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My Cinema, Cinema, Cinema Plus, VOD, PPV and green checks

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bsprague, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    I am a pleased DirecTV customer.

    The same goes for Netflix. I pay for two Blu-Rays at a time and always have something good to watch. They have a quality website that is very easy to use. My favorite part is how easy it is to find movies I will like. A bonus is that on my new Sony TV I can stream a few extra good movies in lesser video quality at no extra charge.

    I used to enjoy renting movies from DirecTV until they made me finish watching them in 24 hours. I haven’t rented one since.

    Over the last couple of days, I thought I would review what DirecTV offers thinking maybe they have figured out something I would like during the time I’ve boycotted the PPV with the 24 hour rule.

    I found “My Cinema”, “Cinema”, “Cinema Plus”, “VOD”, “PPV”,” 1000”, “1100” and green check blocks. What a mess! Not only that, but the on screen offerings on my new 55 inch, brilliant quality, high definition, internet connected TV are shown in a fuzzy mess that looks like an old Atari.

    My DirecTV “menu” button brings a drop down that offers “Cinema Plus”. It leads to a screen titled “Cinema” (no plus). That lists in fuzzy font, lots of titles I don’t recognize that all have dollar signs. Some have green checks marks. Does that mean they are recommended to me by a DirecTV movie critic? Nope!

    Speaking of dollar signs, the ad I just saw somewhere says “6,000 free videos”. My remote does not lead me there! Those are hidden on channel 1000. The remote leads me to 1100 where the dollar signs are.

    When I found channel 1000 with all the free stuff I saw it is marked up with “VOD”. Thought I would try that after I watched the video instruction on another channel. Soon after the “VOD” started, my DW (dear wife) hollered from her office down the hall that there was something wrong with the internet. She was taking online required CPA tax training. I knew from the DirecTV training video there was a yellow pause button on the “Queue” page. Maybe, but not on my TV! I had to unplug the wire from the router to the DirecTV box to get DW back to work.

    Who is in charge of this stuff at DirecTV? What are they thinking? On their webpage they have a chart comparing how great this is compared to Netflix and Red Box. They must think of them as competition to devote that much space to it. Netflix and Red Box are hitting home runs with everyone that has a TV of any age and quality.

    I have lots of money invested in high quality television equipment. I like watching TV! I have an MBA and DW is a CPA. And, DirecTV can’t offer me anything I can even figure out, let alone want to pay extra for.

    How can I help DirecTV understand how bad this is?

    Am I missing something here? Do any of you use My Cinema, Cinema, Cinema Plus, VOD, PPV or green check blocks?
     
  2. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    You are missing a lot. The green checks (which I believe somewhere on the screens, it tells you what it means) mean that the program is preloaded on your DVR and there is no streaming or downloading necessary. Choose it and it plays right away.

    As for the names...Plus, not plus, etc. They are inconsistent but they mean the same thing. Why are you hung up on the names?

    Fuzzy font? Something wrong with your setup there. Not HD font but far from fuzzy. Same font that is used for your guide and other menus. Do you think they are fuzzy, too?

    You also have an internet problem if downloading a movie from DirecTV kills your internet for other use. What is your download speed? To stop a download, just select it and tell it to stop recording.

    Why are you citing your MBA? I have a BIL (brother-in-law) who has a PhD in Economics from Harvard and he can't change a light bulb (only a slight stretch).

    You came here to rant and yet did not read any of the discussions to learn anything.
     
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The people who respond to the ceo@directv.com address can probably get you where you need to go.

    Some of your issues are going to have to be resolved by off-hours testing and experimentation on your part.
     
  4. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

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    I use OnDemand some and have always had good luck. Movies (even in HD) download in nearly real time, and in no way interupt my other internet-using devices. I also don't have too hard of a time finding what I am looking for. Could it be better? Sure, but it is certainly usable as is.
     
  5. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Seems like these "problems" would be resolved with more familiarity with the remote and menus.
    VOD can be searched by channel.
    VOD does use bandwidth and DirecTV doesn't "down res" the shows like other suppliers do for downloading.
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It helps to have a "big pipe". ;) :lol:
     
  7. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    I didn't miss anything. I spend a chunk of yesterday figuring it out before I posted.

    And, with several hours invested, I found out how it works. I read a lot of what is posted here and on DirecTV.com as well.

    My point about the MBA, CPA stuff is that the problem with DirecTV's offering is not customer stupidity. I'll delete that part if you want.

    I am trying to point out to DirecTV (or people that have influence there) that normally smart people are going to flock to easier, nicer products for movie watching.

    If you and others see this only as a rant. No point in that. I will quickly delete it.
     
  8. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Flock to..." I doubt anyone knows for sure.
    This isn't to say customers won't be using other options.
    This whole "On Demand" varies by supplier.
    CATV wants to leverage their infrastructure and can supply speed.
    NetFlicks has to down res for speed.
    DirecTV is trying to give quality as with their SAT feeds.
    They push what they think are top movies to your receiver through the SAT feed, which are those with the green check.
     
  9. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    I am better than many with a remote. I've been using them for a long time!

    DirecTV's system seems to have started when "PPV" was invented. And, using my remote (!) I watched a lot of movies. Now it appears to be a system of "add ons" and patches that need a set of "Tips and Tricks" to make understandable.

    Suggestions:
    - Make the language and labels consistent from the Remote through and to the end of the menus.
    - Create a fixed fee "package" where I can have a couple of movies available to watch when I'm ready.
    - Create an easy, entertaining and snappy website (like the competition) that helps me develop a Queue of movies that will show up on my box that will be available for me to watch.

    If we were making a suggestion list for the guy that reads the ceo's mail what would we put on it?
     
  10. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Qwest is charging me for 7 and insists it should be working. I'm getting about 2 Mbps. One reason I have DirecTV is to avoid Comcast. There are few other options. Maybe Clear would work.
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I don't think so, as what this is seems to have started with DoD, which they're changing around now. Are these "improvements"? :shrug:
    Is your feedback "valid"? Sure.
    Post this under the firmware discussion on this page http://www.dbstalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=112
    in the sticky at the top for your receiver.
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I had similar problems with my cable modem, and changing to DSL @ a tested 5 Mb/s made a real difference. ;)
     
  13. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    If you are getting 2, there is your Internet problem.
     
  14. Xsabresx

    Xsabresx Icon

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    2Mbs is like 350KB/s (roughly). Geez I think my cell phone is faster than that. I certainly wouldnt try to stream anything.
     
  15. iainleaver

    iainleaver Cool Member

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    I understand the OPs point and think he makes a valid one

    Historically we have used PPV about once a month.

    Prior to the latest changes, it was simple to watch a PPV which was stored on the HD DVR - if you wentt to the PPV channels in the guide (100 onwards) there was a list of ads for all the movies already on the DVR right there in the guide.

    Last weekend I went to look at what PPV was there and the ads have gone. I ended up following the cinema plus link from the menu and after a couple more clicks (and some waiting) had a list of PPV with the ones already recorded marked with a green check mark

    It certainly was not as user friendly or convenient as before.

    It is not a big deal but I would have preferred the software to get more user friendly not less when I am looking to spend money. http://www.dbstalk.com/images/smilies/smile.gif
     
  16. Xsabresx

    Xsabresx Icon

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    I guess I am confused then. Admittedly I never use PPV but the channels in the 100's are still there.
    121 - TNA Genesis
    122 - Royal Rumble
    123 - UFC
    124 - MMA
    Then a bunch of links for Directv Cinema
    126, 127, and 128 - Secretariat
    129, 130, and 131 - Red
    132, 133, and 134 - Saw
    135, 136, 137, and 138 - The Town
    139, 140, and 141 Takers
    142 and 143 Despicable Me

    And so on...
     
  17. trainman

    trainman Hall Of Fame

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    Sherman...
    Just for the record, the wording I've seen/heard in DirecTV's advertising is "no additional charge," not "free" -- the number includes VOD programming from HBO, Showtime, and Starz that are only available if you pay extra to subscribe to those channel packages.
     
  18. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

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    Feb 24, 2007
    I recognize that. But, what relates to the topic I started is that in comparison to Netflix, the DirecTV model is pale. Even before I upgraded from the 1.5Mbps plan to the 7Mbps plan at Qwest, the Neflix streaming worked smoothly.

    This is all new to me. When the 24 hour rule was implemented I simply stopped using DirecTV PPV and signed up with Netflix. At the time I was not interested in streaming video at all.

    What changed is I bought a new Sony TV with the streaming Netflix built in. I already had an account and a slower internet connection. It works very well. No, it is not HD, but it is good enough to thoroughly enjoy full length videos.

    Being very impressed with both the technical parts and the pricing model at Netflix I thought I would check out any changes (improvements) with my DirecTV service. Additionally I had read the DirecTV has a push on to get customers connected (with a kit) and encourage streaming video.

    That is what motivated me to start this thread. The DirecTV technical part does not compare well with what I experienced with Netflix. Nor is the movie selection process apealing. Nor is the nickel-dime price model.

    I'm giving DirecTV four times as much money as I am Netflix. And, Netflix is delivering a better product. I confess to being a DirecTV "fanboy". I'm rooting that DirecTV improve there "streaming" product. I'm assuming others here care and I'm assuming someone at DirecTV even lurks here.
     
  19. Maleman

    Maleman Icon

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    LOL I can certainly echo all of your thoughts. It's a mess.
     
  20. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    As I posted earlier, DirecTV doesn't reduce the resolution like Netflix does for streaming.
    DirecTV is leveraging their offerings to be available before the same movie is available on Netflix.
    I don't expect DirecTV's model to change "down to" Netflix's.
    Each company has their own plan and is trying to exploit their offerings.
     

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