Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2013) -
Editor's Note: TV's
Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to
best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If
you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by
sending an e-mail to
Q. I have DIRECTV
and I like to follow
several shows at the same time, particularly newscasts and
sporting events. Is there a way to do this efficiently without
hitting each program's channel number over and over again? Or,
is there a way to watch four or five different channels on the
screen at the same time? -- Bennie, Brooklyn, New York.
DIRECTV offers a channel (ch.
205) called Sports Mix that displays eight different sports
channels on screen at the same time. (The satcaster used to have
a similar news-oriented channel called News Mix, but removed it
late last year.)
One caution, though: Sports Mix's eight channel display is in
standard-definition and it's not pretty to look at. Downright
ugly, actually. But if you just want to follow eight different
sports channels at the same time, it does the trick. However,
take note: You can't select the channels; DIRECTV does that for
you. (By the way, other TV providers, such as
offer multiple-view channels as well.)
Of course, some TVs also have Picture-in-Picture capability
which allows you to watch two channels at the same time.
Beside those options, DIRECTV also has a little trick that makes
it a lot easier to follow four different channels at the same.
Here's how it works:
1. Press the INFO button on the DIRECTV remote.
2. Press the ARROW button to scroll to the right.
3. Use the SELECT button to choose 'Last 4' -- the last four
channels you've watched.
4. Then, pick the channel you want to watch from the list of
channels that appears on screen. (See the example below.)
It may not be the same as watching four channels at once, but it
does speed up the process of tracking four different games or
news channels at the same.