On the flip side, you usually get what you pay for.
To this day, we always get better service (programming, capabilities and customer service) out of DirecTV than cable, where our cable is Internet-only due to Comcast's well-earned reputation for lacking in many areas.
Not for me. I get more HD than cable can offer and 6 HD/DVRs for what it cost me for 2 from cable. Cable is $90 in just HD & DVR fees alone + Multi premium HD feeds plus no dropped channels like my cable providers have done.
I can see the advantage for hard-core sports fans and those who can't get cable at all or just have a terrible cable company. But my bill for Charter's mid-level package plus HBO/SHO/MAX, one 4-tuner DVR and 5 Minis is $80. Last time I checked, the same with DirecTV would run me $57 in DVR and box fees alone plus around $120 for an equivalent package. My cable company has never dropped channels in disputes like DirecTV and Dish have. I had a very long run with satellite, but I've got something better and more affordable now. And it puts me in a good position to cut the cord completely when the time comes since my whole home cable DVR system will work equally well for OTA.
Having both DirecTV and cable, similar equipment and packages with each, I can’t really agree with any of that crap.
1) Outages. Yes, there are weather interruptions with satellite. Just like with cable when a backhoe inadvertently cuts a fiber line or a drunk takes down a utility pole. And just like the new darling for the TV world, IPTV, these services go down if you lose internet connectivity or have malfunctioning in-home networking equipment or wiring.
With that said, DirecTV is more prone to rain fade then I would like it to be. Back in the old days when on a single dish at 101 or the Phase 3, and it was standard def only on Ku, I only had outages in the heaviest storms. Now with Ka band, the signal is not as resistant and moderate storms take out the signal, or cause extreme macro blocking, and before anyone says it, yes my dish is properly aligned, and I’m in the mid to high 90s on most CONUS transponders on clear days.
2) Contracts. This practice I both agree and disagree with. If you pay full retail price, for the initial installation and full retail rate for upgraded hardware years down the road, you should not be subject to a two year contract. I am all for a two year agreement, if that means I can let’s say upgrade a HR34 to a HR54 for free. I would love to buy an HR54 from SolidSignal for $300 bucks and not be subject to a 24 month contract. It also makes no sense to me why I’d have to pay $300 for a device that I don’t technically own and can’t resell, but that’s another matter.
3) Cancellation fees. Nothing really deceptive about this. You enter into a legally binding contract. If you fail to uphold your end of the agreement you pay. I don’t see the problem. All of the information about this is there in the fine print and online. If you fail to understand what you are agreeing to, that is your problem, not DirecTVs. But in the day and age when individual responsibility does not exist, I can understand why it’s a bullet point.
4) Equipment. Who would have thunk you need a dish antenna to receive satellite TV? So what exactly the difference between a receiver and decoder, why do I need both and how much installation and maintenance does the typical smart card require?
5) AT&T Ownership. Yes, I full understand this one. But, so far nothing with my experience has been better or worse under AT&T then it was when DirecTV was controlled by the other various owners and investors they had throughout their existence going back to the days of GMH.
6) Only had to contact DirecTV CS three times in 8 years or so. No problems here. Once for installatio, once for hardware upgrades and once for dish realignment.
7) I can’t even begin to comment on or understand this. Nothing but politically correctness nonsense.
8) They can be as slow as they want with OTT. As someone with no interest in streaming video, I can’t say I care. I’d be willing to have $5 shaved off from my bill if the revoke my access to DirecTV Everywhere, and all of these dumb ‘Watch’ and ‘Go’ mobile apps that have to be signed into individually
9) No there really isn’t a lot of good alternatives for someone like me who wants to stay current on my shows and watches a ton of live sports. I’d rather not be depended on an internet connection to view my programming, I’d rather not dick around with QOS settings so that when all 7 of my virtual machines download gigs worth of updates simultaneously I can't reliability watch TV.