New DirecTV TiVo Beta Underway?

Dave Zatz —  September 23, 2010

In case you didn’t believe a new DirecTV TiVo is really under development, check out these purported beta invitation and rejection email messages:

Thank you for your interest in TiVo’s beta programs. We’d like to invite you to join the Field Trials Team in beta testing hardware provided to you by TiVo. To participate you should be:

  • Available to test between now and January, 2011.
  • Willing to endure potential bugs, even with existing functionality – and report them in a timely manner.
  • Willing to complete weekly homework assignments.
  • Willing to share your experiences with others in our beta forums.

Thank you for taking the time to sign-up for our DirecTV/TiVo beta program.  The response to this beta invitation was much greater than what we had expected. We’ve now completed our recruitment for this trial and you have not been selected to participate at this time due to the limited amount of space available in this trial.

While we know Technicolor/Thompson hardware has been selected for DirecTV’s new TiVo offering, the image above is merely my artistic rendering. But what we we still don’t know is when the elusive new DVR will hit. And, for comparison purposes, it seems that the retail Premiere was in broad beta testing for maybe 6 months prior to release. The renewed DirecTV TiVo relationship, established in 2008, was intended to bare fruit in 2009… yet we’ve obviously eclipsed that target. Their current goal is late 2010, but I’d say we’re more likely looking at 2011. What’s your wager?

10 responses to New DirecTV TiVo Beta Underway?

  1. At this point, 2011. And Tom Rogers kind of hinted at that in the last call when he said they really wanted to get it our this year but it might slip to early 2011. I think he was breaking the news gently so they could say they warned of it later. But I don’t think it is all TiVo – this is a DirecTV product and project with TiVo as the software vendor and Thompson as the hardware vendor, so we really don’t know where any delays come from.

  2. I would definitely say the delays are on TiVo, but my guess is it might stem from them trying to implement the interactive Directv features and Deca. I would say if they could have just released it without those features and added some of them later we would have seen it by now especially since it is based off the HD versus the Premiere. Of course there are rumors it might be a UI specific to Directv. Either way it is good to know we might see it eventually for those who won’t leave Directv.

  3. Yes, it could be software development delays, which are on TiVo’s side, but if they’re due to creeping featurism then the blame would be on DirecTV as they decide what goes in there. If they decided to add more features along the way, of course that would add more development time. But it is all speculation anyway. :-)

  4. Tom Rogers stated twice during TiVo’s Aug 25th CC that they, “As to the DIRECTV box that we are developing, it’s something that we hope to be able to push out late this year. We continually hear, as DIRECTV does, from current and former TiVo subscribers through DIRECTV that they want the new HD box. We believe the demand is strong particularly among existing and former TiVo subscribers. There are a good 1.5 million or so DIRECTV subscribers who are former TiVo subscribers just to give you some sense of the number of people that have been exposed to TiVo through DIRECTV in the past. So, we are believing it will be a strong offering, once we’re able to get it out.”

  5. Who is coding this stuff at Tivo? Just get the damn thing out for the holidays (and Bowl Games)!

  6. I wonder if it’ll be a real TiVo (like the original DirecTiVos of almost 10 years ago) or if it’ll just be the current set top box with a new skin (which is what the Comcast TiVo turned out to be).

  7. According to two folks, the original outreach said the beta would run through January, 2011. Making a 2010 launch all the more unlikely. I’ve updated the post.

  8. I just moved and had a Multiroom DirecTV installed. It seems to work pretty well so far. Will this Tivo DVR integrate with the current Multiroom DECA setup? I’m guessing that it will not be a simple software download into existing HR-24’s?

    Anyone know if it will be based on the new Tivo Premiere UI, or the old S3/HD?

  9. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about the beta! I mean come ON, how many lists have I been on over the past 11 years testing TIVOS!

  10. Anonymous Coward February 14, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Here’s a scary thought: Duke Nukem Forever will be out first.