DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket Service Review on PlayStation 4

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DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket service celebrates 20 years with a new service called “Fantasy Zone” that compliments the well established “Red Zone” service for subscribers and non-subscribers. In the 10-year old “Red Zone” viewers get live, commercial-free coverage that automatically switches to another game when a team is in scoring position or an important event is happening.

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DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket gaming console package is now available for the PlayStation 4 (approximately 54 MB hard drive space), PlayStation 3 (approx. 9.2 MB), Xbox 360 and Xbox One, which was appropriately announced initially the same day that Madden NFL 15 released.

The Hype

The NFL Sunday Ticket app will be free to download from PlayStation Store for PS4 and PS3. All existing DIRECTV subscribers who have the NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX plan will be able to live stream every out-of-market NFL football game every Sunday afternoon this regular season in full HD.

Existing NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX subscribers will also have access to DIRECTV’S RED ZONE CHANNEL at no additional charge.

If you don’t have access to DIRECTV, you can live stream every out-of-market NFL football game this season on your PS4 or PS3 by getting NFL SUNDAY TICKET.TV MAX ($329.99) or NFL SUNDAY TICKET.TV CONSOLE ($239.99).

DIRECTV continues to step up its game for legions of fantasy football players across the country with the DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE channel, a live fantasy football show available exclusively to NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX subscribers every Sunday afternoon during the coming NFL regular season.

Included in the NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX package, which new DIRECTV customers receive at no extra charge in their first year, DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE further enhances the NFL SUNDAY TICKET experience. The exclusive DIRECTV package is the only way to watch every out-of-market game, every Sunday afternoon – all in HD, on TV, the computer, smart phone or tablet. For more information on NFL SUNDAY TICKET offers visit www.DIRECTV.com/nfl.

The Reality

It’s like having season tickets to your favorite NFL home team using the PlayStation 4 NFL Sunday Ticket app, but before that, an important note – make sure your internet connection is in the best shape possible before installing this free app from the PlayStation Store. Beginning technical service snafus were quickly quelled this year. With a mediocre connection speed, I got three beginning error dialog boxes, but quickly selected OK and then selected “Watch Game” from the left side menu panel and was good to go. No problems after the very beginning at all. This service has a separate login, so don’t forget your password. 

Live, commercial-free coverage is the focus here as the service feeds from CBS and Fox Sunday broadcasts. This PS4 service features live streaming video, highlights, statistics, and schedules. No contract or satellite dish is required. No cable TV? This is a viable option, but patience and long-term perspectives are definite virtues.

Price point is an important consideration as this service costs nearly $100 more than the console itself. The fee is $239.99 ($59.99 every month for 4 months) or approximately $14.12 a week. The automatic switches work great for house parties. Remote control couch commandos can now rest their fingers and enjoy their guests and the whole social experience more, which can easily reflect a traditional stadium game experience.

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Viewers can enjoy this service in full High Definition (HD) for as many as 14 out-of-market games every Sunday during the 17-week regular season (no NBC Sunday night games, no ESPN Monday night game or NFL Network/CBS Thursday night games). The RZC usually starts and ends five to ten minutes before and after the NFL games. Commercials for the service, usually featuring Deion Sanders appear at any other time. The first games begin with a 1 p.m. EST start and the late games usually end usually around 7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. EST unless they go into overtime).

Host Andrew Siciliano continues hosting the “Red Zone” with his usual expertise in multitasking and natural persona. Siciliano even answers Twitter messages live during the broadcast and gives games their due by not drowning viewers in mindless chatter the entire time.

The “Fantasy Zone” (DirecTV channel 704 right next to Red Zone) features key player updates and comprehensive statistics. The quartet of hosts are former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, fantasy football expert John Hansen, and acclaimed orthopedic surgeon and former offensive lineman for the 1991 Super Bowl-winning Washington Redskins Dr. Mark Adickes and Rotoworld/NBC Sports’ Kay Adams. The “Fantasy Zone” also has celebrity guest hosts, a live studio audience and in-studio chef for food features all in a New York City studio. It’s a fun format that works well and always has a unique hosting spin with the rotating celebrities.

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After ten years, The Red Zone is running well and even expands to three games at once on occasion. The bottom stats tickets helps viewers still keep track of player stats in order of a convenient real-time, top 10 ranking in major positions (QB, WR, RB, etc.).

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Viewers can also now follow their NFL.com fantasy players in real-time through the service. NFL.com fantasy players need to have an account to use the convenient tracking service that posts real-time results on every starting fantasy team player you pick…and even the ones you maybe wish you did if you want to put yourself through that torture.

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Just navigate through menu pages using the arrow/directional buttons and select using the X button. The tabbed panel menus are very helpful and simplistic. Just pick your team…

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…then choose from the current roster of available players, which was updated and accurate. The text is even big enough for users to easily view the players when using the PlayStation Vita as a second screen device when others (maybe non-football fans) want to use the television.

As the price goes down, the quality continually rises so users can enjoy getting back into NFL games this season on modern gaming consoles with great confidence.

DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket Service for gaming consoles (2014)

MSRP: $239.99 (PlayStation Store…XBox Live for Xbox One and 360 versions)

What I Like: Fantasy Zone addition adds great variety, Andrew Siciliano’s Red Zone multitasking host duties, service speed improvements (even with my mediocre internet connection capabilities), NFL.com fantasy tracking/statistic capabilities, commercial free, no contract required, viable sports option without paying for satellite/cable.

What Needs Improvement: now rare streaming latency (after a slightly inconvenient beginning)

Source: Reviewer service provided by publisher

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