Direct TV Everywhere?June 15, 2012
Media savant T Tara Turk goes deep inside cable TV to reveal Video On Demand's Hidden Gems so even the busiest of our readers can get the most out of On Demand TV. Tell Tara what VOD shows you think deserves her attention.
Direct TV Everywhere?
As one who has gone through a gamut of cable operators, Direct TV, so far, has been the most popular in our household due to, well, football. In fact, that was the only reason we chose Direct TV as the horror stories from cable operators seem to be similar no matter what provider you choose. But the joys are coming, people! First we got HBO GO which allows you, as an HBO subscriber, to watch premium shows and movies from HBO on your computer or tablet, some with even extra content. The quality is solid and the content is readily available after the first showing.
So after experiencing that joyous online revelation, imagine the jumps my heart did when I found out Direct TV was going to offer Direct TV Everywhere, a platform seemingly able to offer your programs to your computer, phone or tablet. I already made a list of the things I was going to watch on my lunch hour or waiting in line at the grocery story. There was Investigation Discovery’s “Behind These Mansion Walls” about murder and rich people, catching up on HGTV’s “Design Star” and Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star” and a few episodes of TV One’s “Unsung.” I was like a kid at Christmas with the Sears Christmas catalog!
And then I went to the website.
You don’t get those things I wished for. You do get a solid selection of premium movies from HBO, Cinemax and Sony Movie Channel. There are a few very specific tv shows from the Audience Network but it’s no On Demand TV show paradise I’ll tell you that for sure. They do include a portal where you can click through to sites for TNT, CNN, TruTV, Adult Swim, The Cooking Channel and a few others but I already knew I could do that just by going to those sites directly and selecting my cable provider. Plus those sites don’t offer that much in terms of current programming. Don’t think you’re going to TNT and getting the new “Dallas’ because you’re only gonna find out who shot JR in the programs they have on there right now.
The other issue with this is that most of these channels barely even have clips for the current shows (I’m looking at you Investigation Discovery) on their websites let alone the ability to watch programming that has already aired. Some shows you can purchase at iTunes but why am I paying for reruns? My desire to watch a show that’s already aired isn’t so strong that I’m willing to pay for it. That desire happens BEFORE the show has aired.
At some point it would be great for cable providers to allow us to have a virtual cable box, where we can take all of our programming with us wherever we go, including our cache of DVR/On Demand programming. At least let me access what’s on my box at home already. I barely know how to connect a printer so I can’t tell anyone how it should be done but as an avid viewer, I know what works for me and my household and we’d be way more enthusiastic about paying that bill every month if it worked harder for our money.
T. Tara Turk is a novelist/playwright/screenwriter, living in LA with her boyfriend and dog - all three successful TV addicts. You can find her at www.ttaraturk.com or follow her on Twitter @ttaraturk.