New DirecTV Inc. subscribers will soon get remote controls that will enable an array of interactive services that the top direct-broadcast satellite firm plans to begin marketing in coming months.
Produced by Universal Electronics Inc., the new remotes contain four new keys — red, green, yellow and blue buttons — which will be designated for new interactive services. The bottom of the units contain an alphanumeric keypad similar to those found on a telephone, which would allow subscribers to enter text to search listings in an interactive program guide and access other ITV services.
Universal Electronics vice president of product and program development Ramsi Ammari said the company recently began shipping the remotes to DirecTV receiver manufacturers Samsung Electronics America Inc., Thomson Consumer Electronics, Philips Consumer Electronics Co. and Hughes Network Systems.
The new DirecTV remotes de-emphasize the channel up-and-down, and volume keys, which have been moved to a lower spot on the device.
The most prominent buttons are the four arrows allowing subscribers to navigate an interactive program guide and digital video recorder, and the four color-coded ones that facilitate the new interactive services.