How can you find a channel number on DIRECTV?

One of the problems with having over 1,000 channels to choose from is finding the right one. You could spend ten minutes just cruising the guide. Luckily there’s another way.

First, a plug for a different article.

You don’t need to scroll through every single channel. You can set up a favorites list which will show you only the channels you want. It won’t stop stuff on other channels from recording and you can change back and forth between favorites and all channels easily. You can get instructions on how to do that, here.

Finding a channel number is easy.

DIRECTV’s Smart Search is the way to go. On your Genie Remote, press the DASH button to the left of the zero. This is the quickest way to get to Smart Search. Most people know that smart search lets you look for actors, keywords, and titles. Did you know it lets you search for channel numbers too?

It’s the same procedure. Press DASH then use the alphabet at the left to select what you want. If you’re kind of old school, you can use the T9 method you may remember from old dumbphones, You know, press the button once for “A”, twice for “B”, three time for “C”, that sort of thing.

Here’s the proof: Search for a channel name and you’ll see the numbers it’s on.

You can scroll down and actually press SELECT to go to the channel. They make it pretty simple.

What about sorting alphabetically?

Unfortunately DIRECTV doesn’t let you sort the guide alphabetically. At one point I was told that some companies pay for placement in a particular tier and that’s why you couldn’t sort them by name. I don’t know if that’s still true but at any rate it’s not a feature on DIRECTV systems.

However, even if you don’t want to set a favorites list, you can still filter the guide easily by pressing the GUIDE button a second time. You’ll be able to choose what sort of channel you’re looking for and that might make searching a little easier.

Looking for more tutorials?

You’ll find everything you need in one easy place with The Ultimate Guide to the New Genie Menus. It’s available only at The Solid Signal Blog!


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.