DIRECTV has long been known for providing the best in TV entertainment to families all across the United States. More recently, DIRECTV has come together with TiVo to bring viewers the TiVo HD DVR from DIRECTV. The TiVo DVR gives users the ability to truly customize their TV watching experience while controlling what family members watch and by allowing users to watch shows in high definition.
What is DIRECTV?
DIRECTV is a satellite television programming company that offers users a more customizable approach to watching television. DIRECTV is an American based company located in El Segundo, California. The company first launched its service in June of 1994 and has since become a satellite television provider for the United States, Latin America and Anglophone Caribbean. As of the end of 2010, DIRECTV had over nineteen million subscribers.
What is TiVo?
TiVo is a name used to reference both the company responsible for creating TiVo software and the TiVo digital video recorder itself. The TiVo device was first introduced by the TiVo Company in 1999 as a method for users to customize their television viewing experience. The TiVo device provides an on screen guide to television viewers to allow them to utilize viewing services such as the season pass feature and the Wish List service. TiVo’s season pass feature allows for viewers to set up scheduled recordings for every new episode of a specific series. This feature ensures that even if viewers are unable to watch their favorite show as it airs, it will record all new episodes for later viewing without getting cluttered by recordings of reruns. The Wish List feature on TiVo also allows users to find suitable programming through various search features including: actor, director, title, category and keyword. In addition to these features, once TiVo is connected to the home internet network users can utilize the service to access downloadable content, view personal photo files, schedule recordings online and use advanced search functions.
The Implementation of TiVo in DIRECTV
In early 2012 DIRECTV introduced the TiVo HD DVR as a service offered to DIRECTV clients. This TiVo device works much like other DVR services offered by cable companies in the United States; however, it allows for high definition recording of DIRECTV programming. The DIRECTV TiVo offers a number of services to DIRECTV clients that have previously been unavailable; however, it is not the only receiver option for DIRECTV customers.
DIRECTV TiVo Features
The DIRECTV TiVo has a number of features that make this a good receiver choice for many, including the Wish List and season pass features. Many people enjoy the automation of recordings that this device offers particularly when air times change and new seasons start. The TiVo receiver allows users to record up to four hundred hours of television programming with standard definition and high definition recording options. This receiver also allows for users to view shows in high definition, control what programming children have access to and offers viewers access to over seven thousand movies and shows on demand. The TiVo HD DVR from DIRECTV costs $199. It should be noted that this receiver is not compatible with all services offered by DIRECTV however. TiVo HD DVR users cannot use the DIRECTV whole Home DVR service, 3d or other DIRECTV features with this receiver.
Comparing the DIRECTV TiVo to other Receivers Available to DIRECTV Clients
The DIRECTV standard receiver allows for users to customize their channel guide, search up to three and a half days of TV programming and set up parental controls to control what programming children are able to access. The standard DIRECTV receiver is completely digital and costs $69 for a single receiver. This option does not give users the ability to record or schedule any programming recordings. Simply put, the only thing that this receiver has in common with the TiVo receiver is that it provides parents with the ability to control child programming access.
DIRECTV TiVo versus the HD DIRECTV Receiver
The DIRECTV HD receiver stands apart from the standard DIRECTV receiver in that it allows for users to access picture resolution of up to 1080i. The HD receiver also provides viewers the opportunity to view 3D television programming on an HD 3D television in HD 3D technology. While this receiver does offer HD programming options, it is still simply a receiver and does not act as a DVR of any type. This means that programming can only be viewed and again, it cannot be recorded and recordings cannot be scheduled. This receiver comes at a cost of $99. The two features that this receiver has in common with the new DIRECTV TiVo are that it allows for parental control of programming and it provides HD viewing.
DIRECTV TiVo versus the DIRECTV DVR Receiver
The DIRECTV DVR receiver is a little more comparable to the TiVo in that it allows for recording of programming unlike the standard and HD DIRECTV receivers. The DVR receiver also allows for mobile access to DVR settings so that users can set up program recordings through smart phones and any other device that allows for internet access. This receiver has been named the winner of PC Magazine’s Readers Choice Award for the Best DVR. While this receiver does offer program recording, it does not allow for high definition recording. The cost of the DIRECTV DVR receiver is $99. This basic DVR receiver allows for two hundred hours of television programming to be recorded in standard definition, an ability also found in the TiVo, in addition to parental control of programming.
DIRECTV TiVo versus the DIRECTV HD DVR Receiver
The DIRECTV HD DVR receiver is a step above the DIRECTV HD TiVo receiver in that it offers more features in terms of programming customization. The HD DVR receiver is similar to the TiVo receiver in that it can record up to four hundred hours of programming both in HD and in standard definition. Like the TiVo, this receiver also offers instant access to over seven thousand shows and movies on demand allows for users to view live television in high definition and provides parental controls. Above and beyond those features matched by the TiVo receiver, the HD DVR receiver also offers users access to approximately four hundred of the latest movie releases and gives users the ability to record and watch programming in any room of the house with only a single HD DVR receiver. Users with this receiver option can also utilize their iPad tablet as a remote control for their television programming. The DIRECTV HD DVR option has been named the winner of PC Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for the best DVR. The cost for this upgraded DVR receiver is $199.
DIRECTV TiVo versus the DIRECTV HMC HD DVR
The DIRECTV HMC HD DVR is the best of the best when it comes to the receivers currently available to DIRECTV users. The HMC in this receivers name stands for “home media center” and that is exactly what this receiver serves as. This type of receiver is only currently available through DIRECTV and provides many more services above those offered by the DIRECTV TiVo receiver. This receiver is comparable to the TiVo in only a select few areas including: the ability to store recorded shows, the ability to record both standard definition and high definition programming, instant access to over seven thousand shows and movies on demand, view shows in high definition and apply parental controls to programming availability. In addition to these features the DIRECTV HMC HD DVR also offers a number of more premium features including the ability to record up to eight hundred hours of programming. In addition, this top of the line DVR receiver also allows for users to record up to five television shows during a single time slot. Like the HD DVR, this receiver also allows for users to access four hundred of the latest movie releases and record and watch programming in any room of the house with just one HD DVR. Currently this receiver option is only available to new customers of DIRECTV; it is set to be released to existing customers at a later date in 2012. The cost of the DIRECTV HMC HD DVR receiver for new clients is $399.
Get a Free DIRECTV TiVo Receiver
Many customers of DIRECTV want to know how they can get their hands on a completely free DIRECTV TiVo receiver. Currently there are a number of offers available only to new clients of DIRECTV that allow for the receipt of a free TiVo, HD DVR, HD receiver, DVR receiver or standard receiver depending upon the programming package selected from DIRECTV.
DIRECTV Programming Options
Currently there are nine programming options available to new subscribers of DIRECTV. Each of these programming subscriptions comes with a free receiver depending upon the package selected.
English Programming Packages and their Free Offers
The Entertainment Package
The entertainment package is an English programming package that provides users access to more than 140 digital channels. Users will be charged $29.99 a month for twelve months and $54.99 after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year subscription agreement. With this package users can get access to an HD DVR and three HD receiver upgrades for free. This means that all receivers can be received free of charge with the exception of the HMC HD DVR plus the three HD receiver upgrades free of charge for additional receivers needed in the home.
The Choice Package
The choice package is an English programming package that provides users access to more than 150 digital channels. Users will be charged $34.99 a month for twelve months and $63.99 after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year subscription agreement. With this package users get access to the same receiver benefits as with the entertainment package.
The Choice Xtra Package
The choice xtra package is an English programming package that provides users access to more than 205 digital channels. Users will be charged $39.99 a month for twelve months and $68.99 a month after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year subscription agreement. With this package users get access to the same receiver benefits as with the entertainment package.
The Choice Ultimate Package
The choice ultimate package is an English programming package that provides users access to more than 225 digital channels. Users will be charged $44.99 a month for twelve months and $74.99 a month after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year subscription agreement. With this package users get access to the same receiver benefits as with the entertainment package.
The Premier Package
The premier package is an English programming package that provides users access to more than 285 digital channels. Users will be charged $89.99 a month for twelve months and $119.99 a month after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year subscription agreement. With this package users get access to the same receiver benefits as with the entertainment package.
The Mas Latino Package
The Mas Latino package is a Spanish programming package that provides users access to more than 100 digital channels. Users will be charged $22.99 a month for twelve months and $34.99 a month after the first twelve months, after an instant rebate with a two year agreement. With this package users get a free DVR receiver upgrade, receiving the standard or DVR receiver for free with a contract. Additionally users can get the HD receiver for $99, the TiVo HD DVR from DIRECTV for $199, the HD DVR receiver for $199 and the Home Media Center HD DVR for $399.
The Optimo Mas Package
The Optimo Mas package is a Spanish programming package that provides users access to 165 digital channels. Users will be charged $29.99 a month for twelve months and $46.99 a month after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year agreement. With this package users can get all receivers free of charge with the exception of the HMC HD DVR.
The Mas Ultra Package
The Mas Ultra package is a Spanish programming package that provides users access to 205 digital channels. Users will be charged $39.99 a month for twelve months and $62.99 a month after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year agreement. With subscription to this package, users get the same receiver upgrades as are available with the English entertainment package including the three HD receiver upgrades.
The Lo Maximo Package
The Lo Maximo package is a Spanish programming package that provides users access to 295 digital channels. Users will be charged $94.99 a month for twelve months after the first twelve months, after a rebate with a two year agreement. With subscription to this package users get the receiver and HD receiver options available with the Mas Ultra Package.
Determining How Many DIRECTV TiVo Devices You Need
For DIRECTV users that choose to go with the DIRECTV TiVo receiver there may be a question as to how many receivers are needed for a home. Since the TiVo device does not allow for recording and watching in any room of the house with a single receiver, some homeowners do desire more than one TiVo receiver. Additionally some homeowners choose to have more than one TiVo device if they are going to require multiple programs to be recorded during the same time slot. There are; however, other options for clients of DIRECTV as far as mix and matching receivers. Simply because one DIRECTV receiver is a TiVo device, does not mean that all receivers should be TiVo devices. In fact, when purchasing a number of the programming options already covered, users have the choice to have a TiVo receiver in addition to an HD receiver to place in another room of the home.
Possible Drawbacks to Using the DIRECTV TiVo Device
There are certainly a number of benefits to using the DIRECTV TiVo device in that it not only allows for scheduled recordings but it also allows for access to on demand programming and customizable programming. This receiver is certainly not for everyone however since it does not provide a number of features that are present in the more advanced receivers. Users that are looking for the ability to record more than two shows at one time are often let down by the TiVo since it does not have this feature. Additionally users cannot pause their programming to continue watching from another room of the house using the TiVo receiver. While these drawbacks are a nuisance for some users, they can be easily overcome by customers that research their options and know what they are getting in to with the TiVo device.
The biggest drawback to the TiVo device that is perhaps less able to be overcome by users is the additional fee charged for TiVo use. Unfortunately for many who have already committed to a TiVo receiver package, the monthly fee for TiVo service is not widely publicized. This little surprise generally comes with a fee of $5 for use of the TiVo service in addition to a service fee of $20 per month for having an advanced receiver. So while users may think that they are getting the best price possible when they commit to their contract, they often find themselves spending an additional $25 a month and are locked in to a two year contract.
Is DIRECTV TiVo For You?
Deciding which DIRECTV receiver is best for you and your family is a personal decision. It is important not only to discuss what programming features your family would like to subscribe to but additionally, what features they would like from a satellite receiver. If your family’s needs and budget match up with the TiVo then it is certainly a reliable option for more than standard television programming. Regardless of which receiver you and your family choose to go with however, it is crucial to always pay attention to small print and fees that may apply throughout or even after any contract commitment.
How is DirectTV with Tivo different from Tivo as a Standalone program
Updated on April 11, 2012
Both Tivo and DirectTV have been on the market for a long time now. They are different services altogether, but combined they can be quite a potent mix of entertainment media.
For those of you unfamiliar with these services, you may be missing out on quite an amazing television experience, far different than simply flipping channels as most are used to.
Do you need both services though? DirectTV with Tivo is about as comprehensive as it gets, but what about Tivo alone? How do these two stack up?
What is Tivo?
Tivo, in its most simple form, is what is known as a digital video recorder or “DVR”. Tivo is simply a large data storage unit or hard drive that connects to the source of your television data, be that cable or satellite dish provider. When Tivo is installed, you have the capability to have it record shows for your viewing pleasure on demand. When your desired show comes on, Tivo recognizes it and begins recording so that you can see it at a later date. What makes it even more appealing is that you have the ability to either fast forward through advertisements and commercials, or simply omit them from the recording altogether. In its early days, Tivo was revolutionary in allowing media viewers to only watch the shows that they wanted to, watch them on their own schedule, and also streamline the experience by eliminating unwanted ads. A simply brilliant design that meets all the consumer needs.
But that is not all Tivo does anymore. Other companies have entered the DVR marketplace, DirectTV included, and can give you the ability to record your favorite programs just as Tivo does. So Tivo has had to add to their value set by making their service a stand-alone multimedia provider. In addition to the hardware containing a massive hard drive, it also has the ability to connect to the internet and stream in content straight to your television.
Streaming video and data is a true frontier of the data age. Companies like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon all have streaming video functions that you can access from your computer as well as other in-home devices. Consumers love the fact that they can browse literally thousands of choices and simply click on what they want to see, and immediately have it playing before them. Now their Tivo boxes can do that as well.
By establishing partnerships with other companies such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and many others, Tivo can now say that you no longer need any other service provider to fully enjoy their service. With these other options at your disposal, you can now watch videos on demand in high definition whenever you want. You can also download them to your Tivo hard drive and keep them for viewing at a later date.
Furthermore, your Tivo box can become your global media hub for your entire household. By connecting it to the same network as your PC, you can share files to your Tivo box from your computer hard drive and potentially stream music or video to your television.
You can also access your Tivo account online from literally anywhere in the world and update your preferences. You can tell your Tivo box what you want it to record and for how long no matter where you are.
So What About Tivo and DirecTV Together?
Well now you are really talking. In addition to all the services Tivo can now provide, combining it with the vast amount of content that DirecTV can offer makes for a formidable competitor in the entertainment and data market. DirectTV as a dish provider alone, has a great deal of channels you cannot find on cable or other dish networks. One of their main offerings and strong market positions is that they can offer NFL content like no other. In recent years, DirecTV has monopolized the rights to the popular “NFL Sunday Ticket” package which allows viewers to watch literally every game in the country all at the same time. No cable television provider can say that, and in the United States, football is king.
DirecTV with Tivo also offers over seven thousand channels of on-demand programming. Similar to streaming video, on-demand is available on almost every major cable and dish provider and allows the user to simply select any program they want and play it immediately. The content is determined by the provider itself and is generally subject to change. Combined with DirecTV and their impressive channel offering, this is more content than really any user could sift through and make total use of.
Additional features that Tivo brings to the table with DirecTV are more smart service oriented than nuts-and-bolts hardware function. Tivo has the ability to track your usage, observe the programs you like and dislike, and make suggestions for your moving forward. Tivo also catalogues and categorizes every channel and every show made available to its impressive computer power. So, you do not have to simply search for the title of a show, you can think of your favorite actor or actress, type it into the Tivo search engine, and it will pull back every title it has access to and list it for your neatly. It can also make suggestions of other programs based on your search.
People consume their TV like never before and these companies are getting better at making the whole experience that much more engrossing. While the providers understand your desire to see more of the things you want (your shows and movies) and less of what you do not (commercials) then they have to get more creative in how they provide their service and make themselves relevant. Both Tivo and DirecTV are leading the charge into the future.