Mar 10, 2009 0
Well, it seems I’ve been one of the lucky ones that have had their Sky+HD box updated with the latest EPG.
Early days yet but my first impressions are largely positive.
The Good :
- keeping the current programme you are viewing (whether live or recorded) whilst viewing the guide is implemented well, although the box is slightly smaller than I expected, or maybe I just need to upgrade my 32″ TV to something larger :-p
- multiple episodes of one series are “stacked” into one container. Entering this container allows you see see all the programmes for the series. This is fantastic, finally I don’t have to wade through endless pages of my kids Yo Gabba Gabba TV programmes trying to find that unwatched episode of Screen Wipe!
- searching is vastly improved, although hitting backup seems to cancel the entire search string you are entering, not the last character which has already proved annoying
- the guide loads instantly. I feared Sky would go overboard and leave us with the ‘you are now entering Teletext’ dread of the current interactive services, but no, it’s there in a blink of an eye.
- the colour palette is elegant and refined, respect due to the UI designer who dropped the yellow, which now means you can leave digital radio channels playing without being blinded by the strip of yellow showing the channel name. It’s all understated dark blues and light blues, kind of like a Commodore 64 BASIC screen.
- the previously watched channel is now linked to the blue ‘favourites’ button allowing you to quickly jump between channels, although you can still access your favourites by clicking the blue button a second time.
The Bad :
- no indicator next to a series stack to show that you have a series link for it. You have to navigate to the end of your planned recordings to double-check that, yes, the next episode will be recorded which is slightly jarring.
- it doesn’t seem snappy enough!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s no slouch, indeed I think the problem is that is so tantalisingly close to being really responsive that you especially notice the ‘not quite there’ effect.
A couple of times I’ve noticed it ‘playing catch-up’ as Henry kelly used to say, especially when scrolling through the programme grid, you get the feeling that is just needs a ‘push over the edge’.
The Ugly :
- everything seems to take one extra button press than with the previous EPG, this is mostly due to the clutter of the programme genres appearing above the programme grid, requiring you to press down to skip over them. I daresay I’ll get used to it, but then again it might grow old really quickly
- programme information for radio channels continues to be missing, and the only way of recording them remains going the manual route.
So there you have it, bear in mind that this is only after a couple of hours playing around with it, and I’m just glad that my existing recordings (and sound/picture settings) have been retained after the firmware update for now.
I may post more / updated information after some more time as I’m sure there will be many more hidden gems (and nasties!) to discover. If you have any specific queries about the new EPG leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer.