It's been a while since I've bashed AT&T's DirecTV.
This doesn't mean that I like the crappy satellite television service any more than I did before, just that nothing additional that I detest about DirecTV has come to mind.
My previous frustrations still hold true. Local channels disappear regularly. The user interface sucks. DirecTV still doesn't carry the PAC-12 Networks.
Today I was able to add a fresh irritation: how astoundingly difficult it was to get back the internet connection on our Genie HR44 receiver.
I don't even know why we need an internet connection, since so far as I can tell, we've never used it. But it bugged me to see oft-repeated error messages pop up about the lack of an internet connection.
About three months ago we ditched our horribly slow CenturyLink DSL for much faster Starlink satellite broadband. (I'm a Starlink beta tester.) So that explains why our DirecTV receiver didn't have an internet connection.
I figured it would be simple to click on Menu, then Settings. And it was.
What happened after that was the frustrating part. No matter whether I clicked on a Reconnect option, or on the Internet Setup option, I couldn't find how to select our new Starlink wi-fi.
Well, I did see it once as I went around and around the confusing menu options, but couldn't locate it again.
DirecTV kept checking for an internet connection, not surprisingly couldn't find one, and then told me to check with my internet provider about the lack of a connection.
I kept thinking, "It shouldn't be anywhere near this damn difficult." After all, I'm knowledgeable about setting up wi-fi networks. I have no problem getting my computer, iPhone, and iPad on Starlink.
But DirecTV had a deeply unintuitive approach to reconnecting to the internet.
Which fits with the poorly designed menu system our receiver has generally, something I wrote about in "July 2018 DirecTV update changes user interface from bad to horrible."
Eventually I gave up and decided to call DirecTV support. That also turned out to be much more difficult than it should have been.
A support phone number isn't easy to find on the DirecTV web site. Eventually I found a number to call. That turned out to be a general AT&T support number.
I could barely understand the first person who answered my call. Eventually I conveyed that I had a DirecTV internet problem, not a different kind of AT&T problem. That led me to being transferred to someone else who still wasn't a DirecTV support person.
After being transferred a second time, I finally got someone who handled DirecTV internet problems. This time I ended up on a screen that showed an Ethernet connection, which I'd remembered encountering before.
The person I was talking with said, "Yes, you should be using an Ethernet cable." I told him that we'd never used one before. Then I noticed the option to set up a wireless connection, which I'd been looking for all that time.
After that, it didn't take long to get Starlink set up to be the wi-fi network for DirecTV. As I was doing this, I had to listen to the support person tell me some "great news."
That turned out to be an offer for AT&T to become the entity that takes care of all our computers, laptops, tablets, and such for an extra $12 or so a month. It took me a nanosecond to say, "No thanks."
The last thing I want is to have anything more to do with AT&T, since they've botched their ownership of DirecTV.