It's the day TiVo hoped would never come: tomorrow DirecTV is launching a $30 million advertising campaign to
introduce its new in-house digital video recorder, the R15
DirecTV Plus DVR. The DVR, which should be available before the end of the month, will be able to record up to 100
hours of programming and will cost $5.99 a month (which is the same as what they're charging for DirecTV with TiVo); a
version capable of recording HDTV should be available sometime in the middle of next year.
You'll still be able to get DirecTV with TiVo until an agreement between the two companies runs out in early 2007, but DirecTV has already stopped all marketing TiVo to its subscribers (if you want it, you have to ask) and will almost certainly do their damnedest to convince as many people as possible to sign up for their DVR rather than for TiVo's (dropping the monthly price a bit would probably help). This doesn't by any means spell the end of TiVo. DirecTV users account for only a small percentage of the company's overall revenue — they're only making about a buck a month off of every DirecTV with TiVo subscriber, which is way less than they're making from standalone subscribers — but this arrangement did help them pump up their subcriber base in a pretty significant way. They better hope their deal with Comcast gets rolling right quick.
[Via PVRWire, photo courtesy of Dave Zatz]