We’re cancelling DirecTV service.
It’s been about a year since purchasing the HDTV and the associated DirecTV package. Meanwhile, our viewing of “normal” television fare has been steadily declining. We hardly ever watch anything live: we have other things to do with our time. And more often than not, the children are selecting shows from Netflix, YouTube, or the producer themselves, instead of from the previously recorded episodes of Sesame Street, Jake and the (cute little) Never Land Pirates, Little Bear, Wizards of Waverly Place, or whatnot.
In the interest of completeness, I’ve compiled a list of what we normally watch with any regularity, and where it can be found now that we’ve cut the downlink. The challenge now will be getting some of them off the Internet and on the big screen. Apple TV, perhaps? Boxee?
Did I mention it’s cheaper when you’re not paying for the umpteen channels of shit on the TV you don’t watch? People don’t care about “channels.” They care about shows.
Our DirecTiVo was dying. Every now and again, frequently at times, it stopped, hung. Maybe it waiting on a bad block on disk. Maybe it was just the heat. But the only option offered by DirecTV was a replacement with their dreaded DVR.
My first impression was positive. The guide responded quickly. The on-screen display is unobtrusive.
But on closer inspection, this was designed by a committee of retarded monkeys with no sense for how the ability to control the television changes how we use it.
The remote is cluttered. Do I really need three power buttons?
Why are you starting from sleep at the Game Lobby? I have never willingly selected that, so don’t even bother showing it to me.
Speaking of sleep, what’s the deal with the screen saver? Trying to keep my cathode ray tube from burning in the Game Lobby?
But now that I have a chance to sit down and completely reprogram all of the shows I’ve chosen to record over the past eight years when there is absolutely no reason why I should have to do that, I wonder WHY THE FUCK DirecTV can’t make a searchable version of the TV guide so that I can find the shows I want to record you fucking incompetent pieces of shit.
How about making one that displays the show that’s actually playing on my TV?
This is why all efforts at interactive television have failed miserably.
For one of her classes last year, D. wrote a paper which analyzes an effect of the self-absorption of the media, in response to one of the unfounded assertions in the class’s text, that the rise of the Internet and “thousands” of cable channels had fragmented society. She asked, “Do Our Unlimited Choices Limit Our Shared Experiences?” Her expectation was that the text would be correct. It wasn’t. We’ve been led to believe that everybody watched the popular shows, and really only a small fraction of the population did.
I find this topic fascinating, and eagerly assisted with research and editing. My experience of “pop culture” was somewhat isolated, by choice and by my parents, so I felt out of place in the Big World at college. I wonder how many people there were familiar with all of the things they’d said they were, and how many were poseurs.
(Meanwhile, I’m seriously considering stopping our DirecTV subscription and removing the television, but do not yet have the support of other members of the household. Maybe we can compromise and keep Netflix.)
What does it take to get a real person on the phone these days?
I don’t want to talk to the computer. I’m not talking to the computer. I did not buy from a computer, and if you don’t stop sending my calls to the computer, I’ll cancel my DirecTV service and go back to reading books.
CED Magazine reports that Cablevision has signed a deal to market TiVo equipment to DISH and DirecTV customers. Someone’s been reading my journal.
“For many satellite customers in our service area, there is significant value in the TiVo product and brand,” said Patricia Gottesman, Cablevision’s executive vice president of product management and marketing, in a release.
DirecTV is effectively removing the impediment to my changing video providers.
“We’ll support our existing TiVo customers,” a spokesman for DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite TV operator said. “But our core initiatives and new customer acquisition will focus on our new DVR.”
I mentioned this before, but I’m a TiVo customer now, even though a second-class one. I don’t care who feeds my Idiot Box, but I love my TiVo.
Because HBO has nothing we want to watch while we wait for The Sopranos, because we’re not that desperate, and because DirecTV makes changing packages simplicity itself, we’ve cancelled our subscription, thereby reducing our monthly costs from $67 to $48, before taxes.
I have no idea why we didn’t do this before.
I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that you’ve lost a customer. My loyalties are to my TiVo. I can get plain TV anywhere.
Just so you know.