DirecTV Set To Launch 'Classic' TiVo DVR This Week


Six years after it stopped offering TiVos, DirecTV is bringing the DVR back with the scheduled Dec. 8 launch of a new TiVo-based high-definition digital video recorder in 10 markets, the satellite operator said Tuesday.

The TiVo HD DVR from DirecTV is $199, plus a monthly service fee of $12 per month (which includes a $7 monthly charge for the DirecTV DVR service as well as $5 monthly for the TiVo service).

"We are excited to bring the TiVo product DirecTV customers know, love and want to get their hands on again," TiVo said in a statement.

The satellite operator's TiVo HD DVR, which runs on a hardware platform supplied by Technicolor, was three years in the making -- and two years behind schedule. The box uses TiVo's "classic" user interface, instead of the newer Premiere guide.

In 1999, TiVo struck its original distribution deal with DirecTV. Five years later the satellite TV operator said it would market its own DVR, developed by NDS, and stopped offering TiVos in early 2005 -- leading to a steady erosion of DirecTV customers using TiVo boxes. Under a new agreement, announced in September 2008, the companies expected to launch an HD DVR in the second half of 2009.

The new TiVo DVR will be made available to DirecTV customers in several markets including Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The TiVo HD DVR from DirecTV will be made available to all customers nationwide beginning in early 2012.

The DirecTV TiVo HD DVR provides features including Swivel Search, TiVo Suggestions, WishList Recordings and Season Pass.

Content from TiVo's broadband partners -- such as Netflix, Pandora and YouTube -- is not available on DirecTV's TiVo HD DVR. The DVR will be able to store up to 100 hours of HD or up to 400 hours of SD programming.

TiVo's future is riding on deals with DirecTV and other pay-TV operators, including Charter Communications, Suddenlink Communications and RCN. After four years of continuous subscriber losses, TiVo gained 117,000 net subs for the quarter ended Oct. 31, thanks to the rollout of a TiVo-based box by the U.K.'s Virgin Media.