Will The DirecTV TiVo Arrive This Month?

Originally announced in 2008 and expected to launch in 2009, the new DirecTV TiVo unit remains a no show. Back in February, we read the tea leaves to determine that the forthcoming DVR does indeed exist and has been undergoing testing. Unfortunately, given the delays, it features the old TiVo interface running on vintage DirecTV hardware (HR22-100). And, given the whispers, the product may not be greater than the sum of its parts. Regardless, at that time, we also heard launch had been delayed to and scheduled for July. Well, here we are.

There are signs we’re finally nearing the big reveal. Due to a webmaster slipup, the DirecTV TiVo was briefly available for order in May — with hardware running $99 and accompanied by a $5/month surcharge. As you’d expect, nothing actually shipped and the prices could merely be placeholders. But a promising sign nonetheless. Additionally, one source tells me testing has been winding down. Which seemingly suggests launch approaches. Then again, at one point, DirecTV’s Twitter rep suggested the new offering would be available “maybe” in “late” 2011. While we know the DirecTV is indubitably late, is July late within the year?

19 thoughts on “Will The DirecTV TiVo Arrive This Month?”

  1. Sure hope you’re right. I do think TiVo is due for a big announcement pror to their August earnings release but unfortunately they don’t control the timing associated with DTV. The bigger question in my mind is whether the box is going to be so crippled that it can’t even match current DTV offerings.

  2. Some folks seemed to think July 6th was to be the big day, but that’s obviously come and gone. Yet I do believe we’re close and expect to hear something this summer. Folks in the know may find the offering underwhelming, but “civilians” who just want the TiVo UI on DirecTV may be completely satisfied as long as pricing remains reasonable. Personally, on sluggish hardware and without room-to-room, box-to-box streaming, I wouldn’t touch it. A source seems to think TiVo understands the solution to be substandard, whereas DirecTV is clueless. But perhaps that’s just rumor and hearsay. ;)

  3. At this point I don’t know anyone who cares. Most people I know who preferred TiVo dumped DirecTV for FiOS only to realize how expensive DirecTV was and that it wasn’t worth it. I don’t see them going back even if the new DirecTiVo turned out to be something like the Elite.

    I don’t see how at this point even if the box comes out bug free that it will get any positive press other than finally it is out.

  4. I swore by the DirecTV back in 2005, so much so, that I declined upgrading to an HD DVR from DirecTV even after they expanded their HD channels. It was great. That said, HD content eventually became more important and I upgraded to an HR21 DVR. While it didn’t have all the niceties of the Tivo, it had most of the capabilities. The newest DirecTV DVRs do even more and have an obscene amount of storage.

    What I’m trying to figure out is this newest DirecTivo supposed to be an acquisition tool? Or retainment? I have a feeling that DirecTV will continue to market its own DVRs first, and new customers won’t be pushed to the Tivos. Will current customers want to downgrade to a Tivo version or their DVR especially at an additional cost?

    This is all my own speculation, but I have to agree that it seems to be too little and way late.

  5. If this doesn’t add something closer to premier, with netflix, or other streaming and R2R, forget about it, the D* boxes are better then

  6. Dave – is this going to turn out like Microsoft Kin launch on Verizon? Meaning, VZW was obligated to release it even though they could care less about it at that point. It just doesn’t feel like DTV really cares about this project, so they must have some ulterior motive (perhaps, better royalty rates on TiVo patents.

  7. I assume DirecTV is not obligated to release the hardware unless/until they choose to do so. They may be obligated to pay TiVo, but I can’t imagine they’d be locked into providing it. Considering how much time and money they’ve probably invested, seems like they’d want to release into the wild to see the response. And then kill it if/as necessary. Although it may behoove them to keep it alive as a means of extending their reciprocal do not sue agreement in place. Then again, licensing may be cheaper. Either way, I think this ship has sailed – DirecTV now has a solid solution of their own, why confuse things with a TiVo of lesser functionality.

  8. In March of 2008 I gave up on waiting for an improved DirecTivo and purchased two TiVoHD units and switched to Comcast. I can’t imagine switching back at this point. Also, the TiVo box continues to lose traction in our household with the recent addition of an Apple TV, primarily for the better UI (and 5.1 surround sound) for Netflix.

  9. I left DirecTV years ago when they made their MPEG4 switch, adding a slew of new HD channels that my TiVo box couldn’t receive. When I cancelled, I told them that the reason why was because of their lack of TiVo support–and I had never had anything BUT DirecTiVo boxes.

    Having switched to FiOS using TiVo HD and cablecards, I had no idea all the features I was missing by using the DirecTiVos. I can’t foresee ANY reason to go back at this point (and I still have the dish and wiring in place).

    Too little, too late, DirecTV. Anyone care to take any bets that the box supports MRV and TTG?!?

  10. DirecTV entered into the agreement to work with TiVo in providing a new DirecTV TiVo only to avoid being sued like Echostar was. BTW, Ol’ Charlie came out pretty well with chicken feed lump sum payments (like the TV Guide/Gemstar settlement) for receiving unlimited rights to TiVo patents (and TiVo got unlimited rights to certain Echostar patents). There is NO far more lucrative licensing scheme that would have netted TiVo far more than what Echostar/Dish will end up paying after the last few payment spread out over more than a year apart: “I didn’t want to wait for the Supreme Court to decide [if they would hear the case]” is the Tom Rogers quote for agreeing to the Echostar settlement.

    Now, DirecTV CEO Michael White said in a past quarterly conference call when asked about the forthcoming DirecTV TiVo that it really wouldn’t be much different from what DirecTV DVR’s offer and that any features that the then current DirecTV DVR’s didn’ offer would be offered in the DVR’s (now the current one HR24?) . . . How utterly underwhelming an attitude (and a bit subversive) Mr. Michale Hoo-humm-about-the-TiVo coming-back-to-DirecTV White couldn’t have sounded more puzzled as to why his subscribers would want to get on of those new DirecTiVo boxes.

    The proof is in the pudding: The DirecTV TiVo will have NO OTT on-line content such as Netflix, et al. There will be the old interface, not the Premier’s new and HD interface. My last research indicates NO DVR to DVR transfers—oh, to make it a bit shorter: virtually NONE of the features one gets with a retail TiVo unit. But you will get the Series 3/HD pretty color TiVo critter interface (originally from the old Series 2 days) the powerful TiVo search (NOT to include searching OTT options), the noisy “ba-doops” when pressing the remote keys that so many TiVo lovers LOVE, but in just about every other way is inferior to the latest DirecTV DVR’s, and pay more for just being able to say you have a “TiVo”. No doubt this will be the box for the TiVo Luddites.

    DirecTV has jerked TiVo around for years on this box, and Comcast as well, even after over $11 million spent over years on R&D (still cheaper than a $300-$500 cash settlement), Comcast announces that there will be no Comcast with TiVo box after all while at the same time Comcast announces its Infinity product. Gadzooks! That’s what Comcast was doing all that time it was jerking TiVo’s chain. Oh, yes, TiVo retail boxes (amounting to the furthest numbers from anything approaching critical mass, and STILL LOSING subs) will be able to access Comcast On Demand content, and that is the extent of ANY TiVo integration at Comcast. BIG DEAL! Clearly, if one is a Comcast subscriber, Infinity blows the TiVo premiere away, just as if Comcast CEO Brian Roberts planned it that way.

    It’s too bad because there is nothing wrong with more choice and options outside the Cable Co DVR, as long as it is comparable, which the hobbled DirecTV TiVo or the Comcast TiVo NOT access to VOD ONLY solution.

    To TiVo: Start marketing yourself as a STREAMING device like Boxee Box or Roku. Then casually mention you are a DVR, as well. You stand a much better chance on your own than the road of crawling up the Cable Co colon that has gotten just about nowhere.

  11. Just got a note from someone who’s previously provided decent intel. This person says we probably should NOT expect to see this thing before November. IF at all in 2011. Weak. And DirecTV did update their webpage which gives me less hope of an imminent launch, suggesting the unit hasn’t entered into production but they are “optimistic” that it will launch this year.

  12. Not surprised at the latest intel from Dave Zatz. IMHO, DirecTV will do all it can to delay it until at least Q1 2012.

  13. “Weak.”

    Interestingly, if you use Google translate to convert “this month” from TiVo to English, it returns “maybe in six months”.

  14. DirecTV’s own HDUI is supposed to start surfacing in October. This will likely run circles around the locked down Tivo S2 interface.

    The HDUI is suspected to resemble the iPad app, which is excellent. CEO Mike White said the new UI is super fast. They rewrote it to take full advantage of the CPU’s embedded in our HD-DVR’s. Finally after cutting loose from the legacy code that’s been tacked on from the days of older, less capeable SD hardware… we are going to break free into a new generation of on screen interface. Pair it with the iPad app and the already successful MultiRoom DVR, why the hell would anyone want a last generation, locked down SD Tivo UI on a last gen receiver (HR22)?

  15. I seriously don’t get why they won’t get this together. I get the competitive solutions (yada yada) but two brands together is a differentiator. I have TiVo on cable and DirecTV with the proprietary DVR and really prefer TiVo. IMO its a better interface and more intuitive – and a partnership only brings in additional business. From this list of points there are several customers who have left because of this and i have an equal number of friends who got fed up and walked away. Just silly…

  16. this is getting ridiculous. I just had to trim about 4 shows off my stupid DVR because it’s limited to 50 series at a time…
    I hate this frigging thing. I miss my TiVo

    I wish we had FiOS here… I have Comcast for my internet, but I don’t want to get their TV because it’s nearly $180/mo for service (which I pay $110 for DTV service)


  17. Saw an email today (8/24/2011) from someone in procurement at DTV that TiVo is set to deliver to DTV distributors on 9/25/2011, so they should be available sometime within the next week after 9/25/2011.

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