DirecTV is just another cable company

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by AbMagFab, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    Feb 5, 2001


    When DirecTV started, and for much of their existence, they were amazing. They were innovative, challenging cable companies, providing more value, and basically under a vision of changing the way we buy TV programming.

    Some important, innovative, and fun things DirecTV did:
    - More channels than any cable company, and all-digital.
    - Fairly regularly adding new channels.
    - More pay TV channels by far (HBO, etc.).
    - Lower prices for service.
    - Wide variety of hardware manufacturers, like Sony and Philips, so we could pick the features we liked.
    - Tons of PPV
    - Fully integrated two tuner Tivo
    - SD Locals
    - Broadband (at the time was cool, briefly)

    I'm sure there are many others, but those jump to mind. All are focused on the consumer, and making a better experience. And they had to deal with the wiring issues making it hard for people.

    Over the last couple of years, DirecTV has systematically been morphing into an old-fashioned cable company. They have stopped being innovative, and seem to actually be trying to become more like a cable company.

    They've historically kept the churn low, but now they're just one of the bunch. As a result, it's just a price game now. If there's a better deal elsewhere, then jump. And their recent announcements about leasing further weaken any reason to stay with DirecTV.

    There is almost no remaining innovation. The HD package is very weak. The price gap is shrinking. And there's little on the horizon. Coupled with the wiring complexities, Tivo drop, and MP4 conversion, DirecTV is less interesting for more and more people, including current DirecTV customers.

    It's sad to see this happen. Hopefully someone will pick up the gauntlet (like fiber TV), or we'll just bounce around for price.
  2. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    I think it is safe to say that it was DirecTV and the other DBS provider that made the cable companies upgrade their systems. But, now DirecTV isn't keeping up the pace. However, who knows what will happen once the MPEG4 sats are fully operational.
  3. kdonnel

    kdonnel DVC-BCV

    Nov 28, 2000
    I was thinking the same thing.

    Back when I was with Charter Communications their answer to all problems was to run a new drop from the pedestal to my house. It never solved the problem but that was always their first answer.

    Several of my neighbors have had the new AT9 dish and H20 receivers installed. They are ALL having problems with pixelation on the new HD channels. DirecTV keeps sending out technicians who are simply running new drops from the dish to the receiver.

    When that does not fix the problem they tell them it is their TV. It can't possible be an issue with the antenna farm, H20 receiver, or uplink facility. It must be the TV. That is why 5 people with 5 different TV's are all having the same problem.
  4. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    Feb 5, 2001
    For the majority of us, very little.

    Of the first 1500 channels, any individual can only get 4. So worse than many cable companies, and useful only to people who can't get cable.

    And how many of us will wait a year+ to see? With cable companies and fiber TV far surpassing DirecTV in HD content, and the Tivo 3, why would we wait for an unknown? Especially when they've done little to date to instill confidence, or loyalty.
  5. fastep

    fastep New Member

    May 21, 2004


    And the mass exodus begins......................
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Got Basenji?

    Oct 1, 2003
    Morrisville, NC
    Yeah, D* and E* essentially are creating their competition. Cable was crap until they felt the satellite companies eroding their subs. In thei area, over 20% of multichannel pay TV is by Sattellite because Time Warner was so bad here. Now, TW has spent tons of money and improved this to teh point that they are one of the best run cable systems. Satellite did the cablecos a favor and they are better positioned for the long term bandwidth needs.
  7. bigpuma

    bigpuma Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Not yet, I'm waiting for the series 3 TiVo first. :D
  8. kaszeta

    kaszeta 204 No Content TCF Club

    Jun 11, 2004
    Grantham, NH
    Myself, an exodus from D* and E* would be good, since it might convince them that they need to try harder and offer more.

    That said, for the forseeable future, I'm stuck with satellite since I don't have cable and getting it installed is too expensive (thousands of dollars).
  9. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Jul 24, 2001
    Company A takes 3 steps forward...
    Company B has to step on the gas, and their plans and momentum get them caught up and pass Company A...

    Now Company A has to adjust and figure out how to get past Company B again...

    And that is where we are at today... Cable-Co's have caught and in some areas PASSED DirecTV and Dish...

    We are just now starting to see the re tooling and their attempts to leap the cable co's again... Will it work... only time will tell.

    Just like NASCAR... Not every attempt to pass another driver will work, you back off readjust, and try again on the next turn... Eventualy you pass, or you will be passed, and the race will end for you when you get too far back...
  10. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

    Feb 5, 2001
    Except there's nothing in DirecTV's plans that show them even meeting the cable cos. 4 HD locals isn't it. A DVR that is as good/bad as the cable co DVRs isn't it. A dating service isn't it.

    Cable cos have caught up, and DirecTV has no salvo to launch.
  11. Naggs

    Naggs New Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    Macomb, MI.
    I hate to pile on since I already posted I was leaving in the Comcast deal thread, but this thread is more about "feelings" than deals.

    When I left Comcast for Directv in 2002, it was like being liberated. I immediately noticed how great all the channels looked and loved my Directivo with dual tuners and all the recordings in best quality.

    Not quite 4 years later and a 50" HDTV later, I'm regretably going back to Comcast. Comcast now has digital simulcast of the "lower" channels in my area, as well as an ever increasing OnDemand lineup and a dual tuner HD DVR that includes the HD package (with the promise of Tivo support in the future).

    With Directv, on the other hand, they seem to be in a huge transition period. Between phasing out Tivo (which has a ton of brand loyality from the Tivolutionaries) and the conversion to MPEG-4 compression, I just don't feel like Directv offered enough to a HD viewer who wants to record HD programming. Couple that with the fact that I wasn't offered much better than $399 and 3 months of HD package for a Directivo that is being phased out, and you can see my disappointment.

    While I will miss my Sunday Ticket plan, it seemed like the price was climbing on it exponentially anyway, and paying $200 wasn't enough anymore. Now you had to be a "Superfan" for another $50-$99 to get the full package of services. Being 32 with a wife and 2 kids, I just don't get to use the plan enough anymore to get my full bang for the buck.

    As I said in the other thread, I hope Directv wins me back with a killer HDTV package in the future. I left Comcast once, and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again!
  12. tazzmission

    tazzmission Active Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    ebonovic, Well said.

    I was going to drop DirecTV in a heartbeat when the Series 3 TiVo comes out. But, now I am not so sure. I have two HR10-250's that are serving me well right now. The Comcast DVR software upgrade to make their boxes run TiVo software is looking pretty good to me too. I will take a good look at both of those options whenever they are available. Which might be later this year.

    DirecTV's HR20 is not looking like an option for me at this point. It is not running the TiVo software and in my opinion will probably not be as good as the HR10-250 is now.

    Time will tell.
  13. txfeinbergs

    txfeinbergs New Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Hell, I just got my system fully functional again after switching to Vonage, so I am going to stick around just because I don't want to go through another headache of switching from DirecTV to Comcast. Of course, when the new Series 3 TIVO's come out.... I may have a hard time resisting that lure. If we are no closer to a 6.2 upgrade on our HR10-250's that will make the decision MUCH easier for me.
  14. DuffMan

    DuffMan New Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I think the good news here is that in the end we're the ones who win.

    I've been a DTV/Dish customer for the last 12 years (up until yesterday) but personally, I like the notion that the cable companies are pushing them to do better.

    Of course it would be nice if they didn't actually *pass* them as Comcast has, IMO, but if it all leads to a better product then let the games proceed.
  15. gquiring

    gquiring New Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    Matawan, NJ
    I am getting more and more disappointed with D*. I have been with them since 1996. Way back then it was superior to my cable company. In the past year cable in my area not only caught up but passed D* in HD channels and technology. The parting with Tivo was a serious mistake also.

    With D*'s silence on new HD channels I have little faith that anything will change in the next 12-18 months.
  16. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Jul 24, 2001
    It must just be me....

    I look at what Comcast has to offer here in the greater Chicago area.... And there is nothing that intrests me over what DirecTV has to offer, or the usage of my OTA.. (I'll explain).

    OnDemand... please...
    a couple extra premium HD networks (Aka have to pay even more for).

    The only thing is the Comcast Sportsnet in HD... that it, that I desire that Comcast has.

    AS for the OTA... Yes... I use OTA to get my locals... but what do I also get out of it.
    The Subchannels on all the OTA networks (not just the "HD" ones). IN some cases that is 6 extra channels.. Not even Comcast carries all of the subchannels....

    Again... a lot is going to depend on where you are at in the country, what your area is like (from a reception point of view), what your exact cable offerings are....

    If I was to setup the exact same way (feature wise) here in my house, comcast would cost me nearly double what I pay now... And I would have less then 1/4 of the recording time (from a DVR) point of view that I have now...
  17. tbb1226

    tbb1226 TiVo Junkie

    Sep 16, 2004
    Royal Oak, MI
    I had the same sort of issue with my MPEG4 locals via DirecTV and the H20. The second tech they sent out knew his stuff, and recognized that, because of the lower elevation angle of the new dish, the trees and houses in my neighborhood were preventing my getting a full, clear view of the Spaceway satellites. And this is winter, when the trees are at their most transparent. :eek:

    That's it for me. Sad to say, this is the beginning of the end of my 11-year relationship with DirecTV. I love my HD TiVo, but once Comcast's version of the S3 TiVo becomes available in my town, I am outta here. :(
  18. ChrisW6ATV

    ChrisW6ATV New Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Yep... I quit DirecTV a month ago as of yesterday. That is $85 I have already saved, that I can use toward a high-def movie disc player or perhaps upgrading my C-band system. With all the unwatched DVDs and unwatched extracted HD movies already in hand, I have not missed DirecTV a bit.

    I built an HD Media Center 2005 computer, and for OTA it is an excellent substitute for a Tivo, at least until the Series 3 is actually in the stores.

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