On November 1 of this year… AT&T dropped the biggest bombshell in Genie history on those with H44, HR44, HR54 and HS17 boxes. It’s a completely new interface from top to bottom, and it’s going to be a big change to people who have spent the last six years learning and understanding the way their DIRECTV receivers work.
The new menus look an awful lot like Comcast and Spectrum’s menus, and integrate a lot of features that people expect when they switch away from cable. They also have been designed to look more modern and compensate for the fact that, on average, people have bigger TVs than they did in 2011.
It’s going to be a very slow rollout, so even a month later you still may not have it. Believe me, it’s not something where you might not be sure. The new menus are striking, with black-on-black backgrounds and different fonts and pictures. You’ll know when it comes to you.
Sadly, these new menus haven’t gotten the warmest reception from some of the DIRECTV faithful. Some complain about the smaller, thinner font, some with the new recording behavior. There are even some people who complain that the “fadeout” at the bottom of the screen is a problem.
Now, as with any other change you don’t hear from the happy people, only the angry ones. We’re all relative outsiders on this one, even me — the real decision about whether or not something will change on these new menus comes from call volumes at DIRECTV’s call centers. I’m sure there is some sort of number already established, estimating how many people will call and complain about one thing or another. If there’s a big difference between the number of people who actually call and the projections, it’s possible there will be a change. The last go-around, a lot of people complained about the behavior of the progress bar at the bottom of the screen, and it was changed about three months later.
The very purpose for this slow rollout is to look and see what the average user thinks. Despite what some folks say, the one thing that won’t happen is some sort of full-scale rollback to the old look. That’s just off the table. But, tweaks to the new look are very possible and it’s something you should expect in a few months, based on what people say and think.
So… what do you say and think? A month or so later, are you happy or upset, or does it really matter to you what the guide looks like? Leave your comments here and I’ll personally use my contacts to make sure the customer service folks see them!