Make no mistake, DIRECTV is adding a ton of new 4K content, especially sports. Hardly a week goes by without a new announcement of 4K sports content on its channel 106, which is the 4K events channel. I’ve been watching a lot of 4K baseball and it’s awesome.
The problem is, you wouldn’t know about it unless you read this blog or follow DIRECTV’s press releases. Why? Because it turns out that they do a pretty poor job of populating the guide for channel 106. Unlike most channels which give you 10-14 days of guide data, most of the time channel 106 gives you listings 8-15 hours in advance. That makes it hard to plan your viewing. Sure, it’s true that the stuff on channel 106 is mostly live events, but there’s no reason that the guide couldn’t be populated out a little bit more so that searches for your favorite team could include 4K programs.
Most people who read this blog are going to realize that I’m a huge DIRECTV fanboy but I do try to be fair and this is one case where DIRECTV is doing itself no favors. They produce a lot of their own 4K content and partner with other large companies like ESPN for even more content. They advertise 4K a lot, and they keep people aware of upcoming stuff on Facebook and Twitter, but then you go to the DVR and you can’t find the program you want because it’s just not there. Someone is dropping the ball there.
Most of DIRECTV’s guide data comes from an outside source but that’s no excuse, because the listings for the Audience Network and for its pay-per-view movies are always up to date. Clearly those listings aren’t coming from an outside service because that’s DIRECTV-exclusive content.
So I’m not trying to start some sort of grass-roots effort here, I just hope that someone, somewhere, in whatever department is in charge of manually keying in that guide data, reads this article and realizes that he or she can do better. DIRECTV, from its marketing to its technology to its programming, does so much right but it’s funny how a small point of failure like this can make it all seem worthless. Customers can’t watch programs they don’t know about, they can’t record programs that aren’t in the guide, and they aren’t going to get excited about 4K until they see it for themselves!
OK, enough soapbox for today. Let’s hope someone is listening.