We all tend to get very excited about every new Widget that comes along and can't wait to add it to our existing AV Systems. Well, who wouldn't want the very latest iteration of the Tele-Transporter 6.0? It is only natural.
In all seriousness, it seems that new AV Devices are being released almost weekly these days and many of them have very extensive and highly desirable feature sets. Amazon Fire TV, Appple TV and Google TV are just a few recent releases. Moreover, we have the Big Boy Service Providers offering incredible deals for Double, Triple and Fourple Play Combo-Paks that entice us to jump ship and change our current service plans to the latest and greatest from a competing service provider. It is a dog eat dog world out there and it is quite confusing, to say the least. This provider offers a gagillion TV Stations along with sub-nuclear internet speeds and the hardware and installation for same is all free to the end user. Sounds too good to be true doesn't it?
Without being too flippant, we should all be careful of what we wish for as we might just get it. Sage advise then a sage advice now and here's why.
Whenever we add or change any AV device, in our systems, we need to be mindful of the fact that every AV Appliance is controlled by an IR based remote control. This is all good until one realizes that the new AV Appliance has a different code set from the one it just replaced. To be clear, the keys to the Ford work just fine as long as you have that very same Ford vehicle in the driveway. If you replace it with a Chevy, the Ford keys become worthless!
The point here is to illuminate the fact that whenever we change from one manufacturers appliance to another, we run the risk of also changing the IR code set. Why is this a concern, you ask, Well if you own a "Smart Remote Control" it is terribly important due to the fact that a lot of time, effort and skill is utilized to successfully program these smart remotes so that mere mortals can actually control their previously unwieldly AV Systems. Unless the new appliance comes from the same exact manufacturer, you will need to re-program that wonderful remote control. You've already mastered how the old appliance works and now you have to re-learn how the new one works. Change can be painful, on many levels.
My message is simple. Technology never sleeps and there is always some new widget in the back room of the skunks development department. Having said that, we do need to be mindful of the real world implications when it comes to deploying these new devices. It is never as simple as just connecting the cables correctly. We need to be able to actually use the new appliance and this may invoke additional labor for re-programming services and a requisite learning curve for the end user.
Choose wisely Grasshopper.