E Should Cable TV Fear AT&T DirecTV Now?

Should cable TV fear AT&T's DirecTV Now? Well, the answer is probably. If people need around a hundred dollars per month in savings, it makes sense to go with DirecTV Now. After all, it is not expensive anymore like the pure satellite service once was. It is a streaming service. 

However, it streams to devices. If you don't have a device for your TV, it won't stream to your TV. But AT&T, which took over DirecTV in 2015, is not adding satellite fees to the service as long as you are under contract. 

But there are a few issues with DirecTV Now. The service is only a few months old and there have been bugs. Frozen screens are a possibility. Improvement is likely. But for people who can afford the constant rise of cable prices, it may not be the best choice. That is not to say that cable is perfect when it comes to pixelation. It is far from perfect. 

And AT&T, which promotes DirecTV Now aggressively, has its own issues. It is not a user-friendly phone service and is one of the worst companies for customer service consistently in the polls. If you are fine with your AT&T phone, then maybe you will have reason to save some money with DirecTV Now. 

One would think that AT&T would get out of its own way when it comes to phone service customer care, just to reel more customers into the big money maker, bundled packages. But instead, Consumer Affairs has 807 reviews of the phone service with 1.5 stars out of five. That is horrendous. That should cause concern to AT&T management.

The problem arises from the fact that there are few decision makers in the AT&T chain of command. Lots of phone people work from home, with no access to supervisors. And nobody seems to have access to the back office to fix things unless you want to wait and wait, weeks. The phone management fixes things by being clever and by using their wits. It is a discombobulated mess. 

The question is, do you want to trade money for possible customer service difficulties? On the other hand, do you want to keep begging cable for your discounts? It is a strange system of uncertainty. It amounts to economic instability in the living room! We are talking about microstability here. With Trump, we have little macrostability, but with these large companies, the household finds itself under financial threat. One wrong move and they will apply their tools to make you squirm. 

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Disclosure: I am not an investment counselor nor am I an attorney so my views are not to be considered investment advice. I have no financial interest in any company listed in this ...

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Alex Sandro 2 years ago Member's comment

AT & T Direct TV is good in services but you need devices to get the stream and also along with time it comes with some bugs. Spectrum in Kansas City gives you high quality video streaming without any contracts or hidden fees as compare to AT & T Direct TV.

Bruce Powers 2 years ago Member's comment

#Netflix is the real threat. $NFLX

Gary Anderson 2 years ago Author's comment

If the major cable companies like Charter offer alternatives they will prosper. If they don't, at a competitive price, their decline will continue. Direc TV is a viable alternative, still. I am rooting for the cable cimpanies as well, because competition and innovation are good things.

Frank Underwood 3 years ago Member's comment

I think cable should be more concerned with streaming services like #Netflix or #Amazon. But yes, I think #DirecTV could hurt them as well. $NFLX $AMZN

Danny Straus 3 years ago Member's comment

I tried #DirecTV Now. Wasn't bad, but yes, a bit buggy. Like if I stopped watching an on-demand program, and tried to pick up where I left off the next day, it would not remember and make me start from the beginning. PLUS since they do NOT let you fast forward, I'd have to sit through the entire program again to catch up. I understand not letting people fast forward through the commercials, but I should be able to fast fwd through the programs themselves!

Ayelet Wolf 3 years ago Member's comment

I had the same issue. Plus it was the same commercials over and over and over again. I was literally going batty. You really can't binge watch on #DirectTvNow the way you can on Netflix $NFLX.

Gary Anderson 3 years ago Author's comment

Some people find Netflix by itself far too limiting.

Duanne Johnson 3 years ago Member's comment

That's a good point, but many people also have #Hulu or #Amazon's Instant Video. With Amazon in particular you can purchase additional subscriptions al a carte, like #HBO.

#DTV along with these options are going to kill the cable companies unless they adopt a similar streaming model that's more affordable.

Alexa Graham 3 years ago Member's comment

Gary Anderson and Duanne Johnson are right in that the cable TV packages will bleed customers. But it won't kill the cable companies... they are the ones who make streaming possible by selling us internet access. They'll just charge us more.

Gary Anderson 3 years ago Author's comment

Interesting point. At what point will cable companies just stop offering channels, like they want to choose which websites get to download faster as they oppose net neutrality. However, this would be risky for cable, who stand to alienate millions upon millions of Americans if they ever try to limit channels by price.