Sunday, 09 October 2005

Sounds like tomorrow will be the day DirecTV announces their own branded and created PVR/satellite receiver combo unit, thereby leaving TiVo behind as their PVR enabler. Subscribers who already own DirecTiVo devices don't need to worry (they'll keep working), and it sounds like customers of the company may still be able to order TiVo-enabled receivers if they specifically ask for them (TiVo's the only option for recording DirecTV's HD programming, although there's not a whole lot of HD channels available, even nowadays... Can someone bring back VOOM?).

From "DirecTV's standard DVR, originally set to be released this past June, will be introduced in late October, and another model featuring high-definition service will be introduced in mid-2006. The standard DVR will feature up to 100 hours of recordable space, compared with TiVo's 70 hours."

DirecTV will be spending some $30 million promoting their new PVR. I hope it's better than the crippled DirecTiVo units, but I'm not holding my breath. Mostly I just want one company to give me a really good, solid reason to fire DishNetwork as my service provider.

How to do that? Well here's a start:

  • Receive and record HD programming. Including locals over the satellite. Seriously. I live just outside the range where I can receive OTA locals, and you already provide the standard def signal. Help a guy out, here.
  • Record by program name and subscriptions to record all episodes of a program (like the season pass). Dish promised this on the HD PVR receiver I have, then didn't deliver. Ugh.
  • Longer Live-TV replay/pause buffer (I hear rumor the new DTV receiver will have this feature)
  • Give me native MediaCenter PC compatibility, damn it - I'm sick and tired of these won't-work-together, closed systems. It freakin' sucks dealing with virtual brick walls between all my technology devices, and I don't like it enough to where I won't buy unless you fix this problem.

But I don't want to switch from one inadequate provider to another. You have to convince me for real this time. In this market space, the historically slow-moving development and general mediocrity of it all is rather - uhhh - underwhelming. Someone "wow" me - please...

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