We listened: How to customize the order of the Quick Start menu

In January, we introduced the Quick Start menu for our Digital Cable subscribers in Ontario. Our goal was to provide an easier way for you to navigate programming, such as On Demand channels and those in free preview. We also added some cool new features, including TV mix channels, local weather and games.

We thought you’d love it. And while many do, some of you told us you didn’t like having to press “guide” twice to get to TV listings. We appreciate your feedback; we listened and we acted.

Starting today, we’ve made a change so you can now switch the order in which the Quick Start menu appears on your digital TV box. You can choose if you want the new menu or TV listings first.

Here’s how to modify the settings:

1.    On remote, click the guide button
2.    Select “Self-Service”
3.    Click “Change GUIDE Order” option
4.    A screen that looks like this will appear:


5.    Select one of the following options: “Quick Start menu first” or “TV Listings first.” (Your option appears in red)
6.    Repeat for each digital box in your home.

Later this year, we’ll be rolling out further enhancements as well as several technology upgrades.

What do you think about the Quick Start menu and the ability to now change the order in which it appears? Let us know by taking our survey here or by submitting a comment below.

Update (March 4, 1:32 pm): In other blogs that have picked up on this post, there’s been some confusion about whether this change reduces the number of clicks or just changes the order of a double-click. To clarify, the changes implemented today mean that we’ve reduced the number of clicks if you don’t want to view the Quick Start menu. If you’ve made the change outlined above, pressing guide once goes straight to the TV Listings screen. From there, you can choose your channel and start watching as you did in the past. If you don’t choose a channel, pressing guide a second time will bring up the Quick Start menu.

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

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  1. Glad to hear it, because without this I would be cancelling my Rogers account within the month.

  2. So so so amazing…. thank you Redboard, I will pass this on!

  3. Although I am apparently one of the few who actually liked the Quick Start Menu, I am pleased that Rogers listened to their customers and made a change that keeps everyone happy.

    Great work Rogers!

  4. I can’t access the survey. I’m getting the message “Your responses for this study have already been received, thank you.”

    Well anyways, here is my feedback, just cancel the quick start guide 100%! I don’t need more advertising being forced to me! I pay enough to Rogers every month.

  5. Thank you for acting upon this. BTW, clicking on that survey link gives you a page with this line: Your responses for this study have already been received, thank you. ?!?

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 4th, 2010 a 10:10am

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your comment and for passing along the message that popped up when you clicked the survey link.

      We’ve since fixed it. It should work now.

  6. It’s great to see that you have reacted to the user response and are now able to provide us with options!

    I was able to complete the survey but one suggestion would be to provide a ‘back’ button for when people need to make corrections to an entry on a previous page.

    Thanks for keeping us informed and for providing new innovative services!

  7. I am actually impressed by this. I have been complaining about that for a while and never expected to get anything out of it. Great!

  8. Richard, FYI, I wasn’t able to complete the survey in Chrome and had to transfer over to Firefox.

    I agree that I’m impressed that Rogers listened to the criticism on this. As I wrote above, Quick Start was enough of an annoyance that, if not fixed, I would have left Rogers over it. But the action of giving us a choice, coupled with the signs of a more-open Rogers as evidenced by this blog, gives me some hope.

  9. Doesn’t the fact that so many customers requested this change make Rogers wonder about the value of the new Quick Start Menu?

    If the Quick Start Menu were useful and well-designed I would suspect most people wouldn’t care to switch back to the default menu, which is itself a 1990s era remnant.

    The whole idea seem like the Marketing dept. telling the Tech dept. what to do. I don’t mind advertising but it shouldn’t make my user experience more difficult.

    I would be curious to know if the Quick Start Menu were beta tested at all because I find it hard to believe such testing wouldn’t have provided Rogers with the kind of feedback they are getting now.

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 4th, 2010 a 2:14pm

      Hi Spencer. Thanks for commenting.
      We know that people like fellow commenters IainR and Chris enjoy the Quick Start menu, with customers telling us they are particularly fond of the TV mix and games.
      Now that you have the option to go straight to the TV listings, we hope this will satisfy both those who aren’t fans of the new menu and those who are.

      • Thanks for the response Richard.

        I am never one to shoot the messenger, being one myself, but I actually was excited when I heard the Quick Start Menu was coming only to be disappointed at the implementation.

        My earlier point was that rather than provide the option to disable the new Menu, perhaps a little more testing should have gone into producing it in the first place.

        New UI should never add clicks to perform basic tasks. The Quick Start Guide added several additional clicks to perform the most basic of TV task — finding content.

        Rather than adding an additional layer on top of Scientific Atlanta’s hardware, could Rogers not work directly with SA to refine the current built-in program guide?

  10. Thank you for listening!

  11. Get RID of the Quick Start menu… why is there no option to REMOVE the stupid feature????

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 4th, 2010 a 2:12pm

      Hi Mike. Thanks for the comment.
      I just added an update to the post. By changing the settings detailed above, pressing guide once goes straight to the TV Listings screen and allows you to not see the Quick Start menu. From there, you can choose your channel and start watching as you did in the past. If you don’t choose a channel, pressing guide a second time will bring up the Quick Start menu. Hope that helps!

      • That’s all good – as far as it goes – but it doesn’t address the fact that the Quick Start menu will appear if you don’t select a channel. That’s what really needs to be fixed, because most often I’m not looking for something to watch, or a different channel to access, I’m looking at what’s coming up next, or in a few days time and when I’ve competed that task, my wish is to simply go straight back to the channel I was watching without having to do a detour through the QSM.

        So… if you’re going to add a truly useful option, add the one that allows a user to kill QSM period.

  12. Huh? “Many” loved the Quick Start menu and “some” didn’t? You must have Quick Start confused with a new feature that wasn’t so universally despised. Based on what I’ve read online and from talking to friends and colleagues, 5-10% of people actually like the guide. Or perhaps “tolerate” is a better word. 90-95% of us vehemently hate it and are disappointed, frustrated and bitter with Rogers for introducing it. Many to the point of cancelling their service. Why can’t you do the right thing and admit that? Rogers completely missed the mark and the entire feature should be scrapped.

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 4th, 2010 a 2:13pm

      Hi Brian. Thanks for checking out the blog.
      We think that allowing customers to select which menu they want to see first strikes the right balance between those who like the new service and those who just want to jump right to the TV listings.

      • Again Rogers_Richard, you’re not really listening. People are asking you to either kill the Quick Start Menu period, or… allow them to set their own boxes to do so.

  13. I like the idea of quickstart and like it much more now that I can have it pop up second. My only issues are since I’ve gotten this feature my “non-live” play back has been very glitchy (I will have to test another outlet) and that none of the features are made for widescreen HD tv’s.. In the states my sister has a cable box with similar software and everything is wide screen. Why can’t we get widescreen software? TV mix would be way better in wide screen I paid for a wide screen tv I want to be able to use the entire screen. Also setting the tv mix chanels to my choice would be better.not having tsn in the mix sucked for the olympics..

    • I so agree with you, Chris. Yes, give us 16:9 ratios on all screens. After all, isn’t it just a software code which can detect what definition you’re using?

      And about the TV Mix, I too would like to choose which channel populates the mix. Having said that, how about creating a “user” mix for a combination of ANY channel.

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 4th, 2010 a 2:16pm

      Hi Chris. Thanks for your comments.
      You can view the TV mix channels in widescreen mode by using the remote that came with your TV to stretch your picture. Regarding the TV mix channels: these are the same for all customers, chosen based on popularity, so unfortunately they can’t be customized. Stay tuned for more enhancements to our Interactive Programming Guide later this year!

      • I’m shocked that Rogers would suggest that distorting the text on the picture via a “stretch” feature is a solution to the question of wasted space on 16×9 sets. All that will accomplish is to destroy readability.

        I’m sure that what Robert wants to see if the use of the extra space to provide *more* program guide information on screen at once, without any reduction in readability.

      • I don’t want to have to stretch and un-stretch content should be in 16:9 automatically. I hate stretched content. It saddens me when I see people spend a bunch of $$ on a HD tv and then watch stretched SD content..

        If there was a TV mix HD channel it could even have 2 more channels in the mix or have the HD versions of the channels..

        I do realize they are the same for everyone Just wishing they weren’t.. It’s digital we should be able to pick and choose I know the technology is out there just hoping it will get implemented is all.

      • Agreed, the “stretch” button on HDTVs should be outlawed.

        It is amazing how many times I go into a restaurant or bar and notice that they are showing an SD feed on their 25 TVs using the stretch feature to fill the screen.

        Detecting the size an ratio of a monitor is a pretty common feature for software.

      • I think what Richard is trying to say is that the technology doesn’t offer cable boxes to have 2 separate menu screens… one for 16:9, one for 4:3… and unfortunately, although many people have new Plasma/LCD screens… there’s a VAST majority that do not. Maybe by the end of the year they’ll be able to implement 2 menu options and use a similar option as shown here with the Menu Guide… where at the begining of usage you can select either 16:9, or 4:3… but as he said, they’re working on it. Right now, we have to suffer because the majority are still watching TV on tube TV’s… But I have no doubt it’ll come.

        Having 4:3 on a 50″ TV (even on a 40″ TV) is easier to view than having 16:9 cropped/shrunk on a 30″ TV.

        Although I didn’t like having to press GUIDE twice (which now it appears they’ve fixed it) I’m on their side when it comes to the size of the menu screens. Once the majority have LCD screens (I’m guess still a few years away) then we can discuss them not implementing a better menu system. But I suspect Rogers will have this solution out by year’s end.

  14. Glad to hear this. I’ll be switching the guide back this evening when I get home.

    Off topic – but is Rogers planning to add in some remote PVR capabilities like Bell’s got?

    • If the made an iPhone app for the and a WEB based app that would be great!

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 4th, 2010 a 3:47pm

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on what we may have in the works. But as I said in the post, we do have plans to implement enhancements to our Interactive Programming Guide this year.

      • Thanks for the reply Richard. Is there anyone at Rogers who can answer my simple question? I’ve asked it to at least three different Rogers representatives and I’ve always got the standard reply of “I can’t comment on new features that may or may not be coming.” There must be someone who CAN comment on these things?

        • Rogers_Richard says: March 5th, 2010 a 9:18am

          Hi Kevin,
          My colleague Keith (RogersKeith) recently answered a similar question to this in a thread on his introductory RedBoard post. I think his response answers your comment too. So, with full attribution, here’s his response: “I get where you’re coming from – as a customer it would be great to know what’s coming from Rogers. But there can be various reasons why we can’t talk about upcoming products and services. Sometimes our technology partners (eg. handset manufacturers) want to be the first to talk about a new device. It’s also important to us that we get the newest technology to our customers first, which often means keeping things under wraps until we’re ready to launch.”

  15. It seems fairly obvious to me that the real function of the Quick Start was to force customers to view the ads it brought up. The notion that it counts as an upgrade is laughable and insulting to my intelligence. It was a horrible inconvenience that almost everyone instantly hated!

    If Rogers wasn’t the only TV service available in my apartment building, I’d cancel in a heartbeat.

  16. As one of the vocal masses to call in and chew out some poor defenseless CSR about this one I’m glad to see a change made. I hope a lesson has been learned here, and the lesson is this – don’t “innovate” by creating things we didn’t ask for, tell us we’ll like it and then force feed it to us. I’m all for trying new ideas. But give us the option of trying them out [I]if we want to[/I] and allow us to not be disturbed by them should we choose not to. We determine the services we want from you and pay for them accordingly. That’s how the relationship should work… don’t mess with that.

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 5th, 2010 a 9:14am

      Hi Paul.
      As mentioned earlier, we do have customers who enjoy the Quick Start menu so we need to be mindful of both camps. We are confident this change will do just that. Thanks for your feedback!

      • Giving the users who don’t want the Quick Start menu the option to turn it off entirely is still being mindful to both camps.

  17. I applaud Rogers in making the change. Setting aside the implementation (or possible implementation) of futher commercials/ads in the menu option, I think the TV Mix options are great! I used the Olympic one many times when trying to follow different sporting events. A TV Mix station where they have various channels (ABC, NBC, CBC, CBS, CTV, CITY) for example would be great when trying to find my favorite program at 8PM (during Prime-Time viewing) but so far it’s a great start. My only hope is that for the TV Mix stations that they don’t only choose Rogers-Owned stations. I did notice during the Olympics that from he 6 options some stations were missing (such as NBC). But that set aside, I still think a great new feature that has tons of potential.

    I don’t think we need the “games” features though. More energy can be spent somewhere else instead of improving this feature. Most likely everyone has some kind of gaming device (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, etc) on their TV’s (or at the very least enjoy computer gaming) that this feature isn’t required. Instead, maybe use this “space” as somewhere where people can (optionally) fill out surveys… such as “What’s ur favorite TV show at 8PM?” Allows Rogers to gather information they can “sell” to broadcasters, and allows viewers to see what other viewers are watching. Of course make this optional, and not “forced” and no harm done to those that don’t want this feature.

    But none the less, looking forward to the features coming soon!

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 5th, 2010 a 9:19am

      Hi CSensation
      Thanks for your comments!
      One of the great things about this blog is that we have a record of customer feedback like yours. Rest assured, our product teams are paying close attention to these threads (and the feedback submitted via the survey in the post). Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  18. Is there a discrete IR code that can be sent to the STB now that can bring up QS directly after reverting the order of the Guide button? I would like to map the unused “Personal TV” button on my remote to bring up QS directly, and keep the Guide button for the IPG.

  19. Add my vote to the list requesting the QuickStart guide be scrapped altogether. I know you have given a “no comment” to future plans, but please at least let us know that Rogers is paying attention to the competition and is planning on modernizing the UI. Forgive me, but after being sold the Quickstart Guide as an “enhancement”, I’m skeptical about what Rogers considers an improvement/upgrade.

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 5th, 2010 a 9:21am

      Hi Chad,
      As I mentioned above, we just can’t comment on upcoming plans for products, technology or design. I can confirm, however, that we are very aware of what is going on within the industry here and abroad. Stay tuned…

      • David Susilo says: March 8th, 2010 a 7:12pm

        If you are aware of what is going within the industry here and abroad, the price of HD cable won’t be that high, the price of internet won’t be that high, the price of cellphone plans won’t be that high.

        You guys are aware but won’t do anything about it… that’s basically what you’re saying.

  20. This is great, don’t mind the new guide, but I did mind that you could not get to your TV listings when you were taping two shows at once. A huge problem. By reversing the one click setting, hopefully we can avoid that issue as we often tape two things at once.

    Another big request, would be if we could customize the TV Mix to show channels that we want to see. I hated the Olympic Mix for missing TSN but having foreign language channels instead.

    • Rogers_Richard says: March 5th, 2010 a 9:22am

      Hi Bob,
      I also used the Olympic mix quite often and understand your concerns. However, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, unfortunately, we’re unable to offer customers the ability to customize the TV mix channels.