Why don’t your local channel logos show up on the DIRECTV guide?

If you live in one of the larger TV markets, you know that there are channels that aren’t part of any network. We’ve called them “Independent” stations, and when there were only three broadcast networks they were a common sight. With the number of national programming services growing, they become less sparse. It’s not just NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox anymore; the TV landscape is full of services like ION, CW, Univision, MyNetworkTV, MeTV, Buzzr!, and others that provide an identity to smaller local stations. But, there are still some truly independent stations out there. Let me take a moment to salute them… because it’s not easy to be independent these days.

How logos are added to the DIRECTV system

When a national programming service is available, it brings with it a logo and that logo is usually passed on to companies like AT&T so that your guide can show it. There are a few actual independent television stations left (like Los Angeles’ KCAL) whose logos don’t show up in the guide. When there’s no logo, your DIRECTV receiver shows the station call letters, sometimes cut off, in a fairly ugly display. Why don’t you get those logos as well?

It just comes down to time and effort. It actually takes special programming to add a channel logo. The logo is formatted very precisely so that it fits in your DIRECTV receiver’s very specific area and then it’s loaded as part of the software. While that doesn’t seem like it would take a lot of work, that amount of work can add up when you’re talking about thousands of stations across the country.

The national  channel logos tend to flow in fairly automatically with networks, so all a network has to do is provide it to AT&T once and it gets used for every local affiliate.

Is this likely to change?

Just my opinion here folks, but I don’t think this is likely to change. To me this seems like something where the cost of doing it on AT&T’s side isn’t balanced out by an increase in customer satisfaction. I hate to be cold here, but that’s sometimes how this sort of thing is decided.

Why do my logos sometimes disappear?

In order to understand that, you need to understand a little about how the DIRECTV receivers do things. A lot of stuff is stored on your receiver. I’m talking about like channel logos in this case. It’s not all, though. The little “posters” that you see in the menu with pictures of shows and movies are stored there too. Those little ads in the guide are stored on your receiver as well. Sometimes that storage becomes corrupt, or sometimes it gets updated in a way that means it has to be erased and you start over. It takes about a day for that sort of thing to come back down into your receiver, whether it comes from the internet or from the sky.

If your logos have disappeared, they will usually come back within about a day. If they don’t, reboot the receiver twice in a row. That will generally let them come back in a day or so. In the rare case where it takes longer than that, the problem is usually on AT&T’s side and not on your side.

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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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.