DirecTV Opens Multiroom Viewing Beta

Earlier this week, DirecTV expanded their previously private whole-home DVR viewing pilot into an opt-in open beta. DirecTV’s rendition of multi-room viewing is similar to most – stream recorded content from a HD DVR to any other HD DVR or receiver around the home via a unified or filtered playlist. Additionally, you’ll be able to schedule recordings or delete programming from any receiver. In addition to having received the appropriate software update, you’ll also need to have networked your HD DVRs (models HR20-23) or receivers (models H21-23). In this case, on your own via Ethernet or via a DirecTV-purchased powerline or MoCA solution. Unlike most whole-home DVR solutions, once launched from beta, DirecTV will charge for this functionality. Something unseen since the days long ago that TiVo sold a Home Media Option. For more details, including hands-on experiences, check out DBSTalk. In addition to an active, evolving thread, they’ve also put together a PDF (mirrored below) covering the multi-room service with pics.

It’ll be interesting to see if the upcoming DirecTV TiVo solution will support multi-room viewing at launch. (Or at all.) Related, I’d like TiVo to launch a more modern, sophisticated MRV within their retail product line to the replace simplistic show copying (often prohibited by one’s cable provider).

(via Multimedia-PCs)

14 thoughts on “DirecTV Opens Multiroom Viewing Beta”

  1. I have a picture of DirecTV’s existing powerline solution and link too. However, it’s buried in Yahoo Mail and search is NOT working at all today. Sigh. I’ll soon be on Gmail full-time, I’m thinking.

  2. Charging for it is a bit of an issue for me. We already pay a premium for the advanced technology hardware, plus addtional fees for extra receivers (of which you need at least one extra to do any sharing anyway) and DVR functionality.

    So most people have paid at least $100 extra up front for HD DVRS ($100 per unit, and a lot of people have more than 1), plus at least $10 per month in extra receiver & DVR fees. (And I think those fees are going up this winter.)

    And the MoCA hardware they offer is not cheap, from what I understand.

  3. @Todd, yes you’d need a STB at each end, although I believe you only need one DVR. The viewing end can be a receiver without DVR functionality; it’ll still play the streaming from the DVR unit.

    The irony with that setup is you still pay the same flat DVR fee per account if you have 1 or 8 DVRs. And you still pay the extra receiver fee whether it’s a DVR unit or not. So you don’t save any money on fees bypassing the DVR, although you do save on any upfront cost–usually $99–for acquiring the DVR.

    BTW, how does the U-Verse support multiple TVs from one STB? I’m not familiar with that.

  4. Hm, you’re right. I recall there was a higher tier that included the Media Manager software and MRV. (Guess I’m in need of more caffeine here at the SBUX.) Unfortunately, FiOS seems to be raising the rates across the board.

  5. I’ve been using this a while now, it works pretty well, I just have the netgear powerline HD units in the house, but the two DVR’s are not too far apart, but I get about 50mb to each one fine.

  6. Yeah sorry but charging for this utterly mundane missing function is utterly lame. I mean let me get this straight I can stream DLNA content from computer across my network to my DVR for free. I can stream from my DVR to my computers for free… But I have to be charged to stream from one DVR to another, which in any intelligent device they should to naturally (as well as space share and schedule manage)?
    Hey here is a thought how about I just torrent stuff and stream it for free instead? Oh yeah the DLNA implementation sucks (no tricks) but it beats a addhock f-you charge.
    They need to take the MBA who insisted this was a good idea out and beat him with a lead pipe. Then direct tv can get back to adding value to reduce churn and enhance customer sat which (as a stock holder, I must insist) is what they should be dong.

  7. Todd- U-verse still requires set-tops in other rooms, just not DVRs everywhere to network the video.

    “Total home DVR functionality available for up to eight TVs and *requires a receiver* for each additional TV at $7 per month each.”

  8. @Ben – the FiOS Home Media DVR is $19.99/month while regular DVR (HD/SD) is $15.99. The only difference between the two is the HM software and $4.

  9. When the MRV (multi room viewing) comes out completely to all regions the charge is very small compared to the technology and abilities you are going to be given. The charge is going to be a simple $3. And that includes viewing from your PC to you DVR, from DVR to DVR, and any other way you can think of. You will not have the ability to do this with out a professional Direct TV technician installing it and installing all the right equipment. It is a very meticulous process, but also i think it is definitely worth the very small inexpensive $3. Also to add you do not have to pay for each piece of equipment on every receiver. There will be a one time charge for the euipment and installation. Personally i recommend this MRV system to everyone.

  10. I work for Directv as an installer, and I can’t wait to install this system in my place. Let alone all the very happy customers houses. This is going to be very COOL!!!!!!!!!

  11. im a service tech for dtv and its not perfected and the h24 and hr 24 have problems with the built in deca it needs not to be limited to one tv thats stuped

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