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June 14, 2005 12:14 AM

Broken: Audiovox receiver

Lexussirius2_1Joshua Wood writes:

I have an Audiovox brand Sirius receiver. This receiver features 10 preset buttons with 3 separate storage areas for a total of 30 preset stations. What's broken is the layout of the remote.  The 0 button is no where near the 9 button - it's actually at the top center.  What ends up happening is I begin flipping channels running through 1, 2 etc, and wind up at 9 then I need to move my hand up and try and find the 0  button.

What normally happens is that I either mute the radio or turn it off, since all of this flipping is happening at 70MPH.

And say you hear an ad for channel 160...  to type in 160, you first need to hit the blue button then 160 then the blue button again.  I would prefer for the remote to always function like a standard TV remote.


Yay! First comment.

What is also broken is the link to the larger picture. At least in Firefox, clicking on the picture just opens a new window to a black screen.

Posted by: SpicyMeatball at June 14, 2005 01:11 AM

Why don't you just start at 0 instead of 1? And why are there ads? If I pay for radio, I'm not paying for ads... I'll stick to my mp3 collection.

Posted by: whoya at June 14, 2005 01:14 AM

same for IE picture link does not work

Posted by: kent at June 14, 2005 04:22 AM

There are no ads on the music channels. But some of the things like the sports games and CNN have ads because they are the same broadcasts as regular radio.

Posted by: Matt at June 14, 2005 06:36 AM

Whoya, The reason why I don't start at 0 is that on the radio the numbers are listed like this:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 so 0 represents 10

I have my chanels arranged so that the first 8 are rock and then 9 and 0 are the two comedy channels.

On the remote the buttons are like this

on 0 mute

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

So on the remote 0 is placed in a spot for 0 instead of 10. Keep in mind that I'm driving when I am trying to use the radio so staring at the remote isn't really an option.

If the remote was arranged like

1 2

3 4

5 6

7 8

9 0

It would be much easier to operate. My wife's sirius radio is arranged this way and is much easier to use.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at June 14, 2005 08:37 AM

I'm not convinced that the numeric pad is the right way to control this system. It seems like if you can organize the "stations" thematically, the control system ought to honor those themes, by letting you select "genre" followed by a specific "station". So for example, your remote could look like this:

[Rock] [1]

[Jazz] [2]

[News] [3]

[Soul] [4]

(The names have to be customizable via write in labels, like on a home telephone speedial).

Even better might be some kind of tactile dial arrangement.

Furthermore, In Josh's example, he hears an ad on the current channel for another channel. Why not just have a single button that jumps to the channel most recently advertised? Why should he have to manually buffer that code "160" in his memory and retype it?

Seems like there's a lot of room for this interface to be improved.

Posted by: Robby Slaughter at June 14, 2005 08:55 AM

The picture link is fixed!

Why do you need a remote for something two feet away from you?

Posted by: Bob at June 14, 2005 08:57 AM

nuh uh my firefox works fine, and you gotta move your finger to go to 11 anyway. so there

Posted by: xvhhnm at June 14, 2005 08:59 AM


I knew someone would point that out. I'm 6'3 so my seat is fully back in the car, this allows me to comfortably reach the stearing wheel and the convential radio, but the receiver is a stretch. I keep the remote in the cup holder next to the shifter, and it's much easier to reach down to the remote to change the stations.

Robby, It would be really nice to be able to jump to a station being advertised like you suggest. My Dishnetwork receiver has a similar feature where you can auto buy hbo or other things by pressing select during the commercial for that.

As far as thematicly, I just worry that I'd have to actually look at the interface. Right now if I want a different rock station I press the category button and then divide my time between looking at the road and the selection I'm trying to make.

It's like Road ... [select rock] ... car.... [Alt Nation]...TREE!!!!

Posted by: Joshua Wood at June 14, 2005 09:02 AM

Hey whoya,

They aren't "ads"- they're promos for other channels every so often, especially on similar channels where the listener base might be interested. For instance, if they're having a band on live on one rock station, another rock station might mention it.

I find sirius to definitely be worth the money.


Posted by: Matthew at June 14, 2005 12:04 PM

"I have an Audiovox brand Sirius receiver."

Well there's your problem right there. Audiovox sucks. Plain, and simple. They're maybe half a step above being a generic brand.

Posted by: Rob at June 14, 2005 12:44 PM

Rob, it was a Christmas gift, my wife has a Blaupunct America one that is much nicer for the same price.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at June 14, 2005 01:00 PM

Umm... What else is broken? Having something mounted that high on the dash would be illegal in most states!!! (Obstructs your view)

Posted by: g guy at June 14, 2005 06:05 PM

Actually when you click on the button for the larger picture, the popup window is only black until the image loads. Just stick the window in the background and visit a few sites and check back on the preview later.

Posted by: Matthew at June 14, 2005 06:30 PM

Well, it IS Audiovox!!! I find it hard to believe that Audiovox has something in the same price range as Blaupunkt. WOW! THAT's what's broken!!

However, cheap jabs aside... yep, that's broken. Standard K/B, TV remote... none of them follow the layout you have to deal with. Garage door, work security system, microwave, etc... none of them look like that. I only wish the phone and keyboard had the same layout. Which came first, the number pad on the keyboard or touch-tone?!

Posted by: SD at June 14, 2005 09:50 PM


I belive the numpad on a keyboard was from the laout of adding machines, which came before touch tone phones, since there were adding machines that used gears and wheels to compute before transistors.

GGuy, the unit actually doesn't sit that high up on the dash, it takes the place of where the Lexus navigation system would be which might actually stand up a little higher when it pops up.

I really wish I could just get a Lexus Sirius radio. I considered replacing the stock one but you have to replace all speakers, and amps along with the head unit because the Lexus head unit communicates in a certain way to the 280 watt amplifier in the car. Decided it wasn't worth the trouble.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at June 14, 2005 10:28 PM

OK, JW. I get it now.

What we really need is LED numbers that jump around randomly. For security purposes. Like here-

Posted by: Bob at June 15, 2005 09:37 AM

"Why do you need a remote for something two feet away from you?"

I know Mr. Wood answered this, but I wanted to chime in too. When I installed the CD player in my car, I was somewhat amused that it came with a remote control, but tried it out to see just how useless it was.

It turns out it's really a safety issue, not a laziness issue. From time to time (today, actaully) I accidentally bring the remote in from my car, and forget to bring it back out. When I want to adjust the volume, or change the station (both of which I do very frequently), I have to lean forward a bit and, more importantly, look to see where to put my hand.

With the remote, I don't even look. I can pick it up off my knee and just feel for the buttons, and change the station. My eyes never leave the road, and I'm not trying to lean over diagonally.

This all goes out the window, though, when you drop the remote and it slides across the floor to the passenger's side and you try to pick it up, though. ;)

Posted by: Matt at June 17, 2005 03:24 AM

On telephone vs calculator ten-key:

Calculators/adding machines came first, and were the pioneers of ten-key layout. The reason the touch-tone (DTMF) layout is in reverse is an intentional attempt to cause the person dialing to dial slowly. In the early days of DTMF, the switching circuitry was not fast enough to keep up with numbers dialed at the speed with which an accomplished ten-key operator could muster.

Posted by: Phone Dude Guy Person at June 22, 2005 01:44 PM

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