I had to make an instruction sheet for visitors who have NO IDEA how to control our HTPC/TV.

I had to make an instruction sheet for visitors who have NO IDEA how to control our HTPC/TV.

79 Replies to “I had to make an instruction sheet for visitors who have NO IDEA how to control our HTPC/TV.”

  1. There are way too many uncessary controls labeled on this for a guest, like why do they need to record or add favorites?

    I would also sugguest to split the diagram out into two different modes one for cable and one for streaming with a very clear instructions on the top on how to change to that mode. People focus better when you only present them one task at a time, especially when you have so many buttons pulling double duty between the modes.

    Also why is toggle HD quality for streaming even a thing? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

  2. I like my shield and Harmony. Push this button, all equipment comes on ready in TV mode to browse. Play Xbox, this button. Done

  3. OP, you ALMOST make me want to gift you a harmony remote. Maybe someone should set a gofundme to get you one. Methinks it’s a worthy cause. For the sanity of you guests

  4. That shit is crazy. Somethings are just overwhelming for certain age groups.

    “Lets see how many buttons we can fit on this badboy” -most companies

  5. This is an utter failure in UX design, and you should have spent the hours you spent on this chart instead working to earn money to buy something to replace it for the sake of your captive guests.

  6. “Got about an hour to watch TV before needing to head out. Let’s just go through the remote instructions real quick… Aaaaaand it’s time to leave.”

  7. please make sure to hand your guests your wifi password as well.

    so that they have an option to say “fuck it” and watch shit on their phones instead

  8. That’s insane. The Roku TV setup is so much clearer. Just a directional pad, ok button, back, menu, star, volume, and power. That’s all you need for watching tv, netflix, switching inputs, etc.

  9. Oh my god. First, get a harmony with a hub that controls everything. Second, your visitors don’t need to know how to record things, or add things to favorite, or to open the streaming app with movies or series selected. This could be 1/3 the size if you just wanted visitors to be able to get around and not get lost.

  10. Remote control UX is so awful. We’re shoehorning so many functions into a design that hasn’t changed since the remote was invented. That said, I think you’re guide is the only applicable solution to this complexity (other than buying an entirely new TV or remote, which would just have another set of ridiculous buttons). People are commenting on the complexity of the guide, but they must not have read the reason for doing it and have missed the point. I actually read it and understood the controls. Nice work!

  11. Ya know, Logitech Harmony remotes are dead simple for the uninitiated. Press “Watch TV” and it handles the rest, from there it knows where to send specific commands like volume and channel depending on your equipment. Setup isn’t as easy as logging into you bank account but having done a few over the years, if I can do it just about anyone can.

  12. My favorite part of this is the blacked out WiFi info. Like were gonna doxx you, drive to your house, and steal your bandwidth 🙂

  13. How-to use my entertainment center:

    Just ask Google to play what you want.

    “Hey Google, Watch Stargate”

    “Hey, Google, Watch the Pelicans game”

    “Hey Google, Play PS4”

    “Hey Google, Play Switch”


    Google Assistant + Harmony remote. Pure gold bud. 👍

  14. Get a harmony remote.

    I get it, I’ve had one of those before. However activity based commands are much better.

    Side note, do double sided.
    One side for live TV one side for streaming.

  15. Rocked wmc since 2003, but lack of streaming Integration made me move on to tivo (when the Netflix app was removed 2012ish?)

    Did TiVo roamio for a few years with a Plex server, then abandoned that and fully went Plex/DVR with Roku front end and a huge Plex/media server back end.

    Works great and everybody can use it in the family.

    Will admit that nothing beats the live TV experience of windows media center but overall the new system is better because of streaming/4k HDR, Etc. Plex DVR works great for us and strips out the commercials automatically. The live guide sucks donkey balls.

    Nobody watches live TV anymore or even cares. Everybody watches streaming or DVR/media content from Plex and Plex organizes everything perfectly

  16. I was getting to this level of complexity, and that’s why I bought a Fire TV Cube. Now my wife, and visitors can do 99% of what they need to do with their voice. The Remotes are still there for special functions, or flipping through channels, but the main functions are easy now.

  17. Yeah, I saw some bullshit like this at a ski condo and it was way more than any typical human could handle. I personally have a Logitech Harmony remote with an AVR and multiple streaming devices and my woman won’t have anything to do with it. Thank god the X1 DVR box has Netflix and Prime Video built in or there would be civil unrest at home.

    You might be making some kind of a statement about sticking it to the man, or good ‘ol Yankee frugality, but your guests are just saying “what a cheap prick who won’t spring for cable”

    I cannot wait to cut the cable, but not when the solution looks like this.

    All that said, your menu looks nice.

  18. A) You are clearly a trained designer. This is near porno-graphic content for other designers.
    B) Could do with a transparent overlay & a simplified version with the top 3 controls highlighted. Very high information denstity is likely to turn off most users. Perhaps an overlay they could remove to pare down to “power, volume, channel”.

  19. I caught my not so elderly mother trying to make a phone call on her remote control recently. This despite making a similar full colour chart and explaining it all. Some people are never going to be comfortable in the 20th Century (not a typo).

  20. I’ve been thinking of getting a universal remote to handle my TV, cable box, buzz box, & Xbox, what are my best options out there for this?

  21. I love apple’s approach to the AppleTV remote. Like 4 buttons and a touch pad. I can control my entire entertainment system with it. I can do all of what yours does too. No need to switch inputs either as each device does it on its own.

  22. This is why I bought a Harmony ultimate one remote and hub. I have dumbed the thing down to essentially only core functions for guests.

  23. That illustration is nice and clean, but the actual functions are hopelessly complicated.

    Is recording TV a big deal? How about just a Roku and Hulu? The Roku remote has about 10 buttons on it, most stuff can be done with 4 directions, select, and back.

  24. I live in my own house and need one of these, have not actually turned my tv on since april of 2016 or so (I just watch tv on my laptop)

  25. That is pretty much exactly like a Cable/Sat service remote so it shouldn’t be that hard for most people. For visitors who just want to put something on real quick the guide doesn’t need to be that extensive. Now, this is PERFECT to help the rest of the family living there to transition over time to have the full details so maybe another simplified down to the basics for visitors? But VERY well done guide!

  26. Just buy a Harmony 650 universal remote (cheap both new and used). It has a screen and is very easy to program. Visitors can see instructions on the screen nd get exactly where they need to.

  27. I like how there are separate buttons to pick each input, but I would prefer if those buttons and the TV power were at the top with the rest of the power.

  28. I’m a 90’s kid and the big joke was only kids could program the VCR clock because the adults couldn’t figure it out. It hurts to look at this. It need a page with just the basics; volume control, channel control, power, input switch. Then this could be like “So you’ve conquered step 1, now here’s this”.

  29. If you are too stupid to figure out super basic remote functions, I really don’t think you are going to be able to figure out this guide lol.

  30. We have people stay over to watch our kids every once in a while and the one thing that I keep hearing is that our TV is way too complicated, but probably only because it’s completely foreign to what most people have seen before.

    To remedy this, I decided to create an instruction sheet for visitors to follow in order to watch TV and streaming content. In addition to the instruction sheet, I printed labels to stick onto the remote itself to help label the important buttons.

    I use a Windows IR remote to control Windows Media Center (live/recorded TV) and a certain streaming service that the rules won’t allow me to discuss. I use EventGhost to change what each button press ultimately does based on which program is in focus. The remote also controls our indoor and outdoor speakers so that people can chromecast music to our patio and such.

    Finally, I have WiFi info and instructions on how to access a web-based version of this remote that they can use on their phones. This is especially handy when controlling the volume of music outside.

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