DIRECTV Stream changes user interface to something awfully familiar

directv stream

Images courtesy of The Streamable

I’ll admit I didn’t see this one coming. DIRECTV Stream, the streaming service for people who like the DIRECTV experience, has recently rolled out a new user interface. Personally I saw nothing wrong with their old interface, which had been in place ever since the says when the service was known as DIRECTV Now.

Take a look.

Does that seem familiar to you? You could be forgiven for mistaking it for the guide from DIRECTV Satellite, which for reference looks like this:

The new DIRECTV Stream guide offers more channels on a screen plus a picture-in-guide replacing the full-screen, low-contrast version of live TV that was there before.

The new guide will start rolling to customers immediately and should take a little time for everyone to get it.

What does this mean?

Well, I think the first thing it means is that people have finally stopped complaining about the controversial menus DIRECTV rolled out in late 2017. Clearly they have become the standard now and people seem generally ok with that. There have been no real meaningful changes to the user experience in close to four years now, and this has led some to say that DIRECTV isn’t interested in innovating. Nothing could be further from the truth, as there have been massive changes under the surface in the past several years. Those changes have brought huge improvements in speed and reliability, and have made it possible for older hardware to stay in service longer.

I have to wonder if this is a move to completely unify the DIRECTV Satellite and Stream experiences. The next logical move would be for DIRECTV Satellite to tweak their guide experience to completely match that of DIRECTV Stream. With the under-the-hood improvements from the last four years, it would be very easy to implement.

Will DIRECTV ever merge the two services?

That’s the real question, isn’t it. When AT&T spun off DIRECTV, a lot of folks (myself included) wondered if the first move wouldn’t be some sort of combination app that would let you watch DIRECTV Satellite using your streaming box. I’m still waiting, and I still think it’s a good idea. I also think it would be a great idea for the two services to merge so you could get your content however you wanted it.

My guess is that things like that take a massive amount of time to achieve, and I have to wonder if a lot of that work is already taking place.

What’s your take?

Would a common user interface get you to switch from DIRECTV Satellite to DIRECTV Stream? DIRECTV Stream now offers a similar selection of national channels, plus unlimited DVR, for a price very similar to DIRECTV Satellite. But, it doesn’t have NFL Sunday Ticket or as many local channels. Are those sticking points for you? Leave a comment below and let’s start the conversation!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.