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> For many consumers, any feature not accessible with a single button won't exist. It will be a major pain point. Having it be accessible as a sequence of actions or through a menu won't work.

Then those features don't exist, and that's fine. Is our hypothetical Luddite going to be switching audio streams to SAP? Playing with the picture-in-picture feature? Is he going to know what TTX/MIX means? DMA? E.MODE?

No. Undocumented features are also non-existent features. And for most users, the instruction-manual doesn't count.

It's a TV.

Give basic menu-nav buttons - 4 arrows, OK, Back, show/hide menu.

Give the basic TV tuner buttons - the 0-9 buttons, channel up/down, "Guide" menu button. There's the entirety of your TV facility. Guide needs arrow keys, but our main menu nav already provides that. We don't even really need a "Guide" button, "Guide" can be just be the default view of "Menu".

Volume control, input-selector for its functions as a monitor.

That's it. Notice something? None of those require horrifying abbreviations. We already have standard symbols for all of them. No unlabeled colored buttons. Most of those buttons don't even require words because they're so common we have symbols for them. We just covered all of Grandpa's uses - he wants to change channels and change the volume. We're done. Everything else? Your crazy abbreviated buttons are even more user-hostile than the menu, because at least entries in the menu have vowels.

You could easily cut 6 rows off the Samsung I used as an example and Grandpa would still be happy. Happier even because he's no longer confused about all these crazy weird tiny illegible buttons on his remote. You could even make a large-print version for him and it would be smaller than a dinner-plate.




> No unlabeled colored buttons

The red button in particular is used in the UK for lots of TV services. It's not unusual to hear the phrase 'push the red button for X' on TV.

X is usually alternative video feeds of live/sporting events, or different sporting commentary

You can also use the red button for other information such as news headlines, the weather, sport scores. Grandpa uses this, youngsters have their phones and the internet


That is a good point - there can be a good middle ground that's much less complicated than the current 'standard' remotes, but not so extreme as the Apple remote shown above.

On that note, I somehow recall seeing TVs shipped with 2 remotes - the 'full one' and a simple one like you describe, with the expectation that people will choose which they prefer, and members of the same family might have opposite preferences.


Well, part of the difference is that the Apple TV device isn't going to be changing channels, so it doesn't need the whole list of buttons I just mentioned related to channel-surfing. It's basically just the Guide without the numbers. So we're down to just pure menu-nav and the volume-control.

So really, the Apple TV remote isn't that extreme. It's just a remote for an Apple TV set-top box and not a television.




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