What’s the difference between the Red button and the Record button?

Even our newest DIRECTV remote has both a red button and a button with an “R” in the middle. This can be sort of confusing for folks who grew up thinking a red dot always means “record.” I’ll explain it for you.

At one time all DIRECTV remotes had four colored buttons: red, green, blue, and yellow. This was following the common practice in Europe, where connected TVs took hold far earlier than they did here. The four colored buttons gave some interactive features, but the green, yellow and blue button functions were eventually moved to other buttons as part of a plan to simplify the remote. The red button remained, however, because it had become very popular for DIRECTV’s interactive features.

The red button brings up ScoreGuide on interactive channels and has several other features throughout the system. DIRECTV’s marketing panels showed that people didn’t want to give up the red button – they wanted to keep a separate button that did the interactive stuff. So, it stayed on the new remote, although there is some confusion between the orange-red record button and the red button.

The record button on DIRECTV remotes is designed to look just like the record icon on the screen:

so that does help somewhat, but it can take a little getting used to. Putting the record button up at the top corner of the remote does also help.