DirecTV Now

Do not waste your time on this terrible service. I was lured in to their launch special that included a “free” Apple TV. The only good thing about the offer was the Apple TV. The day I received my Apple TV there was a 6 hour outage (probably because they didn’t anticipate the surge in demand). Can you remember the last time your cable TV service had 6 hours of downtime? Was there an apology or credit from DirecTV for that outage? Nope.

That’s not even the worst part. Sadly, since the day I started using this service, I still frequently get random video stalls. I can be watching a show for an hour and then it randomly happens, or it sometimes happens if I try to change to a channel and I get a black screen. This is only a problem with DirecTV Now. I can use Amazon, Netflix, or any other app without video streaming hiccups. I’ve never had this issue on any other device on my network. I consistently get 250/30 Mbps Internet speed.

Putting aside the technical issues, this service is really no different from regular cable service. They took regular cable service and put it on the Internet. They managed to actually make usability worse and there isn’t even a good value argument.

Other annoying things:

  • Although you don’t get commercials on a channel like MSNBC, you instead get a static image during normal commercial breaks and an annoying audio loop. I hate commercials, but this audio loop is surprisingly more annoying. It would be better if they had no audio.
  • Changing channels is done using the trackpad on the Apple TV remote. Picking up the remote in the dark will often cause accidental channel changes if you brush against the trackpad. I would have happily used either my Android TV, PS4, or Xbox One but they don’t make an app for these devices, which is strange when almost every other streaming service supports at least one of those devices.
  • I added HBO service, which I pay extra for each month. I didn’t realize until after I had signed up that it’s a limited HBO channel. I can’t go back and watch all episodes in a season. It appears you only get some of the most recent episodes. Comcast, as much as I hate to admit, offers a better service and value.

Good things:

  • You can watch live TV from your bed, from any device