DIRECTV News Mix is no more

Friends, take a minute to lament the recently departed DIRECTV News Mix. That’s right, DIRECTV’s interactive news mix, formerly on channels 102 and 352, is no more. The interactive channel debuted with DIRECTV’s D10 receivers back in the mid-2000s and while DIRECTV still seems bullish on mix channels, the news mix itself had languished without an update since 2008 when HD channels were linked to it.

During that time, the news mix has remained stubbornly standard definition even as sports and events mix channels like the Olympic Mix and Sunday Ticket channels have expanded to true HD. It looked for a while like there was going to be a change to an HD format as the content was trimmed to fit a 16×9 space, but that change never happened. Instead, black bars on the left and right as well as an empty space at top greeted news mix viewers.

The news mix channel has appeared and disappeared several times over the last several months, according to published user reports. However, this time the disappearance is marked with guide data that says plainly, “News Mix is no longer available.” This seems to spell the end for the once highly-promoted channel. Sports Mix and Kids Mix still work at this time.

DIRECTV has tried several generations of interactive content. Its 2000s-era RCA receivers had interactive weather built in, and with the D10 receiver DIRECTV ushered in the Active channel (which has weather information) as well as the mix channels. The future of the active channel is similarly in doubt, as it has not seen an update in over 5 years and is still in standard defintion. Once prominently part of the DIRECTV experience, the Active button is not even available on DIRECTV’s RC70 remotes for hotel or RVU television usage. (The active channel can still be accessed through the menu by choosing “Extras.”) It’s possible that DIRECTV’s slow-loading but once revolutionary channel may be the next on the chopping block.

After implementing user-customizable apps several years ago (which soldier on with moderate success) DIRECTV has moved to including its interactive content (such as YouTube and Pandora) through the menu system instead of adding them to channels.

For now though, the it seems the mix has been nixed.