DirecTV and TiVo Reform Their Beautiful Union

By Mike

September 10, 2008 Technology Television No comments

I meant to write about this news story a few days ago, but completely forgot until ScottyDub reminded me last night. Thanks for the reminder Scotty!

If any of you are like me, you got into the DVR world back when we all called them TiVo’s because that’s all there was. You didn’t say the word “DVR” because it really hadn’t been invented yet. You just went around saying things like “Did you TiVo it?” or “I forgot to TiVo Lost last night! Argh!” or “I LOVE MY TIVO!

We said the latter phrase at least once a week.

The great thing was that in the beginning, DirecTV and TiVo joined forces to create what was dubbed the DirecTiVo. It was a special TiVo unit built specially for DirecTV.

That was the TiVo I grew up on. That’s the TiVo I loved.

But then DirecTV decided to make their own DVR to handle the new MPEG4 high-definition format, and decided not to renew their agreement with TiVo. Or something like that. All I know is that in order to get all the new HD channels coming out, we had to finally dump our beloved TiVo.

That was especially hard on my wife, who really, REALLY loved that thing.

We ended up getting used to the DirecTV DVR, which eventually turned out to be a pretty good machine.

But we still miss our TiVo.

Well, in just over a year, we just might be able to get it back. From ARS Technica comes the report that the union between DirecTV and TiVO has been reforged!

And the natives…rejoiced!

In the second-half of 2009, DirecTV subscribers will have the ability to switch back to a TiVo unit that will be capable of MPEG4 and all the latest technology.

From the article:

The two companies have had an on-again, off-again relationship. DirecTV initially offered its subscribers DVR hardware from TiVo, but then began distributing its own equipment, including the first HD-capable hardware. Two things appear to have changed that stance: new management at DirecTV and TiVo’s winning streak in lawsuits against competing DVR makers.

We speculated in our earlier coverage that the companies’ increased cooperation would ultimately lead to HD-capable TiVos being offered to the satellite subscribers. That day has now come to pass, as TiVo announced the new agreement this morning. The agreement isn’t a slam-dunk for TiVo, though, as the satellite provider will continue to develop and market its own, competing equipment—even TiVo’s announcement of the deal suggests that this equipment will be “primary offerings” for DirecTV subscribers.

The major downside here, obviously, is that we’ll have to wait for about a year. It’s not a horrible thing, but once one hears exciting news like this, you sort of want to have it RIGHT NOW!

The other thing is, as the article points out, many of us have gotten used to our new DVRs and how they operate. Will those users be willing to make yet another switch?

I know I will. While I love the simple, one-touch, quick recording ability on the DirecTV DVR, I miss the ability to quickly fast-forward through a show via the tick-marks that TiVo has.

What do you guys think? Any former TiVo owners out there? Will you want to go back?

[ARS Technica]