Why does DIRECTV’s Genie Remote still have an Enter button?

DIRECTV’s Genie Remote arrived in 2013 as part of the rollout of its HR44 Genie DVR. It was the first “rethinking” of the iconic DIRECTV remote in over a decade, and it wasn’t an easy move for everyone. Some users lamented the fact that the play and pause buttons were combined. Some complained about the loss of color buttons, the STOP button, and other special-purpose bits that still existed with the older series remote.

After 7 years, most people finally seem to agree that the smaller, simpler remote from DIRECTV was a good move. Most of the uninteresting buttons that populated the older DIRECTV remote were removed, and sure you can argue that some of them should have been left in (like for example the STOP button.) Most of the missing buttons, though, are easily forgotten. It does seem odd that they left the ENTER button in there when it seems like just a duplicate of the SELECT button.

It’s more than just a duplicate button

The ENTER button was left in because it does actually have an important role. You’ll actually tune channels in faster if you end with the ENTER button and the SELECT button doesn’t have that function. Also you can press and hold the ENTER button to get to the TV input, so it’s good that it’s off to the side but not completely gone. This is an essential feature if your TV doesn’t support HDMI Control.

Using ENTER as an input button

It’s one of the last  “press-and hold” buttons in the AT&T ecosystem. That technology never really caught on. For the most part, customers don’t like it, but in this case it does make sense. You wouldn’t really want the customer changing inputs by mistake.

Pressing-and-holding ENTER does a bit more. It actually changes the up and down buttons so they control the television, and changes the SELECT button to the TV’s OK, Select, or Enter button. This way the customer can choose the right input. Once you press the SELECT button, the buttons revert automatically to controlling the DIRECTV box.

This is a pretty slick move.  especially since it works even if the remote uses RF mode. What’s remarkable about it is that it “just works” and people don’t even realize what’s going on. They say the best engineering is invisible, and this is certainly one case where that’s true.

Another reason for the ENTER button

It also makes sense to have that button there because people expect it. It’s part of most universal remotes and the research that AT&T did probably showed them people expected that button to be there and if something else were there instead, then it would lead to confusion.

Get your own replacement remote

Solid Signal has the best price on the internet for replacement Genie remotes. For the price of a drugstore knockoff, you can actually have the real thing. It also comes in a backlit version that is perfect for a bedroom. Why not pick up a few? Your Genie can use multiple remotes at the same time. Why not have one ready for when you lose one between the couch cushions?

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.