buy if it was easier/better/faster (bigger market) and whether some of the current owners would switch brands if it was easier/better/faster (market share). Bigger market and market share are the keys to success. A business that ignores that is destined to be a niche player at best. An industry that ignores that is ripe for disruption.

The A/V industry is soooooo ripe for disruption. Others have pointed out how the manufacturers have lots of money into their legacy products and with a small installed base they cannot spread out R&D costs. They develop slowly, and don't react quickly. That is the recipe of getting clobbered.

This is not about Apple vs. MSFT. Microsoft still has the vast majority of the market. However, Apple has done a few things right. Whether it's one of them or some other company, it's going to happen.

If you wish to keep your 100-page manual and 80 button remote control, be my guest. I'll repeat: you are not the market.
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post #29 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by psblake View Post

Harder to use? The receivers these days could barely be harder to use! I have to go to batpigs site to get a translation of what I want to do in a basic setup of my inputs, outputs, features, and anything else I want to do.

How is making the GUI look nicer going to make any of that easier? Windows isn't easier because it looks nicer than MS-DOS, it's easier because you can click on things with a mouse rather than typing in commands on a command line.
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post #30 of 159 Old 03-18-2012, 12:27 PM
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If you wish to keep your 100-page manual and 80 button remote control, be my guest. I'll repeat: you are not the market.

If 100-page manuals and 80 button remotes aren't the market, then why is that all you can buy? Why haven't the disruptive technologies already changed an industry you say "is soooooo ripe for disruption"? Why is the Apple TV, a potential disruptive technology along the lines you envision, a flop?

The fact is the market is the way it is for reasons you don't understand, and quite frankly I don't understand either. People want a receiver with a lot of buttons on the remote control. People want receivers with a ton inputs, surround modes and other features that they'll never use and extend the manual well over 100 pages. They want more watts than their speakers can handle or they could ever stand to listen to. That's what people actually spend their money on, and whether it makes sense or not, that by defintion is the market.
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