DirecTV loses 10 million subscribers

Well, that’s my headline for sometime in the next 12-18 months, or whenever Rupert forces his Tivo owners to switch to his “new” DVR.

Here’s what I’m expecting so far, based on all I’ve read about the DVR DirecTV is going to shove down our throats:

1. No more “peanut” remote. It sounds trivial, but that remote is very comfortable. If you haven’t used it, you can’t relate. And the new DirecTV remote supposedly doesn’t control the on/off or volume on many makes/models of TVs, so you you end up needing two remotes.

2. No multiple live buffer streams to select between. With TiVo DirecTV units we can jump back and forth between two live programs, with buffer. Supposedly not so with the new DVRs.

3. GUI sucks. Comments include “hard to navigate” “a whole new horror” “not intuitive at all” “It BLOWS” “It is a fancy VCR, but not a Tivo” “amazingly difficult to use” “All the software people should be fired” See examples here.

4. Lease-only going forward, means higher monthly fees.

The tech support line apparently has an automated voice that tells you “most problems are resolved by rebooting.” What does that tell you about the quality of the software (and DirecTV’s contempt for their customers).

I’ve been a DirecTV subscriber for over 10 years. When DirecTV abandons all support for TiVo it looks like I’ll be stuck switching to cable (which totally sucks around here). Apparently I won’t be alone. Nobody that’s used TiVo for more than a few months is ever going to move as far backwards as DirecTV is trying to send us. It’s looking like it will be a mass exodus. What an effective way to take perfectly happy customers and send them straight to your competitors.

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