Do you still use DIRECTV On Demand?

It’s a very different world than it was in 2009 when DIRECTV started rolling out its on demand service. Back then, most people barely had enough speed to stream standard definition, and it wasn’t even that good. YouTube had only been around four years, and Hulu was still an infant.

DIRECTV was actually fairly late to the on-demand game, where cable TV ruled for about three years. It’s easier to add on-demand to a cable system because of the closed, wired nature of that system. But when it did start up, it took off like a shot because there was nothing like it. A full complement of 10,000 titles including thousands in HD (and that was quite a novelty back then) meant that DIRECTV had a surefire hit on its hands.

And then… it got to be 2017 eventually.

As in, everyone has smart TVs, everyone has Hulu and Netflix and provider apps. Everyone has a smartphone — also rare in 2009 — and the way we watch video has dramatically changed. For the most part, other than an upgrade to the user interface in 2012, DIRECTV On Demand has stayed the same. They’ve added at least 20,000 more titles, to be sure, but does that compare to what you can get online? Plus, online systems load faster and there is less buffering in general. Searching is so much easier on a phone or tablet, and you have a lot more options for how to find what you’re looking for.

So why still use DIRECTV On Demand?

First of all it’s free. You’ll find so much recent network content that there’s practically no reason to use Hulu. It would take you a solid year of watching just to exhaust the free content available in the base DIRECTV package, and if you have premium channels, it’s even better.

The quality is generally better than streaming, unless you have a perfect internet connection. DIRECTV’s on-demand programs are downloaded at full quality to your DVR so there is no annoying drop in quality if the internet speed drops (as can often happen.) This can mean you have to wait 1-2 minutes for enough of the program to download, but once you do you will get better quality throughout.

There’s also the matter of “the road less traveled.” I’ve heard numerous complaints that HBO GO couldn’t handle the strain of millions of people trying to get Game of Thrones but the same content is available on HBO on Demand and it’s stored on DIRECTV’s servers, not HBO’s. So while millions of people are trying to hit the same servers, a lot fewer are trying to hit the DIRECTV ones. You do the math… and you’ll see you’re more likely to get in and get a good smooth connection with DIRECTV.

And… while it’s true that people have a good experience using smartphone apps to stream, you may not have known that DIRECTV On Demand is available through DIRECTV’s own app for smartphones and tablets. You can set up recordings on your DVR, stream on demand programming, and even send it to your TV with a flick of the finger! Plus, voice control is available through the app and the results show up on your TV! Frankly even Apple doesn’t do as good of a job of that.

A lot of folks tell me they think DIRECTV’s on-demand system is a dinosaur, and they avoid it. I tell them what I’ve told you above, and when they realize how much they’re paying for other systems, they just hang their heads.

Give DIRECTV On Demand a try today! Start on channel 1000 on your DIRECTV box, or use the DIRECTV app for smartphones and tablets for instant access!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.