USA Today ran a story yesterday about DirecTV's new combo DVR/VOD unit that will eventually replace TiVo.
"DirecTV is preparing to offer a digital video recorder (DVR) service in mid-2005 that could duplicate virtually every feature now available from current partner TiVo, plus provide video on demand similar to what's offered on cable, say executives of the company preparing the software."
This is bad news for TiVo, since they usually count the million or so DirecTiVo customers as their own, and share subscription and ad profits. This news came to light this past summer and I speculated on it last year, but I think it'll still be bad news for people like me that are quite happy with their dual tuner, native quality recording TiVo boxes. I'm not much of a fan of Video On Demand, so I don't think I'm losing much by not having it. The other big difference between an NDS box and a DirecTiVo will be the interface and basic functionality. Competitors haven't really come close to the wishlist, season pass, or basic reliability a TiVo box provides. My guess is that now DirecTV has announced they're working on this, don't expect to see any major updates to the DirecTiVo OS. I doubt we'll see the Home Media Option. I doubt we'll see Multi Room Viewing, and I seriously doubt we'd ever see TiVo To Go on the DirecTV units.
No word on what will become of the HD-DirecTiVo, but I assume unless the NDS boxes support HDTV, they'll likely keep supporting that box over the normal DirecTiVo boxes. At least that's my hope, since I'd like to finally get a HDTV monitor and HD-TiVo this coming year. [thanks, Brian]