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.