Can you watch DIRECTV programming on your PC?

Well, you could, then you couldn’t, now you kind of can again. The image you see above comes from DIRECTV2PC, a late-2000s product of DIRECTV techology first shown at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In the last four years, it’s gone from “new hotness” to “yesterday’s news” to “why would you need that?”

DIRECTV2PC had one goal: let you watch your recorded DIRECTV programming on your computer. It was ahead of its time in many ways; the hardware requirements kept many people from jumping on board the first day. You needed a computer and network capable of streaming and decoding Blu-ray quality video, and in 2008 that was a tall order. The software made a splashy entrance, attracted the attention of the blogs of the day, and then promptly took a back seat to other technologies as DIRECTV introduced Whole-Home viewing to allow all TVs in the home to share the content from your DVR.

DIRECTV2PC didn’t receive a lot of love and attention after that, and in fact was only updated once for the purpose of giving it Windows 7 compatibility in 2010. It works with HR20 through HR24 DVRs (not reliably with HR34 Genie.) It still retains the “old blue” menus not seen on a DIRECTV HD receiver since early this year, and isn’t likely to change. It’s confirmed that it doesn’t run on Windows 8 at all. It was available for many years from DIRECTV’s web site, but it’s gone now.

There’s a new kid in town, though, and it’s a much better way to watch DIRECTV on your PC, tablet or smartphone. It’s called DIRECTV Everywhere and it carries over 100 channels of live TV plus content from tons of networks, all accessible inside or outside the home. To get it for your handheld device, visit your device’s app market (for example, the App Store or Google Play.) For a PC or Mac, click here: DIRECTV Everywhere

If you want to stream live TV to your computer, you’ll need a GenieGO which does many of the same things the old DIRECTV app used to do like give you quick access to your playlist.