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Desperate for Housewives?

Phil Harvey

3:35 PM -- NEW ORLEANS -- Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) chairman and CEO Yoshi Yamada said during the keynote panel here Sunday that tru2way technology will kill the set-top box: "The set-top box is going to disappear. It's function is going into the TV."

Then he said something that made a few of the female journalists in the press section roll their eyes. When describing how much easier it would be to get a full selection of cable TV programming and services just from the TV -- without requiring a set-top box -- he said: "This is especially good news for housewives."

Roll your eyes all you want. He's right.

Housewives (all stay-at-home parents, really) are the nerve center of the home and they're often too busy to sit and figure out complicated technology and TV menus that aren't intuitive.

They're not nerds. They don't care if something is a technology marvel. Channel up. Channel down. Search. Record. The housewives are right to demand that those choices should be featured on the largest buttons of every TV remote.

I think that's what Mr. Yamada was really saying, even if his choice of words was a little old school. If consumer electronics companies and their cable partners actually come through with tru2way and win with housewives, they've won the war.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

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12/5/2012 | 3:40:29 PM
re: Desperate for Housewives?
Yes, the dress code is a perk but lets not forget the perk of naptime that comes with the job ;)
12/5/2012 | 3:40:32 PM
re: Desperate for Housewives?
I dunno. Stay at home dad is a really tough job. But the dress code is definitely a perk.
12/5/2012 | 3:40:33 PM
re: Desperate for Housewives?
It's true. The one thing folks here at NCTA own up to immediately is that they're years behind on UIs. Newer cable boxes have better looking software, but it's too little too late for most consumers.

12/5/2012 | 3:40:35 PM
re: Desperate for Housewives?
I should try and convince my wife that I need to be a stay at home dad so I can stay home and use simple consumer electronic devices all dayGǪGǪI guess itGs good to dream.
12/5/2012 | 3:40:36 PM
re: Desperate for Housewives?
...and just for the record - the Comcast cable box (motorola, I believe) is the very worst offender.

The menus are counterintuitive.

Each time you push a button on the remote - it is as if a Cable Operator's Union Meeting is held to decide if they will - in fact - allow you to change the channel, or fast forward, etc. etc.

This leads to frustration and repeated attempts at clicking the button - only to find the requests are (sometimes) buffered, and once the Motorola box decides to process your savage queue of button-pushes, it does this all at once. You can often find that in a button pushing rage you've deleted cherished programs on your DVR.

Using a Comcast remote feels as fast as writing a letter with quill and parchment.

When will THAT madness end?
12/5/2012 | 3:40:36 PM
re: Desperate for Housewives?
...the housewives may roll their eyes, but I can't tell you how many times I've rolled mine (on the phone, out of sight) when my wife called me to be rescued from being lost in the cable box menu, or even bamboozled by the universal remote.
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