Thursday, November 21, 2013

DirecTV plays catch-up, expand live mobile viewing to outside the home

A quick look at the DirecTV app's reviews at the Google Play Store will show you that many are dissatisfied with the fact that most of the streaming capabilities require you to be on your home network. That is about to change -- though probably, not to the extent that customers want -- DirecTV said on Wednesday.

The press release says it all: Beginning on Nov. 21, DirecTV Everywhere will expand, greatly. As of Thursday, customers will have access to over 30 live TV out-of-home (OOH) streaming channels, including those such as HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, The Movie Channel, STARZ , ENCORE, Tennis Channel and Scripps Networks. No longer will folks be relegated to watching those only while on the same network.

The live TV channels will be available over WiFi or mobile Internet connections, but customers using cellular data should keep an eye on their usage, if they are not on an unlimited plan (caveat: the DirecTV press release did not mention cellular, but a Variety article did).

At the same time, in-home streaming will get a bump, too. DirecTV said it will have a new lineup of 100 live TV in-home streaming channels.

Tony Goncalves, senior vice president, Digital Entertainment Products for DirecTV said:
We've significantly expanded DIRECTV Everywhere to meet the needs of our customers who want a seamless and consistent way to access programming they want, across as many platforms as possible, without any restrictions.

We were the first provider to launch an out-of-home streaming service and will continue to work with partners to give our customers even more convenience, choice and value. It is essential that we align with our programing partners to ensure we can deliver high-quality content with the immediacy consumers expect.
To be honest, DirecTV is playing catch-up here. While the satellite provider has been pretty stagnant, in its on-the-go service, other providers have been increasing their mobile Internet-streaming options.

Just last month, Comcast rebranded its mobile-video app as Xfinity TV Go, and now allows subscribers to watch 35 live cable channels on mobile devices. Notably, Comcast's service restrict usage to being over WiFi.

It doesn't appear, though, that the new service will allow customers to stream their DVR recordings, at least not without the DirecTV GenieGo add-on.

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