The TiVo DVR line
Is TiVo the Best Home Theater DVR?

TiVo DVR is the most popular brand of DVR/PVR but I personally prefer the Replay TV brand. The TiVo DVR has had the benefit of name brand recognition nearly to the extent of Kleenex and Q-Tip being the terms used to describe any tissue or cotton swab. Some folks say "I'm gonna TiVo it" - meaning they will digitally record a TV program - whether they actually have a TiVo brand recorder or some other brand. Don't get me wrong - TiVo units are very good recorders. They perform admirably and do a fine job of recording TV programming. TiVo also has a very fine HDTV DVR or high definition DVR. However I feel the TiVo DVRs are mainly targeted to the masses (I don't guess you can blame them for that - they have succeeded) and lack some of the features I like most in the Replay TV units - such as my favorite feature -- Automatic Commercial Advance. However, when integrated within a DirecTV HD satellite receiver, TiVo's mass appeal performance is best utilized. DirecTV and TiVo announced in April of 2006 that they will extend their operating agreement for another three years. The implications of the agreement are yet to be seen but here is an excerpt from the news release ---

ALVISO, Calif., April 12, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), and DIRECTV, Inc. (NYSE: DTV), the nation's leading digital television service provider, today announced a three-year extension to the TiVo-DIRECTV commercial agreement.

Existing DIRECTV TiVo subscribers will be able to continue to receive the award-winning TiVo(R) service, with TiVo providing ongoing maintenance and support. In addition, TiVo and DIRECTV agree not to assert patent rights against the other. The agreement also extends the advertising relationship between the two companies. DIRECTV will continue to service existing DIRECTV receivers with TiVo service. While specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the recurring monthly economics of the agreement are similar to the economics for DIRECTV receivers with TiVo service activated since 2003.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with DIRECTV that will allow us to continue to provide our service to the more than 2 million DIRECTV TiVo households," said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. "As the pioneer in the DVR market, we have created a service that is highly valued by consumers because of our technology, the wide range of our unique features and the unparalleled ease of our user experience. This agreement reflects TiVo's popularity among DIRECTV subscribers and importantly respects the value of our intellectual property as well."

"By extending our agreement with TiVo, we are ensuring quality support for DIRECTV customers who already own a DIRECTV TiVo unit," said Romulo Pontual, DIRECTV's chief technology officer. "We are pleased to cooperate with TiVo in a way that will best serve DIRECTV and our DIRECTV TiVo customers."

---- End of news release quote.

It appears there will be support for DirecTiVo users for at least three years - after that - who knows what will happen. Just another reason why I prefer my Replay TV standalone DVR units to the TiVo DVR line whether it is standalone or integrated within the DirecTV platform.

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