today I used my youtube app on my LG smart tv. I was going to search for a video and there was an keyboard displayed on the tv. With my remote I can type my search string. But I was kind of irritated because the keyboard has no QWERTZ (I'm from Germany) or QWERTY layout. In my opinion it's confusing if it's no QWERTY layout.

Sometimes the number of keys in a alphabetically layouted keyboards is different in different programs. So we have to search the right letter. So I think the most people prefer the QWERTY layout.

So my question is: why programs use an alphabetically layouted keyboard instead of an QWERTY keyboard?


4 Answers 4


Because the (expected) primary input device is a normal TV remote control using arrows to select the letter.

The QWERTY keyboard layout is excellent for people who have learnt to type and are typing on a QWERTY keyboard. For most other situations it's a bit rubbish.

When you are selecting a character one at a time understanding the order and position of the character will be critical for easy (speed accuracy) of input; most people will be far more familiar with the alphabetical order of characters than the QWERTY order. (I can easily touch type but I couldn't recite the order of a keyboard from memory.)


On your picture the screen is divided vertically. This way it seems that a QWERTY/Z keyboard layout can not be shown without making the main section smaller than the keyboard section. I also thought about this just a day ago when I searched for a film on my TV where the keyboard layout was an alphabetical one, too. It wasn't a problem at all because there were always only about 5 letters in one row and selecting a letter with your remote control needs time so that you can start searching for the next letter early.

I think the main reason for alphabetical (physical) keyboards is that older people can type easier (see the comment section of the A2Z Combination Keyboard). On vertically splitted screens it might be a question of available space and of being faster with a more square-like keyboard that you have to use with your remote control.


I find these types of layouts on devices that handle input with arrows. Same goes for gaming consoles.

Here are the two main reasons I think this is :

  1. It's not really intuitive to navigate through a QWERTY/Z with arrows. Because it's hard to predict which letter would be selected, as a result of the shifted rows layout
  2. It seems to be a common and consistent pattern with these types of devices. I'd be really surprised to find a QWERTY/Z input on one. So they are probably consistent with what's already in place. In the same fashion that the modern QWERTY keyboard got it's layout.

Stupid answers. They just use it, so people are too lazy to search for videos because of the annoying keyboard and rather watch videos the algorithm suggests for them. Its just controlling what people watch in my opinion.

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