DirecTV, HD and the rest of the story

TV Antenna to get HD signals The Cotton Bowl, the New York Philharmonic's New Year's eve concert and the NFL's Giants playing the Vikings may not seem to be related. However in the strange world of DirecTV they share a common element. Now what could these events possibly have in common? Well if you want to see them in high definition (HD) and you're a DirecTV subscriber in Boise you'll need to shell out for another television antenna. In fact if you want any of the many HD offerings from PBS, NBC, ABC or FOX you'll need another antenna.

The DirecTV numbers game

DirecTV likes to advertise that they have more channels in HD than other providers. However this falls far short of telling the whole story. For example it neglects to mention that many of those channels are are only available with expensive packages. Even then what the numbers advertised gloss over is that they include several of the regional sports channels. Once you subscribe to several of these channels you rapidly realize that although there are more than a dozen of them the majority of their programming is shared. So you might have 16-channels of college football on a Saturday afternoon. It just happens that the 16-channels are showing 2-3 games.

At least things should be good for the NFL fan, right? Well not so quickly. DirecTV does offer a high-priced package for those who want to see all the NFL games (unless they're blacked out or carried for free elsewhere) on Sunday Ticket. However this high-priced package is not HD after all. It's plain old standard definition. If you want HD you'll need yet another add on. Perhaps the new motto should be DirecTV just add cash.

The Versus debacle

When DirecTV failed to renegotiate a contract with Comcast to carry the Versus channel they posted a notice about how this was because they were controlling costs for subscribers. However in the four months subscribers have been without Versus, DirecTV hasn't offered a discount or rebate of any sort. They have continued to escalate the argument but done nothing for subscribers. One channel may not seem like much. In this case, however, it's the one channel that caused us to become subscribers. It's the only place to get television coverage of the Tour de France among others. Their current page on the subject says:

DIRECTV still leads the industry in sports programming, whether or not we have Versus in our channel lineup

It goes on to list the sports channels they have. This goes on to show the kind of treatment a customer should expect. They may not have the flavor you want but will be happy to tell you why you really want some other flavor instead.

Security silliness

Since I'm on a bit of a rant about how poor DirecTV has been while logging in to my subscription wile writing this post I noticed this statement:

You can still use your username to log in if you already have one. However, we recommend you use your email address instead for better security.

Think about that for a second. To make your login more secure please use something that you've given to everybody who has your business card, every member of every club you've ever been in and quite likely every search engine on earth. Yeah that's much more secure than my username. Now, I'm not suggesting that security by obscurity works, it does not. However the statement that using public information will make your login more secure is equally silly. They couldn't just say "Our IT guys decided they want to only use email addresses so live with it."

Ok so it's time to go check out Dish TV or maybe we'll just get rid of the whole thing and use the rabbit ears.

Category: 

6 Comments

Dishnetwork

I recently upgraded to the Dishnetwork DVR. Cool thing about Dish is you get the CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox locals in HD and all the HD channels in your package plus exclusive HD channels for $10 more a month. Additionally you can connect an Antenna to the Receiver and get the over the air piped into your receiver. This is nice because you don't have to switch from the receiver to the TV.

Also getting all the HD channels over the air is much better than Dish, Directv or Cableone piping them over there systems. Only thing Direct has over Dish is the sports, but they have the Redzone channel that is only 5 bucks a month.

I get local DirecTV channels in HD

I get local DirecTV channels in HD without an antenna. They are broadcast on one of the DirecTV satellites. At least the main CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC and FOX channels are. Not sure which bird they come in from though.

Viking Games

Hi , I have Directv and my so called local channels are CBS,NBC, ABC and foxnews but all my local news channels are all in wisconsin I don't get one channel in Minnesota, so how am going to watch my Vikings? I live in Winona which borders WI. I didn't do my research very well I just assumed I'd be getting MN channesl. Will I be able to pick up any of the Twin Cities channesl with an antenna?

Thanks
Bill W

DirecTV Local Cahnnel Fiasco

Over one year ago I choose DirecTV rather than Dish when I upgraded to HD since I had been a DTV subscriber since '96. Well, they promised me that I'd get certain local channels from Albany, NY. Problem was that two of the seven local channels don't have the correct programming at all. One (WCWN) has a PPV channel and the other (WNYA) has the ABC Family in non-HD instead of the indicated (by the schedule) program. It didn't bother me significantly until those two stations began to carry the NY Mets and Yankees games, thus blocking them from the other HD channels that would otherwise be showing them. Three calls to DTV support led to resetting the system to no avail and the tech agents saying they'd have to push the problem up to a higher authority (also to know avail). Even my e-mail to support didn't cause DTV to respond to me nor fix the problem. Today I filed a complaint with the FCC against DirecTV and their false advertising and inaction. We'll see if our givernment agency can do anything. :-)

DISH ROCKS

Well said, sir. While DirecTV professes many so-called 'facts', they just don't add up. Many enjoy DirecTV, but in actuality DISH Network (my employer and TV provider) offers more HD channels, and also offers HD Free for Life. While certain customers of Direct can get HDFFL, they are forced to purchase a package running around $115/mo. Add in all the hidden fees and equipment charges, DISH becomes the clear favorite. Take a look at Dishnetwork.com to find out how you can get more for less!!!