So, the inevitable problem with all cable and satellelite setups, is that you need a box in every room. That is assuming you want to access TV throughout your home, and watch your recorded content regardless of what box it is stored on. The result is a monthly bill that at first appears quiet appealing, but turns vastly more expensive as there is a recurring monthly charge for each box, DVR or not.
DirecTV is eschewing the aforementioned setup by negating the need for additional boxes. It’s called the DirecTV Genie, and while we wouldn’t go as far as to call it the Holy Grail of DVRs, it is most certainly damn close. Perhaps if it automatically skipped commercials we could get on board. Nevertheless, the DirecTV Genie on its own is a robust DVR box that can record up to up to 5 programs of your choice at the same time, store up to 200 hours of HD content, and allow up to 4 different rooms to stream the same recorded content simultaneously.
Impressive? Yes, but the real magic is in the fact that you don’t need additional boxes in each of those rooms to accomplish that. DirecTV’s Genie is compatible with what are called RVU-enabled TVs, gaming consoles and Blu-ray players. Honestly, we don’t know what gaming consoles or Blu-ray players are compatible, but according to DirecTV’s site, only Samsung’s 6000, 6400, and 6420 of 2011 support this protocol. So to a large degree the Genie doesn’t really apply to a wide swatch of customers, at least in terms of the playback convenience from room to room. But suffice to say they’re on to something in terms of removing the need for multiple and often expensive set top boxes.
Other features include the ability to record up to 6 programs (5 tuners) at the same time, including 1 VOD, pause/rewind live TV, picture-in-picture, along with a Tivo like technology that suggests new shows based on your tastes.
No word on when DirecTV will launch the Genie, but you can probably expect it before the end of the year.
Update: The DirecTV Genie is available today.
Update 2: Pricing is as follows: “For new DirecTV subscribers, the Genie and as many as four Genie Minis are free, but there’s an “advanced receiver service” fee of $20 per month that is required when taking on all the equipment. The $20 fee can be cut to $10 a month if a subscriber has auto bill pay set up on their account, Gieselman told Wired.”