Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Direct TV's Player Tracker Sucks

The idea of Player Tracker is fantastic.  When you have NFL Sunday Ticket on Direct TV, you can input up to 18 players, and when those players do something (i.e. reception, rushing, touchdown), an alert will flash at the bottom of your television screen.  This is great for keeping track of who is doing what on your Fantasy Football team, because obviously you can't watch all the games at once.  (Well, actually, now you kind of can with Direct TV, since their Game Mix feature allows you to watch eight games at once.  Unfortunately, even on my 46" television, it's kind of hard to watch for long periods of time.)

So, what's the problem with this fabulous feature?  You have to be watching a game on one of the Direct TV HD channels in order for the alerts to work.  These are the 700 numbered channels (like 700-730 or something like that).  If you are watching a game on Fox or CBS, the alerts don't work.

You see -- and even Direct TV admits this on their web site -- if a national station, like CBS or Fox is airing a game, then Direct TV cannot show that game on one of the 700 channels.  It will not be there, even though from the guide it appears to be there.  So, if I'm watching a game on Fox or CBS (since I can't watch it on one of the Direct TV channels), no player alerts.  This is irritating, because usually I do like to watch the Bears game, which is always on Fox or CBS, since I live in Chicago.  I also usually get the Packers, Vikings, or Colts around here when the Bears aren't playing -- all teams I also like to watch. 

So, much of the time, I'm paying for NFL Sunday ticket even though I'm watching the game on Fox or CBS, and getting none of the perks about it, like say, the Player Alerts.  While I had a great time yesterday hopping around between the 8 game view and into the Denver, Steelers, and Bengals games, ultimately I really wanted to watch the Bears and the Colts, which were aired on Fox and CBS, respectively.  I questioned whether NFL Sunday ticket is worth the cost, and even despite all of this, it really is.  It's nice to know that I can watch whatever game I want to watch, depending on what is going on in my Fantasy league.  And I guess it's not such a hardship to just check my phone for my Fantasy player stats.

I just wonder why the alerts don't work when I'm tuned into Fox or CBS.  Given the technology today, you'd think they could manage to make it work. 

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