Saturday, July 14, 2012

Satellite TV, DVRs, and User Confusion

On a whim, or because she trusted the salesperson at Sam's, my wife switched our TV provider from Dish to DirecTV.  Unbeknownst to her at the time, DirecTV and Viacom were having their blowup.  She's a big fan of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  Though she can watch their shows on her laptop, it's just not the same experience.  I did tell her that Dish has had a similar problem with AMC.  She's not a fan of Breaking Bad, but I was.  There's just nothing like seeing road rage in an academic. 

Anyway, here I write about a different issue.  We had multiple receivers with Dish and now we have multiple receivers with DirecTV.  One difference though, with Dish each receiver had a DVR and what was recorded on that receiver could only be watched on the TV hooked to it. With DirecTV we have one receiver with a DVR and via the Internet connections in the house, the other receivers can access the recorded videos on it.  So, like their commercials say, you can watch the same recording from any location in the house.

However, this doesn't seem to work with live TV.  The receiver with the DVR automatically makes a temporary recording of what is being viewed.  So you can pause it or rewind.  That's kind of nice and once you use that for a few years it becomes a habit that you want to satisfy, at least on occasion.  It turns out that the receivers without the DVRs don't do this for live TV.  So for them the pause and rewind buttons don't work.  Of course, she didn't understand this when she signed up for the service. 

I did tell my wife that you can watch YouTube on the DirectTV boxes we have.  That includes videos from my ProfArvan channel with voice over Excel screen capture doing intermediate microeconomics.  She was not amused by this observation. 

Within the first month you can stop the DirecTV service if you are not satisfied.  Looks like we're going back to Dish. 

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