Used DirecTV Now since it was first release last year and it still feels like a product that is still in beta testing and requires constant troubleshooting. The current issue is with the DVR feature of DirecTV Now. The functionality is hit or miss and based on my troubleshooting, the problem is with the application or the online hosting.
The issue is with TV programs or movies that are available for viewing after they were recently aired live. The DVR feature is not reliable and it is not an issue with the internet service provider (tested on DSL, cable and fiber) or the hardware platform (tested on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android mobile devices and Apple iOS mobile devices) or the type of network connection (hardwired Enternet, WiFi and cellular connection). At least 25% of the time (more than 50% of the time for very popular shows or time periods of typically high viewership like prime time TV or sporting events), any show that is not live has issues. If the video stream even starts, within a few minutes the stream is interrupted and a error message is displayed. The message reports a connection problem and suggests exiting the desired show and reselecting the media stream. Each time the stream is started, the show starts over at the beginning and encounters another error within a few minutes.
Once again, this is a DirecTV Now issue since speed tests of the broadband or cellular connection exceeds 10 Mbps and ping results are always under 35 ms. In most cases, the download speed is over 100 Mbps and latency is under 20 ms. There is also no issues with other streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, Google, Xbox, Apple TV work fine). It has got to the point that if I miss a TV show, I depend more on the third app for that channel for playback because DirecTV Now’s DVR feature is too much of a hassle.
Selected DirecTV Now to only need single media solution, but it appears the family depends more on multiple third party services to consume the media content that was suppose to have been provided by the DirecTV Now service. Understand that this service is still experiencing growing pains, but it was not for the low cost of the service we would have cancelled months ago. Hope that AT&T and DirecTV can overcome these issues, but for a companies that ignore these ongoing problems (DVR, hosting bandwidth, app functionality, etc) it is only a matter of time before someone else provides a better and more reliable solution at the same price point.
It is very disappointing that if I miss a live show, it is easier to obtain the media from third party streaming apps or technically illegal sources then DirecTV Now.
There is no DVR feature (yet). Are you referring to on-demand or 72 Hour Rewind? (I personally have few problems with on-demand, but still have a lot with the Rewind feature.)
The dedicated on-demand services can better tune their content and protocols than the live services can, so that isn't quite apples to apples. Problems are almost never the bandwidth you have from your ISP. However, it is generally a complex path between the data source and you, and there can be assorted problems along the way. Also, there isn't a single source - all streaming video services (as far as I know) use distributed CDNs (content delivery networks), and some of the source nodes appear to have fewer problems than others. Also, as or more likely purely network issues are protocol choices and tuning (which is on DTVN) which can influence how error-prone a stream is, and how well it copes with and/or recovers from errors. The latter 2 of these (how good the CDN is and their protocol choices are likely why different customers have different experiences, and why some people have better experiences with some (live) streaming services than others.
Whether a "single source solution" is ever going to be practical if completely "view when wanted" is required isn't clear - none of the services will have very deep and broad on-demand libraries (sometimes for licensing reasons, sometimes for operational reasons, possibly for other reasons). The networks often limit the carriers' on-demand, and sometimes their own is limited by the licensing they have with the ultimate content providers or syndicators.
And your mention of the service's low cost points out what is certainly one of the issues - they are undoubtedly resource limited (both in developers and operationally) for budget reasons - but TANSTAAFL. If you want a fully featured and fully reliable service, you may need to pay more...
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever* *I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.