DirecTV Inc Complaint - Full Comparison DTV v TiVo
NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS, GEORGIA -- ADDRESSED TO DTV
EXAMINATION OF DTV EQUIPMENT DEFICIENCES COMPARED TO THE TiVo IT REPLACED
Your insanely inept equipment and technical support began to have a bad effect on daily married life so we ordered DISH.
The Tivo remote had, if memory servers me properly, about 1,000 fewer buttons then the one you provided with the new receiver. Only a blind man has the touch needed to watch TV now in a dark room. The Tivo was very easy to use in the dark.
The TVO was in every way superior in its selection and management of program record/playback options. For instance, both Tivo and your system have 'typewriter like' selection pads.
However, yours does not show a list of matching programs on the right hand side that advances as the search field is filled. Every home computer PC I have ever encountered includes a Marching list of matches.
With the Tivo I could identify all three Law's and Order with just the entry Law And. Then I simply selected Seasons Pass and the number of shows to record.
Not even the phone techs could identify more then a single Law And without spelling out, exactly letter for letter, the exact show (special victims). Then the typwriter screen dissapeared followed by an endless list of upcoming shows. If the spelling was faultless of course.
Then, sweat pouring off my face, I now try to press the exact buttons needed to record many FUTURE shows, not just one of the many displayed. Repeat for each separate show desired.
RECORD/RECORD CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Recording time conflicts are handled much better with Tivo. Your "priority system" MIGHT be adequate, if, for instance, any one of the two separate telephone techs could figure out how to change priorities. Here is the example.
I inadvertently entered my favorite program into the LAST priority position. Neither I, nor either of the separate techs I called could figure out how to change the priority from last to first. Finally, one tech said erase them all and start over. I asked which of the three thousand remote control buttons would do that and she hung up on me.
RECORDED SHOW DISPLAY
The Tivo display of recorded programs is so far superior to the new system it could not possibly be an accident. The Tivo screen has few extraneous embellishments, fancy coloration, or other various and distracting woop-de-doos. It simply shows a list, in large script in the middle of the screen, top to bottom, of what was recorded.
For instance, Waltons (5)
The Closer (2)
Law and order (5)
Further, when I click on Waltons, a sub-menu of the five shows is displayed with a short description of the episode. I can show it, delete it etc right in a dark bedroom. With your systsem I kept a small drawer full of LED flashlights to illuminate the Sigma Coder Machine you call a remote.
In addition, the first time I accessed your maniac display system, even in its backward priority form, I could not even read it. Why, because it was displayed in the lower left hand corner of the TV in small letters. I actually needed to get out of bed to read the list.
Finally that resolved itself, I do not know how. However, the new larger menu seemed some sort of after-thought by people who simply wished to show off their exotic programming skills. Sort of like looking into a calydescope to divine actual content amongst the entertaining flashing sights and sounds.
ERRONEOUS ENTRY CORRECTION
The Tivo was designed to back-out of erroneous selections in ways your programmers have yet to dream about. Your programmers seem obsessed with complicated endless loop scenareos and obscure sequencing. Out come the LED flashlights again.
First and foremost, the very large button on the very center and very top of the TiVo remote almost always solved problems of this sort. It served as a sort of "get out of jail free" card. Press it, and you got the main menu. Almost always, if memory serves me at all. Perhaps ACTUALLY always.
Also, function keys that simply display a selection menu worked like toggle switches. Press it again and the erroneously selected menu disappears. No need to drag out the LED flashlight to find the five different steps needed to cancel the initial erroneous selection.
FAST FORWARD FUNCTION
I am certain there is no need to discuss the fast forward and fast reverse features. But I will discuss them anyway just of of pique. The new ones were clearly designed to increase the amount of commercial time viewed on screen.
While awaiting the DISH people to replace your Direct TV system, my wife simply gave up on advancing through commercials. Which is the obvious intent of the programmers, of course. Out of pique, I deliberately fooled around with the things to get as close to the end of the commercial as possible. It was like a sort of video game.
I understand WHY you do not have a Tivo system in this regard, and have some actual empathy. Per minute advertising pricing increases when more people actually watch the commercials. Advertising revenues increase cash flow, potentially increasing net profits, and can even keep customer subscription cost more competitive. I just wonder if the subscription cancellations, such as mine, have proven to be actually worth the change.
Back to Tivo! The Tivo fast forward system anticipated reaction lag time. This means, when I am super fast forwarding toward the end of the commercial, and I press the play button at the first sight of the actual show, Tivo BACKS UP from where I pressed the button. Just enough, with practice, to get it to just the right place.
Your people had the nerve to charge me about $290 'early termination fee' even though I had been a customer for three years.
Something about Activation Date for the Little Black Box From Hell.