I got an e-mail from AT&T/DirecTV asking me to complete a survey on why I unsubscribed from DirecTV Now. I spent quite a bit of time crafting a comprehensive answer, only to receive the notice below. Part of my issue with DirecTV was the poor interface design. I now extend that criticism to the survey. If you limit my response to 999 characters, why not tell me? Then I won’t prepare a response that’s 302% larger than you will allow!
NOTE – there were two other text boxes, both limited the number of characters to other, smaller, and random quantities, both with no indication of what the limit would be.
DirecTV Now was a horrific
experience. From the user
interface to buffering issues to the user interface (did I already say that,
yes, it’s that bad) to the content. No type of DVR solution, ‘subscribing’ to channels was OK, but
non-intuitive to use.
No CBS channel. At all. Yes, I know you
have to negotiate with CBS, but it’s a gaping hole. I added HBO and got two HBO channels added, which was underwhelming. Even at $35/month rate it wasn’t worth
the money. We watched ONE movie
(Deadpool) and the last 20 minutes of the film took almost an hour to watch due
to buffering issues.
Just so you don’t assume I have a poor Internet
connection, I have 200/10 Mbps (up/downlink speeds) and a commercial grade
firewall and wireless AP (Meraki). Chemical engineer by degree, working in IT and connected to the Internet
since 1986 (not a typo), Cisco and other certifications. Let’s just assume the problem is on your end and not my home
Streaming from a laptop to a Chromecast was
USELESS. I stream other content
(YouTube, other) to Chromecast with no issues using the exact same configuration
(laptop, wireless channel, etc). Streaming from my PHONE (!!!) worked better than the laptop, and I can’t
account for that. Is the Android
app that much more efficient than streaming from a browser on a
No Roku support out of the gate. Roku and beer are gifts from GOD, and you don’t support the Roku. Seriously?
I took advantage of the free Amazon Fire offer because,
as noted, you don’t support the Roku (aka, Gift From God). Nice device, but DirecTV sucks at life, so we were ‘less than pleased’
with the experience. We attempted
to watch Deadpool (previous reference) using the Amazon Fire. Other services worked fine, but not DirecTV Now.
And, the user interface sucks. As an example, I saved ‘favorite’ channels in the guide and selected
Favorites to display. It’s all too
easy to suddenly have every channel displayed. Next, I can’t seem to pause, continue,
and skip over content (like my DirecTV DVR). Yes, I realize there are device
constraints (but, shall I note, not on the Roku), but you’re not even
trying. Did you pull one of those
“Design this for free and I’ll give you great recommendations” with the
interface design team? Because it
LOOKS like that’s what you did.
I’m doing this all from memory. It’s like a nightmare where I can still see the screen doing something I
don’t want/like, oh, and the BUFFERING, Oh, the BUFFERING!!!
– User interface sucks
– No DVR capability
– No Roku support
– Buffering issues (with long shows? You tell me)
– No CBS content
– Poor performance with Amazon Fire
– Poor performance with Chromecast
= DirecTV Now Sucks at life
That’s the short version of why I unsubscribed from
DirecTV Now. I’m working furiously
to experiment with OTA TV, a local DVR, and cloud based services. I’m willing to bet anything I put together will be a better, more
satisfying experience than DirecTV Now.
Paul & Barb