Tag Archives: installer

Reasons 101 To 105 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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#101. So this afternoon, for the first time, I lost my satellite signal because of inclement weather. I get a cryptic message along the lines ‘signal from Sat. 2 lost …’ press for more info. I do that. It did NOT tell me that I should look out of the window to see if the failure was due to bad weather! Nw I have been liberal in my use of accusing DirecTV of being stupid, but this takes the cake. The main reason I am going to lose my signal is because of cloud cover or snow on the dish. That DirecTV does not address this just proves my case that they are stupid.

#102. Of late, each time I change channels I get this annoying black message bar at the bottom of the screen to tell me that I can hit the record button to record that show. Yes, I fully appreciate by now that DirecTV is targeted at the ‘technologically unsophisticated‘ would get this message after they have seen it 500 times, PLUS it isn’t that profound. To record a show you hit the record button. Most DirecTV customers should be able to work this out after 3 weeks. The bloody bar is annoying because it obscures the news ticker on Channel 202. So today I missed an item and had to rewind the damn thing to read it.

#103. Decided to download the DirecTV android APP on to out two (2) Google Nexus 7 pads. So I go to the Google Play APP store. There are 2 DirecTV apps and one for DirecTV Genie. Of the two DirecTV apps, one says ‘tablet’. That is what we have. An Android tablet — the quintessential Android tablet at that, made for Google and running the latest Android OS. So I go to download the tablet app. Says the Google Next 7 is not supported! Ah! Yes, I could down load the other (phone) APP. Stupid.

#104. The LIVE TV guide in the DirecTV App (#103) does not show you the channel numbers. Just the names of the show. I need channel numbers. Plus I can’t find the movie channels on the LIVE TV part! Not good. The usual DirecTV stupidity and incompetence.

#105. So far, and I have only spent a few minutes playing with it,  the MOVIE section of DirecTV App (#103 & #104) only appears to show me pay-for-view movies. I am sure I haven’t found the others. But it shouldn’t be that hard.


Reasons 96 To 100 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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#96. The erratic volume levels that I mentioned in #46 drive me nuts. I had been watching a recorded documentary: “The King’s Speech: Revealed”. I don’t think it was HD. Downstairs on the Genie, with my Philips Dolby sound bar, the volume was ‘OK’, probably because I had it cranked up high. Yesterday morning I wanted to finish watching it upstairs via the Genie Mini and the 27″ Philips HD TV. There was hardly any volume. I had to crank up the TV’s volume to MAX to be able to hear anything!

#97. By coincidence had another volume event downstairs last night. We had been watching “New Year’s Eve” (which was quite good). It was in HD and I had the volume to a level that was comfortable. When the movie was done, I hit stop … and that brought up CNN. The CNN volume (also in HD) was at least twice as loud! I had to scramble for the audio remote to turn down the volume before it woke up the neighbours.

#98. By happenchance I happened to see a DirecTV information clip (and I am not sure how it came up) on how to set the FAVORITES. It is by no way intuitive. No wonder I had struggled to set it up. It really would have been nice if DirecTV gave you a small printed booklet with how to setup all these functions.

#99. Both remotes are possessed. Typically when we go down to watch TV I am a few minutes ahead of Deanna and I turn on the TV & Genie while Deanna settles down. Last night she was already seated next to me when I turned on the TV & Genie. And this was to be a 4-minute wait event. She could not believe it. I showed her how all the buttons were dead. She was amazed. Then about 4 minutes into it everything starts working.

#100. The upstairs remote, for the Genie Mini, is definitely on the blink. More often than not I have to hit a button TWICE before it does anything. Just a few minutes ago, when I tried to turn it off … the volume bar came up, as if I had hit the volume button rather than OFF! Second time — it worked. Very annoying.


Reasons 91 To 95 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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#91. The ‘LIST’ (i.e., list of recorded programs) does NOT have an option where with one click I can check what I have scheduled to be recorded. That is so, so stupid — but so, so DirecTV in that I am now more convinced than ever that DirecTV is targeted at technologically unsophisticated users. On DISH you had the ‘Scheduled’ button right there. I want to see both — what is already recorded and what is in the queue to be recorded. To get to the ‘To Do List’ requires about 5 other clicks. Stupid.

#92. Yesterday I discovered the second ‘only half recorded’ movie. Not good. So had to delete it and schedule it to be taped again.

#93. Monday night while I was browsing SHOWTIME on Demand I suddenly get a message saying my Internet connection was down. Now I had been checkin HBO on Demand and STARZ on Demand previously. So basically it lost the Wi-Fi connection in mid-stream. It took me close to 30 minutes to reestablish the connection! Wow. Wow. Wow. It should just reconnect automatically — but this is DirecTV, the domain of the brain dead.

#94. So after I establish the Wi-Fi connection, out of curiosity I run the diagnostic tests. It says that 2 tests failed. The first error message is that it could not establish a dial-up connection. I kid you not. Could not establish a dial-up connection. I am so f*ing glad that it couldn’t. I don’t have a bloody dial-up connection. QED. DirecTV is meant for the technologically crippled.

#95. So, #94 above, while it says that my Interest connection test failed, I hit the dash key, yes, the dash key … “-” … which is supposed to be the way to quickly check Internet connection and it says that I have an Internet connection. Again, ditto. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. But, to make sure I selected OnDemand. No problem. I got a list of movies. This is like a bloody joke. DirecTV is so stupid.


Reasons 86 To 90 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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#86. The ‘LIST’ (i.e., list of recorded programs) does NOT tell you how many programs you have recorded, just the amount of disk space left (in my case, right now 83%). I need to know the NUMBER of programs I have recorded — as I could with DISH. So with the DISH ‘list’ not only did you get a total number of items recorded, but each recorded program had a sequence number relative to the total. So, I would know, for example, that I had 176 programs recorded. That was critical intelligence for me. I knew that about 80% of that number would be movies. So I would know, right away, that I had just over a 3 months CACHE of recorded movies. That was always my goal. 3 months of movie on file. That way IF I cancelled or lost a movie channel (because the promo period ran out) I knew I could go for 3 months without having to worry about getting more new movies.

#87. The ‘GUIDE’ in addition to not telling you the proper channel name [e.g., ‘Bloomberg’, as I explained in #83], also has a cryptic ‘white’ tab against the Channel symbols, very like the ‘green’ tab that Excel puts on some cells to let you know that there is additional information associated with that cell. It is definitely because of this. When I see that ‘tab’ I want to know what it says behind it. But, I have yet to work out how I can click on that ‘tab’. Very frustrating. But, that is the watchword when it comes to DirecTV: ‘frustrating‘.

#88. I first reported this in #71, but yesterday, i.e., Monday, I just could not, and I mean COULD NOT, get the remote for the Genie Mini to accept 202 or 355. I am not kidding. Just would not take in those damn numbers. I would start punching in ‘2 …’ and it would immediately go to Channel 2! I would wait and I would start again. Now it would go to Channel 25 … that being the nearest to ’20’. After 4 f*ing attempts I had to haul myself out of bed, go upto the f*ing Genie Mini, put the damn controller right up against it and punch in 202. That worked. Then I was OK since I could use PREV. I hate DirecTV. Worst company in the World, hands down.

#89. Happened 5 times yesterday, on two separate occasions, with Channel 202 & 355 [i.e., CNN & CNBC]. When I selected the channel I got a BLACK screen. Nothing, but nothing on it. No sound. Just a BLACK screen. Had to hit PREV to go back and then start again. F*ing stupid. The Genie Mini is a piece of garbage.

#90. Also, yesterday morning with the bloody remote for the Genie f*ing Mini. Mute would only work, every other push. This is so pathetic. I have said it before, I will say it before. DirecTV’s business model appears to be that of giving their customers untested, inferior products and then holding them to a 2 year contract. 


Reasons 81 To 85 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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#81. The movie reviews have cryptic symbols like red tomatoes, green tomatoes, popcorn etc. with NO EXPLANATION as to what the heck they mean. There are even percentages against these symbols. It is like a f*ing private joke. Did I mention that I really, really HATE DirecTV.

#82. In addition to these annoying in their indecipherability icons, the movie descriptions can in some instances be just 2 sentences — leaving you totally in the dark as to what the movie is all about. DISH, in general, had fairly detailed, fairly decent synopsis that gave you a chance in terms of deciding whether you want to record a movie or not.

#83. In the GUIDE the channel names are not properly represented. I challenge you to tell me, without looking it up, where I can find the Bloomberg Financial channel. Yes, it is there. But, on the GUIDE you will NEVER see even a reference to ‘Bloomberg’!

#84. So yesterday, Sunday, I powered up the TV/Genie 3 times. Whereas on Saturday night I had to wait 4 minutes, yes, 4 minutes, for the Remote to become active, on Sunday it was active from the Get Go … why? Because the first time I turned the TV on, Genie was already powered-up since it was recording a movie. The other two times, it had not gone into hibernation because there had not been 4 hours of inactivity. I find this erratic unpredictability annoying and distracting. I don’t know whether I should wait 4 minutes or whether it will work as soon as I power on the TV. Very annoying.

#85. I recorded a 2 hour documentary (very good I must say) from the Military Channel on ‘Lee & Grant’. It has quite a few commercial. And yes, I FF through commercial — which is why, other than with news and financials, I only watch pre-recorded shows. FF with the Genie is not pleasant. It is very slow and jerky. It is like skipping through a PowerPoint presentation rather than a video. THEN, when you hit PLAY … Oh, Dear! It takes ages for the sound to catch up. The video is all over the place. It is quite pathetic. 


Reasons 76 To 80 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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#76. Following last Wednesday’s call from the DirecTV ‘Problem Resolution Specialist‘, where he basically lied to me about the video resolution settings, I realized yesterday that there is NOW WAY to determine the resolution that the Genie Mini is working at — since the only real way to check the resolution is to look at the lights on the Genie. There are no such lights on the Mini. Hitting FORMAT, as this guy (correctly) explained to me, does NOT show the current resolution because it skips to the next resolution as soon as you hit the button!

#77. So contrary to DirecTV’s claims you do not get all of the Genie functionality in multiple rooms with the Genie Mini. So that is another bold face lie! For a start there is NO PIP (#58) and now, as I found, no way to tell video resolution (#76).

#78. Last night it took over 4 MINUTES for my downstairs Remote to become active! This is #56 at its worst. 4 MINUTES. That is crazy.

#79. The GUIDE format is too large. You can’t see enough on one page — i.e., horizontal spread. A tighter, more compact grid that showed more hours on one page would make me happier.

#80. The program descriptions on the GUIDE are inconsistent in terms of specifying when a program is part of a series. In some instances it says so, in others it doesn’t. The only way to get the full story is to hit ‘INFO’ in which case, if it is a series, you will see the ‘record series’ option.


Reasons 71 To 75 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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#71. Now the remote for the Genie Mini is giving me grief; q.v. #66. This morning it took me two attempts to power up the Genie Mini and the TV — this remote programmed, by the DirecTV tech that did the installation, to turn both of them on together, when I hit the ‘ON’ button.

#72. DirecTV had sent a cheaply printed ‘sample of what you can watch in July‘ flyer in the mail, along with other assorted junk. For Saturday, July 20, in the highlighted orange box for PREMIERS on Saturday it claims “Here Comes the Boom“. Not true. Actually a lie. I recorded and already watched that movie! So it can’t be premiering on Saturday, July 20.  Actually it was the 1st movie that I taped when I got DirecTV on June 21. So much for their veracity.

#73. Though they claim that I can order programming through my account on the Web, it does not seem to let me have the option for selecting Willow cricket!

#74. I have now made 5 calls to try and get the NFL Sunday Ticket, which is totally of no interest to me, cancelled. I am still not sure whether they have cancelled it. However, two folks, who work for DirecTV have told me, though they claimed that they didn’t have the power to cancel it, that DirecTV will whack me for upwards of a hundred dollars for this in early 2014 IF I haven’t cancelled it by then.

#75. Just now, in the mail, I received a fat envelope from DirecTV with two MORE, fancy, elaborate, FAKE $100 ‘Gift Cards’ to tell me that that is what I can get for referring folks to DirecTV. I now have a total of five of these stupid, but expensive to produce, cards. I asked for NO PAPER when I signed up with these clowns. I hate to see trees cut for useless promotions. OK, send me two cards. Then no more. Save the production costs and postage. Pass on the bloody savings. I would rather have my little finger chopped off than ever recommend DirecTV — even to somebody that I do not like. 


Reasons 66 To 70 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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#66. Last night and this morning I had a devil of a job trying to get Channel 355 (CNBC) on the Genie Mini. Just wouldn’t accept the Channel number. Was doing crazy things. Basically I was not punching in the numbers at a speed that the Genie Mini could react. So it was taking me all over the place. Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 55 … Each time it took me about 6 tries! 

#67. Scrolling through the Guide on the Genie Mini is incredibly slow. So slow that your scroll down motion requests get backlogged. Then when you get to a channel you want to stop at … it just keeps going on! So last night I had started at Channel 263 and started scrolling down (i.e., going up through the channels). I wanted to stop at 287. By the time it finished processing all my backlog of keystrokes we were at 440! I had to then punch in 287 to go back. This is beyond a joke.

#68. This morning I tried, on the Genie Mini to finish watching a previously documented, non-HD documentary. So I selected it from the Play List and hit resume. It started playing in a stretched out, thumbnail window on the top left corner of the screen! I had to hit FORMAT on the Remote Controller, hit EXIT, go back and start again before it started playing it full screen as it should!

#69. That there is no PIP on the Genie Mini is really annoying me. The Genie Mini is upstairs on our bedroom TV. This is what I watch in the morning while I have my first cup of coffee. Especially now with cable news channels obsessed with that stupid trial from Sanford, FL., I really would like to watch CNBC and MSNBC side-by-side and flip to whichever is showing something useful. No can do. As for the trial, we all know that he is going to walk. So what is the big deal? 

#70. I got this ‘tough, but we don’t really care — go screw yourself‘ response to my complaint to the BBB that I was given a Genie HR-34 rather than the HR-44 that I should have received.
On July 03, 2013, the business provided the following information:
We regret to hear you are not fully satisfied with the equipment installed. We make every attempt to provide our new customers with our newest technology.
It is important to note that the HR 34 model is in no way obsolete. The main differences between the HR 34 and HR 44 are that the HR 44 has a wireless DECA (the internet conversion box behind the receiver) and an optical audio output.
The HR 44 is still being phased out to certain markets where the local office has technicians trained to service the equipment. As such, we are unable to provide you with the requested HR 44 model.
If you are experiencing issues with the HR 34 model it may be an isolated issue. Please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service if you need any further assistance.
We appreciate your patience and understanding. Certain equipment may be reused to save on costs, similar to other companies in the industry. We do take measures to ensure the equipment is fully functional before it is sent out.
Thank you for allowing us an opportunity to respond to these concerns.
Sincerely,
DIRECTV Office of the President”


Reasons 61 To 65 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Some of these relate back to what I learned from the DirecTV ‘Problem Resolution Specialist‘ who called me yesterday — and among other things proved that he (and most likely DirecTV) are clueless as to true High Definition mode, i.e., above 720p, setups.

#61. According to this ‘Problem Resolution Specialist‘ DirecTV has set 8 seconds, yes 8 seconds, as the acceptable time for a Genie HR-34 to perform an operation, e.g., change a channel! Yes, 8 seconds. Count it. That is incredibly long. But, as long as your Genie will do things in less than 8 seconds DirecTV does not deem it a problem. They might as well set that ‘timer’ to 15 minutes!

#62. This 8 second delay threshold confirmed what I was beginning to fear with DirecTV (having been with DISH for 3 years):  DirecTV is not targeting a sophisticated customer base, their target market seems to be the lower-end consumer. If this is not the case, how can you justify that DirecTV thinks it is ‘OK’ to tell a customer that 8 seconds to go from one channel to another is acceptable?

#63. This guy CONFIRMED that their installers turn off Dolby, even if they know you have a surround sound system, because Dolby only works with the HD channels. See ‘no audio’ problems in the prior posts, e.g., #57.

#64. When I asked him, this guy told me that the green‘ and ‘blue‘ buttons on the remote permit be to jump 12 hours ahead or back on the guide. Yes, they do that, but so do the << and >> buttons on the top and that is what the legend at the bottom of the guide tells you to use. So these buttons are just taking up space on the controller, as I had suspected.

#65. Got an e-mail today from DirecTV, yet again welcoming me (and that irks me because I hate them so) … with 2 tips on how to get the best from the Genie. The first tip was that I can use the ‘yellow’ button to get to PIP. I tried it. ‘Yellow‘ button just duplicates the INFO button which is more or less right next to it. So that is another scam.


Reasons 56 To 60 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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This afternoon, at 12:43 pm, with no notification from e-mail, my cell phone rings and it is a ‘Problem Resolution Specialist’ (with a middle eastern voice) from DirecTV responding to my e-mail from yesterday (#55) that my remote control was not responding. All the following items have to do with this phone call that lasted 49 minutes and 15 seconds.

#56. He basically said right up front that the problem I was encountering was that the receiver, i.e., the Genie HR-34, was not responding fast enough to my click on the video. The first thing he wanted to do was to change my video resolution setting from Native = ON to OFF (essentially saying that Native = On was a mistake). I protested. I said that it was I, after some Web research that turned it on. He assured me that he was an expert, that he had 4 HD TVs at home and that Native =Off would ensure automatically that I always got the highest resolution per the program being broadcast. Reluctantly, I turned off Native. But, remember I am a pedantic old beggar, particularly so when it comes to most things technical. I now insisted that we test it out. I could tell from his voice that he was surprised. So I punched in 202 for CNN and checked the resolution 720p. That did not look good — in every sense of the word. He even got me to get up and check the lights at the front of the Genie. I didn’t know, since I had never bothered to look, that the Genie has 4 bright blue lights that indicates the current resolution being displayed. 720p. He then said, “well CNN only broadcasts in 720p” (and THIS after I had told him that I have had HD TVs since 1999). I knew that that wasn’t right. So I asked him to tell me a channel that would show that the Genie was displaying in 1080p or 1080i. While talking I tried the Boston Fox station. That usually transmits in highest possible resolution. Still 720p. He said try HBO on 501. Still 720p. I wasn’t giving up. I told him to give a channel that will display in 1080. He put me on hold. He came back. He was distressed. He had got it all wrong! CNN does transmit in 1080. I immediately went back and changed video resolution to Native = On. CNN immediately was displaying in 1080p. So was channel 25, Boston Fox. He was WRONG. He was dead wrong. So much for being a DirecTV Problem Resolution Specialist. he knew less about the box than I did, and I had only had it for 10 days. So, another black eye for DirecTV. After that point, this guy who had started off quite arrogantly was quite subdued. Yes, though I was polite I did, in my own inimitable way, make sure that he realized that he had been caught out — totally. So, much for DirecTV expertise.

#57.This guy CONFIRMED that the the ‘no sound’ with SD is a known problem — though if you go to the DirecTV Technical Support Forum you will see that DirecTV denies that!

#58. This guy CONFIRMED that the Genie Mini does not support PIP.

#59. This guy CONFIRMED that the Genie does not have a ‘jump to LIVE’ capability.

#60. And here was the BEST part. When I told him that I am sure that the Genie HR-34 was never tested, he said: ‘Oh, no. Me and a number of people that work here tested it for a number of months‘. Oh, dear. He wasn’t very savvy. DirecTV!