Can’t you guys get it together?

It was great news earlier this year when Directv’s HindiDirect package added several new channels to the line-up, including another 24-hour news channel, two more NDTV channels (but, alas, not NDTV Imagine, which is the one I’d rather have) and, joy of joys, UTV Movies (all movies, all the time!).

Great, right?

Well, in theory, yes, except for one major glitch: whenever you hit the Guide button on your remote, if you’re trying to find out what’s on, or what’s coming up, on MTV India or UTV Movies – good luck!   Both channels’ schedules are routinely waaaaaaaaaay off, which, aside from being generally frustrating is also really annoying if you’re setting up your DVR to record.

One example: let’s say you see that MTV India is going to show the latest episode of their reality show Rock On! This past Saturday it was supposed to be on at 12:30pm, that is, at least according to the on-screen Directv guide.   In reality, they were broadcasting an episode of their Project Runway-type show Making the Cut.   No sign of Rock On! anywhere.   In the months since the series launched, I have so far managed to catch only one episode, and that was completely by accident.

Another example: you see in the guide that UTV Movies is going to screen Laawaris at 5pm on a Saturday, but you’re going to be out, so you set up the DVR to record from, say, 5pm to 8:30pm, adding that extra 30 minutes for good measure.   You come home Saturday night/Sunday morning and take a look at what taped, and guess what?   You got the last hour of Bhooth Uncle, and the first 2/3 of Laawaris, but not the whole thing.   At least here, unlike the MTV situation, the workaround is to set the DVR to tape a good extra hour or even 90 minutes, to allow for such mistakes.

But you know what?   That is not an acceptable solution, certainly not when I’m paying extra for this “service”.   Why should I have to keep making allowances and eat up all that precious space on my DVR because all your various departments and sub-departments can’t manage to synchronize the timings of what you broadcast with the on-screen guide?   It can’t be that hard.   After all, the three Star channels you offer are always spot on in terms of matching the on-screen guide to what actually gets broadcast.

I tried calling Directv customer service about this one day and, in essence, I was told “Sorry, we can’t do anything about those foreign channels.”   Undaunted, I also spoke to someone at the UTV offices here in the US and was also told “Sorry, that’s for Directv to sort out, not us.”

To add further salt to the wound, what shows up in the mail last week but this cute little glossy “programme guide”   (ha ha) from Directv for that same package of Hindi channels, touting its great international service and purporting to contain broadcast information for November and December.

Well, dear John A. De Armas, Vice President of WorldDirect, maybe you could set up a meeting with your Hindi channel team and your IT team and see if we could actually get the on-screen guides right.

Either that, or you could refund part of our monthly fees, since we’re not getting a complete or accurate service.   What say you?   I’ve been a loyal customer for a few years now and I think we all deserve better.

Comments

  1. 3

    says

    I have had the exact same problem with my Tata Sky+ connection, though thankfully this problem is restricted to a few channels only. I too record successive shows to avoid disappointment.

    I think even if the problem is due to TV channels not sticking to their pre-announced schedule, putting smarter software inside the s3t-top box can easily fix such issues. Hope somebody is listening …;

  2. 4

    Pri says

    For the first few months very movie on UTV used to be reliably one hour late. Not anymore though. And MTV might as well not have a guide.

  3. 5

    nic says

    I have had the exact same problem with my Tata Sky+ connection, though thankfully this problem is restricted to a few channels only. I too record successive shows to avoid disappointment.

    I think even if the problem is due to TV channels not sticking to their pre-announced schedule, putting smarter software inside the set-top box can easily fix such issues. Hope somebody is listening …

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