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DirecTV Pushes DVRs

Techstination feature for Wednesday, October 8, 2003

DirecTV pushes DVRs. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Digital video recorders are becoming a big part of the business plan at satellite TV service provider DirecTV. The company is lowering the price of a Tivo powered satellite receiver... that can record up to 40 hours of programming to 99 dollars. DirecTV President Roxanne Austin...

"Beginning October 18th, we'll have a 99 dollar offer and also a try it, you'll like it offer. So, a customer, for 99 dollars, can have a DirecTV DVR installed in their home. And if for some reason they want to take us up on our try it, you'll like it offer, they can try that product, if they're unsatisfied with it for any reason, we'll take it back and put a regular DirecTV box in their home."

The DVR capability adds about five dollars a month to the cost of the satellite service. The fee is waived for subscribers to the top tier service. Rival Dish Network is also selling DVR receivers ... and the capability is being added by some cable companies as well. Early next year, Austin says DirecTV will be out with a high definition receiver and DVR...

"What's happened today is some people have waited to buy a high definition set as they've waited for more content. And we expect to have more content available as the year goes on and hopefully that will drive more people to want to buy and upgrade their television sets to high definition."

Only half a million of DirecTV's nearly 12 million subscribers currently have DVR boxes... the company expects that figure to jump 50 percent by the end of the year. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.