DirectTV is not always an ideal solution for sports addicts, but it was reasonable in our case. You could get various packages, including the ACC Network and the various ESPN entities.
However, it had some basic problems. First was the tendency to start a broadcast on ESPN news and switch over to ESPN proper when the 7:00 game (or whatever game) inevitably ran over the first half of the damn game you actually were there to watch. It also ruined the ability to record a game since it started on one network and ended on another.
Seems like a relatively easy thing to fix, given ESPN’s vast resources, not to mention DirecTV’s, but it never ended.
As it turned out, DirecTV ended it for us when they would not remount a dish after some roof work and it could not work on a pole at that particular location (despite that deal breaker, they keep asking to be renewed).
Via a phone compan, we had a free deal for the Disney Bundle for a time and that meant at least some access to ESPN’s streaming service.
However, for whatever reason, ESPN consistently started games late or else simply couldn’t make the feed work. These things happened nearly every game. Why? Disney/ESPN is a tech powerhouse. How hard could it be to make that work consistently?
So with DirecTV out of the way, what to do?
So we gave YouTube TV a shot. And with a couple of issues, it’s been surprisingly good.
Essentially it’s a cable bundle - bad - but without a cable company - very good.
Very, very good actually.
There was no install and it’s been rock solid for the most part.
The games are set to record and the files seem to be complete. We haven’t come across the problem that ESPN News presents where you only get one half - at least not so far.
However, there are two flaws to YouTube that take some getting used to.
The first is that if you touch the screen with your mouse - obviously on a computer, not a TV - the screen tends to scroll up and you have to start over again, which means finding the game and going through the process a second time to start it.
Minor but irritating, and in a tight game? Deeply annoying.
The other problem is that, unlike say Netflix, you can’t pause the DVR and come back to the same spot later.
It defaults to the beginning.
Otherwise though, it’s an entirely acceptable service. You’d want to have decent broadband obviously, but if you do, it’s a nice way to get basketball. And there’s no contract so you can watch from October through April and then shut it off if you want.
And there is no odious cable company to schedule to do anything.
Incidentally, this is not a paid post. DirecTV forced a change and this is where we went. It’s a decent solution so we thought we’d review it in case it is helpful.