Digital Transformation at Home – a Preview of Industry

By Dick Hill

Technology Trends

Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of Digital Transformation at Home?

I recently experienced a bit of Digital Transformation at home. It began when my smart TV decided it needed to be updated. I follow the instructions that allowed it to update overnight. The next day, when I turned the TV on and began playing a program I had saved on my DVR, a very distinct buzz and pop noise came out of my TV’s sound bar.

Luckily the TV is still under warrantee, so I called the Tech Support team from the store, and surprisingly, they had a technician in the area so he came over right away. He ran a few tests and determined that the buzz and pop noise was not from the TV, but originated from the DVR/cable box. His point seemed logical so I proceeded to contact the cable company to see what they could do.

Digital Transformation at Home
Digital Transformation at Home


Surprisingly, after a little negotiation, I was able to get them to come out to the house and bring a new cable/DVR box. They too came to my house the same day. I had seriously thought of installing the box myself. After all, it is just a matter of unplugging the old box and plugging in the new box. I am really glad I was able to have the cable guy come, after what followed.

After installing and going through a fairly complex box setup, we tried the TV again. The buzz and pop noise was still there! The technician went to the extra step of reconfiguring the box on a different TV that I have in another room and the buzz and pop sound did not show up on the other TV.

So back to the TV store’s tech support team. They believed me and now are scheduling another visit to replace the TV’s mother board. Since the source inside the smart TV for sound is on the motherboard, they assume that the sound is emanating from it.

Implied Industrial Lessons Learned

There is a lot more to this story than the troubleshooting described above. Both technicians had many settings to go through as each attempted to find and fix the problem. First, I learned that setting these devices up was far more than “plug and play”. I also learned was there were more humans involved in this than just these two technicians. The other humans were the people that manage the license of the various TV boxes that are in my home. Since the cable technician evidently did not tell these folks that my DVR box had been replaced, my two TVs did not work the next day at all. Back on the phone for another lengthy call while the TV cable boxes were each reset again.

I couldn’t help but think that the rapid Digital Transformation that is happening in the commercial sector is also rapidly moving into the industrial sector. It seems no matter how “smart” the televisions and cable boxes are today, they still have to be understood and managed by people. From what I observed with my home digital transformation, these commercial technologies are still not smart enough. I hope that industrial Digital Transformation makes it easier for the humans to configure, analyze problems and return the devices to normal more easily than my TV Technician and Cable guy have demonstrated. Join us at 22nd Annual ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida February 12-15, 2018, where there will be many discussions about Industrial Digital Transformation.

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