PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts

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  1. I can answer the question - no. Most DVRs have a very basic feature set, and don’t come close to TiVo’s features. The closest is probably ReplayTV, but they haven’t done any real development for a couple of years and they have the same restrictions as TiVo.

    On the DVR aspects, TiVo has more features. The Season Pass flexibility is greater than that offered by other DVRs, and most DVRs have nothing to match TiVo’s Wishlist capabilities, and the easy to use priority manager and To Do List.

    And once you get beyond the basic DVR features, TiVo supports music and photos over a network, multi-room viewing (moving shows between units), TiVoToGo (moving shows to/from a PC), online scheduling, Home Media Engine applications, etc. Plus the partnerships with AOL and Yahoo, and now broadband content downloads - like the just announced CNet deal. Other DVRs rarely have even one of these features, most do none of them.

    Other DVRs just don’t compare to TiVo on features.

    Some of the statements in that article are questionable too. Both DirecTV and Dish Network have dual-tuner DVRs - until just recently all of DirecTV’s DVRs have been TiVo units, now they have both TiVo and the new NDS model. Both DirecTV and Dish also have HD DVRs - and DirecTV’s is still a TiVo. However, DirecTV has opted not to enable the advanced features I wrote about above, artificially crippling the units.

    Many, but not all, cable company DVRs have dual tuners as well, and some are HD models. Comcast will be making TiVo software available on their Motorola 6412 units in mid-2006 - that’s a dual-tuner, HD model.

    However, there are many DVRs on the market - many DVR/DVD-R combo units, and other budget DVRs. All of them are single tuner. There are only a couple of standalone HD DVRs on the market and they aren’t big sellers.

    TiVo is planning to release a CableCARD unit in mid-2006 which will have dual-tuners and record HDTV.

    Comment by MegaZone — Tuesday, November 15, 2005 @ 12:20 am

  2. What’s odd is that Kim and I both have TiVo generation one tuners for DirecTV that are dual-tuner models. Mine is two years old, hers three or more.

    The HDTV thing is an issue, especially since we have an HD set, but we don’t have HD DirecTV yet, either.

    Comment by James Joyner — Tuesday, November 15, 2005 @ 2:09 pm

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