This whole thing is really quite a development. I was looking at the UTV's but I guess I won't any more. So far to my knowledge the DirecTivo's aren't affected.
I don't think it's a sign of the merger. UTV has never really been a popular unit and I would be surprised if more than a 100,000 were sold. The whole Dishplayer and UTV fiasco should teach Microsoft a lesson. STAY OUT OF THE PTV BUSINESS!!!
RCA doesn't make DTivo units. Hughes, Philips, Sony, make DirecTivo units, and the future doesn't look rosy for them either.
People who bash UTV have probably never subscribed. The problem is in the marketing of PVR's in general. DTivo is struggling, UTV is being absorbed into the other MS divisions, and I don't think E* is selling as many PVR 501's as they'd like. People who have never used a PVR don't understand the concept. I am always asked why I don't just use my VCR. These are the same people that who used to say why do you need the Internet, why not go to the library?
I love my UTV receiver and am sorry to see the future development end. It has worked flawlessly. As a former PVR 501 owner, it is refreshing to have a PVR that works consistently.
It looks like the Hughes and Phillips DirecTiVo units were blown out on a very big clearance at most outlets. It looks like the Phillips were OLD units that had been sitting around a warehouse for some time. The Phillips units were manufactured back when there was a defective remote, and all reports in late 2001 indicated that each unit came with a bad remote, and some units were even dual drive units (also indicating old stock).
In my case, I bought my FIRST Phillips DirecTiVo at the end of September ($99.00 with a $100 rebate = FreeVo). Came with the defective remote. Called Phillips and ordered a replacement.
It was with us from last week of September until Thanksgiving. Then it gave up the ghost and died with a bad hard drive.
Took it back to Circuit City (where I bought the unit and a 5 year extended warranty for an additional $25) and got a new one. Set up unit #2, which had an earlier Serial number and an earlier CAM ID number. This one ALSO came with the bad remote (another call to TiVo and Phillips for a new remote¡K. This unit lasted until right after Christmas before entering a continuous reboot cycle. Sigh¡K
Took it back, but there were no more Phillips, no more Hughes, only Sony. They would not swap the Phillips for a Sony. ƒ¼
Called Phillips. Got an RMA, but was told it could be several WEEKS to get it fixed under warranty (they reported they had none to cross ship, and they would actually FIX the one I sent in).
Packed up the Phillips, and on the way to FedEx, stopped off at Circuit City one more time to assess my options. Low and behold, they had ONE open box Hughes DirecTivo available, but could not sell it because the access card was bad.
Talked to the manager. I had a good card that I could keep and use in the unit. I got money back on the deal since the Hughes was $5.00 less than what I bought the Phillips for. So far, so good. I got the whole setup including the remote and the cables.
Now, my WIFE wants a second DirecTiVo, but I cannot find on except online, and I am not too willing to deal with the outfits online. Too many horror stories for my taste.
So, I know I do not have a lot of data points, but my summation is:
The DirecTiVo is here to stay, but something has caused a gap between production runs. The DirecTiVo is still listed on the DirecTV website.
Sony signed a deal with TiVo, so I feel that Sony is still in the game. Rumors of a new unit in the works. Sony is the only DirecTiVo (SAT-T60) listed on the Circuit City website (as of yesterday), although I cannot find a single store reporting to have a T60. Additionally, it has been reported that there are Sony SAT-T60¡¦s in the field pre-loaded with the 2.5 software and a manufacturing date of December 2001. This is the most recent date noted; with the other units on blowout having manufacture dates in 2000. Crutchfields¡¦ has been reported to state that the T60 is discontinued to customers whose orders were cancelled. Circuit City stated the same thing, and reportedly cancelled all backorders for the unit.
As a general datapoint, all the first generation DirecTiVo¡¦s were run off the same manufacturing line in Mexico. It may be that the manufacturing plant is too booked to run off any more.
What really bothers me is that RB has not stated a single word about the issue on the AVS Forum. Hopefully, SOMETHING good is in the works.
Anyway, just my take on the matter. I just love my DirecTiVo.
As far as the UltimateTV, I thought they were still producing the units. The re-org never said anything about stopping production. Both Sony and RCA UTV¡¦s are available on the Circuit City website.
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