Getting something to work one time is not remotely the same task as getting it to work for every user, every time. Getting the setup you described to work correctly is doable. Getting that setup to work for everyone who takes a box off the Home Depot shelf and plugs it in? That's hundreds of times more work. Writing a nice UI is a piece of cake in comparison. I'm still inclined to see laziness here rather than malice.
Not that it matters. The end result is the same either way: devices that spy on you unless they get bricked. I wonder if the 1984 Big Brother webcam had more than a two-year warranty.