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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Hopefully 2009 will be a better year than 2008 for us: DirecTV on wrong track IMO


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175 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   PennHORN

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 01:23 AM

I have been disappointed with the news coming from DirecTV the past few months. I can't believe ESPNU HD was not added prior to college football season despite promises from DirecTV that we would be getting it. I have Premier and it pisses me off that I get fewer HD premiums than any other provider in my area.

It seems that any advantage DirecTV gained in 2007 has been pissed away this past year as Dish seems to have caught up or surpassed DirecTV with their HD lineup and cable chipping away at DirecTV's lead. My parents just got a 60 inch Kuro plasma and Dish's Vip 722. I was pretty impressed with that DVR. Their channel lineup also had Travel Channel HD which I covet and they have a ton of premium HDs.

I switched from cable almost a year and a half ago because DirecTV always seemed to be amongst the first to add new HD channels, they did not have the reputation of jacking rates frequently like cable, better sports packages, and good equipment. All of those reasons except for sports are no longer true really.

I have 9 more months on my contract and would rather not switch but I would like for DirecTV to add some national HDs that most would consider to be valuable like Travel Channel HD and ESPNUHD.

Raising prices on packages again and on PPVs now, especially in a tough economy, is not a good trend. I have not seen or heard of any improvement in customer service or installation since Liberty Media took over. I am disappointed that the PC tuner that they previewed at CES last year has been unceremoniously scrapped. Fundamental fixes STILL need to be made to the HR series. I just hope that DirecTV makes improvements this year. For the first time ever, I was jealous of my parent's Dish Network setup and that has never happened before.

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#2 OFFLINE   meStevo

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 03:26 AM

DirecTV has come a long way in a year, and I look forward to what the next one brings. All the news I see about competitors ensure that I don't even think about trying them (Dish's multiple channel disputes resulting in them dropping channels... even if only temporarilly, Cable.... is cable).

You've got 9 months to wonder, I'd find ways to enjoy them and not try so hard to focus on what you don't like, otherwise it will be self fulfilling when the time comes, just justifying a decision made many months prior when you do make a switch.

#3 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 03:52 AM

Keep in mind within that 9 months we may get to see the new Tivo that Dish wont have either. Just my opinion but I think D* is focused on getting locals right now but I am sure they will be adding more HD channles soon. Hang in there.

#4 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 04:17 AM

I have been disappointed with the news coming from DirecTV the past few months. I can't believe ESPNU HD was not added prior to college football season despite promises from DirecTV that we would be getting it. I have Premier and it pisses me off that I get fewer HD premiums than any other provider in my area.


I don't recall EVER seeing Directv stating they where adding ESPNU and I definitely don't remember them setting a time that it was to be on... And how many of those games where in HD anyway? I ask because half the games on ABC for th3e PAC 10 this year where in SD... So who knows what they will do with ESPNU...

It is unfortunate they don't have more HBO's and Encore... But then, more than 60% of their programing in a month falls onto HBO east or west at some point, so it didn't really bother me... And your lucky if you area has that much HD. I'm in LA, and the other providers don't have more than...

It seems that any advantage DirecTV gained in 2007 has been pissed away this past year as Dish seems to have caught up or surpassed DirecTV with their HD lineup and cable chipping away at DirecTV's lead. My parents just got a 60 inch Kuro plasma and Dish's Vip 722. I was pretty impressed with that DVR. Their channel lineup also had Travel Channel HD which I covet and they have a ton of premium HDs.


Hook up your HD DVR to your folks tv... I'll bet you see a difference in PQ...

And did you really think Directv would be that far out in front of everyone else for that long? Thats not realistic IMHO...

I switched from cable almost a year and a half ago because DirecTV always seemed to be amongst the first to add new HD channels, they did not have the reputation of jacking rates frequently like cable, better sports packages, and good equipment. All of those reasons except for sports are no longer true really.


Directv is still adding more HD channels all the time, just not ones you get... And they are not jacking up the rates like cable... They have yearly price increase just like everyone else.. usually around 3 a package.. Cable around here just went up a minum $7 an account, plus more for HD boxes, etc... Directv hasn't ever done that, yet cable does yearly..

I have 9 more months on my contract and would rather not switch but I would like for DirecTV to add some national HDs that most would consider to be valuable like Travel Channel HD and ESPNUHD.


I think we would all LOVE to see more national HD.. and as time goes by, we will see more...

Raising prices on packages again and on PPVs now, especially in a tough economy, is not a good trend. I have not seen or heard of any improvement in customer service or installation since Liberty Media took over. I am disappointed that the PC tuner that they previewed at CES last year has been unceremoniously scrapped. Fundamental fixes STILL need to be made to the HR series. I just hope that DirecTV makes improvements this year. For the first time ever, I was jealous of my parent's Dish Network setup and that has never happened before.


Again, PPV is still cheaper on Directv than my other providers.. Except maybe Dish.. not sure what they are at.. (not counting their 1080P fees...)

Blame the pc card on microsoft... If Microsoft is involved, its generally there fault...

Whats wrong with your HR? I couldn't find any posts by you that showed you where having problems except for when Directv locked up everyones... in the last few months.


I for one think Direct has done a lot of great things this year, as they had in 2007, and I see them continuing that for at least the next 2 years... Not saying they can't do more, but they have yet to do anything to make me even think about actually leaving.. I know, I know, not everyones experience or needs are the same.. Which is why my point of view on this is completely valid...

#5 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 04:22 AM

Blame the pc card on microsoft... If Microsoft is involved, its generally there fault...


This is absolutely wrong.

#6 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 04:28 AM

This is absolutely wrong.


Then why does everyone say vista is bad?

And where dose it say Directv pulled the plug for no reason? Why would they pull the plug on something if its development is coming along on schedule and looks promising. Microsoft was developing it, not Directv...

#7 OFFLINE   Juppers

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 04:49 AM

I agree with the OP. Being in the largest market without HD locals, or even an announcement on when they will be here, I haven't seen much good from DirecTV this year. People say their DVR has come along way, but it should have been this far along and much more before they even released it. They have ignored their highest paying regular package Premium customers this year, instead focusing only on sports and a random selection of local markets, while some cable companies, Dish, and other HD providers have caught up and surpassed their offerings. The new PPV time limit is a step in the wrong direction, as well as talking of any price increases for 2009. No ethically responsible company will be raising their service rates in the next year, which says alot about the direction of DirecTV.

#8 OFFLINE   prospero63

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 05:44 AM

Then why does everyone say vista is bad?


This is known as argumentum ad populum.

And where dose it say Directv pulled the plug for no reason? Why would they pull the plug on something if its development is coming along on schedule and looks promising. Microsoft was developing it, not Directv...


I'm sure they had a reason.

#9 OFFLINE   prospero63

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 05:45 AM

I agree with the OP. Being in the largest market without HD locals, or even an announcement on when they will be here, I haven't seen much good from DirecTV this year. People say their DVR has come along way, but it should have been this far along and much more before they even released it. They have ignored their highest paying regular package Premium customers this year, instead focusing only on sports and a random selection of local markets, while some cable companies, Dish, and other HD providers have caught up and surpassed their offerings. The new PPV time limit is a step in the wrong direction, as well as talking of any price increases for 2009. No ethically responsible company will be raising their service rates in the next year, which says alot about the direction of DirecTV.


Couldn't have said it any better.

#10 ONLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:00 AM

Blame the pc card on microsoft... If Microsoft is involved, its generally there fault...


This is absolutely wrong.


You would like to think this, wouldn't you .. My money is with inkahauts ..
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#11 ONLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:09 AM

I agree with the OP. Being in the largest market without HD locals, or even an announcement on when they will be here, I haven't seen much good from DirecTV this year. People say their DVR has come along way, but it should have been this far along and much more before they even released it. They have ignored their highest paying regular package Premium customers this year, instead focusing only on sports and a random selection of local markets, while some cable companies, Dish, and other HD providers have caught up and surpassed their offerings. The new PPV time limit is a step in the wrong direction, as well as talking of any price increases for 2009. No ethically responsible company will be raising their service rates in the next year, which says alot about the direction of DirecTV.


As for releasing the HR2x too early .. no way .. sure, there was a rough patch early on, but I'd have much rather had that situation than waiting another year (or more) to put the product in my entertainment system .. so No, I do not think they should have waited.

To your other points, perhaps Sports > Premium in terms of revenue .. So in that regard I do not think they have ignored their highest paying customers. It's not like there are zero Premium channels which is what some folks make it out to be.

Additionally, local channels will drive subscriber increases in certain areas .. Also, it will help DIRECTV meet the mandated Digital Switchover in February which has taken a lot of resources over the last year.

DIRECTV not "ethical" for increasing prices next year? If you'd have said Scrooge, sure .. no one likes it when the price changes unless its' downward, but ethics are not involved here. DIRECTV is in business to make money and like any business will price their product at what they consider to be market rates .. then we (the market) decide whether or not we want to pay those rates.
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#12 OFFLINE   prospero63

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:13 AM

As for releasing the HR2x too early .. no way .. sure, there was a rough patch early on, but I'd have much rather had that situation than waiting another year (or more) to put the product in my entertainment system .. so No, I do not think they should have waited.


So they released a poorly put together product (by your own admission) that many customers found to be substandard...

DIRECTV not "ethical" for increasing prices next year? If you'd have said Scrooge, sure .. no one likes it when the price changes unless its' downward, but ethics are not involved here. DIRECTV is in business to make money and like any business will price their product at what they consider to be market rates .. then we (the market) decide whether or not we want to pay those rates.


... but certainly that can't have anything to do with them needing to raise prices to increase revenue and profits, as opposed to... I dunno... having higher quality and customer satisfaction and garnering more revenue and profit by obtaining more customers...

#13 OFFLINE   thomas_d92

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:18 AM

I just compared Dish HD to Directv HD at AVSforum. Dish still does not have the following: fuel, fx, foxnews, fox bn, ci, cmt,mtv, nick, speed , spike and vh1 and Directv does.

#14 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:18 AM

This is absolutely wrong.


Not sure who dropped the ball here, there is no where near enough information available to make the call.

#15 ONLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:24 AM

So they released a poorly put together product (by your own admission) that many customers found to be substandard...


No actually, I enjoyed my HR20-700 from day one and I have enjoyed the improvements since day one. But yes, I acknowledge that not everyone shared the same experience as I did over that time period.

... but certainly that can't have anything to do with them needing to raise prices to increase revenue and profits, as opposed to... I dunno... having higher quality and customer satisfaction and garnering more revenue and profit by obtaining more customers...


Call it what it is, but unethical? Perhaps you really meant unpopular or irresponsible.
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#16 OFFLINE   prospero63

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:25 AM

I just compared Dish HD to Directv HD at AVSforum. Dish still does not have the following: fuel, fx, foxnews, fox bn, ci, cmt,mtv, nick, speed , spike and vh1 and Directv does.


Since you just did the comparison, what channels does DirecTV still not have?

#17 OFFLINE   prospero63

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:30 AM

No actually, I enjoyed my HR20-700 from day one and I have enjoyed the improvements since day one. But yes, I acknowledge that not everyone shared the same experience as I did over that time period.


Wait. You said "sure, there was a rough patch early on".

Call it what it is, but unethical? Perhaps you really meant unpopular or irresponsible.


"that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions."

Personally, I do find that there is a wrongness or a badness of the motives of considering raising rates to maintain the same level of profits that have been impacted (apparently) by the loss of customers. IMO DirecTV has a choice. They can choose to make a superior product that people desire, or they can continue to make substandard products that people decide not to use. I'd rather them do the prior. I find that to be an infinitely more ethical way of conducting business.

Edit: Oh, and FWIW my personal choice of words to describe DirecTV's actions would be "stupid". :)

#18 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:37 AM

Since you just did the comparison, what channels does DirecTV still not have?


This is the chart that he's talking about:

http://www.avsforum....d.php?t=1058081

And looking at the latest update date, it's pretty recent (the person who put this chart together has been updating it over time).

#19 ONLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:38 AM

Wait. You said "sure, there was a rough patch early on".


Yes I did .. I enjoyed my HR20-700 from day one and I have enjoyed the improvements since day one. But yes, I acknowledge that not everyone shared the same experience as I did over that time period .. which is why I said rough patch. :shrug:

Edit: Oh, and FWIW my personal choice of words to describe DirecTV's actions would be "stupid". :)


See, now that wasn't so hard .. that's exactly what I thought you were trying to say :)
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#20 OFFLINE   Game Fan

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:49 AM

In 2008 I got locals in HD for the Evansville In. market. Thank you DirecTV. As for ESPNU, I would love to have it, but it's no big deal. The Travel Channel HD, Whoop De Doo!!! There's more than I can watch and record now. For those that want the Travel Channel, hang in there. I'm sure it will be added SOON.




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