We have been waiting for DirecTV to release their streaming service, as AT&T announced upon their acquisition of the company that they would be moving away from roof-mounted satellite dishes entirely. We had hoped this new entrant into the streaming world would be the “end-all, be-all” of services finally allowing us to cut the cord…however we’re still not quite there yet.
DirecTV NOW allows you to stream over 100 live TV channels without a satellite dish (for about $30 per month), thus taking aim at cable companies by delivering your coveted TV show over the Internet. While folks have been excited about the arrival of this new way to watch television, after our initial trial of this we’ve found it to be a bit clunky early out of the gate. There are still a lot of glitches to be worked out, whether you’re watching via their app on AppleTV, or their website. Frequently pages don’t load or the website / App needs to be refreshed. Apps for SmartTVs (like Samsung, possibly LG) are coming soon according to DirecTV.
We can’t forget about the Playstation Vue. This streaming platform is offered on several devices such as Roku, PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles, Apple TV devices, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast – just to name a few. In a nutshell, for about $50 a month, you get more channels than what is offered at present by DirecTV Now, however the navigation is confusing for live TV and has been found to be difficult to browse or search through their interface. Not ideal.
As we head into 2017 we want to issue a challenge because we find it crazy that no one has created one over-the-top content (OTT) box “that rules them all.” So far, there is not a single subscription service or OTT device (whether AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, Chromecast, Roku, or smartTVs) that will offer you all of the myriad streaming apps & platforms available (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, Vudu, etc…the list goes on and will continue to grow). You’ll still have to get online to see where a particular show is streaming, and then hope you have the right compatible OTT or TV set to view it – all the while switching between inputs and apps.
For this reason, we still say the best way to truly cut the cord is to connect your laptop into your TV via HDMI cable, and simply pull up the shows you want on the sites you want, which will then display on your TV. Even this requires a bit of patience and tech-savviness, so it’s not for everyone.
As audiences grow and evolve, we expect to see the cord-cutting offerings and trends to continue to grow as well – perhaps even with an a-la-carte pricing option for channel streaming. Let’s see a business get it together and create a one-stop spot for viewer indulging.
Is that too much to ask for Santa’s wish list for next year? We hope not!