As a follow up on our earlier post about MPEG-4 and DIRECTV, we’re posting a boilerplate letter that DIRECTV is sending to subscribers who inquire about these changes:
Thanks for asking about HD equipment. I understand your concern about how our transition to MPEG-4 transmission will affect any MPEG-2 equipment you may have. Let me reassure you that most customers will be able to use their MPEG-2 equipment for quite some time.
That’s what we’ve been telling our customers – buying a DirecTV HD DVR now is not something that will be obsolete anytime soon, and, most importantly, it has the TiVo OS. The box that is slated to arrive with MPEG-4 recording capabilities will not have the TiVo OS.
At this time, our current HD programming will continue to be broadcast using the MPEG-2 standard; MPEG-4 technology will be used only to provide local HD programming in select cities. (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington, D.C. are expected to launch this year, with more to be added throughout the next year.)
OK – that’s the easy part.
Once local HD programming launches in your city, you will be eligible for an MPEG-4-capable receiver replacement. If you want to replace your HD DVR, you may need to wait a bit longer. Our new MPEG-4-capable DIRECTV HD DVR is expected to be available sometime in 2006.
All over the internet, people claim that DIRECTV plans to come out with the new HD DVR for MPEG-4 in February, but our sources push that date much further back. This boilerplate text hints that it could be a while.
Thanks again for writing. More details will be available when we launch the local HD service in your area, so watch your local TV, radio or mailbox for upcoming announcements or visit DIRECTV.com/HD for the latest news.
For those of you who are clamoring for the new receiver, we have them, and if you can’t wait to get your hands on the massive new 5 LNB dish, we now have those also.
Note: More MPEG-4 info is in our earlier blog entry.