Turning on the TV – the ease of activity-based remotes

Rarely do you find a family where everyone is as into AV gear as the person who bought the 46 inch LCD TV, the AV receiver, the surround sound, the HDMI DVD player and the HDD recorder. How often have we enthusiasts heard the cry of “Why is the TV different again? How do I turn on the DVD player?”

For the enthusiast, the task is simple. Turn on the whole stack at the wall, then turn on the TV. Select HDMI 1 for the DVD player using the TV remote, then turn on the DVD player using the DVD remote. Insert the disc, press play. While waiting for the interminable and unskippable studio titles to run again, switch on the AV receiver and select Optical 1 or S/PDIF 1 for the DVD output. Double check the receiver is in 5.1 mode or switch to 7.1 upmixing if you have the extra speakers. Simple!

Understandably, folks who just want the weather or to check a football score find all this more than a little traumatic. They reminisce about the good old days of pushing the chunky ‘On’ button, and then physically turning a dial which changed channels with a satisfying ‘kachunk’ sound. And no matter how many times you go through the sequence of activating all the kit, no one except the person who built the stack seems able to remember how to follow that sequence.