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I still think this service may be ideal for some people. You can get an Apple TV for $105 and get three months of DIRECTV NOW, with HBO. That’s a pretty good deal, just for the Apple TV alone.

DIRECTV NOW will probably get better, but I can’t guarantee it. In my experience, don’t buy into a product, waiting for it to get better. Sometimes it actually gets worse. Sometimes it stays the same. The fact that, one month after it launched, it still has serious defects is a bad omen. The good thing is subscriptions are month to month, with the exception of the Apple TV deal. Apart from getting free hardware, I advise not signing up for any long-term DIRECTV NOW contract. I do strongly recommend signing up for the free trial. After all, it’s free, and even if it’s bad, you’re not paying for it. I plan on trying it out again, only if they offer me another free trial.

I wouldn’t spend $35 on DIRECTV NOW, not even for just one month. There’s just too many bugs and heavy-handed rules. If you already have digital cable with a DVR, you’re better off sticking with it. It may cost more, but there are some amazing bundles.

For me, both cable and DIRECTV NOW are unappealing. By cutting the cord, I save more than enough money to subscribe to services like Netflix, HBO NOW and Hulu. I can purchase content a la carte with iTunes and Google Play. I dislike channel surfing. I don’t have time for bad TV, which is exactly why I cancelled cable. If you like cable, keep it. DIRECTV NOW is no substitute.

The technology to provide cable over the Internet has been available for over a decade. Unfortunately, the industry has decided to renegotiate and reinvent the experience to their benefit. This is beyond the necessity of advertising. Networks are playing hardball and blacking out channels and content. But with DIRECTV NOW, even the technology is all wrong. Beyond the intentional hobbling of interactivity, they have managed to release a product plagued with defects. Perhaps in time it will get better, but corporate greed seems to be increasing exponentially. If the concept of a library was pitched today, it would be shot down in boardrooms everywhere. “What? You’re going to let people borrow books? For free?” In this case, the greed results in a product that’s simply inferior to cable with incomplete channel lineups, blacked out programming and unreliable performance.

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