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DirecTV HR34 DVR 'Genie' recommendations and autorecording get previewed ahead of fall launch

DirecTV paired its HD interface with the five tuner, RVU ready HR34 Home Media Center DVR back in March, so what will it do next to take advantage of the multiroom boxes with five tuners and massive hard drives? The answer is Genie, a new feature / rebranding that should be very familiar to TiVo users, since its aim is to find other shows you might be interested in and store them on the DVR without being prompted. The folks at Solid Signal and DBSTalk have had an early preview of the fall software update that will enable it, and have both posted hands-on impressions.

Once the user enables the feature, after a few hours it begins episodes of shows similar to the ones they already watch and recording them automatically. The feature uses hard drive space that's already reserved for DirecTV's video on-demand (so user accessible recording space is not impacted) and works in selections available from VOD. Watching a program at your leisure VOD-style, setting up a series recording for a new favorite or blasting it from your drive is just a click of the remote away on the DVR or one of its multiroom extenders. Helping viewers discover new content is a field suddenly filled with competition, from the social networking based to Dish Network's Hopper that records everything on primetime network TV and even filters out commercials. That Genie can let you watch already recorded episodes right away and pull from any broadcasts its finds may give it a leg up, but so far we haven't seen recommendation systems good enough to promote switching from one service to another. Hit the source links for more details on how it all works, along with a video preview, also embedded after the break.