When I signed up for DirecTV back in 2004 I received the, now legendary, DirecTiVo (the Samsung S4040R). I loved it. I almost cried in late 2007 when I bought my first HDTV and “had” to give it up for a DirecTV HD DVR. Time marches on, though, and DirecTV and TiVo were no longer partners.
TiVo joined forces with DirecTV in early 2002 with units made by Phillips, Hughes, and Sony. Later RCA and Samsung joined in. Then in late 2006, when NewsCorp gained control of DirecTV, They phased out TiVo in favor of another NewsCorp company, NDS, which was already manufacturing DVR’s for the European market.
In late 2008, with NewsCorp out of the picture, DirecTV again announced a partnership with TiVo. And, since then, we have waited….and waited….and waited. Delay after delay has been announced. It’s really gotten to the point where DirecTV subscribers are starting to think of it as gamers think of Duke Nukem Forever!
The latest release, which was scheduled for late 2010, has apparently been pushed to early 2011. Rumors persist that beta units are floating around, but I know of nobody who has received one and requests to DirecTV are denied.
So, is this the ultimate Vaporware? For that matter, after reading reviews of the new TiVo Premiere, do users really want it? The current DirecTV HD DVR (the HR23-700) has a 500GB hard drive, which is more than most other DVR’s issued by cable and satellite providers. The software (interface) isn’t that bad either. I am starting to think that TiVo, as much as we all pull for them, are verging on extinction. They seriously need to get their Comcast and DirecTV boxes out the door yesterday before the battle is completely lost.