The best DirecTV DVR was the DirecTiVo, and that is no longer sold --- and we can likely thank Rupert Murdoch for some of that, as it was his desire after acquiring a controlling stake
in DirecTV to move to in-house DVRs. Now he's gone, but we still have the DirecTV DVRs. But for DirecTiVo lovers there is light at the end of the tunnel!
On Wednesday, DirecTV and TiVo announced they were making their on-again, off-again relationship on-again. Not that you couldn't still use an old DirecTiVo, but as we said, they weren't selling any new ones.
In the press release announcing the new DVR, Tom Rogers, TiVo's CEO and president said
"We have had a very successful history with DIRECTV. Together we brought the TiVo experience to millions of DIRECTV customers and now we look forward to launching a next generation product that uses TiVo's latest features to truly showcase DIRECTV's broad selection of high-definition programming -- all stitched together with the elegance of TiVo's renowned user experience. This agreement demonstrates our continued embrace of mass distribution opportunities in cooperation with major multichannel operators who recognize the value of giving their customers a choice of compelling user experiences."
According to the press release, it's a non-exclusive agreement. TiVo will continue to produce stand-alone players; DirecTV will continue to offer its own as well. But the new TiVo HD DVR will be an option for "those customers who would like to add TiVo to a full line up of DIRECTV services."
However, the new box will not debut until the second half of 2009 (ugh). And since DirecTV's HD broadcasts currently transmit in MPEG-4, which is fine for DirecTV's own DVRs, not so with the older DirecTivo, leaving a sparse number of HD programming for those users.
Thus, many (including ourselves) have moved on to DirecTV HD DVRs. In our case, it was a clumsy housekeeper; however, after about 8 months with a DirecTV HD DVR, we've gotten used to the darn thing. So have many, so who knows if 2009 will be too late.