Archive for June 20th, 2009

Another Reason to Hate DirecTV

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

directv_r15Last night, Gabi and I decided to watch a movie. We’ve given up entirely on Blockbuster and Hollywood video. These days, we order a movie through NetFlix, watch over NetFlix’s live feed on the Xbox 360 or order through DirecTV. DirecTV is trying to make sure that it’s customers can watch movies in the highest quality, so they’ve been offering 25 to 30 movies in BluRay definition (1080p). I always choose these, even though I don’t notice any difference between HD (1080i) and BluRay.

Last night I go through the process to order and watch our movie (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons”). Imagine my surprise to find that once we order it, it’s instantly in our DVR. Huh?! This very, very large movie is sitting in my DVR, taking up valuable space which could belong to football games, Lost episodes or Barney the Purple Dinosaur on the off-chance we might decide to spend $6 watching it sometime in the future. And it’s there with a lot of other movies that I definitely don’t want to see.

DirecTV has a technical problem. They don’t have as much bandwidth as the cable companies, so they need to use what they have to provide similar services. BluRay movies are too big for you to watch in realtime as they come from the satellite. There are two options – pre-loading the movie to everyone’s DVR or feeding them through high speed internet connections. Apparently, DirecTV is doing both.

I’d like the option to decline pre-loaded movies. I have better use for that space than someone wanting to potentially charge me at some future time. Besides, I spend a fortune on a particulary high-speed broadband connection here. Let me use that if I want one of your movies.