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Is direct tv falling behind?


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266 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   adamson

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:18 AM

WB4CS, on 14 Mar 2014 - 1:44 PM, said:

I have to agree with this one. Who cares if the menu isn't pretty or super-duper animated? So what? When I'm watching TV, I'm watching the TV Program, I don't spend hours looking at my DVR menu. 

 

In fact, I'd prefer a simple, text only guide and menu system. I don't need animated menus and a super graphical display just to browse through the guide data. 

ditto.

 

Directv is not falling behind, no comparison to be had either. Other than the high price of service it is superior.


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#42 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:43 AM

I'm sorry but recording 8 shows at once just sounds ridiculous. I mean what % of consumers would actually take advantage of all that. Not many. 

 

At the moment, I can record 24 shows at the same time.  How's that for ridiculous?  Of course, I've never done that, I can't even imagine doing that.  The most I've ever recorded was 8 at a time and they were all the same program.  That was unintentional.

 

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#43 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:54 AM

I think probably every one might agree that the DIRECTV GUI does need a face lift. I know that DIRECTV wants to try to keep the user experience fairly consistent between all their platforms but I think that is holding back the Genie from what it can be changed into. Maybe DIRECTV just needs to wake up and say OK, the HR2X, H2X and SD receiver lines can look the same but Genie will get a 2014 looking interface.

 

I'll buy that.  Let them wreck every Genie owner's life for 6 or 7 months while they figure out how to fix it once they introduce it.  I shudder every time I think of what getting the HD Guide or the DLB fiasco was like.  I have this vision of a committee of software engineers sitting around a table and deciding, "Hey, it almost works, let's throw it out there and see how long it takes to fix."

 

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#44 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:59 AM

I don't use a DVR for the GUI, I use it to record what I want, when I want.  So the most important thing is the number of tuners. I don't care if the menu looks pretty.

 

I'd be happy with what we've got.  All I ever wanted was something better than a VCR.  

 

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#45 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 10:15 AM

I can just see you running around the house doing that!!  :)   Or switching units on your tablet/phone app!  Gotta Love IT!!  

 

I think that is the idea behind the Genie/Mini and Hopper/Joey/SuperJoey.  Make a single point of management that will fit most households, and in that I think both D* and E* are now at parity.  With a Genie and a few Minis, you get 5 tuners in one unit so you can manage it from either itself or the minis.  

 

Dish missed the mark a bit with the Hopper, though PTAT made a big difference since the vast majority of homes would find that useful during prime time, but at other times the 3 tuner limit could get ugly.  Now with the Super Joey, you have 5 tuners that are manageable from the Hopper/SuperJoey/Joey, and 6 if you stick an OTA module on the Hopper.

 

Great moves on both companies part!  As they in fact have hit a very good sweet spot for the biggest percentage of households.

 

I still think that D* missed the perfect opportunity to change to a much better HDGUI with the introduction of the Genie, and there's not one thing anyone can say that would make me change my mind.  Why have a 'new' thing that you make a big deal out of, look and operate exactly like the 'old' things?  Doesn't make sense to me!


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#46 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 10:19 AM

I'll buy that.  Let them wreck every Genie owner's life for 6 or 7 months while they figure out how to fix it once they introduce it.  I shudder every time I think of what getting the HD Guide or the DLB fiasco was like.  I have this vision of a committee of software engineers sitting around a table and deciding, "Hey, it almost works, let's throw it out there and see how long it takes to fix."

 

Rich

 

And given D*'s rather long history of seemingly doing just that, it is a consideration.  To me it says a lot about the programmers/engineers abilities.


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#47 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:13 AM

Theres four things I want to see added to the Genie:

LIST>LIST shortcut to the Manage Recordings screen.

The DASH button made into a one button on/off PIP toggle.

The RED button made into a stop button on the RC71 remotes.

A new HD guide layout with more hours shown at once.

Edited by TheRatPatrol, 15 March 2014 - 11:14 AM.


#48 OFFLINE   HinterXGames

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:20 PM

Theres four things I want to see added to the Genie:

LIST>LIST shortcut to the Manage Recordings screen.

The DASH button made into a one button on/off PIP toggle.

The RED button made into a stop button on the RC71 remotes.

A new HD guide layout with more hours shown at once.

 

Ah, see, i would absolutely /hate/ suggestion one. The list button is meant to be a shortcut to the playlist. I'd hate for it to lose that direct to playlist functionality. Not to mention I could imagine the disasters that would occur when people not affluent in the technical side, being taken to their settings constantly when using that button and messing around with things.


Edited by HinterXGames, 15 March 2014 - 12:22 PM.


#49 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:44 PM

yep DirecTV has to be careful when assigning additional functions to one button, not everybody is so affluent using these remotes


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#50 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 02:13 PM

I still think that D* missed the perfect opportunity to change to a much better HDGUI with the introduction of the Genie, and there's not one thing anyone can say that would make me change my mind.  Why have a 'new' thing that you make a big deal out of, look and operate exactly like the 'old' things?  Doesn't make sense to me!

 

I don't understand why people want something to look new for the sake of looking new. Where is the lack of functionality that a "much better" HDGUI could address that you believe cannot possibly be fixed via changes to the current GUI? Or do you just want eye candy with cool fade effects that you'll get tired of in a year and be ready for another change?

 

They "made a big deal" out of the Genie not for its appearance or GUI, but because of its capabilities - 5 tuners instead of 2, along with the ability to serve clients / RVU TVs. When you're buying a car, would you choose the car that has a fancy touchscreen interface to the climate control, or choose the one that has enough room for your whole family?

 

If Directv was willing/able to give people a configuration option like Tivo does, then they could introduce a new GUI and let the early adopters decide to switch to it and suffer and while those who want things to "just work" can stick with the tried and true, it wouldn't be such a big deal. But giving the Genie a new GUI without a choice would doom all Genie users to suffer for months for the sake of a minority who think there's something wrong with the current interface.

 

If you want a new GUI, maybe the 4K capable receivers, when they're introduced, will get something different than the current batch of HD receivers, since they'll have far more CPU/graphics power at their disposal.


Edited by slice1900, 15 March 2014 - 02:14 PM.

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#51 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:11 PM

I'm glad you brought up a car analogy, since I recently went through buying a new, not needed car.  I say not needed 'cause I don't drive enough to wear one out.

 

So I've been watching the VW ads for the TDI Jettas and Passats.  Drove a Jetta, really nice drive, but once you sit down inside it is just 'blah'.  Austere is what the more flowery reviewers call it, I call it plain boring.  For about a $25K sticker price, you could own one.

 

Then I drove a Buick Verano.  Same sticker, drives as well if not slightly better and has an interior that is very eye appealing and functional.  And at the same sticker, the Verano had many more accessories that have value.  Wasn't even hard to figure out which was better and a better value!  Bought the Verano!

 

Both would go from point a to b just fine, both would cost the same in fuel even though the TDI gets about 10mpg more because of the cost differential of the fuel.  And with the TDI diesel, VW made some design decisions that make visiting the service center a more oft occurring event.  And both had about the same amount of room.

 

The point is, you don't have to be the same-old same-old that D* has been using for years at the UI just slightly gussied up as they did, you could have something that is very useful and very good looking.  In this day and age there is no excuse for not having both in anything to do with tech.


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#52 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 03:18 PM

If Directv was willing/able to give people a configuration option like Tivo does, then they could introduce a new GUI and let the early adopters decide to switch to it and suffer and while those who want things to "just work" can stick with the tried and true, it wouldn't be such a big deal. But giving the Genie a new GUI without a choice would doom all Genie users to suffer for months for the sake of a minority who think there's something wrong with the current interface.

 

If you want a new GUI, maybe the 4K capable receivers, when they're introduced, will get something different than the current batch of HD receivers, since they'll have far more CPU/graphics power at their disposal.

 

Since I had a Hopper, I know that it is very possible to have an excellent HDGUI that works fast and was very non-problematic at the outset.  It can be done, E* proved it.  No it wasn't perfect, but as new things go it certainly was nearly so.  And the customer base welcomed the big change in how things work with open arms.  Amazingly few complaints for such a huge change.

 

If D* cannot do that, then you have to think the programmers/software designers are not so good.  Or possibly that D*'s design is as minimal as they can get away with in hardware.  Both of which are pretty damning for a company the size of D*.


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#53 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:05 PM

Ah, see, i would absolutely /hate/ suggestion one. The list button is meant to be a shortcut to the playlist. I'd hate for it to lose that direct to playlist functionality. Not to mention I could imagine the disasters that would occur when people not affluent in the technical side, being taken to their settings constantly when using that button and messing around with things.

  

yep DirecTV has to be careful when assigning additional functions to one button, not everybody is so affluent using these remotes
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GUIDE>GUIDE takes to you the guide filter screen, why couldn't LIST>LIST take you to the Manage Recording screen? They are "lists" too.

#54 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 06:34 PM

Since I had a Hopper, I know that it is very possible to have an excellent HDGUI that works fast and was very non-problematic at the outset.  It can be done, E* proved it.  No it wasn't perfect, but as new things go it certainly was nearly so.  And the customer base welcomed the big change in how things work with open arms.  Amazingly few complaints for such a huge change.

 

If D* cannot do that, then you have to think the programmers/software designers are not so good.  Or possibly that D*'s design is as minimal as they can get away with in hardware.  Both of which are pretty damning for a company the size of D*.

 

A slow interface isn't going to improve by going to a new interface on the Genie. More likely the Genie would be even slower because the programmers wouldn't have to worry about how well it would work on old slow hardware like the HR20 and H21. They could certainly add more bells and whistles to the Genie GUI if they had redone it for that model, since it has more power, more RAM, more flash than any of the previous receivers/DVRs, but bells and whistles aren't free, especially if programmers are given the mandate to add eye candy over performance to impress people who equate eye candy and useless "features" like playing Youtube videos with it being more advanced.

 

You won't see any defense of Directv's software engineering from me, the GUI performance stinks in my opinion. The H20 is abominably slow, and the H24 isn't much better since it is dragged down by the HD GUI. I don't have any DVRs myself, but I've played some with a friend's HR44 and I'm astonished that many people in this forum regard it as "blazingly fast". They are clearly living in a bubble and not exposed to very much non-Directv equipment to believe that. Despite undoubtedly having much faster hardware than the H24, the HR44 seems to have no measurable performance improvement over it (though I couldn't compare them side to side) After seeing the HR44 in action I find it much harder to complain so much about my Tivo Premiere :)

 

I'm not saying a new interface would be a bad idea, but targeting it at only the Genie will make performance problems worse, not better unless Directv replaces its software engineering staff and/or their managers.

 

Human interface guidelines for GUI design state that ideally you want response time to be kept under 100 ms. If you keep below that, you don't have to do anything special to let the user know their input has been acknowledged, because it is "instantaneous" as far as we're concerned. Any slower than 100 ms and the delay is perceptible to users.

 

Go over 1 second and the delay becomes annoying and aggravating to most, like being stuck behind someone traveling 10 mph under the speed limit. The fact you can't do even the simplest tasks, like typing in channel numbers, and consistently see the result on the screen in less than one second (let alone 0.1 seconds, they're miles away from that) is why Directv receivers/DVRs can be so frustrating to operate.


Edited by slice1900, 15 March 2014 - 06:36 PM.

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#55 OFFLINE   FLWingNut

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 06:44 PM

I have three DVRs, an HD receiver on Whole Home. Would like an integrated To Do List and Series Manager so I can manage everything from any box.


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#56 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:55 PM

I have three DVRs, an HD receiver on Whole Home. Would like an integrated To Do List and Series Manager so I can manage everything from any box.


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It has been here for a long time now, is called the Genie and mini Genies


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#57 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:57 PM

  
GUIDE>GUIDE takes to you the guide filter screen, why couldn't LIST>LIST take you to the Manage Recording screen? They are "lists" too.

Because the is a "purpose" for the filters, albeit small.  not too many folks go to the list often.


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#58 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:59 PM

Because the is a "purpose" for the filters, albeit small.  not too many folks go to the list often.


I guess it depends on who you talk to. I never use the guide filter. I check my lists daily though.

#59 OFFLINE   FLWingNut

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 04:33 AM

It has been here for a long time now, is called the Genie and mini Genies

I'm aware of the Genie but that is not what I asked for. I have six recordable tuners and 1 receiver. Why lose two tuners for a Genie? I want an integrated To Do List and Series Manager.


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Edited by FLWingNut, 16 March 2014 - 04:34 AM.


#60 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 07:35 AM

I'm aware of the Genie but that is not what I asked for. I have six recordable tuners and 1 receiver. Why lose two tuners for a Genie? I want an integrated To Do List and Series Manager.


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Well, this is DirecTV's way to do what you are asking for.  So what you asked is available


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