HITEC 2012: DIRECTV RC70H Remote

You’ve seen DIRECTV’s RC70 remote before. The same design is used for RVU installs where it is known as the RC70X. However, the remote was actually designed for hotels first and DIRECTV showed the hotel version, the RC70H, at the HITEC show in Baltimore.

DIRECTV has used the RC50 hotel remote in the past; there’s nothing wrong with it but the design isn’t unique to DIRECTV. The same remote is also used in other hotel systems. DIRECTV wanted something special for the DIRECTV Residential Experience and this remote was designed from scratch.

The RC70H looks different from the RC70X and the easiest way to tell is the shiny black plastic. The RC70X uses matte black plastic. Shiny plastic will probably wear better while matte plastic would show shiny spots from multiple uses. The RC70H also uses the orange “R” on the record button which my prototype didn’t… although production RC70X remotes do also have this. In case there was any question, the RC70H is labeled at the top above the red button.

The back of the RC70H is labeled to tell the user that there’s no point in stealing it. RC70H remotes use a different codeset than other DIRECTV remotes so taking one home isn’t going to do anyone any good. The print is small, though, and if I were the hotel owner I would make signs to stick on the TV bezel that say the same thing in BIG letters.

Since the RC70 remotes don’t have color buttons, the menus have changed to take color button references out. Take a look at this closeup of the guide (shown above) and you’ll see that where you are used to seeing a red and green dot you now see images of the fast-forward and rewind buttons. It’s a nice touch that the graphics are actually the shape of the buttons.

I had previously heard that installers will be getting the RC70H remote very soon, and so it wasn’t a surprise to see it in use here at the show. I had a chance to handle it alongside the RC50 remote and it is more comfortable than the RC50. I like the rocker buttons for channel and volume. These are the most commonly used buttons in hotels and it’s smart to make them more durable.

I’m told that RC70H remotes will have the same anti-microbial coating as RC50 remotes, and that’s just a little more peace of mind for people who travel a lot.