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v1.9 Channel Guide - Questions & Concerns

In speaking with customer support this morning, it would appear that my only recourse for letting Verizon know that I don’t like the new Channel Guide is to make a post on the forums and this looks more appropriate that the tech forums after looking around a bit.

Cable Television issues:

To start, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the old channel guide and I can’t figure out what the new guide does better aside from possibly displaying a few more channels per page…at the cost of incorporating a GIANT active dvr UI (user interface), an awful color scheme and a PiP window in the channel guide that seems to have had its size reduced to about ¼ of the previous one.

Does anyone know if there’s a way to change the display back to the old style or at least something close to it? I only had 15 minutes to play around with it this morning before work, but the rest of the new display styles are even worse than the standard one and I was hoping there was another options section that I didn’t notice as far as the overall display goes.

DVR issues:

For those of you who use the verizon DVR services, that display has also changed and I can only assume that it’s geared towards displaying commercials while we use the dvr functions b/c there’s no other reason for it to take up so much room on the screen at the moment.

The previous dvr display used to consist of a small horizontal bar across the bottom of the screen that displayed the basic channel info (channel #, name of the show, run time etc etc), showed you the speed at which it was rewinding or fast forwarding and the point in the show that you were currently watching. With the update, the DVR window is MASSIVE and it has to be taking up close to 1/3 of the screen when you hit the FF, RW or play button. However, even with the new giant dvr display, there’s nothing being utilized in the actual display and I have a feeling it’s going to be used for corporate commercials or simply advertising verizon on-demand programming.

The new channel guide is clearly slower than the old one and the dvr seems sluggish too. As I said earlier, I just didn’t see anything that warranted the huge makeover and I have trouble understanding how this new version of the channel guide could’ve possibly been beta tested by anyone and wound up in this state.

I love the verizon internet speed and I’ve come to find that their customer service is excellent, but this change was possibly enough to make me drop the full package I currently utilize and simply maintain the internet going forward for the sake of accessing websites like hulu & netflix for my television needs.

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Re: v1.9 Channel Guide - Questions & Concerns

The only thing that’s changed about my opinion of the new channel guide after having a chance to really play around with it after work yesterday is that it’s even worse than I had initially thought.

While I think the color scheme is really ugly and a poor choice, at least it wasn’t handled as badly as the new layouts. I mean, really….there’s so much empty & wasted space that it’s hard to understand how this could’ve been beta tested or handled by professionals unless there really are going to be a lot of additional advertisements eventually crammed into the channel guide layout while we’re looking through the guide or dvr.

The search bar at the bottom of the screen, which now causes dvr function & channel info displays to take up over 1/3 of the screen, contains NOTHING except for the basic channel info, the time and an indicator that you should hit the ‘B’ button to open the search function. It could’ve easily been reduced by at least 50% considering how little information it actually displays…yet someone thought it would be better if it obscured a lot of screen space.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but on top of taking up a lot of screen space, this new search bar shows up all over the guide layouts. As it brings almost nothing to the table and presents the information as poorly as possible, I can only assume that Verizon REALLY wants people to start using the search function b/c there’s absolutely no reason for it to take up so much space.

There are some new channel guide options for different layouts and while I hate just about everything related to v1.9, I will say this; the ‘Channel Guide’ listing is almost useful in that it can be used as a secondary guide option to view a particular channels lineup for the day. Unfortunately, someone decided that it needed to have giant channel logos, so that section takes up about 25% of the layout for that guide. While it’s a nice layout for the intended purpose, outside of the stupid channel logos hogging up so much room, I’m not really sure why this was needed vs the previous method of simply pressing the button that scrolls to the right for a particular channel once you’re in the guide.

 The layout that’s most similar to the old guide, Full Listing, has an absurd amount of empty space that’s being sacrificed for the aforementioned giant search bar at the bottom of the guide, a window carved out for channel logos that’s about 2x-3x too big for the actual logos being used and another empty space below the logo window where 2 channel numbers are displayed. Here we have yet another baffling instance of awful layout implementation for no apparent reason. Aside from eventually forcing us to watch more advertisements, I can’t even begin to imagine how this passed some kind of final approval  b/c there’s no reason to have so much empty space when redesigning any kind of layout.

The other glaring mistake in the Full listing layout is that the display indicator that shows you where you’re at in a particular channel block and/or show is at the top of the screen. Which, if you think about it, was a poor decision since the channel guide always stays in the middle of the channel block you’re viewing and the new bar doesn’t seem to lineup properly with the shows based on watching some tv last night. The old layout let you know exactly where you were with the show you’re watching whereas the new is displayed in such a way that it’s become more of a ‘close guestimate’ since it will never overlap with the actual show you’re watching as it’s now anchored to the top of the guide.

Here’s a free one, the channel you have highlighted in the channel guide should have the time display bar right above it so that you don’t need to look in two places at once to see where shows start/end and where you’re actually at in relation to the programming.  

To be fair, I didn’t notice any sluggishness last night as everything seemed to be moving very smoothly and I’m using hardware that’s at least 3-4 years old. Maybe they patched something or maybe the earlier sluggishness was just a temporary inconvenience. However, I still haven’t found anything that comes even remotely close to warranting the implementation of a new program guide aside from the proposed theory of eventually forcing us to view advertisements via the vast amounts of empty space that were purposely chosen for the current layout.

Re: v1.9 Channel Guide - Questions & Concerns

Day 3:

It has become apparent that after 3.5-4+ years of absolutely perfect working service, my DVR is now sometimes unable to maintain a program being paused for more than a few minutes without becoming totally locked up. This only happens with live programs as i haven't seen it happen to the ones that are recorde.

It will just lock up right where I paused it and the only thing I can see is the massive dvr info display bar that shows the program as being paused and the show itself in the least what's still visible behind the giant dvr display. Once this happens, I'm unable to resume play, rewind, FF, etc without changing channels…which loses anything that was being recorded and means the entire purpose behind pausing something would appear to be lost unless it's done for an incredibly brief period of time.

This didn't start up until 2 days ago and I have a difficult time coming to terms with the possibility that it's just a random occurrence between my dvrs' long  track record of perfect service and the fact that a major channel guide overhaul was just released the day it started occurring.

Coincidence? I think not…

Again, good job on releasing massive new content overhauls that clearly doesn't work on all of your subscribers’ equipment.