Does DirecTV on Demand Suck or Is It Just Me?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by jholcomb, Apr 26, 2011.

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  1. jholcomb

    jholcomb Mentor

    Aug 25, 2007
    So I finally connected by DVR to my router, so I could access DTV On Demand and access some of those "6000 shows" or whatever the hell they hype. I was hoping to find the complete Season 5 of Doctor Who, instead, I just found a few episodes. I checked a few other series and it was the same way...what good does a few episodes each season do? Maybe I was accessing or searching it wrong, if so, please enlighten me.
  2. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    The program provider sets what is in one demand. The same episodes of doctor who that are on directv are on fios, for example.
  3. maartena

    maartena Hall Of Fame

    Nov 1, 2010
    Access to "on demand" shows is not DirecTV's choice for the most part. The industry often only releases the rights to a few episodes here, a few episodes there, but almost never a full season. That is, if the season is to be made available on DVD - which is the case with most popular shows - the entity that owns the rights to the show is not going to give out that same season to any on-demand provider, whether cable, satellite, or iptv. If a season is not to be sold on DVD, you might have more luck finding a full season on Demand.

    For the same reason you can't go back more then a season, maybe 2 seasons on Hulu, because the rest is sold on DVD's and that is still big money.

    This is more a "Welcome to Capitalism" kind of thing, then a "DirecTV sucks" kind of thing.

    As for 6000 titles, I think they include all the promo's, 5-minute clips, and all other shorts that are available. You'll probably only find a 1000 full episodes of TV programs or movies. And yes, that includes all the channels you never watch normally, like Watch-Paint-Dry-On-Demand.
  4. cariera

    cariera Icon

    Oct 27, 2006
    It's You.:)
  5. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007

    You're not missing anything. On Demand content is astoundingly bad.
  6. Coca Cola Kid

    Coca Cola Kid Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2009
    Mt. Morris, MI
    I watch movies from premiums on demand a lot. Best part about it is they don't have logos displayed like the regular channel. I have over a dozen downloaded right now.
  7. electrober6

    electrober6 AllStar

    Feb 20, 2011
    Is It Just You, I personally love VOD (especially The Anime Network)
  8. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

    Aug 27, 2010
    PA - Berks...
    I always thought it was the amount of hard drive space that the service provider has. Like if you only have 32 TB of storage, you can't hold everything. Keep in mind there has to be some kind of redundancy and backups, as well as very high performance server clusters and mirroring going on to support millions of customers accessing this content at the same time.

    Comcast has a ton of VOD. It wasn't always like that though. As time went on I believe they invested heavily in their storage area network, cache servers and also deals with content providers to fill their disks. Storage continues to get cheaper, and in due time I suppose each provider will have the capacity to store more and more content.

    My gripe with DirecTV's VOD is that there's not so much HD-VOD content like there was with Comcast. Again though, HD video files consume a whole lot more space on their storage systems.

    Second to that, the receiver should detect my 12mbps connection and determine that it's fast enough to stream VOD like cable or Netflix. If I had a 3mbps connection THEN it should queue it up to the playlist. What I loved about Comcast is that there is no downloading. It instantly plays the absolute second you click on the title your interested in. AT&T U-Verse can fit an HD channel in 6mbps of space transferred in real time via IPTV. So I would imagine my 12mbps internet connection should be able to handle one VOD title. Plus if they allow streaming, then non-dvr's could join in the VOD fun. This could equate to potentially more revenue for DirecTV (specifically for paid titles). So maybe one day they will upgrade their network peering to have better back end bandwidth to support a Netflix or cable like instant streaming. At least take advantage of those who have good connections.
  9. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    It's actually a combination of the two - what the content providers require and what the service providers are able to handle. Some content providers make demands - e.g. Showtime requires that the entire current season of their shows be available on demand - meaning that when they add a new episode for a show, they leave all the older ones out there for the entire season.

    Other content providers don't have such requirements. And since the content providers supply the content, alot of the deficient content is due to the content providers. But it's not totally true that it's ONLY due to the content providers. Things like server space factor in. For example, for a while FiOS was somewhat deficient on what was available for Starz on demand. If you went to Starz's website, you saw a bunch of on-demand listings that weren't available on FiOS. Basically, Starz appears to have 2 lists - a 'must carry' list for service providers, and a 'here are some additional offerings that you can carry' list. It took an architectural/hardware upgrade for Verizon to be able to handle carrying that second list.

    All told, DirecTV is still relatively new to the on-demand game, and it doesn't appear to be a core business for them (despite the heavy emphasis in those ads). All that being said, from what I'm reading, DirecTV has done a decent job of adding on-demand content. I do fine it a bit funny that they're bragging about having 6,000 shows and movies on demand (most providers have far more than that - I think FiOS is at probably more than 3 times that, and Comcast is probably double THAT number). But still... you have to start somewhere.
  10. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    For you and what you were expecting VOD is not a good fit. For others it is.
  11. satjay

    satjay AllStar

    Nov 20, 2006
    I think its pretty good, came in handy last night as my wife was able to watch the Office that I had erased by accident off the DVR. Yes, it was not in HD, but came in handy
  12. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    Do you really not expect us to answer your reasonable request with the simple put-down, "Yes, it is just you. You suck," instead of taking your thoughtful comments seriously?

    You don't know us very well, do you?


    FWIW, I find VOD relatively useless, too, and rarely use it.
  13. MattScahum

    MattScahum Legend

    Oct 26, 2010
    I think the big problem is alot of people think "on demand" and instantly think it is the same as Netflix Instant Streaming. While it is similar, as has been pointed out, DVD sales restrict what can/will be available on demand. I use it for the shows that I missed or that I am unsure if I want to set as a new recording. I did this for the premier episodes of the Borgias/Camelot and found I enjoyed both so now I record them every week. I think that is the concept that the On Demand was going for, and for my needs it works great. I can though see how some people can expect something else from the way it is marketed online and in print.
  14. oldfantom

    oldfantom Icon

    Mar 13, 2006
    I use it, but I find the interface less than appealing. For example, if you go into HBO, you can sort by all HD, or movies, but not all HD movies. The content providers all have different interfaces for the searches. Given that they have different breakdowns of the content, I can guess that the content providers set the search criteria and look and feel of their channel searches. It sure would be nice if I could go into on demand and say I want to look for all HD, Action, Free, Movies.
  15. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Again. Driven by tue channel. Categories are pretty much the same in different on demand systems.

    I think you can use smartsearch with a cchan modifier though.
  16. Newshawk

    Newshawk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 3, 2004
    Amen to that, Otaku Onee-san! :lol:
  17. sangu72

    sangu72 AllStar

    Jul 26, 2006
    How about HBO on demand? Is there a way to know what series are available without subscribing to it? Do they have the same content that is available on HBO Go?
  18. Newshawk

    Newshawk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 3, 2004
    Most VOD providers (DirecTV and the cable companies) do not maintain their own content distribution network. They contract out for that. The CDNs act as the "library" and interface with he various providers' distribution systems to deliver the content to subscribers.
  19. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    I like it for the premium movie channel downloads because their PQ is better than the channels.
  20. susanandmark

    susanandmark Godfather

    Feb 15, 2007
    I use it occasionally for things like kids' programming we don't happen to have on that particular DVR or for missed episodes of shows, or even catching up on things like an entire season of a Showtime show. It came in handy when my hard drive died last and I found a good bit of what I lost was available on demand, even in HD. It's not something I rely on though, or use daily, or probably even weekly. It's just a nice-to-have option. Our DVR is still our go-to show storage/watching platform.

    I would like to see more HD On Demand content from networks. Even if it's delayed and limited, I'd like to have the option to look into a show I might have missed otherwise.

    Now, my best friend, a cable customer, uses On Demand like I use my DVR and I agree the options, almost all HD, are far greater. She has a DVR, two of 'em actually, but often "forgets" to record all but her very, VERY favorite shows. It's also why her relatively low storage capacity doesn't drive her nuts, like it would me.

    We've got external drives (from 500 GB to 2 TB) on three of our five HD DVRs from DirecTV, and most stay pretty full, if not totally maxed out. The ones using only the built-in storage capacity are the ones in rooms we don't watch TV in all that much. We've had TiVo since shortly after they were released in '99 and it's totally changed the way we watch TV. Basically, we always have something on hand we want to watch that suits our mood, making On Demand less interesting/necessary. We have so much between all those DVRs (probably 150+ movies we haven't seen, for instance, not to mention entire seasons of various TV series) we also don't do Netflix streaming, though we've tried it, or anything else. We've already got more content than we could ever consume.
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