Playing catch-up to TiVo (and ReplayTV before them), DirecTV is adding the ability to schedule recordings on their DVRs via the Internet, which they’re calling DVR Scheduler. Right now they’re doing a ‘soft launch’ on the HR20 and R15, with other models to follow in the official roll-out in February.
The web pages refer to the DirecTV Plus DVR and the DirecTV Plus HD DVR, which is bad news for DirecTiVo owners, right? Not according to the FAQ. See item number 8:
Does this work with my DIRECTV TiVo?
No, but it will work with certain DIRECTV Series 2 devices soon.
This is part of the DirecTiVo software update announced last July for an ‘early 2008′ release. One of the features mentioned at the time was ‘Remote Booking’, as DirecTV was then calling it. Other known features will be the Recently Deleted folder and Overlap Protection, which standalone TiVo owners have enjoyed for some time.
One drawback to DirecTV’s system is that it is one-way. The recording request is sent via satellite, and there is no confirmation that the request was received and acted upon by the DVR. So there’s no interactive conflict resolution, not even in a delayed fashion like TiVo, let alone real-time, just what’s built into the unit (see FAQ #19). Yet another reason why they really should make more use of broadband connectivity. Even without it they could trigger a phone call home to confirm receipt and status.