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July 26, 2015

Off Topic - Your Cable Box Is So 1978

Non-car-computer rant here but I think it needs to be said. Scientific Atlanta makes millions of cable TV boxes. It's very possible that you have one or two in your house right now. If you're living with one of these things you may know what I'm about to say... The UI is terrible. It's so terrible I can't understand how there isn't a riot in the street. It's not like we don't pay a fee for them each month. We do, and whats worse, we allow it to happen.

If SA were on top of things they would buy Tivo outright and use them as their UI provider. It would allow SA to work on hardware and stop torturing us with their dreadful interface. My HD tuner, the Explorer 8300 is a PVR yet it has no functionality for searching. It has a very basic sort of search that only lets you look a day at a time and even then, it's too weird to use. Tivo cracked that years ago. Their version of season pass keeps recording the same show and sometimes, no show at all. Yoou have to dig deep into menus to get anything done and thats with their 40 something button remote.

DirecTV has something over cable and thats a superior UI all the way around. Cable subscribers are not a captive audience and bacle operators need to know that. The signal quality of cable is good as long as the line is clear, otherwise, like me, you get static. Like most people. I dont get the ads on TV about people getting frustrated with satellite TV, it's a very negative campaign and I don't think people are responsive to that. The part about it being "too complicated" makes no sense. The UI cable operators are allowing to be deployed in their boxes are too complicated.

There is an argument about the cost. What is the cost of losing customers? How much did they spend running negative ads against satellite. instead of marketing to people and trying to sell snake oil, how about good old fashioned quality service from end to end. That always wins out.

Posted by Lionel Felix at July 26, 2015 04:00 PM

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