NOT JUST YOU: The DIRECTV Guide is blurry in 4K

Yes it’s true. Whether you have the old DIRECTV menus or the new, the text can look a little blurry on a large 4K television. In fact you will see some level of blurriness even on large HD televisions.

I know, I know.

But before we all launch into a massive rant, let’s remember that it’s not always about the menus. It’s about what you watch. I’m sure we’d all like a sparkly clear 4K menu experience and to be honest I don’t know why we don’t have one. But at least I can tell you why the menus look blurry now.

How DIRECTV Clients work

DIRECTV Genie clients get almost all of their picture and sound straight from the Genie DVR. Most of the button presses you make go back to the DVR and the whole image, including the menus, are rendered at the DVR.

If you have an HR44 or HR54 DVR, and you watch TV directly, then the menus are rendered using different graphics depending on whether you are watching 480, 720, or 1080 resolution. However, when you are watching using a client, those menus are rendered differently than they are from the way they look on the DVR. You may have noticed items like lowercase “g” and “p” look slightly different in some cases on the clients than they do on the DVR.

I suspect that only one set of graphics are used for the clients, whether you’re watching 480, 720, 1080, or 4K resolution. It’s pretty clear that the same menu graphics are used for 1080 and 4K, and that’s the source of the blurriness. When you’re showing 1080 content on a 4K TV, there’s always going to be some blurriness but you don’t notice it in live action. You only really notice it with computer generated graphics.

Will it ever get fixed?

Well that’s hard to know for sure. I suspect it would take more processing power to render all the menus in 4K , but I can’t imagine it would take a massive amount. Obviously the Genie DVR is capable of sending down 4K images, so that isn’t the issue. I suspect the real issue at least for now is that they didn’t consider 4K resolution on menus to be a priority. In fact I would rather have them concentrate on bug fixes than 4K menus for now, although I hope the do come around to 4K menus at some point.