New UI for FIOS Cable Boxes

Over on the Verizon FIOS Website they have a preview of the new User Interface they plan to roll out to their FIOS TV Settop boxes over the next few months.

As a current customer all I can say is ‘about time’. Although the current UI is remarkably ‘snappy’ in comparison to the UI on many cable settop boxes (my experience with older Comcast offerings comes to mind) it’s still pretty poorly designed and implemented.

In particular the current search functionality is frustratingly bad, it’s slow and rarely actually seems to find the program you want since it seems to do a string search on programs that start with the phrase you enter not merely contain it. Furthermore prepositions like ‘The’ seem to either be placed at the end or dropped entirely. So searching for ‘State’ may or may not find ‘The State Within‘ since it could be listed as ‘State Within, The’ or just ‘State Within’. If nothing else the new search mechanism looks like it’s substring based and should find the program no matter how it’s listed.

The new keyboard navigation/text entry mechanisms look like an improvement too. It’s funny by the current horizontal layout of the onscreen keyboard just seems much slower to use than TIVO‘s vertical layout, the new UI looks to adopt a vertical layout – hopefully that’s an improvement too.

It’s not been deployed yet to my home – but as soon as it is I’ll try and write a mini-review.

Posted under Personal

This post was written by awk on May 23, 2007

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