They obviously spent a lot of money on their slick remote gadget as it is thin and has a huge light up high res screen. But it is a nightmare to use each and every day. It's so bad that you can spend hours arguing about what is the worst aspect of it and in the meantime, figure out that things are worse than you think.
Problem 1. The hardwired buttons are vital to using it. But they have this tiny tiny print on them. Plus, they are awkwardly placed and hard to remember. So whenever you use the remote, you have to turn all bright lights on in the room to see the tiny print. Since the remote is often required to turn on the lights, this results in people taking out their phones to use the flashlight to see the remote.
Problem two, for anyone over their mid 40s, using the remote with that tiny print means having your reading glasses on.
Problem three The touch screen on the remote starts out being pretty interesting. The icons are large and bright and clear. They are so bright that once your eyes get use to seeing the icons, you can't see the lightly printed physical buttons.
Using the remote means shifting your eyes constantly between three areas:
- the big TV screen where much of the navigation happens
- the small screen on the remote which is also vital to the navigation
- the tiny buttons on the remove which is also vital to the navigation
I know that sounds stupid but it's true. Here for instance are the steps to go thru to watch a program on Amazon prime.
1. Locate the Power On button. It's a physical button on the remote to turn something on.
2. Now the little screen on the remote lights up. In my case, it is asking if I should "Turn off Room"? No, I want to turn on the TV. Does it always light up to a different place depending on who was using the remote last and for what? Does it reset after some amount of time or does it just keep whatever arbitrary state the last person who used it left it in. So I touch the little touch screen to "Cancel". But now what? This turned off the little screen again. So now I've gone around this with the power button and this screen about 5 times when I decided to write this piece.
3. I now see that after I hit cancel, the screen lights up with four icons: Watch, Lighting, Shades, comfort. But it only stays on for a bit and I need to act quick. I'll click on Watch. Good, I now have a choice between Hotwire Fision TV and SmartHub. Since they know that I'm going to the TV, why isn't this choice on the Big TV Screen instead of making me stare down at the little touchscreen? duhh? So I'll pick Smart Hub. SHIT, I took too long. How to get the options back?
4. I picked power again but this time, it gave me the choices that I want: Hotwire Fision TV and SmartHub. Hurray! After a year with this remote, I still don't know how to control what choices the power button will give me when I use it to turn it on. I'm now guessing that it has to do with whomever used the remote most recently. So sometimes I hit the power button and all I see is some controls for the AC. Sometimes it only shows other stuff which I have no idea what they are about. I have not figured out how to get it to go from where ever it is back to the choices about TV. On the remote, there are a Back and a Home and Menu (three buttons) as hard small little buttons on the remote but, when it's in AC and other modes, these buttons do really weird things.
5. I hit power again, then Smart Hub. But the TV did not go on. I don't know why. Usually it does. So I hit power off again and tried again.
Again, I'm sick of this. I'll do what I usually do which is either switch rooms and see if one of the other TVs can be coaxed into showing me what I want to watch. Or I just go read.
If I get around to it, I'll write about the incredibly finicky process of trying to pick either Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime. While it appears for a second to be a simple choice, the problem is that it keeps kicking into some sort of universal app and I have no idea how to use it or how to get out of there. Sometimes the Back button (the hard button on the remote) will get me out of the univeral app. Then, if I'm careful, while staring at the big screen, I can coax the indicator to get out of the default pick-a-video menu that it is in, down to the pick-an-application mode, pick it, and then go.
Mind you, neither the Home nor the Back button are of any use in these areas, they just do weird things. Often, the screen has four big colored rectangles across the top and I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how they work. I've recently decided that they are just distracting decorations that some idiot added thinking that while people puzzled out how to use things, a few colored useless buttons might help.
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