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Old 06-24-2019, 11:12 AM
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Hey, Company. Not everyone is a Millennial.


Mrs. L.A. bought a 60" Vizio TV a couple/few years ago. I've noticed over the past couple/few weeks that the picture seemed a little blue. Well, the pics from Seattle could be blue. The news shows a bunch of concrete, the Sound, and cloudy skies. Fear The Walking Dead could be bluish, since the producers have 'interesting' style choices. The B&W stuff we watch... Well, it looks B&W. But no, the picture really is blue; so I picked up the little-used remote control...

There are only like six buttons on it. I tried the PIC one, and it gave me choices such as Standard, Calibrated, Vivid, Game, and such. None of them corrected the picture. I looked in the user manual, which happened to be handy, and there was nothing about adjusting the picture. I called the Vizio support line (immediately answered by a person, BTW), and found out that you need a smartphone to adjust the set. Fortunately, I have one. The guy walked me through pairing it to the TV and getting it set up. I haven't had time this morning to really try to adjust the picture, but it's better now.

The thing of it is, why would the company not sell a TV that can be adjusted without any third-party device? Most of their consumers weren't born in this century! Apparently, it eventually dawned on someone that consumers prefer to have a full-function remote control, and they 'upgraded' the control. I went to Amazon and spent the eight bucks for one. But really, who decides these things? It never occurred to anyone that people would want to adjust their TVs with a remote control instead of installing an app? Nobody realised that not everyone has a smartphone?
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:20 AM
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Why do you assume it's only millennials with smartphones? They're owned by 80% of the overall population and even among those over 65, about half own smartphones. See this page from the Pew Research Center. Lots of things today assume smartphone ownership.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:26 AM
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Why do you assume it's only millennials with smartphones? ... Lots of things today assume smartphone ownership.
It was a stylistic statement. Rhetoric aside, your link shows that a higher percentage of millennials own smartphones than other age groups.

It's OK to assume smartphone ownership, but it's pretty stupid to require smartphone ownership.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:28 AM
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I don't have a smart phone, not because I'm a Luddite, but because I'm frugal. The rare occasions one would be helpful don't justify me switching from my pay-as-you-go flip phone, but it's sometimes frustrating the number of places that expect you to have the little rectangular beastie.

I just ordered a new TV - I certainly hope it comes with a remote that does what I need it to do...
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:43 AM
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The smartphone requirement is damned deliberate. Whatever you desire, you are told, "We have an app for that!"

GRRRRRR!

Every single app you install allows the entire universe access to every single cell in your body. Forever. You MUST click "I agree" to get any app.

That click to agree sells your soul.

Every. Single. App.

All electronics you buy these days have minimal software. It allows you to contact the Apple Store or Google Play to get an app.

They know what they are doing.

Do you?


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Old 06-24-2019, 11:47 AM
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And can they teach the help idiomatic English so I don't need to smar ten up m y o

Shit, this fire is great for some things but it took 5 minutes to get that wrong.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:53 AM
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And can they teach the help idiomatic English so I don't need to smar ten up m y o

Shit, this fire is great for some things but it took 5 minutes to get that wrong.

Obviously, you need an app...


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Old 06-24-2019, 12:20 PM
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I detest the fact that I now have to have a mobile phone to do my damn job due to two-factor authentication. And does the company pay for the phone? No! I could set the Microsoft auth to ring my desk phone, but if I am at home or in a classroom that doesn't help me much. The other one we use to access systems requires a mobile phone - at minimum, you have to be able to receive a text message, which of course for some pay-as-you go phone users, costs money.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:24 PM
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Most of their consumers weren't born in this century!
Neither were most Millennials.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:32 PM
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I bought hubs a Gamen GPS for his car for Christmas. Only to discover my computer isn’t current enough to work with it to download the maps. The IOS is one version out of date, and my device just old enough, to not be able to update the OS any more.

Now I realize that’s not their issue, and I knew my device wasn’t current.

My complaint is: They couldn’t put the OS version requirement on the packaging? Or the web page?

Seriously? Because it was Christmas, I stood in line to buy it, then stood it line to return it, at a mall not easy for me to reach. Ugh!
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:13 PM
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The smartphone requirement is damned deliberate. Whatever you desire, you are told, "We have an app for that!"

GRRRRRR!

Every single app you install allows the entire universe access to every single cell in your body. Forever. You MUST click "I agree" to get any app.

That click to agree sells your soul.

Every. Single. App.
I suspect that at least as big a factor is the cost reduction. Instead of making you a physical remote control with two dozen buttons, they just give you a super-simple remote that has the most-used buttons (on/off, channel, volume, etc.) and then write some code for your phone for the vast array of rarely-used functions.

For many other devices, there's no remote and a very simplified user interface. I recently started using a CPAP device that has a very basic menu system on its front, but you can put an app on your phone that lets you download usage data: you can track your sleep quality, mask fit, sleep time, and apnea stats. Pretty slick.

Some devices have no physical interface of their own at all. I bought an OBD2 code reader recently that's basically just a block of plastic you plug into your car. It bluetooths the data to my phone, where I read it with an app. Cost? $15. An OBD2 reader with its own display and buttons would have cost a lot more.

Same goes for user manuals. Many manufacturers stopped wasting paper years ago, opting instead to just give you a link to download a PDF file. To me, that's a win-win: fewer murdered trees, less paper bloating my file drawer, and a PDF document that makes it super easy to search for, and quickly find, the info I want.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:19 PM
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Neither were most Millennials.
Or any of them.

XKCD
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:25 PM
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Our new HR software at work is designed to be used via smartphone. In the meeting where this was all announced I asked "What about people who don't have smarthphones?" :::Guffaw guffaw::: - who doesn't have a smartphone? was the reply. "He doesn't" I said, pointing to one of the cart pushing guys. Two hands raised in the back by other employees. They didn't either. :::Looks of dumbfounded puzzlement and a little fear:::... uh... we'll have to look into that....

Almost as much fun as the time someone in the IT department decided to upgrade EVERY computer and register in the company system - all 200+ stores and corporate headquarters - at 2pm on one fine Sunday afternoon. For an upgrade that had the whole system down for about an hour and a half. Because who works on a Sunday afternoon, right?

We're a grocery store - Sunday afternoons are a peak time for business.

That only happened once. Not sure if the decision maker on that one is still employed at the company or not.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:32 PM
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Or any of them.

XKCD
I've seen friends of mine who by most definitions would be considered Millennials themselves post stuff on Facebook complaining about Millennials. They seem to think Millennial" means "someone younger than me who I disapprove of."

Granted most of my friends and I were born in the early 1980s, that in-between not-quite-Gen X but not-quite-Millennial period. But I tend to think of myself as the World's Oldest Millennial.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:56 PM
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When my work switched to a phone-app only method of authenticating to VPN, I made them give me an iPhone. It's a tech company so I'm sure they had a box of them lying around. I don't have a talk or data plan, it only works on wi-fi. Although the authentication app actually works even without wifi because it can generate a number key based on time like those old things you used to keep on a keychain.

I figure sooner or later there will be some application I need to use personally that will go-mobile only.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:00 PM
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That's what most people think millennial means. I like to use Chris Evans and Tom Holland, who nicely bookend the age range, to give people a sense of who is a millennial.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:05 PM
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Actually, who is and isn't a millennial isn't the point of this thread. The point is that companies, specifically Vizio in my case, are making assumptions that exclude a lot of their customers.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:40 PM
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Actually, who is and isn't a millennial isn't the point of this thread. The point is that companies, specifically Vizio in my case, are making assumptions that exclude a lot of their customers.
I guess they feel the economics of that decision work in their favor, and if you happen to be in the non-smartphone-owning minority, that's not their problem.

The same could be said for companies that don't include hardcopy manuals with their products, on the assumption that you own a computer and know how to navigate to their website to download a PDF manual.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:36 PM
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I suspect that at least as big a factor is the cost reduction. Instead of making you a physical remote control with two dozen buttons, they just give you a super-simple remote that has the most-used buttons (on/off, channel, volume, etc.) and then write some code for your phone for the vast array of rarely-used functions.
Having worked for a TV manufacturer, I think this is the closest answer. But it's not just penny-pinching -- there's a slight flaw in the OP's premise. The truth is, few people want to adjust the picture quality settings, and those that do will tend to be more tech-savvy, so they will almost certainly have a smart phone. It is much easier to build a nice rich UI on a phone which has the infrastructure to allow developers to build nice looking apps, rather than on a TV where in most cases the UI has to be built from the ground up, using simple 2D graphics primitives or even just raw bitmap access. To put in the fairly enormous effort to build the UI on the TV, simply to handle the relative handful of users who are savvy enough to want to tweak the PQ settings but are still using some stone age phone, just doesn't make good business sense.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:40 PM
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I guess they feel the economics of that decision work in their favor...
And then they have to spend the money to design a proper remote control and manufacture them for their 'updated' TVs. It seems to me that it would be cheaper to do it right the first time.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:43 PM
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Having worked for a TV manufacturer, I think this is the closest answer. But it's not just penny-pinching -- there's a slight flaw in the OP's premise. The truth is, few people want to adjust the picture quality settings, and those that do will tend to be more tech-savvy...
I disagree, because I'm not talking about 'picture quality settings' in the sense that such a phrase seems to be used today. Colour TVs had Colour, Tint, and Hue adjustments decades before smartphones or personal computers. Most people, upon finding that the picture is a little blue, or red, or whatever, can make the adjustments without being 'tech-savvy'.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:45 PM
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And then they have to spend the money to design a proper remote control and manufacture them for their 'updated' TVs. It seems to me that it would be cheaper to do it right the first time.
In this instance. You don't know where else vizio has cut this corner and not gotten bitten by it. And have they even been bitten here? I'm guessing the TV wasn't sold at a remoteless discount. So they got you to pay for the TV and then another 8 bucks for the remote. Seems like everything is working out very capitalistically for Vizio.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:06 PM
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The docking station I used to listen to my Ipod Classic (yes, I know, one step above a Victrola) wore out so I went shopping for a new one. For $80 I came home with a Sony "Bluetooth" speaker, which, for the convenience of hopeless Luddites, still sports an Ipod jack.

I like to turn the music down low at bedtime. Guess what? The "bluetooth" speaker cuts out entirely when you turn the volume down to a certain point! No sound at all. Guess what, you can download some bullshit that will allow you to bypass the "sound disappears entirely" "feature"... if and only if you have a "smart" phone. (Sorry for all the quotation marks, but they help to make my point.)

Took it back to the store and the (millennial?) sales girl expressed shock at such a stupid "feature." She recommended the JBL "bluetooth" speaker so I took that one home instead. Guess what again? Yup, same "feature." I gave up and ordered another one of the old lo-fi docking stations off of EvilBay. But I'm sure it won't be long til their "dumb" technology is no longer available...

(signed)

--Frustrated by "Progress."
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:06 PM
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I don't have a talk or data plan, it only works on wi-fi.
I bought an inexpensive 'burner phone' when our company went to a VOIP system and the app had unreasonable permission requirements. I never even registered it, no minutes or data, wifi only. It's been working well for about a year and a half.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:10 PM
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I have a ten-year-old Sony TV. When I bought it, I put the factory remote away and only ever use the Comcast remote or a cheap generic Sony remote I bought for maybe twenty bucks. I've always been able to get deep into the menus of the TV just by pressing Menu on the remote and then moving left or right to select the right subject heading. Not sure why that didn't work for the OP.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:37 PM
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Not sure why that didn't work for the OP.
There is no Menu button on the remote.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:53 PM
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These apps often come with tracking software too.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:10 PM
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These apps often come with tracking software too.
My point exactly! You MUST click "I agree" to install any app. When you do that, you give them access to your information, and permit themto do whatever they damn well please with it.

I tell you people, you sell your soul!


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Last edited by VOW; 06-24-2019 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:16 PM
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Not sure why that didn't work for the OP.
There is no Menu button on the remote.
OK, that's ridiculous. One menu button makes a lot of features and options available.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:32 PM
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Hey, I'm still sore about them taking all the controls off of the TV itself and putting them on the remote. Remotes get lost, or run out of batteries, or get chewed up by the dog, and when that happens, it's a lot better to have the inconvenience of having to get off the couch than to have the inconvenience of not being able to use the TV at all.

And I was born in 1977, and the first time I heard the term "Millennial" was when my sister (born 1974) sent me an e-mail listing all the touchstones of our generation and identifying us as millennials. Guess who complains loudly about all "those millennials" now?
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:35 PM
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I recently rented a car in order to do some business travel. I was very pleased with the rental; service at the airport rental counter was quick and friendly, and there was no upselling to such things as a GPS or a toll package. The car was clean and ran well. The return was a breeze.

A few days after, I got an e-mail from the rental company asking if I'd complete a survey for them. Hey, like I said, I was quite pleased, and wanted to let them know. So I did the survey.

One of the questions was, "How easy was our smartphone app to use?" Well, I didn't use their app, so I selected "Did not use the app." The next question was, "Why did you not use our app?" followed by a freeform field for whatever answer I might provide.

I answered the only possible answer, in my case: "I don't know how to download an app to my phone. Besides, since everything went so smoothly at the counter, with the car, and upon the return, I wonder why an app is necessary." I wonder what they'll make of that.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:47 PM
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And then they have to spend the money to design a proper remote control and manufacture them for their 'updated' TVs. It seems to me that it would be cheaper to do it right the first time.
I saw something similar to this a lot when I worked in the high-tech industry as a technical writer.

Generally, developers and engineers would come up with an idea, usually some new feature. Through prototypes and other means, they would decide (or not) whether the idea was doable. If it was, they would push for its inclusion in the next release.

Then somebody, usually the Marketing department but sometimes Customer Support, would ask, "Do our users and potential users really want that feature? They're not asking for it, nor are we hearing that they want anything like it."

The response from the developers and engineers was often, "Who cares what they want? We've proven that we can implement this feature, so we're going to."

It seems to me that the "Who cares what users want? We can do this, so we're going to do this" attitude, is why the OP encountered what he did.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:43 PM
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Hey, I'm still sore about them taking all the controls off of the TV itself and putting them on the remote. Remotes get lost, or run out of batteries, or get chewed up by the dog, and when that happens, it's a lot better to have the inconvenience of having to get off the couch than to have the inconvenience of not being able to use the TV at all.
Yes. This still pisses me off. I don't think they even have a "power" button anymore. They still had them a while back... don't know if they do now. I haven't bought a TV in 25 years. I watch any video, whether broadcast TV or anything else, through my computer.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:52 PM
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My big screen TV actually does have control buttons on it - on the right-side edge. Not terribly well labeled, but definitely there. We bought it in... 2005 I think?
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:02 PM
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2005! How archaic!


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Old 06-24-2019, 07:39 PM
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Hey, I'm still sore about them taking all the controls off of the TV itself and putting them on the remote.
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Yes. This still pisses me off. I don't think they even have a "power" button anymore. They still had them a while back... don't know if they do now.
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My big screen TV actually does have control buttons on it - on the right-side edge. Not terribly well labeled, but definitely there.
When I was on the phone with Vizio support, they had me unplug the TV and then push a button on the back. I think I saw volume buttons, and the other button might have been power. (I don't remember what the button they wanted me to push was.) I had no idea those buttons were there. Black buttons on a black case with black (raised) lettering, in the opposite place from my older flat-screen TVs.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:43 PM
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The smartphone requirement is damned deliberate. Whatever you desire, you are told, "We have an app for that!"

GRRRRRR!

Every single app you install allows the entire universe access to every single cell in your body. Forever. You MUST click "I agree" to get any app.

That click to agree sells your soul.

Every. Single. App.

~VOW
I recently bought a camera gimbal. Not sure why an app is needed as a remote control for something that is handheld, which means I now need two hands to use it; one to hold the gimbal & one to hold the smartphone.

It has an app; the app requires all permissions that it asks for, including location. You can't use the app unless you approve all permissions, & you can't use the app if your "location services" is set to off. (My default unless I'm actively using mapping software.) I won't use a product that requires to know when & where I'm using it if the where part is not a part of the product; a map program needs it, gimbal app or solitaire not so much.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:47 PM
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I am not convinced that there is no way to enter the setup menu without a smartphone or aftermarket remote. From the story related in the OP, it seems to me that once he admitted to having a smartphone, that was the only solution the tech support droid was interested in pursuing (you should have told him you had a Blackberry!).

It wouldn't surprise me that a specific combination of buttons on the TV would allow you to enter the settings menu (for example pressing the "+" and "-" buttons simultaneously--or something else). The guy on the phone did not go into this since it likely easier for them to get you to download the app, which has the added bonus of letting them know exactly what TV shows you watch, and when you watch them (I keed, I keed).
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:49 PM
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Don't buy a Tesla Model 3, then. Although it's possible to drive without a smartphone, the phone is your primary key and the interface for all external functionality (locking, flashing the lights, etc.). They do sell a fob separately, but the phone is IMO a superior solution. I hate carrying extra shit, but I always have my phone. There is a credit card backup in case your phone battery is dead and you don't have any alternative.

At this point, I put "adults who don't carry a smartphone at all times" in pretty much the same category as the Amish.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:09 PM
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I am not convinced that there is no way to enter the setup menu without a smartphone or aftermarket remote. From the story related in the OP, it seems to me that once he admitted to having a smartphone, that was the only solution the tech support droid was interested in pursuing (you should have told him you had a Blackberry!).
No, the guy said you had to use a smartphone. But they got enough complaints that they built a proper remote control and supplied it with later televisions.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:22 PM
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Electronics are all pretty irritating now.

What I need: volume up, volume down, channel up, channel down.

What I get: "Welcome to Nissan Audio Experience Smart Connect! Download our app to personalize your automotive listening experience! Clicking the off button indicates that you accept our terms of usage, including gathering your speed, location, and social security number solely for the purpose of improving our quality. Based on your past purchases, please enjoy your specially customized playlist called 'toilet seat warmer 120VAC'"
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:37 PM
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Shit, my coffee cup required a smartphone app.
No joke.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:06 PM
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...Almost as much fun as the time someone in the IT department decided to upgrade EVERY computer and register in the company system - all 200+ stores and corporate headquarters - at 2pm on one fine Sunday afternoon. For an upgrade that had the whole system down for about an hour and a half. Because who works on a Sunday afternoon, right?

We're a grocery store - Sunday afternoons are a peak time for business...
The reminds me of the time Facilities decided to all day fire alarm testing on a Monday during normal business hours. I mean it's not like a blaring alarm going at random during the work day is going to distract anyone, especially in the call center (on the busiest day of the week). I mean they send out a mass email telling everyone to ignore the firm alarm unless another email went out to confirm the building is really on fire.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:36 PM
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I suspect that at least as big a factor is the cost reduction. Instead of making you a physical remote control with two dozen buttons, they just give you a super-simple remote that has the most-used buttons (on/off, channel, volume, etc.) and then write some code for your phone for the vast array of rarely-used functions.
This. They are saving millions of dollars over time doing this and actually inconveniencing very few. Also, you can update the app but not a physical remote.

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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Actually, who is and isn't a millennial isn't the point of this thread. The point is that companies, specifically Vizio in my case, are making assumptions that exclude a lot of their customers.
They aren't assuming a damn thing. They made the decision to save a lot of money knowing the downsides.
  #45  
Old 06-24-2019, 09:45 PM
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They aren't assuming a damn thing. They made the decision to save a lot of money knowing the downsides.
Plus Vizio is a budget brand. They didn’t get down to that price point by providing a bunch of extra features.

Last edited by Pork Rind; 06-24-2019 at 09:45 PM.
  #46  
Old 06-24-2019, 10:19 PM
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At this point, I put "adults who don't carry a smartphone at all times" in pretty much the same category as the Amish.
I'm a runner, I never carry my phone when I run, race, or go to the gym. In fact, I have a cheap, $5 chipless key that will only unlock the doors (& turn the car on to "Accessory" mode). Not all of my running shorts have pockets. I intentionally lock the 'real' key in the car & tie the cheap one into my shoelaces. No electronics means I don't even need to worry if it gets wet when we do stream crossings while trail running. These new cars that won't let you lock the key in them are a bug, not a feature. I'm not the only one in my group that feels this way.
  #47  
Old 06-24-2019, 10:43 PM
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Don't buy a Tesla Model 3, then. Although it's possible to drive without a smartphone, the phone is your primary key and the interface for all external functionality (locking, flashing the lights, etc.). They do sell a fob separately, but the phone is IMO a superior solution. I hate carrying extra shit, but I always have my phone. There is a credit card backup in case your phone battery is dead and you don't have any alternative.

At this point, I put "adults who don't carry a smartphone at all times" in pretty much the same category as the Amish.
So what happens when you lose your phone or get mugged? Then you can't even drive home.
  #48  
Old 06-24-2019, 10:46 PM
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What happens when you lose your car keys? Not really that different.
  #49  
Old 06-24-2019, 11:29 PM
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So what happens when you lose your phone or get mugged? Then you can't even drive home.
If I lose my phone, I can use the keycard in my wallet. It's less convenient, but workable in a pinch. If I lose both somehow, then I retrieve the keycard I have at home (inconvenient of course, but as Dewey Finn said, no worse than losing my keys). If I was married, I'd have my wife's phone paired with the car, and she could give me access remotely (even from the other side of the country). And if I needed extra keycards, they're only $25 for spares.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
No electronics means I don't even need to worry if it gets wet when we do stream crossings while trail running. These new cars that won't let you lock the key in them are a bug, not a feature. I'm not the only one in my group that feels this way.
Again, the keycard solves this problem. I know that runners frequently wear a little thing to hold a credit card or two. If not, you can hole-punch the card (not through the antenna...) and tie it into your shoe or necklace or something. Completely waterproof, lighter than a key, and virtually indestructible.

Not that anyone on this thread would approve, but I believe that some people are working out how to get the car to respond to those implantable RFID chips, like for pets .
  #50  
Old 06-24-2019, 11:53 PM
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I detest the fact that I now have to have a mobile phone to do my damn job due to two-factor authentication.
Once they introduced that to access my work email remotely I pretty much stopped using my work email directly. Instead I have all my mail from that account forwarded to my Gmail account where I can just deal with it without having to log in/authenticate all the time.

Chase has pissed me off since, when I want to put a travel notification on my cards, the only option they offer is to send an authentication code to my phone either by voice or a text message - there is no option to receive it by email. But guess what? Since I live in Panama, they are apparently unable to send the code to a foreign number. So I have to call them and go through an entire rigmarole verifying who I am. (I swear to god, they didn't just use my own security questions, but did a search on my former address in New York, searched for other people who had lived there, came up with my mother, and asked me her birthday which they got from public records! It was incredibly creepy.) It took me 15 minutes on the phone to do a travel notification on both my credit and debit cards. Meanwhile, doing it on my other card from BOA, which doesn't require authentication, took all of 30 seconds on line.
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