Where did all the eject buttons go?

CNET explores the mysterious disappearance of the eject button on remotes included with 2009 home theater products.

Matthew Moskovciak Senior Associate Editor / Reviews - Home theater
Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.
Matthew Moskovciak
2 min read
Three remote controls that lack an eject button.
Notice anything missing? CNET Networks

Over the first half of 2009, we've notice a disturbing trend in the home theater: eject buttons are going out of style.

A surprising number of disc-playing home theater products we've reviewed this year have included remotes that inexplicably lack an eject button--even though manufacturers have no problem cluttering the remote with all kinds of other useless buttons that nobody uses. For us, it's a real annoyance. If we're changing discs, our standard tactic is to hit the eject button, get off the couch, and by the time we get to our player the tray is open and waiting for us. Now we have to get up, crouch over the player to hit the eject button and wait for it to spit the disc out--and with many Blu-ray players it can take quite a while before it actually ejects.

We can't think of any reason why this is a smart design move; were people really accidentally ejecting discs all the time? It can't possibly cost significantly more to include a single button. Our best guess is that the button was thoughtlessly discarded, under the logic that you have to get up to change the disc anyway. But anybody who actually uses these products would realize it's a major design blunder. Sure, you can accuse me of excessive laziness for complaining about crouching over the player, but why put up with extra annoyance when nearly all the disc players we used last year had an eject button on the remotes?

A comparison of Sony remotes from 2008 and 2009
Last year, Sony's BDP-S350 Blu-ray player had an eject button, but the newer BDP-S360 doesn't have one. CNET Networks

Here's a list of disc-playing products that we've reviewed at CNET this year without an eject button: Sony BDP-S360, Sony BDV-E500W, Panasonic SC-BT200, Panasonic SC-BT300, Polk Audio SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater, Sony DAV-HDX589W. And those are just products we've done a full review for; I'm sure there are many more.

What do you think? Should every disc player come with a remote with an eject button or does it not matter since you need to get up to change discs anyway? Sound off in the comments.

Got a disc player with a remote that lacks an eject button? Write the model number in the comments and we'll add it to the list.

Update: Here's a list of reader-submitted products with remotes that lack an eject button: Panasonic SC-PT770