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About time to cancel DirecTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by SunDevil2012, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Jan 9, 2011 #1 of 136

    SunDevil2012 Cool Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    Last year's price increase was annoying. This year's even more sickening because it's not about the dollar amount, it's the fact that it's become routine.

    I subscribe to DirecTV SOLELY for the sports. I'm a college student living in Arizona and the only way to get the Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics is with DirecTV. I only watch the sports channels and locals. And maybe the discovery networks from time to time.

    I call up DirecTV today asking them what they can do to keep me after this ridiculous increase. And I get transferred to retention. Since when is retention an affiliate and not an actual DirecTV employee? I'm sickened by the fact that if I want to switch to less it means paying more. I e-mailed the head of DirecTV multiple times in the past discussing offering a reduced main package available to only those with other sports packages (just locals, some of the 200-350 channels, and the the sports channels required for when you want to watch the local feed of your games - for pregame/post), they end up doing that survey. And then now nothing. Nothing at all has come as a result.

    What's the point of keeping DirecTV these days? So that you can enjoy it for the football season and then after that you're paying $200-$300 to watch the NBA. The thing that gets me is that every year EVERYTHING goes up but they don't seem to add anything worth the money. For christ sake where the hell are the pre-season and spring training games!?!?

    I'm tired of having to do the run around just to keep my bill at a price point that makes sense for what I'm getting out of it. I'm sure there are thousands of others out there that feel the EXACT same way, that they are getting ripped off every year just to watch sports. Yet DirecTV continues to leave us in the dark. They claim they are the leader in sports, and everything else, yet they won't let you drop all the useless crap they stick in as fillers to raise the price. And who else is tired of them calling EVERY month like clockwork to ask you for the HD Extra Pack.

    DirecTV is going to lose another $2000 a year from this customer if they don't change their ways.
  2. Jan 9, 2011 #2 of 136

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Here is your short answer. Switch to SELECT. $44.99/mo. Then, when you are between sports seasons, SUSPEND your account and watch OTA for free. When its time for your sports to kick back up, call up and have the account turned back on.

    BTW, every provider in our area (DirecTv, Dish, U-Verse) has increased prices. I dont know about Comcast, because they are WAY overpriced for what you get already, so I havent paid any attention to them.
  3. Jan 9, 2011 #3 of 136

    Gloria_Chavez Godfather

    Aug 11, 2008
    Ironically, it's the sports fan that has precipitated the lion's share of the price increases. ESPN alone charges 4.50 a month, and Regional Fox Sports is over 2.50 per. And if you were able to purchase ESPN a-la-carte, ESPN would charge you over 25 dollars a month for Disney to recover the same
    amount of fee and advertising revenue it does today.

    And the price increases aren't going away. Just a few months ago, Fox Broadcasting, no doubt pointing at the 4.50 a month that ESPN receives, was able to extract 55 cents a month for a previously free channel. That 55 cents a month will increase to 1 dollar a month by year 5 of the contract.

    And you can bet that ABC, CBS NBC and Univision will demand the same terms that Fox Broadcasting secured when their contracts expire.
  4. Jan 9, 2011 #4 of 136

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Do you sub to MLB-EI, NBA-LP, & NFL-ST?

    You can get MLB.tv cheaper on Roku or some BluRay players. NBA-LP has a broadband version. Picture quality won't match Directv HD, though.
  5. Jan 9, 2011 #5 of 136

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    Of course it's routine. Every year, the content providers want more money for their programming. Every year, customers want more channels, and more of those channels in HD. Thus, costs for DirecTV go up. When their costs go up, your costs will go up. That's Econ 101.

    As others have pointed out, those higher costs affect ALL TV providers. Heck, Verizon is increasing FIOS packages by $30 across the board!

    And DirecTV has only limited control of their packaging, because much of the packaging is contractual. In order to get a lower price on one channel, they might have to carry 5 other channels, and those channels have to be in particular tiers. And with fewer large companies owning more and more of the networks, competition is reduced.

    McDonalds raises their prices when the price of beef goes up. Your local gas stations raise the price of gas when the price of crude oil goes up. No business that wants to STAY in business is going to simply absorb major cost increases; those get passed along to their customers. Again, Econ 101.
  6. Jan 9, 2011 #6 of 136

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    Now that the C's are relevant again, they are on nationally 40-45 times. Had I looked through the schedule prior to the start of the season, I would not have renewed NBALP. Cancelling that would save you a bunch.
  7. Jan 9, 2011 #7 of 136

    Milkman Hall Of Fame

    Dec 6, 2006
    FIOS packages went up $30??? I would like to see an article on that to understand where they came up with that #.

    I don't like the yearly increase either, but I get it. DirecTV employees want raises, employees of the providers want raises, etc. I get it. What really burns my ass is the $1.00 increase PER receiver. They don't get you enough already with the upfront costs that most people pay for a receiver, that they have to jack those costs up too?? I think that move alone is going to bring in a LOT of money for them (net profits) as opposed to the $3.00 yearly increase.

    Now of course some will tell you, it is the cheapest out of all the providers (the per receiver cost), yada, yada. While that may be true, it is a VERY difficult cost to stomach, ESPECIALLY with the economy being in the shape it is in.
  8. Jan 9, 2011 #8 of 136

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    It's actually Frontier, they took over some Verizon markets. It literally is a case of them wanting out of the business. Those under contract aren't affected. Everyone else chooses either the $30 increase or free DirecTV for a year (or at least free basic service.)

  9. Jan 9, 2011 #9 of 136

    SunDevil2012 Cool Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    That's actually a good idea. I'm going to switch to Choice Xtra once this current movers connection promotion expires because it's the only way to get NBA tv. I don't ever watch the premium channels because I download every movie or buy them on blu-ray these days. And every show I watch it's either on local tv, or I download it in 720p. During the summer I'm out of town so I suspend service anyways - I go back to the East Coast where my mom has Fios (The best picture and sound by far - no blocking or signs of compression at all on any of HD channels). Whereas you look at ESPN and it's the worst picture quality out of any HD channel I've ever seen and it's only like that on DirecTV - on Fios its a 1080i stream and it's CRYSTAL CLEAR. Why does DirecTV pay $4.50 a month for a highly-compressed 720p stream? It's junk. I hate watching sports on ESPN because everything about ESPN sucks. Especially the commentators. And now everything that's on ESPN is now on Xbox 360 with ESPN 3 with basically the same level of quality. But you can't remove the crap channel and save yourself the money? Something's wrong with that.

    I get the fact that prices are going up across the board. But that doesn't mean they can't do something about it. Why can't they at least start broadcasting more channels in 1080i? Or at least raise the bitrate on channels like ESPN? The fact they care so little about the quality of the image on existing channels is what bugs me. It's one thing to add more HD channels for the hell of it, but something else entirely if they do it without addressing long-standing image quality concerns.

    They claim they are the best in picture quality in the industry, yet I'm continually surprised by how much better things look when I get back home. Sure it's the whole Fiber vs Satellite argument. And the fact they have only so much bandwidth. But I would ANY DAY pay more if it meant the picture quality was 1080i/p on every channel that's supposed to be HD. And not this compressed 720p junk that looks worse than an up-converted DVD.
  10. Jan 9, 2011 #10 of 136

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    The fact that out-of-market Sports packages aren't cheap eludes you until now?
  11. Jan 9, 2011 #11 of 136

    SunDevil2012 Cool Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    I'm not complaining about the cost of the sports packages. It's the cost of the basic packages that you are forced to subscribe to in order to even use the sports packages.
  12. Jan 9, 2011 #12 of 136

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    I dont understand how or why FIOS would use 1080i for ESPN, since Ive always been told they do not modify the stream at all. ESPN from their Satellite uplink trucks, is 720p. I have watched several sporting events directly from the ESPN uplink truck on C band, and have seen pristine uplinks, and uplinks that looked like widescreen 480i.
  13. Jan 9, 2011 #13 of 136

    car421 New Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    You are a student in Az and like the NE teams so I assume that is where you are from. You could drop Directv, purchase a slingbox hd and hook it up to a tv at a family members house. Hook your laptop up to the tv and watch all your hometeam sports. I did that this fall so I could watch the Jet games. I won't be renewing my MLB package and I will be able to see all the Met games on my laptop or just run an HDMI from the laptop to the TV.
  14. Jan 9, 2011 #14 of 136

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    The question whether the increase is commensurate with the net number of wanted channels they have added.
  15. Jan 9, 2011 #15 of 136

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    ESPN is delivered to all providers in the format they themselves chose: 720p. All of their production equipment is 720p. This decision was made about 8 years ago.


    Fox, ABC, ESPN and Disney are all 720p networks. If any provider is delivering them in 1080i, it's because that provider is up-converting the 720p signal.

    DirecTV delivers all content in the resolution it was acquired in.
  16. Jan 9, 2011 #16 of 136

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    ABC, FOX, and ESPN are broadcast in 720p everywhere, if FIOS is providing it in 1080, they are upscaling it...your mom's setup may be set to scale everything to 1080...cos thats not the way it comes from those stations...contrary to what you may believe, 720p is HD...
  17. Jan 9, 2011 #17 of 136

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    Not to sidetrack this into a 720p vs 1080i debate, but they are nearly the same resolution.

    720p = 55 megapixels/sec
    1080i = 62 megapixels/sec

    Not a big enough difference to call one "junk".
  18. Jan 9, 2011 #18 of 136

    ShapeGSX Godfather

    Sep 17, 2006
    At some point they (all TV providers) are going to have to go a la carte if they want to keep subscribers from just going without this sort of TV. If the channel providers keep up with the price increases, they are going to price themselves out of a bulk purchase market. It is really getting ridiculous.
  19. Jan 9, 2011 #19 of 136

    SunDevil2012 Cool Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    It's not about the pixel count. It's about the bitrate and compression scheme used. A 720p source with lots of artifacts is not HD in my book. It's like saying a DVD upscaled to 720p is HD simply because it's being displayed in 720p.

    You can CLEARLY see the difference on the ESPN channels. Just look at the way the colors band and artifact on the bottom of the screen when displaying the red gradient. That doesn't happen on ANY other provider that I've witnessed. Even on Cox digital cable there is none of the banding and artifacts, and that's saying something.

    You can't say something is HD simply because of the resolution and not consider the fact that bitrate matters a hell of a lot more.

    The problem with the quality of the picture these days is everyone just expects that's how it's supposed to look. That that is the limitation of today. But that's not the case. DirecTV clearly re-encodes the feed coming in and in the process they drop the bitrate.
  20. Jan 9, 2011 #20 of 136

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    Yep, prices go up. On everything. Did you know a Coke used to cost a nickel? And guess, what? You don't really get anything extra today for that same $1.50 Coke.

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