DirecTV: Get Your HD and DVR Together, Please

Ed Bott’s Media Central � DirecTV: Get your HD and DVR together, please Ed Bott is out with a post on DirecTV’s upcoming HDTV/DVR plans — and they don’t sound all that promising. At present I’m using the DirecTV HR-10250 TiVo HDTV PVR which is really a great machine (even with all it’s restrictions and limations). Unfortunately for the HR10-250 TiVo, DirecTV is moving to MPEG-4 for most of their high def content and the HR10-250 is incapable of displaying MPEG-4. Already DirecTV recently took away my East Coast HDTV feeds. I now only get West Coast HDTV feeds (and this is more than most can get unless they get a waiver from their local broadcasters). Of course with MPEG-4 broadcasts from DirecTV comes the promise of “more than 1,500 local broadcast channels and more than 150 national channels in HD.”

The problem, as Ed points out, is that DirecTV is not offering very satisfying answers at this point as to their plans for a high def DVR combo. According to Ed, the new HD boxes for DirecTV will be manufactured not by NDS (DirecTV’s primary DVR partner) but instead by LG Electronics and it would appear that they might nothave DVR capabilities (the press release doesn’t seem to address the DVR issue but Ed seems to assume that they won’t — they certainly would not seem to support external DVRs).

Per Ed: “Without a DVR, though, why would any early adopter be interested? DirecTiVo owners won’t be able to view the new MPEG-4 content, and there’s no sign that the HD-ready DVRs from NDS will be ready until mid-2006 or later.

DirecTV’s new ad campaign is all about its DVRs. How many people are going to be disappointed when they discover that the new DVRs don’t do high-def and that the old DirecTiVos won’t tune in all those new channels?”

Indeed.

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