DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR

DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) will begin to market a new line of set-tops with multiroom DVR capabilities by the end of the first quarter, a move that obviously applies pressure on MSOs to hurry up and do the same.

One big beneficiary of this play is Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR), which announced that its chips will power DirecTV's Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) -based networking approach, apparently beating out Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) for that business. (See DirecTV Disses Cable's 'All-MVPD' Plans and DirecTV Picks Entropic.)

DirecTV hasn't revealed any pricing on the new offering, but noted that the boxes are already in production and should start hitting customer homes in the first quarter. It's believed that two DirecTV box models -- the H24 (an HD box) and the HR24 (the primary HD-DVR) -- will come with those MoCA capabilities on board.

Although multiroom DVR capabilities will likely be the initial focus of those boxes, the presence of MoCA could set the table for other apps, including over-the-top video. In that scenario, the primary box could pull video from the Web and distribute it to other TVs and displays via the MoCA network.

DirecTV's longer-term roadmap is also expected to incorporate RVU Alliance technology, which lets compatible devices share content (and propagate user interfaces) over the home network. As recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) documents indicate, DirecTV is a big advocate of RVU. (See DirecTV Disses Cable's 'All-MVPD' Plans.)

More mojo for MoCA
The deal gives MoCA more ammo to use against G.hn, a budding home networking technology rival. (See G.hn No Slam Dunk With Service Providers and Chip Firms Prepare for Home Networking Faceoff .)

"If we [MoCA] haven't won the war, we're on the way to winning the war," Entropic CEO Patrick Henry told Cable Digital News.

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) are among major U.S. MSOs that have at least indicated that their home-networking video plans will revolve around MoCA. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is by far the largest adopter of MoCA, which hopes to outgun G.hn with an "enhanced" mode in the 2.0 version that could support throughputs of 800Mbit/s. (See Cox, Entropic MoCA Deal Not Exclusive , Time Warner Cable Joins the MoCA Club, Pace Adds Entropic MoCA, and MoCA 2.0 'Enhanced' Mode Target: 800 Mbit/s.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

imonit 12/5/2012 | 4:44:14 PM
re: DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR

Yeah, but do you have NFLST?  Until then, DirecTv will continue to rake me over the coals....sigh. 

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:44:14 PM
re: DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR When you say DISH Network, don't you mean TiVo?
DISH Network 12/5/2012 | 4:44:14 PM
re: DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR

DISH Network has allowed customers to enjoy a multi-room view for years. Award-winning DVRs are just one of the ways DISH beats DirecTV: http://bit.ly/77eVir

Cooper10 12/5/2012 | 4:44:13 PM
re: DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR If you haven't tried NFL Red Zone, you should...not a true replacement for NFLST, but then again, it is $5/mo, not $300+ for the season
Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:44:12 PM
re: DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR Yeah, NFL RedZone is a nice alternative to Sunday Ticket...I spent lots of time there during the season. It's a great format. But I'd probably still spring for Ticket if I had to move away from my beloved (yet woeful) Broncos. JB
imonit 12/5/2012 | 4:43:47 PM
re: DirecTV Preps Multiroom DVR

Yeah, most people are aware of the Red Zone channel.  A lot of diehard fans that are outside of the local viewing area of their favorite team prefer to watch the entire game, not just when teams are about to score.  The RZ channel is a good start in the right direction, though.  Let's hope the monopoly ends sooner than later.  

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