DirecTV updates iPad App and DVRs for YouTube, Pandora, and Better Support Features

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

If you’re the proud owner of a DirecTV RVU-capable multiroom DVR like the HR34, you now have additional entertainment options available to you … namely from Pandora and YouTube.  It was all done as a quiet update  this week.

Meanwhile, iPad users will now be able to access programming and resume from where you left off inside at home.  Additionally, users will also have an improved search function and user forums to contribute to and get answers to questions.

Additionally, DirecTV’s app now supports multi tasking, meaning that you can be watching something and can switch over to another app, like IMDB to find out what other shows that actor you’re watching has been on and what they have coming up over the horizon.  Or maybe order that Domino’s pizza while watching NFL Sunday Ticket and not lose a moment of the big game.

The suggested search feature is one that’s mirrored on your DVR, which pops up suggestions and short cuts based on the letters you’ve actually inputted into the search stream.  Users can also sort their search results according to genre, time being aired, and even ratings.   Meanwhile, the support forums give you the option to roll your own answer through the forums themselves, or contact a DirecTV support professional via email or chat.

Sadly, the DirecTV Everywhere experience is a bit short on content, with mostly pay TV options being available.  However, DirecTV has been saying that more content is on the way including the vast Viacom library and hopefully live TV will be just over the horizon, so once that happens, the live streaming option in the iPad will will actually become more useful.

The HR34 DVR will enable users to watch YouTube videos straight from the DVR, and also to enjoy listening to Pandora (although it mystifies me why anyone would want to squander the precious viewing hours of their LCD on a still screen just to listen to music).  Additionally, the DVR will also feature more accurate closed captioning for those hearing impaired.

DirecTV introduced the Home Media Center HR34 DVR last December, with a sale price of $99 after rebate (reg. $399).  It comes with up to five separate tuners so that users can view video content in multiple rooms simultaneously.  It also comes with a 1TB hard drive that can recordup to 200 hours of HD programming with a total of 800 hours of storage.  Other features include:

  • Records 5 shows at once
  • Record and watch in any room, with just one HD DVR
  • Access 400 of the latest movie releases via DIRECTV On Demand (with internet connection)
  • Record and delete shows from every connected TV/HD Receiver
  • Watch the recorded program on more than one TV Client/HD Receiver simultaneously
  • Watch 2 shows at once without having to change channels
  • Control what your children can watch
  • Pause and rewind live TV in all rooms
  • Compatible with SWM dish or SWM8/16/32 dish only

So it looks like DirecTV is not going gently into that good night when it comes to those who are looking to “cut the cable.”  By offering multi room recording and viewing from one box, streaming YouTube and Pandora and even starting to give away NFL Sunday Ticket as an enticement, it’s likely to hold cable cutters at bay at least for another season.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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