Information Mapping - VCRs

Subject: Information Mapping - VCRs
From: William=E -dot- =Newkirk%Pubs%GenAv -dot- Mlb -at- RODES -dot- CCA -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 08:50:05 EDT

>>The fact that 99 percent of
>>Americans don't know how to program their VCRs indicates to me that the
>>VCR manuals aren't acheiving that goal. Now, if the information was
>>presented in an enteraining way, maybe 99 percent of Americans would read
>>their manuals and know how to program their VCRs!

>>Kent Newton
>>kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com
>Please give your source for the 99% figure. I don't believe it.
>The VCR manuals of today are much better than the manual that came
>with my first VCR in 1980.
>Bob Morrisette
>writer -at- sabu -dot- EBay -dot- sun -dot- com

actually, the reason most of the clocks don't get set is that setting the
clock is not needed for the use of the equipment to play back prerecorded
tapes (#1 use of VTRs in the home.). people come home, want to watch a movie
so they just jam it in the slot (VTR comes on, most enter "play" mode
automatically) and turn on the tv...they might have to find the tv remote to
set up channel 3 or 4 on the tv..by that time the commercials and most of the
previews are out of the way and the microwave popcorn is ready.

people that need time shifting will figure out how to setup the clock and the
program memory (if they have reliable power) or buy one of those battery
operated thingys that has it's own clock and IR transmitter that issues
commands as if you were there with the remote...

another reason the clocks don't get set is that most of them fail at the
slightest hint of power interruption and people get tired of resetting the
time of day every time they come home. (could be fixed if the "self setting"
VTR's are a hit - haven't heard any raves about them - can see a problem if
the "setting" TV station is in a different time zone than the viewer's VTR.)

the sony VTRs i have at home are easy to set up and seem pretty resistant to
the fluctuations in florida power. Even so, an extended power outage will
reset them. worst time setup i've ever seen was on a NEC - you did need 3
hands to hold down and operate the buttons (could be done with 2 but easier
if you had help..)

consumer electronics today is expected by most buyers to be "no setup
required" beyond plugging it in or putting in batteries and turning it on. I
recently bought a new TV and there was a manual included but the way i set it
up was to:

1) remove tv from box.
2) set up tv on stand.
3) plug in tv, hook up cable feed.
4) put batteries in remote (taped to remote..)
5) press "POWER" on remote
6) TV came on and entered setup mode (it knew it'd never been
setup before...and entered the menus..
English, French or Spanish menus?
connected to cable or antenna?
select type of cable system (3 types - affects channel
numbering and frequencies used) or auto detect?
found the cable system type.
auto or manual program of channel numbers?
7) five minutes after power on, i've got the TV set up.
looked at the manuals later, showed how to use the
front panel buttons and was mostly legal disclaimers and
warnings like "don't pour liquids in the cooling vents.."

it could be argued that i didn't need a "manual" to use the TV...there were
lots of pictures in it and it was quite unwieldy since it folded out like a
road map (one big page...)

another reason for the VTR clock not to get set is that the owner already has
a watch...

bill newkirk
rockwell avionics/collins
wenewkirk -at- rodes -dot- cca -dot- rockwell -dot- com

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