I was trying to convey that LCD screens allow a much richer UI over fixed buttons. Push button remotes are limited by the number of buttons on the remote. I find it very frustrating to navigate a menu by pressing combinations of pressing menu and exit. And then remembering what the combination is when I switch to another TV.
LCD screen is effectively a GUI. So there are opportunities to make the remote far more functional, even colorful or animated. For example, LCD screen could show very different controls for volume adjustment vs audio configuration.
There is the option of using apps on smart phones and tablets. However, I have found that not all apps work 100% perfectly with all TVs. A missing command or the TV vendor didn't comply completely with IR code standard...things that make apps harder to use.
Others that commented made a great point: tactile feedback. LCD doesn't offer that at all. In the dark, that tactile feed back is critical to finding the right button to press. This is probably the most compelling reason push button remotes remain the standard over new technologies.
My experience too with law firms and accountants. I have a feeling they hate paying by the hour.
But they sure don't mind charging by the hour (in 1/6 hr increments no less)
" so it'll be tough to build an internal team quickly enough "
This smells of failure. Contractors aren't going to get up to speed any faster than internal resources (sans technology specifics like expertise in a language). Our management tried the same thing: hire contractors for a short term (less than 3 months), hurry up scenario. Except it took a month to interview and get the contractors on site. Much of the 3 months of contractors time was spent to get their environments setup, work with IT to configure permissions and the contractors themselves to learn the complex product enough to contribute. Not to mention the loss of focus of the internal team assisting the the contractors.
I would spend more effort coming up with a realistic plan that has a chance at success rather than trying to meet a date that is not going to be met. Build a plan that includes a mix of internal an external resources. I would include time to hire contractors (remembering that background checks take time) plus all of the other activities that will consume time away from producing the finished product.
Life is cheap, but the accessories can kill you.