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Verizon FiOS Debuts New HD GUI

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Jeremy W, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I assumed you need to select a show, which I shouldn't! You may be right.
     
  2. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    The HR21 and up can definitely handle an HD GUI. I don't think the HR20 can.
     
  3. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    Not sure I understand the question about scrolling through the guide withouth selecting a show. If the new guide works like it does now (which I think is a valid assumption) then the functionality will be very much like DirecTV's. Bring up the guide, and the show you're currently watching shows up in the picture. Scroll through the guide, and the picture doesn't change (unless you hit 'ok' on the remote), but you get the description of the show that the cursor is over. The only real difference from what I remember from my DirecTV days is that the current Verizon guide doesn't highlight the top show on every page by default. It's somewhere in the middle. So, if I page down, the show that's highlighted on that 'page' is one of the middle channels. But if I cursor over some other show I get the description for that show.
     
  4. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

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    I will use the new interface since that's the only frame of reference I have.

    The pictures show that one channel's display is taller than the other channels. That display allows the selected show's description to display right under the show's name in the guide. Because that channel is taller, only 5 channels are seen at one time in the full guide.

    The question is this: As you scroll (or page) down in the guide, is there always one channel that has this taller display with a show descriptions? Alternatively, would you scroll (or page) down in the guide and see a screen with all channels the same height, not show description, and more channels on the screen? You would then have to press a button to "select" a show, that then make that channel's display taller and display the show description.

    I assume that we will just be guessing until we find someone who has played with the new gui. The reason we are curious is that as pictured, there are only 5 channels displayed at a time, which is less than Directv's current guide. However, if the show description wasn't displayed, it appears there is room for 7 channels to display at one time, which is more than Directv's current guide.

    Right now, with Directv's guide, you can scroll and a shorter description displays up by the "picture in guide". You can press the "info" button and get the full description as well as recording options,
     
  5. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    for me a guide should show at least three hours and since I'm in the NYC area it should show channels 2, 4, 5 ,7, 9, 11, 13, and optionally 21, and NJN along with PIG and description of the highlighted show. IMHO of course.

    Not to mention if a HD version is available show the HD channel and if only a SD then show that guide data.

    I'm not impressed by a high WOW factor, give a high usability factor instead.

    Remember the Microsoft interface? Hit the record button once and set a one time recording. Hit it twice set a weekly recording. Hit it a third time and remove the timer. As I remember it anyway. Functional.

    Cheers
     
  6. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    That's how the HRs work, too.
     
  7. hbkbiggestfan

    hbkbiggestfan Godfather

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    I would love for D* to add an undelete function ahead First and then an HD GUI. The bookmark thing could be really cool especially if it allows for easier skipping of commercial breaks. Hopefully D* is on the ball making moves for a near future s/w release.
     
  8. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    Ah, gotcha. I haven't played with the new GUI, so I'll just have to go by what the current interface does (which, again, I think is a valid comparison, since structurally things look equivalent). The tall line in the guide is for the line you're currently on. You don't have to hit 'ok' or 'select' to get it to open up like that. As you scroll through the guide, the line that the cursor is on automatically opens up like that, displaying the information that's there. In that regard it is different than what I remember my old R15 interface looked like. I seem to recall (don't know if DirecTV's interface is the same or not) that as you scroll through the guide, the information for the current show just appears on the top. That's not how the current FiOS guide works. With the current FiOS guide, like I said, the current line you're on opens up like that, showing all the information directly in the guide, meaning that (if the current pictures are accurate) you'll only get 5 lines of guide data at any one time.

    One last point with this. The current line remains static on the screen. So, if I hit the up arrow, e.g. (not the page up, but the up arrow to go up a line) the cursor doesn't move up. The guide move down one line, so the current line (the tall line) always shows up in the same spot on the screen. I wasn't crazy about that aspect at first, but now I really like it - your eyes don't have to go all over the screen to see the program information - your eyes stay fixed in the same spot.

    But then again, it wouldn't surprise me if things changed before they officially release it. For example, in that first picture in the Engaget article, there's no color coding on the guide, which bugged me (I love the color coding that Verizon currently has). But lower down, it's clear that they are preserving color coding. There's also no Verizon logo, which will most definitely be there, as will the TV Guide logo. Also, if the current guide is any indication, there will be multiple views available. Currently the default is a 1.5 hour grid guide. But I can also bring up a different style guide, which shows only the current programs, but the PIG takes up half the screen. It wouldn't surprise me if they offered something like that with this new guide too.

    Finally, from what I understand, this interface will be a good deal more customizable than the old interface.
     
  9. loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    It would take a lot more than HD GUI, to get me to go back to cable, fiber or coaxial.
     
  10. HerntDawg

    HerntDawg Legend

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    I personally do not care if the gui is changed.
     
  11. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    That's fair, but it's great to see the possibilities. I really wish our friends at DirecTV would take notice.
     
  12. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    What tabbed headers? They are long gone.

    And, no. It is not cut and dried. A "menu subject area?" What the heck is that? Terminiology I never heard of before.
     
  13. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    I doubt it. There are no tick marks on Fios DVRs. They are probably just going to insert them at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever like the Tivo and HRs do.

    I don't see appreciably different results on my Fios DVR than I do with Smart Search. The Fios search actually sucks. No category filtering, odd information delivery with no consistency. Also, the DVR does not load all the guide data for searching. You have to force the guide to load beyond a week to get data beyond the next couple of days.
     
  14. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    I partially agree with you. First, the 'chapter' breaks, I would guess, are going to be just what you said - tick marks at every x number of minutes. Which I would be very happy to see (I don't know how they do it otherwise).

    As for the searching on FiOS, I do agree that it's lacking in some areas. For example, you can't save searches, like you can with DirecTV. The subject searches, like you said, are all but useless.

    As for the ordering... that's a subject for debate. It's supposed to give you a list by relevence, ala google. The more you type in, the closer you get to your listing. I actually like it, but I can see where it gets annoying. In the one example used, I would like to put in 'Along' and have it just list everything that starts with that word, alphabetically. Having that as a customizable setting would be nice - how do you want the results sorted? Alphabetically? By relevence?

    I DO like what the other poster mentioned about the defaulted wildcards in the search. Every space you put in becomes a defacto wild card. So, if I put in 'A P', that's the equivalent of the following (pardon the SQL jargon):

    select title
    from whatever_table
    where title like '%A%P%'

    Finally, where I think you're post isn't quite right is on the data that's being searched. First, you're right - just like every other provider, Verizon only stores x number of days on your guide (up to 14). But unlike, say, DirecTV, the guide data is fed off their servers. If I reboot my DVR, it comes back really fast (within a minute), but I only have about a day's worth of guide data. However if I bring up the guide, and page forward, Verizon will keep feeding me guide data on the fly, up to about 14 days out - and it gets fed very quickly.

    All that being said, Verizon stores their searchable stuff on their own servers. So when you search, you're not going against what's in your guide. You're going by what's on their servers. Meaning I can have 1 day of guide data on my DVR, but when I search, the search will go out to the max of up to 14 days.

    The nice part of this is that the data you search on your boxes will all be the same - and it'll match the searches you do off their website (they use the same data there). However, where it can suck (and I've seen isolated cases of this) is if the guide data doesn't match what's on their servers. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen from time to time. So, I search for a show, it doesn't crop up, but I can clearly find it on the guide, and hit the record button from there. That kind of thing.
     
  15. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

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    I've worked in IT for about (well, a very long time) years. (OK - about 27). I once had a very wise boss who told me that when it comes to GUI's, "It's the sizzle that sells the steak."

    D*'s current GUI was sizzling at one time, but now it's just boring looking compared to things like FIOS or Windows Media Center. D* is THE leader in television, right?

    Come on, DirecTV - show us some leadership in the GUI area! Please?
     
  16. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Icon DBSTalk Club

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    I knew it was ok to keep asking for a HD GUI. Some of you hand smackers should be ashamed of yourselves! lol
     
  17. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Not true. I just did this the other day. I find upcoming programs on the Fios DVR only AFTER I pushed the guide as you discribed to get more data. It does not go to their servers to find data. They may have done that at some point but it is not doing that now. The only stuff it finds is what is on my box for linear programming.
     
  18. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    I prefer the DirecTV guide. It is clean. The Fios one is unneccessarily noisy. Sizzle sucks.
     
  19. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    Then how is it possible that my search doesn't turn up something that's clearly in the guide? Where I see that predominantly is with the SD/HD versions of a particular program. The SD version will come back with a search, but the HD won't, but the HD version is clearly in the guide.

    Besides, what I described isn't what I made up about it - it's how Verizon said their system works. All the searching is done on the back end. Now, it's possible that pulling in additional guide data will repost to their servers, but what I described is how Verizon said their service works. Basically their STBs are thin clients - they do as much as possible on the server end. It keeps the hardware costs down because the STBs don't need to be nearly as powerful as they are with other providers.
     
  20. dreadlk

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

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    I imagine that when FIOS comes into a neighborhood, Directv experiences a massive sucking sound as customers churn away to FIOS. I have used FIOS and IMO on a good Plasma it looks significantly better than Directv and once again IMO that’s the main selling point of FIOS. As TV's get better each year, that better PQ is going to be the main problem for Directv unless they can find a method to increase their bit rates etc.

    The one problem I did find with FIOS was going from their lovely HD picture to the Guide, it was absolutely dismal going from great HD to the guide, so they have now fixed that and there's no doubt that a better guide makes for a better presentation and customers who compare FIOS to Directv will see this right away.

    Bigger hard drive on FIOS, great but it's still no match for Directv and they still do not have a feature laden system that is as versatile as Directv, so that does give Directv some time and does help to level the field, but in the end this looks like a really hard fight for Directv to win over the long haul.
     

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