I have had DIRECTV On Demand for a little over 2 weeks now and guess what? I never use it. In fact, I think it’s a total sham.

Before I explain, let me back up a minute. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a wireless connection kit from DIRECTV that, once connected, allowed me to do two new things.

The first was to watch and control shows on my iPad. Admittedly, this is pretty cool but not what I want to talk about today. What I do want to talk about is the second feature, DIRECTV On Demand.

7,000 shows and movies at no extra charge

DIRECTV On Demand is supposed to allow me to get over 7,000 shows and movies On Demand on your TV, at no extra charge. I say horse hockey.


When I first fired up DIRECTV On Demand, I was overwhelmed at the number of movies available on demand. That part they got right. What they didn’t get right is how many of these are free to watch.

Almost every single movie I looked at on the list cost money to watch. And the ones that were actually free were movies I had little to no interest in watching.

Worse yet, there is no filter available to show only the movies that are free. Instead, you have to pain-stakingly go through the entire list of movies, one screen at a time to see which ones don’t have dollar signs next to them.

It gets even worse with the TV shows

As for the shows, it seems like DIRECTV just aggregated a list of television shows I already get on the normal channels and now told me I could get them on demand (by recording them when they air and then watching them later). No wonder they can claim 7,000 movies and shows at no extra charge. Duh.

And when I did finally decide to bite the bullet and pay for a movie, I was informed I couldn’t buy the movie because it was on the STARZ channel and I didn’t subscribe to that channel.

What?!?! How on earth is this video on demand?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

So, let me get this straight. I used to use my channel guide to figure out what shows and movies were playing on channels I pay for. And if I wanted to buy a movie on pay-per-view I would look at the pay-per-view channels (the 100s on DIRECTV), find a movie I want to watch and buy it. Now, I have every show, every movie, every premium movie and every pay-per-view movie all aggregated into one ginormous list that I may or may not be able to access and/or pay for.

Am I missing something here? Any other DIRECTV On Demand users out there want to tell me where I’m wrong? How about you, DIRECTV? What’s your response?

Patric Welch

Patric Welch founded Noobie, Inc. in 2006 to help others effectively choose and use technologies to enhance their work and lives. The catchy company name earned Welch the name of Mr. Noobie®, but, in reality, Welch is an experienced and professional techie. Unlike most techies, Welch evaluates emerging technologies from a noobie’s perspective and provides technology education for all skill levels in a friendly, non-threatening way.
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