How do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links — the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!
A few years ago, DIRECTV joined with TiVo to bring viewers the TiVo HD DVR. The TiVo HD DVR gives users the ability to customize their TV watching experience by controlling what family members watch and by allowing users to watch shows in high-definition. There are now other DVR options from DirecTV and other cable/satellite TV providers but TiVo paved the way. Learn more about this television programming provider and this great tool to help you watch what you want, when you want it.
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 mid 2014, Direct TV had over 20 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 viewers to set up scheduled recordings for every new episode of a specific series, ensuring 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.
Does Tivo Bolt Work With DIRECTV?
TiVo’s newest device – the Bolt – offers 4K UHD to compete with Roku and Amazon. It is priced at $300 for 500GB model or $400 for 1TB model, which includes 1 year of TiVo’s service (typically $150/year). It works similarly to the Roamio, and works with cable.
What is the TiVo Roamio OTA DVR?
Another new device by TiVo, this product is priced at $49.99 with a monthly subscription fee of $14.99. It has the ability to record 4 shows at once and it streams Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, VUDU and more. The device is aimed toward cord cutters. It works with HD antennas but not with paid TV services.
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, but 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 it 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 in standard and high-definition. This receiver also allows users to view shows in high-definition, control children’s access to programming and also offers viewers access to over seven thousand movies and tv 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; TiVo HD DVR users cannot use the DIRECTV whole Home DVR service, 3D or other DIRECTV features.
Comparing the DIRECTV TiVo to other Receivers Available to DIRECTV Clients
The DIRECTV standard receiver allows users to customize their channel guides, search up to three and a half days of TV programming and set up parental controls. The standard DIRECTV receiver is completely digital. Users cannot; however, record or schedule any programming. Simply put, the only thing that this receiver has in common with the TiVo receiver is that it allows parents to control adult content access.
The DIRECTV HD receiver stands apart from the standard DIRECTV receiver in that it allows users to access a picture resolution of up to 1080i. The HD receiver also allows viewers to view 3D television programming on an HD 3D television. While this receiver does offer HD programming options, it is still simply a receiver and does not act as a DVR — programs cannot be recorded. However, like the new DIRECTV TiVo, this receiver offers parental control of programming as well as HD viewing.
The Genie Lite allows you to connect up to 8 TVs wirelessly with only one HD DVR. Watch HD TV and record up to 5 shows at once. You can watch 2 channels at once too. Note that you must have the Genie Lite HD DVR Kit to be able to do all of these things. So, for each additional TV you have, you must have a Genie Mini connected to that TV.
Unlike the DIRECTV TIVO standard and HD receivers, the DIRECTV DVR receiver is more comparable to the TiVo by providing recording of programming. The DVR receiver also allows for mobile access to DVR settings so that users can set up program recordings through smart phones and other internet devices. 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. This basic DVR receiver allows for two hundred hours of television programming in standard definition (an ability also found in the TiVo) in addition to parental control of programming.
The DIRECTV HD DVR receiver is a step above the DIRECTV HD TiVo receiver in that it offers more features for 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 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. In 2011, the DIRECTV HD DVR option was named the winner of PC Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for the best DVR.
DIRECTV Genie does everything the other HD DVRs do and more. The Genie is the top tier when it comes to DVRs from DIRECTV. The Genie records up to 200 hours of HD TV and it has the ability to deliver 4K programming to a 4K TV. Ultimately, if you’re looking for the best viewing experience as well as the most recording options, this is the DVR to go with.
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 offers available to new DIRECTV clients 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
- Select Package: 145+ channels, $19.99/month (for 12 months) then $49.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Entertainment Package: 150+ channels, $24.99/month (for 12 months) then $59.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Choice Package: 175+ channels, $29.99/month (for 12 months) then $70.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Xtra Package: 220+ channels, $34.99/month (for 12 months) then $77.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Ultimate Package: 240+ channels, $39.99/month (for 12 months) then $86.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Premier Package: 315+ channels, $89.99/month (for 12 months) then $136.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
Spanish Programming Packages and Their Free Offers
- Mas Latino: 115+ channels, $24.99/month (for 12 months) then $36.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Optimo Mas: 195+ channels, $19.99/month (for 12 months) then $54.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Mas Ultra: 235+ channels, $29.99/month (for 12 months) then $71.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
- Lo Maximo: 340+ channels, $89.99/month (for 12 months) then $136.99/month with a 2 year subscription agreement
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 desire additional TiVo receivers. Further, some homeowners choose to have more than one TiVo device so they can record multiple programs during the same time slot. There are; however, other options for clients of DIRECTV as far as mixing 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 for other rooms in the home.
Possible Drawbacks to Using The DIRECTV TiVo Device
There are certainly a number of benefits to using the DIRECTV TiVo device; it not only allows for scheduled recordings, but it also allows for access to on demand and customizable programming. This receiver is certainly not for everyone, since it lacks a number of features of the more advanced receivers. Users that are looking to record more than two shows at one time are often let down by the TiVo. Users also cannot pause their programming to continue watching from another room. While these drawbacks are a nuisance for some users, some customers do not need these features and are fine with the TiVo device.
The biggest drawback to the TiVo device is the additional fee charged for TiVo use. Unfortunately for many who have already committed to a TiVo receiver package, there is a monthly $5 fee for TiVo service (in addition to the $20 service fee for an advanced receiver) which is not widely publicized. 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, but to decide which 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, it is crucial to 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
Both TiVo and DIRECTV have been on the market for a long time. 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 an amazing television experience that is far different from channel surfing.
Do you need both services? DIRECTV with TiVo is about as comprehensive as it gets, but what about TiVo alone? How do these two stack up?
More About 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 to streamline the experience by eliminating unwanted ads. A simply brilliant design that met all of the consumer needs.
But that is not all Tivo does anymore. Other companies have entered the DVR marketplace, DIRECTV 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 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. 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 the 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.
Learn more about Tivo in the video below:
So What About Tivo and DirecTV Together?
Well, now you’re talking! In addition to all the services TiVo can now provide, you can combine it with the vast amount of content that Direct TV offers and create a formidable competitor in the entertainment and data market. DIRECTV, as a dish provider alone, has a great number of channels you cannot find on cable or other dish networks. For example, they offer NFL content like no other. In recent years, DIRECTV has monopolized the rights to the popular “NFL Sunday Ticket” package, allowing 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. But combined with DIRECTV and their impressive channel offering, this is more content than any user could sift through and use.
TiVo brings some additional “smart” features to the table when coupled with DIRECTV. TiVo has the ability to track your usage, observe the programs you like and dislike, and make suggestions. TiVo also catalogs and categorizes every channel and every show it offers. so you can search for a title or an actor and type it into the TiVo search engine and provide you with an organized and neat list. It can also suggest other programs based on your search.
People consume their TV like never before and these companies are getting better at making the whole experience 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), 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.
What do you love most about your DirecTV DVR?