Originally Posted by alnilam1
This is a "philosophy" post and I'm only answering on this site because of the above original statements....
since you are referring to my post, I'd like to respond
first, I've been active here a very long time, about 10 yrs. and very active in Pioneer threads since that has been my gear & brand of choice for much longer.
I speak from the heart here. I sympathize with your comments about the complexity of features & the generally poor way manuals from almost every CE company (not just Pioneer) are written. the best manuals I've seen are from Anthem & Lexicon for their $9K and $12K preamp/processors
very descriptive and go into much more details on bass/subwoofer management, crossovers, etc than any consumer mfg has done. but again, they are in a whole other price & market segment and have to cater to installers, dealers & owners who want that kind of support & detail.
IMO, Pioneer's manuals used to be better organized and made more sense, work flow wise, when viewed & read as a bound, written document. It was almost like a small book. As were those from Denon, etc. But more are using them as electronically linked documents these days, with hyperlinks to other sections, and in the case of the AV Nav disc, to showing diagrams of how to wire & connect things, and even a semi-automated setup process that works over the network. IMO, the best examples of this new approach are the electronic Denon 4520 & Marantz 8801 manuals but Pioneer's works good too, used as a linked document to the disc. it works better as a linked document in the disc than as a "book". Pioneer's seems a hybrid, not quite as well linked together but also not as well-organized by chapter, topic, discussion either, so I agree, it could be more user-friendly.
That said, I stand by my assessments that increasingly larger numbers of new owners, newbie owners do not
seem to be taking the necessary time to review the product in advance. The evidence from hundreds of posts is of people trying to do jump in 1st & figure it out later
trying to things that it is not
going to do or struggle with setup when it really is
described in the manual & on the disc. Plus, IMO lately, some new owners have unrealistic expectations in 4 areas:
1. they expect it to be plug & play, like a PC. modern HT receivers are PC-like but they are NOT PC's and don't act like PC's with a "blank slate" CPU waiting for software to be loaded into memory. they use DSP's with embedded code & use firmware to access & run that code. They do not automatically do anything! they need to be told settings, assigning inputs, selecting audio formats, etc
2. they expect all digital, analog & HDMI audio to be automatically converted one interface to another so they can send any HDMI or digital input to anywhere in a house. this is completely & utterly WRONG
! NO receiver made has ever done this nor in the forseeable future will do this. you would need external matrix switchers & outboard converters. at the price points receivers are sold at, extensive matrix switching & converters just aren't included (yet). so why do a lot of new owners believe it should automatically do these things? IF they had LOOKED at the manual, there is a section, clearly marked in the TOC, for setting up multizones and Pioneer, Denon, etc clearly say there is no cross-conversion of digital, HDMI audio and they clearly say only analog connections can be used for multizones 2 & 3. can't they read?
3. some new owners with a setup problem say "it's not in the manual"
when I can go to the pdf, find the page & post it, sometimes include a snippet from the page, in several min, that tells me that many people:
-are too "busy" to bother
-are unable to focus on what they are reading, preferring to skim read w/o comprehension
-very quick to complain about something not working, or criticize the company when they themselves are at least partically to blame, either directly for doing something "stupid" or indirectly by not taking time to learn
-would rather have someone spend THEIR valuable time looking it up for them rather than spending the time themselves - a feeling they can get free help here because there are enthusiasts here who have taken time to figure things out on their own. yes, AVSForum is full of dedicated enthusiasts who are willing to help a fellow "traveler" but I think I speak for many....there's a fine line between someone who is trying to learn & gets stuck vs. someone who didn't bother to open the pdf or disc.
4. modern HT receivers are complex multi-taskers with huge amounts of networking & connectivity options. many people have the knowledge to setup streaming services & networks, but some don't. they expect it work plug & play & when it doesn't connect, think it's the receiver's fault, when there are routers, modems, switches, cables, wifi settings in play & all have to be setup & work perfectly.
I've read posts from people who threatened to sue Pioneer. and someone else got really mad at Pioneer because he prewired his house without checking to see if the receiver could be used the way he wanted - it couldn't - how stupid is that? arrogance & stupidity...
when every one of my 4 Elite receivers has been flawless, with zero problems, no issues with connectivity, doing updates, setting up a 2nd zone, and using new media features that had no previous experience with, I have to believe it's because I read!
everything I've ever tried to do with each receiver has worked perfectly.
am I being a curmudgeon? or is this an indicator of how our education system is failing in simple, basic comprehension & reading skills, or increasingly more people just expecting it to work plug & play? I don't know the answer, maybe a little of all of them.
but I do think the problem is real...whether its the complexity of the gear or failure of people to learn how to learn...all CE mfgs have a real challenge on their hands making devices a swiss army knife but having to "train" to the lowest common denominator in owners.
with your credentials, background, education level (MS in Astronomy is pretty impressive, with quantum mechanics & all!) I expect you will take the time to learn and if you get stuck, we're here to help! but you are not Joe 6 Pack who goes into BB and walks out with one of them new-fangled "stereos"
everyone needs help on occasion & people who know me & my posting history know I spend a WHOLE LOT of personal time here, helping, answering and learning some of the technology in Pioneer AVR's.
BTW- I have a BS in Chem Engr and my career has been in the specialty chemical industry. no details on a forum but I am no dummy & I do know how to read
this is not my occupation but an expensive hobby
no one told me how to setup my 1st Pioneer Elite receiver in 2002-3, no one told me how to setup my gear or learn how to calibrate it, EQ subs with a parametric equalizer, how to do acoustic room treatments, how to do my own programming in software of a complex programmable remote. I did it all on my own & spent a whole lot of learning curve time. and I never feel entitled that this forum owed me free tech help
a few weeks ago, I decided to finally figure out how Apple Airplay worked
so I got the pdf for my i-phone, read the section, figured out where the icon was and viola, I was making music from my phone
I didn't come here asking for help. it was MY phone and MY responsibility for learning a feature in an Apple product - not Pioneer's
but you'll see people who seem to think it's the receiver's fault when they have problems.
I could have hired a dealer/installer but I'm cheap
so I learned it all DIY. I made some mistakes, the 1st was the room layout with the builder - if I knew then what I know now, I would have changed some things
I don't expect new owners to spend the time I have, but I think we can expect folks to at least read a little...don't you?Edited by ss9001 - 4/20/13 at 3:39am