I purchased a Media Center Extender recently. When I powered it up, I was reminded of a problem with many CE devices: a bright light to indicate its power-on status. I can understand the need for a visual cue to indicate a device’s status, but it should not draw attention to itself.
The device mentioned here is not alone. My RPTV has a red LED right underneath the screen which gets lit when its powered up. Our telephones have an LED which gets lit when it sits in the charging cradle. It is bright enough that you could use it as a night light in our bedroom, but we have chosen to cover it.
SSPs range all over the map too in this regard. Many do offer options to control the brightness of the front panel display, some including a complete off option. But in some cases, there are other lights, such as the standby indicator, which cannot be altered. We added a section in our SSP benchmark to report on this.
Yes, masking tape offers a solution, but there is an aesthetic aspect to consider in non-dedicated spaces where this option may not fly with your significant other. Manufacturers really need to start providing a sub-menu which offers the end user some configuration options.
At the very least, offer an “All Lights Off” option.