Integrated PVR Market Heats Up


Hughes Network Systems Inc. said Wednesday that its new DirecTV Inc.
direct-broadcast satellite receiver with built-in TiVo Inc. personal video
recorder will be available at retail stores sometime this month. The combination
box is expected to sell for $399.

HNS and DirecTV are sister companies of Hughes Electronics Corp., which is
widely rumored to be close to finalizing a deal to merge with News Corp.'s
SkyGlobal Networks.

Two other DirecTV receiver manufacturers -- Philips Consumer Electronics Co.
and Sony Corp. of America -- also make integrated DirecTV/TiVo boxes.

Later this spring, Thomson Consumer Electronics is expected to market a new
DirecTV receiver with a competing PVR from Microsoft Corp.'s 'UltimateTV.'
Earlier this week, Microsoft began running teaser television ads for its
UltimateTV service, which combines Internet access and other
interactive-television services with the PVR.

Also Wednesday, ReplayTV Inc. announced that Panasonic Consumer Electronics
is shipping a 27-inch television with a built-in ReplayTV PVR. The combination
unit should be available at retail later this month for $899.95.

And EchoStar Communications Corp. chairman Charlie Ergen said in an on-air
customer chat Monday night that the company's new 'DishPro 501' DBS receiver and
PVR should be available in April.