Put < > around it and it should pass... <http://www.digitaltvdesignline.com/howto/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=174909729> Manfredi, Albert E wrote: >I'm sure the URL will get hopelessly trashed. There are two equals >signs in it, and it's way too long. But I copied the entire >article. > >My Philips DVDR works very well, overall. It suffered from some >PC-like firmware glitches early on, but the firmware updates seem >to have cured those problems. Actually, it was one of the early >updates of the firmware that caused some strange glitches, not >the original load. > >IMO the biggest problems are not the recorder or the software, >which is very easy to use in my case. I see the problems being >first that consumers aren't told what these devices do. Everyone >knew that VCRs were great for time shifting. For unexplained >reasons, this obvious function of DVDRs is hidden from the >buyer. It's a secret that there's a TV tuner built in, even if >all are analog only, as far as I can tell. > >Another problem is occasional copy protection by broadcasters, >which I still can't tell if it's intentional or not. NBC says >unintentional. This might be why some people think they aren't >reliable. > >Another possible issue, especially among those who pride >themselves in their inability to program a VCR, is that no >one seems to publish VCR+ codes anymore. So you have to enter >the info manually. Turns out that takes no longer than entering >a weird code anyway. > >A DVDR with good 5th gen ATSC receiver built in would make a >great STB, even if the DVDs can't record true HD. > >Bert > >------------------------------------ >http://www.digitaltvdesignline.com/showArticle.jhtml?printableArticle=3Dt= >r >ue&articleId=3D174909729 > >November 30, 2005 > >Will DVD recorders succeed despite user interface problems? > >By John Barber > >Chinese manufacturers are pulling no punches with price drops >for DVD recorders. Recent drops from Wal-Mart's private label >brand "iLo" (actually manufactured by EastTech) to $99 are an >indication that the DVD recorder market is finally in the >position to take significant share away from DVD players. >However, previous lackluster sales of DVD recorders in the >market due to an unintuitive user interface highlight a >significant issue that could create barriers to this volume >potential. Most U.S. consumers are familiar with drastic >price drops in consumer products. One of the main factors in >this drop is the aggressive integration of semiconductor >intellectual property into a single piece of silicon, or >system on chip (SOC), reducing the amount of overall silicon >and, hence, total cost of the product. > >This integration has, however, contributed to a significant >challenge for Chinese contract manufacturers who are >competing with low-cost DVD recordable platforms. As the >hardware complexity and level of integration of SOC devices >and application-specific standard products (ASSPs) has >increased, so has the role and sophistication of the software >embedded in these chips. The DVD recorder market's slow sales >illustrate the problems that can arise from poorly designed >embedded software. > >The biggest mistake that many Chinese contract manufacturers >made is to assume that DVD recorders are just extensions of a >DVD player. In reality, a DVD recorder is immensely more >complicated than a player. For instance, every DVD recorder >has a region-specific tuner and special optical properties to >handle very complicated read/write functions. The DVD player >handles only decoding of digital data, whereas a recorder >must take in and process analog and digital data from the >tuner, A/V inputs, and IEEE-1394 (Firewire) input from >digital camcorders. The DVD recorder must also handle most, >if not all, of the DVD media formats like DVD+R, DVD-R, and >DVD-RW. While DVD recorder SoC hardware has been developed to >process these formats, embedded software development has >lagged behind, leading to lackluster sales in the retail >channel. Even with drastic price drops, consumers are >returning their DVD recorders at levels reaching 30% to 40%, >often citing the hard-to-use interface (which is driven by >the embedded software) as the reason. > >For the box manufacturers, choosing an SoC or ASSP with poor >embedded application software can lead to severe >consequences. Well-designed and flexible embedded software is >vital for the success of consumer electronic devices. > >Who's to blame? > >Don't be quick to point the finger at Chinese equipment >manufacturers for this user experience issue. In the past, >consumer electronic manufacturers developed some of the >embedded software themselves, but today's highly integrated >and highly complex SoCs require a huge amount of software. >As a result, the responsibility for developing a user >interface now lies with the chip maker, leaving most contract >manufacturers with primary task making only minor "look and >feel" changes to the user interface. The user-interface layer >of embedded software needs to control an ever-growing list of >features. > >The user interface provided to OEMs as part of the software >embedded in SoCs or ASSPs has been nonintuitive, resulting in >hard-to-use products. Semiconductor vendors should include a >fully functional, intuitive user interface in their embedded >software. In theory, OEMs can include the unmodified user >interface in their products, but the ultimate goal is to >provide flexible software tools that allow contract >manufacturers to customize the look and feel of the user >interface. > >Manufacturers of SoCs and ASSPs need to improve the quality >of their embedded software and make it more flexible. The >key to doing this is to use modular software design >techniques. Well-written, modular software will also help to >reduce costs by making it easier to reuse existing code, >shortening the time it takes to bring new SoCs and ASSPs to >market, and cutting software support costs. > >Some semiconductor vendors are developing an embedded Java >and HTML interface to support new DVD recorder and set-top >box designs. This interface will include tools the OEMs can >use to modify an application user interface quickly and >easily. Companies that provide dedicated Java and HTML tools >to support such needs include Planetweb and iPanel (Embedded >Internet Solutions). > >Tipping point > >Retailers and Chinese equipment manufacturers have responded >to lackluster sales the only way they know how: they're >slashing prices. Lite-On, a low-cost manufacturer of DVD >recorders in the U.S. retail market, is expected to cut its >price for its DVD recorder, which also features the "Easy >Guider" menu to navigate through the various recording >functions. Lite-On naturally claims its interface is very >intuitive, and at such low prices, the consumer's decision >between a DVD player and a DVD recorder is just about >eliminated. > >Will the DVD player or recorder win the market share? The >ultimate test plays out this holiday season in an >electronics store near you. > >John Barber is an analyst with Gartner Dataquest. He can be >contacted via e-mail at john.barber@xxxxxxxxxxxx > >Reader Response > >----------------------------------------------------------- > >I have returned three DVD recorders--not because of clunky >user interfaces, but because of unreliable operation. > >The CyberHome machine which started it all is identical to >the ilo machine mentioned in your article. > >It worked fine--when it worked, but it made too many >"coasters" during various operations. Read more on my blog >at: www.livejournal.com/~russj/10926.html. > >- Russ Josephson >United States > >----------------------------------------------------------- > >I can't believe it is the user interface, as the two units >I have the firmware bugs are much worse. Are you sure only >30% are returned? Are the rest put in the trash? One unit >that I purchased will reset the date and time if you press >a key at the wrong time. And the states are just not right. >You have to eject and insert disk to get the menus to sync >up with the correct state. > >The second unit I have, different brand, always manages to >crash the firmware, at which point, it does not respond. >You have to pull the plug in order to reset it! There is no >way the average consumer can use these. I can't believe the >people who wrote the firmware ever used these either! They >could have done some QA to verify that the basic >record/playback work. > >I waited too long, can no longer return these. And I haven't >been able to find any firmware updates to fix any of the >problems, even though this was a selling point on one of the >boxes! > >- Paul >United States > > >---------------------------------------------------------------------- >You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: > >- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at >FreeLists.org > >- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word >unsubscribe in the subject line. > > > -- ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> Regards, Mark A. 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