Skip to comments.DIRECTV&VOD: Who Are They Kidding? (DIRECTV's new Broadband-enabled service is a no-starter)
Posted on 07/19/2008 5:48:31 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
DIRECTV's advertising campaigns often mock cable TV's claim that it has more 'HD choices" than satellite because of cable's Video on Demand service.
The DIRECTV campaign is justified in pointing out that the satcaster actually has far more HD channels than cable -- and that most consumers are not excited about watching high-def programs on demand; they want real channels, not choices.
So I would be remiss if I didn't point out that DIRECTV is now trying to play the same 'fool the consumer' game.
DIRECTV this month officially launched a Broadband-enabled Video on Demand service, which has more than 4,000 titles including about 150 in high-def.
In a recent article in Multichannel News, DIRECTV executive vice president Eric Shanks is quoted as saying that cable now no longer has an advantage when it comes to VOD.
With our launch of our on-demand service, not only is cable playing catch-up in the (HD channel) world, they dont have the differentiator of on demand any more, said Shanks. "I'm not quote sure where they will head" now with their marketing efforts."
Well, let me help Mr. Shanks out.
All cable needs to do is explain to consumers how difficult -- how cumbersome -- how inconvenient -- it is to install DIRECTV's new Video on Demand service.
Don't believe me. Just read this little instructional paragraph from DIRECTV's own web site:
"To begin receiving the DIRECTV on Demand service, customers can choose professional installation or request a self-installation kit. Customers will need broadband high-speed internet access, a router or Internet gateway with an available Ethernet port, and equipment to network the HD DVR or R22 DVR. Options to connect the receiver to the internet include: Internet Connection Kit (HomePlug® networking device), Ethernet cable or wireless (requires external adapter)."
Does that sound easy to you? Convenient? Enticing?
Not to me.
Cable's On Demand service can be easily accessed by clicking on the On Demand channel and then scrolling through the menus until you find a show you want to watch. No special equipment is needed.
But DIRECTV's On Demand service requires a Broadband connection, a router or Internet gateway with an Ethernet port -- and God knows what else -- to just get started.
For most DIRECTV customers, that's a non-starter. You already have nearly 100 HD channels to watch so why on Earth would you go through a Mr. Science experiment just to get access to 150 additional high-def titles?
Answer; You wouldn't.
For marketing purposes, DIRECTV will continue to say that its new Video on Demand service is just as good as cable's, if not better.
But I say it's significant -- very significant -- that Shanks refused to tell Multichannel News how many customers are downloading shows via the On Demand service.
When a company is doing well, it releases the numbers. When it's not, it doesn't.
The pinged subjects will be those of HDTV technology, satellite/cable HD, OTA (over the air with various roof top and indoor antennas) HD reception. Broadcast specials, Blu-ray/HD-DVD, and any and all subjects relating to HDTV.
Las Vegas Dave
Not sure how big a deal VOD is to other folks but VOD does not interest me at all. I had it when I was a Comcast customer and never used it. It’s available to me now as a DIRECTV customer and I probably will never use it either.
Frankly, the DIRECTV instruction paragraph did not look very complex to me.
DirecTV and Dish Network provide welcome competition to the cable monopolies. If they screw up they will lose customers, while the cable companies can screw up and still maintain their exclusive municipal franchises.
If DirecTV or Dish Network subscribers feel that they are being misled, they can always switch. That’s free enterprise.
I refuse to pay DTV $10.00 more a month for HD programming.
And the programming is still lost when it rains heavily.
When I first subscribed and purchased my equipment back in the mid 90’s it cost me nearly $500. for the recieving equipment, but about $29. a month.
Now it cost me $80. a month. Yeah I have a few more channels, and own my updated reciever, but not everything available by any means.. And no I will not pay more for HDTV.
>>>....how many customers are downloading shows via the On Demand service.
This one has... simply click & save a title to the DVR at bedtime, and while I’m getting my zzz’s it downloads, then I can watch it whenever the heck I want. Article’s author is a putz.
So it’s a IPTV supplement to DBS. I wonder if you have Comcast or AT&T as your broadband provider if they’ll sniff out this service and throttle back the download rate?
With an HDTV, one can get the broadcast channels in digital and most in HD at no extra cost.
Cox offers their full range of HD for $10.00.
The problem with their HD offerings is that I don’t watch them in regular-def, so I see little reason to pay an additional $10.00 to pick up the shopping channel in HD.
The area Cox Cable offers about 25 HD channels, in addition to the broadcast channels. Of those 25, I watch some programs maybe 3 or 4.
I can’t justify paying another $10 to get a few programs in HD.
Even the digital cable is the same way. The box costs $10 and has the Discovery tier as mandatory. Three additional tiers are available — at about $8 each. One shows old movies, one is all kinds of sports [yeh, old golf games — doesn’t every one watch golf reruns?], and other other is a hodge-podge of cartoons, old game shows, BBC America, etc. Out of those, I don’t see more than 3 or 4 channels that I would watch more than a couple of times a week. I can’t justify that extra $10 box + $8/tier.
I have 70 analog with 21 of those now digital. I would gladly drop 40 of the 70 just so I didn’t have to click through them to get to the 30 I do watch occasionally.
I certainly don’t see paying for an additional 40 channels of junk to get 5 or 6 that I might watch occasionally.
And, the cable company jumps the charges about every six month. A couple of bucks here, a couple of bucks there. What was $84 (tv and highspeed internet) three years ago is at $95 now.
All I can say is FTA is the way to go, I made my phone call tocancel yesterday and glad of it.
I agree. And how hard is it to connect the back of your DirecTV box to your ethernet jack? Took me a minute.
All of these technologies basically dance around the issue. Sure, for those who live way out of metro areas, they will likely always need a dish, and maybe someday satellite will have the capability to go high bandwidth 2-way. But the end game is what Verizon is doing with FiOS. Pipe it into the home via a huge pipe, and you don’t need to screw around with hybrids of technology.
The instruction paragraph could be rewritten “connect to Internet”. He’s making a mountain out of a molehill.
WTH is FTA?
Um... Run a wire from your DVR to your router.
There. I fixed it so the moronic author can understand it. It should be wireless.
Which box do you have?
ultra viewsat, works great. I used to do sat insalations years ago, there are lots of birds up there with lots of programing.
I still have an old pansat...i need to get it out and see what i can find....what kind of dish do you use?
I have a variety of leftovers from when I did instalations. For single sats I use an old DTV dish and a 500 and 1000 for others.
go here for some good info http://www.lyngsat.com/
I have another site but i can’t freep mail at this time ;)
That ultra viewsat looks nice....much more powerful than my old pansat....are people still using pansats?
it came through, thanks
oh ok...i can’t read freepmail then.
The viewsat has an USB port for use with a flash drive for easier programing from the PC.
I gotcha...yeah...the old rs22...think that was what it’s called...old stuff compared to now.
Yeah, I got three dishes up on the back porch now, LOL. Fixin to buy the property just to the east and west of me, they are full of trees right now, but, once I get it cleared, who knows how many I might have, he he!
I used to have 2 dishes...couldn’t ever get my diseq switch to work right...my fault i’m sure...i’d be a little lost with 3 dishes...i was all self taught...i needed a mentor! hehe
To me, it's very convenient. I stopped going to the video store altogether. No crowds, no driving, no titles out of stock, no ate fees. I can watch most movies for $1.99, which I think is a good deal.
This is the future. Even Netflix is going to get rid of its DVD mail service and go with a box that has all the movie titles stored on a hard drive or through broadband internet.
Not sure about your question so I don’t know.
Comcast still sucks compared to Satellite. If only the almighty FCC, the Grand Arbiter of who can and cannot receive locals, would let me at least receive some sort of network feed for the big 4 over satellite, I’d no longer be a cable prisoner. Follow the money....
Tell us more...
just google FTA and Satellite, you will find all you need to know.
Er...no. But then, it doesn't exactly sound like rocket surgery either.
Hooked mine up months ago on Beta, just poppoed a wireless router on the back and it can right up. Cool thing is I also networked with a server to load up my music and videoes stored on the computer. I can now connect to my server from the receiver and play all of my music through my 3-2-1 system. Cool stuff.
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