Irritating “Features”: Philips Matchline TV

Okay, I have to get this out of my system. It is something I’ve been complaining about for months, and it is really an example of the utter dumbness of some product designers. What am I talking about? Simply turning on my TV.

I have this very nice big heavy 100Hz 4:3 Phillips Matchline TV, which I bought 8 or so years ago. For that time, it was a feature-rich TV which could store all kinds of user settings through on-screen menus, and keep them stored even when the power went out. A few weeks ago I noticed a new TV at a friends house has the same “feature” as my old Matchline. You can’t turn it on!

What happens? Monday evening, you are done watching TV and use the remote to switch it to “Stand By” mode. Before you go to bed, you walk by the TV and hit the power button to completely turn it off. Now on Tuesday, after dinner, you decide to watch TV. You walk to the TV, hit the power button, and what happens? The TV goes from “off” to “Standby”. What complete and utter IDIOT designs a TV which goes to “standby” after turning it on with the power button? It wouldn’t surprise me that a junior programmer was showing off his l33t skills by remembering the state of the TV before it was turned off.

So, after 8 years of introducing the wierdest features to TV’s, the usability labs in this world have still not found the most obvious feature to a TV: Turning it on.

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2 Responses to Irritating “Features”: Philips Matchline TV

  1. David Pearce says:

    Your matcline T.V. has a built in dew sensor, so when you turn it on it’s virtually telling you that it’s damp and could short circuit! so it goes to stand by thus saving you a lot of money in repairs. Solution? grab your wifes hairdryer and holding it about two feet away from your t.v. dry it out through the grills, after five minutes turn it back on and see if the green light lights up, if not repeat drying routine again. I have the same problem it does work! Have a great day.

    • rolfje says:

      Thanks for the dew sensor tip, but in this case, it is not the problem. It does it without failing, in a (very) dry house. My new Sony Bravia as a similar feature, where if you press the “5″ on the remote to turn the TV on, it does not go to channel 5, but to some other random channel you were watching last night.

      Another nice example is that the Bravia can re-render video 100 frames a second, but the reaction time to the remote is slower than slow, sometimes taking multiple seconds to react.

      TV designers look for the big features while not getting the little things right.

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