Updated DirecTV TiVo Timing?

Has the highly anticipated (new) DirecTiVo been delayed once again? Last we heard, from a TiVo SVP, the modernized DirecTV DVR was on track for an early 2011 launch… and anecdotally corroborated via beta testing recruitment. Yet a doubtful Twitter inquiry was met with this DirecTV response yesterday:

Details are still being determined, launch maybe in late 2011.

Now this could be the case of a well intentioned but misinformed tweet. Or it could indeed be another delay of the product originally slated for a 2009 release. I’ve got an email out to TiVo seeking clarification.

(via TiVoCommunity)

21 thoughts on “Updated DirecTV TiVo Timing?”

  1. Another delay, but yet it’s still the old UI – not an enhanced “Premiere” like interface like Virgin Media’s Tivo, or a pure Premiere like interface (see RCN, Suddenlink). No mention of integration with DirecTV’s current MRV over DECA solution.

    To me, this utters failure. The HR24 DVR’s from DirecTV have enough features, MRV and are supposedly getting an HD-GUI upgrade later this year. I’ll stick with what works, thank you very much.

  2. Dave, I would agree with your statement. I would justify a delay IF they did exactly what the Virgin Media UK Tivo is.

    It’s 2011 now… I think it’s time to move forward and stop dwelling on the old GUI. While functional for many, I think it’s old and tired. I thought the point of R&D was to create exciting, new and FRESH products to keep people wanting to upgrade and motivate customers to always want the next best thing.

    So here’s hoping for an overhaul on the project.

  3. “I’ve got an email out to TiVo seeking clarification.”

    Dave Zatz? Dave Zatz who? Oh, never mind. No comment!

  4. Ahem… I broke the story and now you all are stealing it without citing me. This went unnoticed for over a day until I posted about it on the Investor Village TiVo board… It looks like I am another victim of the liberal mainstream media. (ha ha)

  5. tivonomo, I have an email subscription to that particular thread on the TiVo Community which is how the news found its way to me. I don’t do much blogging or research during normal business hours… and why I missed the earlier IV threads. But, yes, I know you’re teasing. (:

    Jacmyoung, If/when I hear from them on this topic I fully expect a ‘no comment’ or ‘nothing to share at this time.’ Especially as they’ve made it clear to me in the past they won’t speak for partners and it’s DirecTV’s baby to drive marketing on. When the time comes.

  6. “Don’t hold your breath!” – This is Tivo’s new slogan.

    I’m so tired of Tivo. I have a 2 year old TivoHD, and it’s Netflix software is still almost unusable.

    Pandora is great, but it’s 5 buttons away from the home screen.

    The hi-def interface is slow and unstable. Same for You Tube.


  7. With all of DirecTVs new features I’m not sure the TiVo DVR will happen. Or if anyone would actually want it anymore. I use MRV with 3 HD DVRs. The experience is already the best I have used and they continue to add more.

  8. I really think the delays are due to DirecTV, and probably due to feature creep. That’s an educated guess, but they keep introducing features to their non-TiVo DVRs and I can see them saying “Oh, we need to add this to the DirecTiVo project too.” That and they’re integrating software from TiVo with hardware from Technicolor, which we’ve seen nothing of in any form so far. And evidence is that TiVo can do these projects a lot faster with partners who have their stuff together – see Virgin Media. As well as the Premiere-based offerings for RCN & Suddenlink. And the TiVo HD-based box for ANZ.

    If this were a Premiere-based DirecTiVo I think they would’ve had it out a long time ago. Either DirecTV is making demands on the software side well outside of what TiVo has done in the past, thereby requiring a lot more work, and/or there are delays with the new HW, holding to project up.

    At this point it feels like TiVo is as frustrated as the public is with this deal and the crap they’re catching for the delays, and are really focusing on the cable MSO deals – foreign and domestic – while DirecTV pulls their thumb out.

  9. It could be due to direcTV. Maybe they are having issues integrating DirecTV’s download on demand. What’s DirecTV’s rush if the TiVo can’t get on demand? No on demand = less revenue from those new release movies.

    BTW how’s that relationship with Comcast working out? ;-)

  10. Comcast keeps pumping money into TiVo for engineering services, so that aspect is going fine. The software they tried to roll out didn’t go so well – but it seems the issue there was more with the infrastructure than with TiVo. Now it sounds like Comcast is paying TiVo to do a full tru2way port (the existing version was for a ‘precursor to OCAP’) which may end up hitting newer, OCAP/tru2way-enabled STBs – which are a lot more powerful than the existing Motorola units they tried to cram the software on.

  11. Oh God, they’re still working on that Comcast thing? Seriously? OCAP/tru2way will be the death of them, I don’t care how much money Comcast is giving them…

    If Tivo really thinks they’re not a hardware company and instead think the future is in selling their software as a service or something they’re so misguided we might all be better off just turning off our Tivo’s now.

  12. TiVo’s future really isn’t as a HW company, HW is a low-margin business, if not a money *loser*. All of TiVo’s value is really in their software. In the short term they’re looking to place HW with MSOs like RCN & Suddenlink, but in the longer term they’re looking to partner with established HW vendors. Look at the deal with Virgin Media – Cisco makes the HW, and by all accounts it is quite nice.

    Working with vendors like Cisco means the box maker can make one platform that is used for both TiVo and non-TiVo applications. But is designed with TiVo in mind – and those non-TiVo applications become low-friction opportunities for TiVo to upsell.

    That was the idea with the Comcast software load, and it is a good one, but the HW involved was underpowered and the head end systems not ready. The major cable MSOs are still under a legal agreement to widely deploy OCAP. They signed a legal MOU with Sony a few years ago in which they promised to do so, and they’re still working on it. The roll-out has been a mess, but they are making progress. OCAP/tru2way is probably going to be a flop, but the upside is it is forcing upgrades to the head ends which will make things easier for the next round. Most likely we’ll limp with tru2way until AllVid comes out.

    I think we’ll see TiVo running on HW from more vendors in more countries going forward. They’ll still produce their own HW and reference platforms, but I don’t know that TiVo really wants to get into the bulk STB building business for MSOs. Vendors like Motorola and Cisco have better economies of scale. It has been a rough road for smaller players like Pace and Samsung. (I know Samsung is huge, but cracking the US STB market has been a challenge for them.)

  13. “If there is an AllVid…”

    I wish someone would explain what the hell AllVid really is.

    If the proposal is simply to make all wire lines dumb pipes, good luck. The folks who indirectly pay Todd Spangler’s salary highly likely have enough juice to prevent that outcome.

    If it’s not about dumb pipes, what the hell is it?

    (If CES companies are smart, they should push for something along the lines of CableCARD v2, but I still don’t really get AllVid, and could use a practical explanation…)

  14. It’s a magical home gateway… concept. Authenticate at the point of entry, instead of requiring every device sport a CableCARD or whatever soft replacement is currently under consideration. The CE folks have presented a few images of what they think AllVid should look like. (sample) Of course, the cable industry doesn’t think this model sufficiently protects the content once in the home and unduly impacts their existing infrastructure. I remain unconvinced the FCC has the power to mandate to this level of detail. Opening cable up for authentication, seperable security (CableCARD) seems somewhat different than saying redesign your networks. We shall see…

  15. “The CE folks have presented a few images of what they think AllVid should look like”

    I’ve seen diagrams like this before, but I still don’t get it.

    If it’s not about making wirelines dumb pipes, what is it about really?

    “I’m remain unconvinced the FCC has the power to mandate to this level of detail.”

    The Feds have the power. The problem is assembling a coalition of the ‘stakeholders’ to make things work in terms of District politics. Everyone had an interest in the 1996 bill that established CableCARD. If AllVid is about making wirelines dumb pipes, then Todd Spangler’s folks will likely be successful in their pushback, even if it could be fit under existing law. Even the FCC works under political weight.

    But as stated, I still don’t quite get AllVid, so if it’s not dumb pipes, maybe it’s something the wireline guys could be sweetened into being placid about. If so, the FCC could probably do it under current law.

  16. I don’t think we’re at the dumb pipe discussion yet… not until everything is IP based. At this point, even if we separate the content from the cable, the content owners will want to dictate how that content is distributed and protected. We’ll see what, if anything, they collectively work out and what role the FCC will play. And I’d like to see the satellite providers and pure IPTV players (AT&T) involved. They currently get a pass given how regulation has evolved.

  17. So upon a bit of further research on my part, perhaps I’m starting to understand that AllVid really is just CableCARD v2, which would make me happy.

    It seems to be just the IP backchannel TiVo (and I) want, along with a few cherries on top, no?

  18. I think I am done waiting… I am gong to research the DVR offered by my local phone/cable provider (Surewest). I have had a DIRECTv/TIVO since 2001 and I am ready for something better and TIVO is not producing it.

  19. @megazone: “TiVo’s future really isn’t as a HW company, HW is a low-margin business, if not a money *loser*. All of TiVo’s value is really in their software.”

    Ugh – software alone can be a looser too. If Apple hasn’t taught anyone anything, it’s that an integrated, trouble-free experience is where the money is at. Tivo kind of got boned with CableCard, but why they aren’t more aggressively leveraging Comcast is beyond me. Same with DirecTV. At this point I’m about to turn my back on Tivo *and* Comcast and just switch to streaming the few shows I can’t get over the air from either Netflix or other sources.

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