Friday, August 26, 2005

Preview of the non-TiVo DirecTV DVR

This article on TVPredictions.com give details on the non-TiVo DVR system that is slated to debut in October.  From the article:

  • The set-top has the usual features found on most DVRs, such as pausing live TV and fast-forwarding and rewinding at high speed.
  • The DIRECTV Plus receiver will automatically save a program to your hard drive while you watch. This enables you to fast-forward, rewind and pause live TV. However, the DIRECTV Plus will permit you to back up 90 minutes if you haven't changed the channel while watching.
  • The set-top will display a program frame-by-frame if you hit the Fast Forward button after you hit Pause.
  • You can set a "bookmark" in a selected program by pressing Pause and then the "Green" button on the remote. This enables you to instantly return to a certain part of a show after you have recorded it.
  • The Active channel, which will have its own channel in the lineup, will provide daily weather forecasts, lottery results and other interactive features such as channels that will have multiple screens so the viewer can watch several shows at once.
  • DIRECTV has also hinted that its new DVR will have a Video on Demand feature for Pay Per View movies.
  • The DIRECTV DVR monthly subscription will be $5.99, not including the cost of the hardware.

Ok, all of the above is useful information, but does not answer my burning question: Do I have to have a land-based telephone line to use it?  I’m not going to spend an extra $20–$40 per month for a land-based line in order to use a $5.99 per month service, although it would be ok if it worked over my Vonage line.  Now many of you may say that there is a way to get TiVo to work by doing the initial download over someone else’s land-based phone line and then enabling IP updates, but I really don’t want that hassle either.

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