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Today’s Show:

Listeners Respond

There are many times when we ask our listeners for their opinions on topics we discus on the show. On last week’s show we asked you what you thoughts were on two subjects, How you would improve the Harmony Remote and would you pay $25 for day and date VOD titles. Since we received so many responses we thought we’d take a bit more time to share and discuss your emails as our main feature for today’s show.

Day and Date VOD for $25

Overwhelmingly the HT Guys listeners were for this idea. Contrary to what Phil Swann wrote in his article Wacky Wall Street Analyst Proposes $25 Movies all of our responses thought it was a great idea. Here is a sample of the email we received:

Twenty-five USD is a bargain. Last year, I went to two theater movies, Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part II & Hugo. On each, I paid the extra for 3D. The ticket price alone was $13.00 each for my wife and me. Add to that the obligatory large ($5.00) diet coke, and we’re over $30.00.

If same day release were to happen, it would likely accelerate the upgrading of home theater systems. I’m planning on eventually buying a passive 3D. I’d like one that’s bigger than 60″. I’d prefer it to be plasma but local dimming LED would probably work. If same day download release at $25 per movie were to happen, I might pull the trigger sooner and settle for the 55″  $1200 3D LG + BluRay that was in this weekend’s Sunday paper adds.
- JL

$25 would be a steal to watch movies. Because of the cost (usually $30+) my wife and I don’t see as many movies as we’d like. We pretty much limit ourselves to blockbusters that need a giant screen or 3d (hugo, tin tin, and mission impossible were the last we saw).
The problem will be that theater owners will revolt. I guarantee that the first studio to try it will get boycotted by the large chains.
- Andrew

I would definitely go for a first run movie day and date in my home for $25.   HUGE savings and convenience for those of us who have families.   I rarely go to the movies as the value proposition isn’t good considering the whole family plus add-ons.
- Ralph

We did not receive one email saying that $25 was out of line. To be honest, the reason movie theaters are having so much trouble is two fold. First is price. Ten dollars a ticket is about half the cost of a Blu-ray disc. If a family of four can wait a few months they can own the movie for less than it would cost to go and see it in the theater. Throw in popcorn and drinks they can own two other movies that they didn’t even want to see. The second issue is quality of the movies. We post the upcoming Blu-ray discs every Wednesday, and every Wednesday we marvel at the lack of good content being released. There are better TV shows on than some of the movies out there. We hold off on some shows and watch two or three episodes back to back on a Friday and Saturday night. We prefer this to going to any movie theater!

Harmony Remote Improvements

We received a ton of email on this one. We hope the Harmony Engineers are listening because you guys had some great ideas! Here is a sample:

Just thought I’d let you know what I would like to change on the Harmony One.  I’ve had mine now for a couple of months now and I agree with you, it is perfect, but there are a few things I would like changed.

1.  Swap the Info and Guide buttons around.  I use the Info button quite a lot since when you are watching something on satellite, you hit the Info button to bring up the title bar at the bottom of the screen.  My finger always hits the Guide button by mistake – and I hardly go into the program guide.

2.  Introduce hard buttons for the red, green, blue and yellow buttons.  I use the red button quite a lot, but would rather prefer to have them as hard buttons instead since it reminds me so often how much full scale touch-screen remotes suck.  I think the Harmony 700 and 900 have them.

3.  The “click” the buttons make when you press them is too “loud”.
- Glen

I can think of at least one improvement I’d like to see in a new Harmony One… the blu-ray red, blue, green and yellow buttons.  That and real support for macros in at least the upper models.
- Zach in FL

Here’s what I would improve:

Longer battery life,
Shorter case,
Imdb type app via web wifi,
Support of two way feed for apple tv like iPhone which shows what’s playing and status (timings)
- Ed

The three improvements I would like to see in Logitech Remote Controls are:

1.  Allow multiple remotes on one account.  Let the account name (email address) be changed.  Due to an unfortunate error when setting up a Logitech remote control for a neighbor, I can not use my own email for setup of my remote which I got later.  If I switch the email then all the settings on that account go away.  If I would have known, I would have used a made-up email address.  This seems like a ridiculous restriction.

2.  In the power macros for the different activities I would like to see the web software allow for easy programming of delays.  It is a big hassle when certain devices like the TV turn on and the macro goes on too quickly so the TV does not set the correct input.

3.  Compared to other universal remotes or those supplied with most devices, the Logitech seems to send its commands slower.  For example if you are quickly surfing using the channel up, the TV responds slower with the Logitech than the original remote.
- Jeff in Chicago

I say give me a remote with a mini keyboard/keypad. Would be great for use with my HTPC and probably many of the other newer network-connected devices out there.
- Ed in SF

Around Xmas time we cant configure because there’s too much traffic to their servers. For two days i couldn’t configure it.
Maybe using the software on the PC to save and configure the remote and just upload the settings to their server on a time schedule would be better.
- Fernando Rato, from Portugal

We would also like to be able to have the remote issue a sequence of commands at predetermined time. Setting up a sleep function to shut down your system at 10:00PM would be great. Or program the TV to turn on a specific time and channel would add a nice touch to an already great remote!


Download Episode #515

Posted by The HT Guys, February 2, 2012 9:51 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.