In the category of so obvious it`s profound: HDMI. All your information: Audio and video, in this case, rolled into one cable. I like TOSLink, or whatever it`s called, where you can roll all your audio into one optical cable. Far fewer cables would be great. With component video, it`s three per device. That`s a lot of bulk, and it just handles video. Then there`s audio, power…
And power, that`s another thing. In the same category of so obvious it`s profound: Power centers in entertainment centers. I`m not talking about surge protectors, I`m talking about fully-conditioned AC-DC converters that supply all of your entertainment center`s power. It can be a high-quality filter and converter which will eliminate the need for so many power adapters. Now, there`s all sorts of practical roadblocks: Power requirements, adapter standardization and cost are among the many that spring to mind. I figure something like this would cost several hundred dollars and you wouldn`t necessarily recoup that cost in cheaper A/V equipment. However, some people spend that much on a simple surge protector, so it`s not unprecedented, and it would be real nice to reduce all that clutter and guarantee quality worksmanship — who knows how many wall warts and such that I own were farmed out to the cheapest bidder, waiting to take other electronics out Kamikaze-style.
Furthermore, I`m not much of a TV person, but I have to (very strongly) encourage everyone to check out Heroes. To avoid spoilers, one of my favorite things is Hiro`s comic book: You see, Lost, take notes here. A seemingly extraneous item CAN be used as an effective plot device, and you CAN give away some things and still retain the majority of your mystery. The plot advances, things happen…and they actually mean something, or are explained, or drag you into the story. Remember the Others from Lost? Every word that comes out of their mouth is a lie. No wonder I don`t care about the show anymore: It`s like the Others have this Rube Goldberg device that conducts social experiments. Not only is everything a lie, but it`s some big, convoluted staged thing. Everything`s manipulated, they always come out on top. It`s like the ending of Metal Gear: Solid 2.
“I am the best! I know the secret!” “Nope, I do. This was a test for you.” “Haha, that`s what you think: It`s a computer simulation of your test!” “No, no no! That simulation is actually something else. You don`t understand.” After fifteen minutes it gets old. After two hours?
And it doesn`t end there. I`ll pick on House, but I see this in many shows today. He`s a pompous ass, a brilliant man who messes up a bunch of treatments and almost kills lots of people “practicing” seemingly reckless abandon, he abuses drugs and co-workers, but nobody seems to care. He can`t possibly lose his job, no matter how much people complain. I hear it looks like he`ll be arrested. It`ll never last. The show won`t end with him getting tried, convicted and sentenced to some Federal penitentiary for 25 to life for posession with intent to distribute. As much as I`d like to see that be the season finale, to actually see him receive his comeuppance, I know it just won`t happen.