It’s been an evolutionary year for DIRECTV but that’s not a bad thing. Where 2011 and 2012 saw a flurry of new products including the Genie DVR and client, THR22 TiVo, iPad app, GenieGo, and Wireless Cinema Connection Kit, this year has been more about getting it right with upgrades to existing product lines that solidified DIRECTV’s leadership.
Speaking of leadership, it’s been a strong financial year for DIRECTV. Even though they posted their first subscriber losses ever, profits continue to grow. DIRECTV moved away from an “at all costs” subscriber model and got more aggressive on those folks with credit problems and as a result there was some shrinkage in one quarter. The company bounced right back and continues to be the #1 provider in the US with clear leadership throughout the Western Hemisphere.
If you’ve been with DIRECTV for a while you may remember the frenzied channel adds of 2007 and 2008. We’re not likely to see that kind of growth again because there aren’t that many channels left to add. However, DIRECTV did manage to convert 8 more national channels to HD, including favorites H2, IFC and Encore Action. At the same time they brought Fox Sports One to market without a blackout and managed to avoid the kind of national channel blackouts that characterized 2012. They continued to add pay-per-view and on-demand titles as well while rolling out new local markets in HD.
2013 was definitely the year of Genie. The first-generation HR34 Genie was no slouch, but the year started with the introduction of the HR44 Genie which is smaller, faster and uses less power. The C41 Genie Mini Client came with the HR44 DVR; both boasted a new, easy-to-use remote. Finally, at the end of the year DIRECTV plans on releasing its wireless client, the C41 Wireless, after showing it mid-year.
DIRECTV’s dominance of the commercial market continued with new products and services designed specifically for businesses, including new options for true HD programming without boxes at each TV and distribution equipment like the TAMP_6 amplifier and DSWM13 multiswitch.
Apps and Services
The big news for DIRECTV this year really came with its apps and interactive services. The iPad and Android tablet apps were extensively redesigned for a better experience on different equipment, and DIRECTV Everywhere programming grew from a few free channels to over 100 channels of live streaming plus tens of thousands of on demand titles.
DIRECTV’s app for iPad also gained a new commercial mode which allows multiple receivers to be easily controlled from one tablet.
Not to be left behind, DIRECTV’s smartphone apps for iOS and Android grew in capability, adding voice search, on-demand playback, and a simplified remote designed for smartphone use. The best part is that these apps continue to be free!