Washington, D.C. (June 13, 2013)
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Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to
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Q. I remember
reading a few years ago that DIRECTV was going to introduce what
it called, 'An Apple-like' on-screen guide. It was supposed to
be fast, innovative and creative. Did they ever launch it? If
not, where is it? -- Jay, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
On November 3, 2011, DIRECTV CEO Mike White told Wall Street
analysts in an investors call that: "I think you'll see a little
bit of the future in our HD user interface...it will give you a
sense of how we're looking at kind of speed of response, search
engines, recommendations, shows you might like...I would say,
Apple-like, to be honest, experience from an interface
White was referring to the satcaster's plans for a new on-screen
guide that would give subscribers more program recommendations
and Internet-based features such as Pandora, YouTube and apps.
The guide was supposed to also be part of a new system that
would dramatically increase the speed of the HD DVR, making it a
snap to switch channels and set up options such as recording
White's use of the term, Apple-like, stirred a lot of interest
in the DIRECTV community with subscribers hoping for an experience
comparable to using an iPhone or iPad. In other words, bold,
innovative, fast and easy to use.
Well, DIRECTV last year rolled out that new guide and HD DVR
system, complete with expanded program recommendations, Internet
apps and Pandora.
But is it Apple-like?
Anyone who has used the new guide -- and DIRECTV's new Genie HD
DVR -- might not think of Apple when using it. While the Genie
is indeed innovative -- you can watch programming in multiple
rooms and record up to five shows at the same time -- the
interface itself is still slow and sometimes mind-numbingly so.
You push in channel numbers and sometimes it takes several
seconds or more before the channel changes. This is not what you
would expect from an Apple-like product.
The satcaster's new Internet-based apps and features are okay,
but not terribly innovative. Again, not exactly Apple-like.
So that's what happened to that Apple-like guide you were asking
about, Jay. The new DIRECTV guide and interface is certainly
more colorful and offers more options, but it fails to meet the
high standards of a new Apple product.
In retrospect, Mr. White probably wishes he hadn't used the
term, Apple-like, to describe it. Ah, live and learn.
Swanni Sez has 10,000+
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