DIRECTV Kills Media Center Tuner; Windows 7 to be DIRECTV-less

DIRECTV has informed several bloggers and journalists in the
Media Center community that they suspended development of the HDCP-20 Media
Center Tuner.  Windows 7 will not include
native DIRECTV support, which will servely impact the Media Center platform as
a whole.

I’ll have more on this later tonight, but I wanted to go
ahead and get it out there.

32 thoughts on “DIRECTV Kills Media Center Tuner; Windows 7 to be DIRECTV-less

  1. Hopefully the dish network tuners are still coming. I know some one that recently signed up for windows media center 7 beta that included giving their dish account number.

  2. if this is true, then hopefully they will eventually work out the kinks and add the capability to Windows 7 as a patch/update later down the road.

  3. I guess they don’t want my business then. I watch everything exclusively through the HTPC and right now just settle for the OTA broadcasts from the networks. The first company to come out with a decent interface to media center gets my money.

  4. I was seriously considering switching to DirecTV solely to get the option to use on a custom built PC if they allowed for use on non-OEM built systems.

    Sad. And I had hoped this would put pressure on Cable Labs, too.

  5. Its true..

    Here is the email I got from DirecTV…

    The word is from CTO, Romulo Pontual to share with you:

    “DIRECTV has suspended the development of the HDPC-20 tuner project that was designed to integrate DIRECTV service into Windows Media Center after assessing the impact of missing the August 2008 release of Windows Media Center update and considering timing of the next release.”

    “Both DIRECTV and Microsoft understand the desirability of offering consumers an all encompassing DIRECTV programming solution via
    Windows-based PCs. We are continuing to explore ways to integrate DIRECTV service with Windows-based PCs in the future.

    “The HDPC-20 tuner that appears on the driver list of a pre-Beta build of Windows 7 is an artifact that was listed prior to the decision to suspend the tuner project. As our plans progress toward a Windows Media Center-compatible product, we will make an announcement at the appropriate time.”



  6. this is truly sad…DirecTV announced this integration product almost 3 years ago (jan 06) which caused me (and others i’m sure) to hang on to their service, but I am through with DirecTV, as soon as UVerse comes to town.

    I sure hope Uverse has some sort of MCE integration!

  7. You’d think that Direct TV would want to work with MS more seriously on a project like this. WMC is on a TON of computers, giving them the best shot at new aquiring new customers. Wonder why they’re dragging thier feet?

  8. That’s sad. This was the one thing that would have got me to switch to DirecTV. Guess I’ll be a DISH Network customer for life. (Not that I’m complaining about that.)

  9. Yikes, should be “DirectTV Kills Media Center” period.

    Oh well, Just one less reason to upgrade to Windows 7.

    Until Microsoft can get _real_ support for non-OTA digital TV media (besides that scourge which is Cable Card), I am afraid that Media Center’s days are numbered

  10. Another let down with Media Center. I too was looking forward to swtiching to DirecTV just because of this product.

  11. Interesting that DirecTV was trying to get this in for the August update. I don’t know if MS screwed up or what, but given theeir lack of communication and the August update fiasco I have to assume MS doesn’t know what they’re doing.

    Agree, MS is effectively killing Media Center. Too bad… all that good work that went into it, but I guess if you have an operating system/office software that are licenses to print money you probably don’t care anyway.

  12. Haven’t they ever heard the phrase “Better late than never”?

    And ditto to Couple of Points’ comment: RIP WMC 2002-2008

  13. Well, this is screwed. Unless there some real alternative plans that DirecTV and MS have, then this could be the nail in the coffin. OEM-only for CableCard was bad enough. I was another switcher to DTV if this was going to be released. But now? Forget it, unless they have another compelling solution. 3 years, and this is what they have to show for it. Sad.

    I’ll be very interested to see what else you have on this tonight, Chris. Any word on the rumored Dish tuner? I thought there was some indication that Dish was interested in WMC a while back. Good blog by the way.

  14. This makes me so sad. I’m using over the air HD now while waiting for the HDCP-20 ship that will never come.

    I guess this world is destined for crappy set top boxes.

  15. I guess they just made my mind up for me. I’m going to go with SageTv and the HD-PVR. That sucks I really wanted to stay with Media Center.

  16. Wow, that is really disappointing. Hopefully DISH can come through.

    Yet, the longer I have OTA only, I wonder what was so compelling about DTV that is worth $50+ per month. I had DTV for years and was ready to go back but seem to find plenty of TV OTA, I think something like only 12% of people get OTA only.

  17. You have got to be kidding me! Right after I finally bit the bullet and ordered 3 DMA 2100 extenders and a Vista Ultimate upgrade. Well, hopefully I can sell that stuff on eBay and get some of my money back.

    That just tears it!

  18. The whole pay-TV model (cable or satellite) is old world, and will go the way of CDs and DVDs soon. The combination of broadcast/OTA programming, NetFlix streaming, Video Podcasts, and Hulu offers more than enough programming choices, all for free or nominal cost. I cancelled my $65/month Dish contract 6 months ago and never looked back.

    RIP HDPC-20 tuner.. no shed tears for you here.

  19. I switched to Sage back in August, when M$ dropped the ball with Fiji. I am glad to see it hurt M$ as much as it hurt their customers for once. Ha ha eHome. I hope it stings. You deserve it.

  20. Argh. I’ve been waiting for this thing for years now, limping along with SD recording in Media Center, putting off getting a DirecTV HD PVR, etc.

    I’m going to have to rethink now. Maybe Comcast….

  21. Well, that’s it! I’m not waiting any longer. After Fiji was a bust I was again suckered into waiting for Win7. I’m so angry about this I’m canceling my DirecTV service after 12 years with them. I’m sure it won’t make any difference to them, but I think I can talk some of my friends into switching as well. I guess it’s the Dish Network DVR for me. Dish Networks HD only plan is so much cheaper than my current DirecTV plan I can’t believe I didn’t switch before.

  22. Interesting comments here. I do not use DTV except for the 4 months of pigskin. After that I use OTA. That said, DTV has released their DirecTV2PC which can be “integrated” with MCE, which in the end gives me all that I need. I can view my MCE content or my DTV content.

    DTV gave me what I needed because they are giving the HDR20 away for freee when you sign up. Either way they were going to charge you 5 bucks for the DVR or for the DVR USB device (like cable does).

    Live with guys – they have given you the better option – except for maybe power consumption. Though this gives me a low power device (HDR20) with TONS of recording space and allows my HTPC to be used for OTA or even better OTA and Cable card and still have access to DTV content from the same place!

    I have been using this for some time and it is quite nice:

    My 2 cents!

  23. Microsoft messes up again, Kills H.264 support in the TV Pack, Directv pulls the plug.. Great job MS.

    I just got a new machine planning for this. About to turn in the towel on media center…

  24. Man, that just sucks. How fucking competent do have to be so ship a well understood addon to a well understood product. They have been screwing around with this in a vacume for years, meanwhile there are lot of people waiting to give them MONEY yet they still can’t get their shit together.

    You know what Direct TV, I think I will fire you and go give my money to somebody who wants to give me what I want as a consumer, you clearly don’t and so you don’t deserve my money. You think your going to have a tuff year so you should cut out giving people what they want? Yeah lets see how that works out for ya’.

  25. Wow! Yeah, I’ve been waiting like everyone else. MCE is still the better solution for me for now. Hoping headless shows up soon. Extenders, Remote access, media server, I can’t give that up. Hopefully HDCP-20 suspension is more marketing that reality. A headless device that can support Cable card (with external USB OCUR) that can connect to MCE PC would be nice! OEM cable card just blows!

  26. Hey Chris, what happened to the “more on this later tonight”? I thought maybe you had more insight into what went wrong.

  27. Seriously guys… I know we all wanted this to come, but if you’ve followed DTV at all (and their relationships with TiVo and/or MS) you just had to know this was going to happen…

  28. This is what happens when two technological losers try to do something. The blind leading the blind never gets anywhere.

  29. It doesn’t sound THAT bad people. The email reads that they killed the HDPC-20, not the project. Both Microsoft and DirecTV realize there is a market – they’re not stupid – and are going back to the drawing board.

    I’d rather wait for something that works perfectly than someting rushed to meet some OS release date.

    I think this is a definte wait-and-see situation.

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