Finally Beat the Rogers Quick Start Menu

In January, Rogers introduced a new feature to its cable TV subscribers: a Quick Start Menu. What’s on this menu? How can it help me? It doesn’t matter. The brain trust at Rogers decided to put the menu behind the “Guide” button, which normally brings up the Integrated Program Guide (IPG). If you actually want to see the IPG, you simply press the Guide button a second time. Convenient, no?

Immediately, a Facebook group was put up to entreat (read “browbeat”) Rogers into removing this intrusion into their customers’ workflow.

Rogers’ response? They gave us a way to switch the menu and guide around. So when you press the Guide button, you actually get the guide. But if you press it again, you get the menu. Marginally less annoying. Good job, whoever’s doing UX at Rogers.

You know, there are buttons on that remote which never get pressed. The B and C buttons for instance. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to put the menu behind those?

Bah, they never listen.

So this weekend I decided it was time to upgrade my programmable remote. I had a Marantz RC5000, but it was a royal pain to maintain, and the editing program was sheer torture.

My newly acquired Logitech Harmony 670, on the other hand, was simplicity itself to program. Within an hour of unboxing, it was happily directing all my components to do my bidding. And I suspect my wife and sundry guests will also find it much easier to use than the tabbed interface on the Marantz.

Sure, it controlled all my devices, but it didn’t have all the controls I was used to having at my fingertips. For instance, it didn’t have the program guide, or the page up, page down buttons programmed. Not a problem. The remote programming software makes your remote infinitely customizable. Plus, it already had all the codes for each of the buttons in it’s database. So it was very easy to program buttons to do what I wanted.

I did have some questions, and I was able to call Logitech’s Toronto-based help center, who were very knowledgeable about their products, as well as home theater setups.

And that’s when I met Joergen. He was able to update my remote’s configuration to include a button to send two (2) Guide commands with one button press. BLISS! Of course, I still need a button to send one Guide command, otherwise, coming out of the IPG would land me on the Quick Start Menu. *sigh*

Still. A lower-case V victory.

Ross Rader, the fellow who started the FaceBook group, took another tack. He (and others in the group) switched to Bell. He loves their IPG. I refuse to give Bell any of my money. They can think of it as me throttling back.

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