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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-houseguests-will-never-be-able-to-operate-your-tv dept.
smaxp writes: "If the cable and satellite live television providers were to comment on the latest Amazon Fire TV or reports of the new Google Android and Apple TVs, it would likely be in the voice and character of Charlton Heston: 'We will give up our remotes when they are pried from our cold dead hands.' Amazon's Fire TV and the rumored Google Android and Apple TVs excite and then disappoint. At first glance, it looks like cable and satellite television are about to be outflanked and the eternal struggle with the TV remote and set-top box will be solved with an intuitive interface to search both live television and archival content from streamed online video companies such as Netflix. Sadly, it isn't so. The cable and satellite companies that provide live television have made sure this won’t happen, because putting Amazon in the forefront would make live television providers’ brands less relevant. Amazon would then also have a wedge to pry its way into the live television ecosystem."
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

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  • by thevirtualcat (1071504) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @02:50PM (#46696885)

    "We absolutely support your ability to have one remote control for everything... so long as it's produced by us and we lease it to you for a nominal monthly fee." -- Every programming provider ever.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @02:51PM (#46696901) Homepage

    They screwed up the CEC control protocol so bad that nothing is compatible. They had a chance to spell out the CEC and then DEMAND that in order to use HDMI they must fully support CEC.

    TV and device makers are all ran by major retards that think they need to have special "secret" command codes. and it's complete BS. a LG tv set should be able to control any HDMI device hooked up to it.

    The blame lies at the feet of the idiots that Designed HDMI. They are the ones that need to be beaten with a sack of hot doorknobs.

  • Re:Grammar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThomasBHardy (827616) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:31PM (#46697487)

    While you can get the same functionality on a phone, you cannot easily replicate the ease of use or the in-the-dark familiarity of a dedicated remote on a cell phone screen. I've run cell remotes and they are clever and better than nothing, but not better.

    Having to activate your cell phone, get blaring light in your eyes rather than the dim theater room, and then having to load the appropriate app, and then start pushing virtual buttons, all to lower the volume on a movie is not very efficient or unobtrusive.

  • Re:Grammar (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:52PM (#46697787) Homepage

    > you cannot easily replicate the ease of use or the in-the-dark familiarity of a dedicated remote on a cell phone screen.

    You simply don't need to. The cell phone screen has it's own lighting. So the "problem" you are describing there becomes completely moot.

    Although this really sidesteps the real issue: multi-vendor co-operation. The cable providers really have squat to do with this problem. Hardware vendors don't want to play nice with each other.

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @03:53PM (#46697811)

    Speak for yourself.

    I gave up cable television years ago. I'm currently running a fileserver serving a combination of my own ripped media (300 seasons of TV-on-DVD/Blu, 600 or so films, a handful of purchased digital content) and a ton of pirated stuff. I live in a jurisdiction where this isn't illegal, and if I lived in a jurisdiction where it was illegal, I'd use a proxy and pirate anyway. My fileserver streams to AppleTV2s in every room with a TV. Each is hacked to run on XBMC, and I use a python script to synchronize play information between them. I have python scripts that automatically move downloaded files to the appropriate folders, I use ShowRSS to automatically pirate my TV, and I use a python script to scrape new release films from Rotten Tomatoes and pirate this too. I occasionally subscribe to Netflix, but only as a discovery mechanism and my use is rare. My tech-illiterate retirement-aged mother can use my TV just fine because it has an intuitive UI.

    I don't say this to brag. Anyone can pirate, it's nothing to be proud of. Quite the opposite. I mention it because anyone can pirate. If you want to give up cable and satellite, give up cable and satellite. Pay for what you want to, let the companies deal with the consequences. I've actually never heard of a satisfied cable customer. "From our cold dead hands"? Of course not. It's a buyer's--or pirate's--market. Do what you want to do.

    "I live in a jurisdiction where this isn't illegal" - Bullshit. You just don't give a fuck.

    "My fileserver streams to AppleTV2s in every room with a TV." - Bullshit. No pirate would use AppleTV to play shit because it can't handle a lot of the higher quality encodes out there.

    "I use a python script to synchronize play information between them." - More bullshit. I'm not saying you can't I'm saying you wouldn't, because it's pointless.

    "I have python scripts that automatically move downloaded files to the appropriate folders" - I'm not even sure what this actually means, but it's bullshit because it's impossible to normalize content titles out of release names and it's pointless if you're using XBMC - everything can just live in one fucking source folder.

    "I use a python script to scrape new release films from Rotten Tomatoes and pirate this too." - More bullshit that doesn't even make any fucking sense. Why would you scrape against RT? Why wouldn't you just reverse your release name to content title script? Why would you be scraping against RT when you could get the releases weeks in advance?

    It's like it's 1994 and I'm on IRC again.

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