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If I Could Change One Thing About Every Major Streaming Service It Would Be…

It is always fun to think what if I was in charge and could do anything I want. If I ran Netflix I would do… If I was in charge of Sling I would…

Today I am going to take a moment to do just that; however, I am not going to go all crazy. My goal here is to list one thing I would change about each service that would make the service better. Now I could list multiple ways to improve every service, but I am only going to list the one I think would be most beneficial.

So here is how I would improve cord cutting….

Sling TV

If I could do anything to make Sling TV better it would be to add a traditional channel guide. I know Sling TV has the most subscribers of any live TV streaming service, but the number one complaint I hear is that the guide pushes people away. I often hear the number 1 reason people did not go with Sling TV is the guide after not having a channel they want. Now I would still keep the current guide I would just add a second option.

People are creatures of habit and, well, the new guide is innovative and I enjoy it, but I would also add the ability to have a traditional guide if that is what you are comfortable with.

PlayStation Vue

This one was easy. I would immediately change the name to Vue TV. I cannot tell you how many times I have talked to someone about PlayStation Vue to have them say, “but I don’t have a PlayStation…”

The PlayStation Vue name has easily cost Sony many subscriptions. It’s so bad that recently Sony started an ad campaign to inform potential subscribers that PlayStation Vue works on other devices.

If Sony would change the name it would quickly see a jump in subscribers.

DIRECTV NOW

Currently DIRECTV NOW is the only live TV streaming service without a DVR. Although adding Roku support would also help, the lack of the DVR is the main holdup for many. When comparing services, the lack of DVR stands out and holds DIRECTV NOW back.

Netflix

This was a tough one because there are many things I would change but at the same time it’s a great service. If I had to pick one thing to change at Netflix it would be the new rating system. The new thumbs up and thumbs down feature seems to be more about promoting Netflix originals than helping people find what they would like.

I understand that Netflix wants to push its originals, but it seems to be hurting people’s ability to find what they want. There is a balance here, and Netflix is going too far to push its own shows often ones that its viewers don’t want to see.

Amazon Prime Video

I love Amazon Prime, but it can be confusing at times. Amazon needs to do a better job of explaining and breaking out its Prime content. I often hear from new Prime subscribers that they don’t understand why they still need to pay for movies and TV shows.

This is a failure on Amazon’s part to explain how the service works and make it easy to find Prime content. While on the website it is fairly easy to understand, on many of its apps and the Fire TV Amazon could do a better job of breaking out the Prime content from the paid content.

Amazon has a huge library of free content available with Prime, it is just hard to find it if you don’t know where to look.

Hulu

Now I love where Hulu is going. It has made huge improvements to its service recently from more content to the live TV option; however, I don’t think its new app is helping it. Hulu seems to really want to rely on the idea that it can predict what you want to watch; however, Hulu still should make it easier to quickly find a channel you want to watch.

So much of live TV is just wanting to see what is on ESPN tonight. A lot of it is not about finding one show but just finding something to be on. The issue with Hulu is how buried the ability to find a channel is in the Hulu menu. I do love a lot of features of the new app but I think there is room for improvement.

Making a quicker way to find the channels you want would make Hulu more welcoming.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV has many major issues that I would love to address. I almost went with its limited roll out in only a handful of markets. That is allowing its competitors to build up a huge market share before YouTube is even available.

However, the limited device support is a bigger issue. YouTube TV’s app is currently only available on mobile devices. From there you have to use Chromecast or AirPlay to watch it on your big screen TV.

Yes, mobile video is a growing market; however, I don’t think Americans are ready to throw out their brand-new 4K TVs and watch everything on their phones and tablets. The lack of support for Roku, Fire TV, and even an official Android TV app is a serious limitation.

That is my list. What would you change if you could change one thing about any service? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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25 Responses to If I Could Change One Thing About Every Major Streaming Service It Would Be…

  1. Avatar
    Richard smith May 26, 2017 at 7:35 am #

    With the growing popularity of OTT, I would like to see channels numbered and devices come with number pads

  2. Avatar
    indierokin May 26, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    we’re going to need to see a streamlined incorporation of networks’ external apps since thats what these networks are pushing. thats going to provide the modular integration that people are looking for going forward.

    Sling needs the ability to start playing live tv on startup – like the other services – as opposed to starting up into a menu. also a PIP feature when browsing the main menus would be nice. i dont like losing sight of what i’m currently watching if i want to scan whats in my dvr or browse shows i’ve favorited. the other services are doing this already.

    all services need better integration of live tv via antenna. AirTV has somewhat of a nice integration, but its still a bit clunky with just dumping the channels at the end of the guide and not integrating them in with everything else. 90% of the cord cutting market doesn’t have local channel availability VIA their CC service and need to go elsewhere to pull that content in. these providers need better support for that 90% without everyone needing to purchase a separate few-hundred-dollar device.

    all of the services need better functionality for allowing people to customize and prioritize their own content. everyone is different and wants to see different stuff on their screens. modularity and customization should be second to none here. allowing me to create/order/reorder screens and menus to provide particular content i want to watch – visible in a format i want to see it in – should be a highlight of these products. instead, its as non-existent as my cable box was. channels are dumped in long scrolling lists in no particular order that is cumbersome to scroll through to find content you want. in particular, with Sling, i get tired of scrolling past a long list of channels i don’t watch just because that’s where Sling put them and that’s where they have to be.

    finally, i know that all of these requests aren’t just on the content providers, but also on the device manufacturers. Sling can’t provide said modularity if Apple TV or Roku can’t accommodate it. The last thing anyone wants is a separate piece of hardware with the ‘optimized interface’ for each service they may want to try. These services need better partnership with these device manufacturers, standardization of all interfaces, and they need to cut off this growing fragmentation before it snowballs. You see the mess it created with Android over the years, which is slowly being addressed. We don’t need to immediately fly down that path with cord cutting services. Sadly, i think this is going to get FAR worse now that major ISPs and TV providers are about to dominate this market.

    i could go on for days. but thats a start. just my opinions. ymmv.

  3. Avatar
    mr Dave May 26, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    The biggest change I would make with Netflixs is allow us to mark shows as “seen” and “not interested” so they don’t keep showing up in our Queues. Right now it’s a chore every time you want to find something good to watch.

    As for SlingTV the biggest change I would make is to allow the user to organize the channels. I could group channels for me and for the kids and put things I don’t want at the end or delete them.

    • Avatar
      Gerry Allen May 26, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

      The My Channels function in Sling TV supports a customized channel lineup.

  4. Avatar
    AstroMonster May 26, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    I could care less what Sling TV does, as far as the other services.

    DirecTV Now: A DVR would be the main thing I would look to add to it for mass appeal. For me personally, adding CBS and CSN Philly is actually more important.

    Playstation Vue: Revamping the guide..the guide on FTV is clunky, and non-existent on Roku. They need a new guide that works the same away across all the platforms.

    FuboTV: Improve the stream quality. Too many times you can see it step down, the same way Sling TV does.

    YouTubeTV: Get support for set top boxes like FTV, ATV, or Roku….they gotta be available SOMEWHERE besides mobile

    Amazon Prime Video: Stop rotating what is prime and what isn’t. One day a show you added is Prime, next day it isn’t and they want to charge you.

    Netflix: Add more older shows

  5. Avatar
    FranchisePlayer May 26, 2017 at 11:36 am #

    I think for any of them, a standard guide would be good. At least give users the option to have a carousel or some other “modern” UI and then a guide in a standard grid. Maybe a couple of guide options tailored to the person watching. Label them “Youngster, Millennial, and Old Fart”

    For DirectTV Now, I’d like the option to have categories (Sports, News, Drama, etc) so I can quickly filter to those channels. While the favorite channels helps, sometimes I only want to look at sports channels to see what games are on at that moment. If you could create multiple favorite lists that you could label, that might work too. Kinda like how Netflix identifies each user that logs into the service.

    I’d also like to have the option to decrease the opacity of the guide. It’s nice to see the content behind the guide but it’s a little too light. If it could be a little darker, the contrast would be higher so the guide would be easier to see.

    A DVR option would be nice too but personally, I probably wouldn’t use it much.

    Totally agree about Amazon Prime. It’s a crapshoot.

    I suspect these also vary based on the streaming device. For Roku, I recall PSVue wasn’t very good. I’ve not used it on Fire TV but I’ve read that it’s a little different. Netflix and Hulu look the same regardless of device and ideally that should hold true for DirectTV now, PSVue, etc.

    It would be nice if Netflix didn’t drop shows or at least kept them longer. This is probably a licensing issue but if we’re wishing. And if you have a series, have all seasons. (again, probably a licensing issue)

    For Hulu, the only thing that really bugs me is not having all seasons of a show. That’s not the case for all shows, only the ones I seem to want to watch. Like mentioned in the article, it’s sometimes a bit more effort to find what you want (compared to Netflix and Amazon) but when I do find it, I sometimes want to see older episodes which are not always listed. I’m not a fan of the Live TV that just launched and it would be nice if it were available on more devices.

    Perhaps the services that are trying too hard to make the slickest UI are really trying to get you to stay within the app, kinda like how grocery stores change the location of items so you stay in the store longer.

    • Avatar
      Todd May 26, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

      I agree with you for all of that, but especially on the guide thing. I would probably add a fourth category though, making it, “Youngster, Millennial, Old Fart, and Get Off My Lawn” just so I can put myself in that last group.

    • Avatar
      Gerry Allen May 26, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

      Cannot agree about Amazon Prime. The selection for Prime video only is easy to find and use.

  6. Avatar
    Colton May 26, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    A million times yes with Amazon. I have had prime for years, but every time I go to the video area everything that I click on says it cost money. I end up giving up after a while. If Amazon could make its free content more “in your face” I would be more inclined to browse their content and watch it.

    • Avatar
      AstroMonster May 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

      You can choose to view only Prime material, both with their app and also on the Fire TV. I think the app is actually easier to change to view Prime only, personally

      • Avatar
        Bellingerent May 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

        I’ve come across that feature before…and can’t find it whatsoever on the app. Again, Amazon is a poorly sorted nightmare.

        I highly recommend having a queue since you can at least just add a lot of Prime movies and shows that you are interested in…then you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking around for Prime content.

        • Avatar
          AstroMonster May 26, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

          Should be in the top right corner

        • Avatar
          Gerry Allen May 26, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

          Is in the top right corner on Fire TV.

        • Avatar
          Diane U May 26, 2017 at 7:24 pm #

          Add to your watchlist.

      • Avatar
        BierKerl May 26, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

        I agree that the interface should be much easier to use and search, but I’ve never had a problem choosing the option “show included with Prime only”.

  7. Avatar
    Michael van Olden May 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

    App interface design is my biggest gripe…

    In my opinion,, EVERY service should have a ‘SIMPLE VIEWING’ option in addition to their regular GUI design. The “simple gui” would simply rotate through the live channels in the same way the old tv remotes used to work with the Channel UP and Down buttons. Nothing else. No sub-menus or scrolling this-or-that. Just a NEXT and PREVIOUS channel button to surf through the channels like traditional tv. Senior citizens and children would benefit tremendously from this.

  8. Avatar
    Bellingerent May 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    Amazon is definitely poorly sorted content-wise on their apps. For example, we subscribed to Showtime this weekend for Twin Peaks. The night before I was able to scroll through the Showtime stuff on the app and see the live television feeds…the next day, it was literally impossible to find on the App. Really, really poor categorization on their part.

  9. Avatar
    KFC Owens May 26, 2017 at 7:38 pm #

    Hulu menu is awful.

  10. Avatar
    BrianH1972 May 26, 2017 at 9:25 pm #

    Add ROOT Sports!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Avatar
    Carol Benedict May 26, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    I’ve never had a problem with Amazon prime I’ve used it on Roku and the fire stick. There is a prime only option.

  12. Avatar
    Jeff Hershberger May 26, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    On any of the OTT TV providers I want a traditional guide and a DVR that pretty much emulates what I had with DirecTV satellite service, but running on Roku. End of request list.

  13. Avatar
    Camille M May 27, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    I agree with your want for Sling TV. The current guide looks nice but it takes too much time to scroll along with thumbnails having to load. A traditional vertical text guide as an option, with on-demand choices becoming available when you select a channel, would be great.

    I’d also like for Sling to have individual user profiles, and the ability to set the My Channels’ filter as a default.

  14. Avatar
    Renee Besta May 30, 2017 at 1:08 am #

    Regarding Netflix: Yes, I wish they’d return to the old one-to-five star ratings, instead of the thumbs up or down. Doesn’t give you much information on the quality of a given title.

    But my biggest gripe about Netflix on the Roku is the terribly annoying feature that automatically plays any title you select. You can’t turn that hideous feature off.

    I don’t want a title to play when selecting it, I just want more information on the movie or series. I think this only happens with Netflix on Roku, not other platforms.

  15. Avatar
    Ib June 3, 2017 at 5:33 am #

    Yes, Netflix should bring back ratings, their new system sucks, I rarely bother watching their new stuff anymore, when there’s no peer review, I have to start googling titles, makes me consider shifting to another service, I really miss the ability to sort by ratings when in a subcategory.