DIRECTV On Demand or streaming, which is better?

We live in a very interesting age. I think that when the history of 2010s technology is written, they’ll say this was a transitional time. In 2010, practically no one streamed video unless it was on a PC. In 2019 streaming video is everywhere. At the same time, on-demand was strong back in 2010. Is it still strong today? Do you use DIRECTV On Demand as much as you used to? Should you use it more?

Let’s take a look at the facts.

The good and bad of streaming

The streaming box is rapidly becoming a “go-to” for TV watching. For those people who don’t prefer using their phones or tablets, streaming to a TV is a very addictive experience. Everything about streaming apps is designed to get you to keep watching. Shows flow one into the other. Curated lists help you find new things you’ll like. It’s a great way to blow an afternoon… or a week at a time.

Streaming programs vary in quality depending on your connection. In the evening, you’ll find that streaming looks worse because everyone is doing it. This is especially true if you’re trying to connect to one of those high-demand services like Netflix and Hulu.

There’s a lot of content on streaming, but it’s not always easy to find. You have to search different apps. Even if you’re using a box that claims to have a “universal search” it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for.

The good and the bad of on demand

There are two things that make DIRECTV On Demand better than streaming. First of all you always get top quality. DIRECTV On Demand doesn’t usually start instantly… it takes a few seconds. That’s because unlike streaming, DIRECTV always gives you the highest quality picture right way. If you’re bothered by the fact that the beginning of your streaming shows are always blurry, you’ll want to use DIRECTV On Demand instead.

If you don’t like waiting, you can actually pre-download DIRECTV On Demand content and watch it instantly when you want it. Instead of choosing “Watch Now” when you find a program, choose “Record” instead. There’s no limit to the number of programs you can record, really. Eventually you’ll run out of hard drive space but only after you have hundreds or even thousands of hours of content recorded.

On the other hand, DIRECTV On Demand content sometimes has commercials. Of course streaming content does too. In both cases you can’t fast-forward through them, you just have to wait.

What should you choose?

Personally I tend to go more toward DIRECTV. If I’m looking for shows to watch, I start on my DVR. The search on DIRECTV is so easy. You can do it on your remote or through the app. It shows you live content, upcoming content and on-demand content on a single screen. You don’t have to bop from app to app trying to find what you’re looking for. For me, it’s DIRECTV. What about you? Do you prefer streaming or on demand?

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.