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DIRECTV may offer VOD in 2005

DIRECTV is preparing to offer a digital video recorder (DVR) service in mid-2005 that could duplicate virtually every feature now available from current partner TiVo. That includes its video-on-demand (VOD) service similar to what’s offered on cable, USA Today has reported.

The only TiVo function the new service will not have is the ability to skip commercials. The new service is designed to be simpler and faster than TiVo, Abe Peled CEO of NDS said. The NDS Group plans to deliver its DVR software to DIRECTV by April.

DIRECTV has yet to release what the NDS-powered DVR will offer. Spokesman Bob Marsocci said only that it plans to introduce an alternate DVR product and service in the first half of next year.

The company also won’t disclose who’s making decoders — the satellite receiver/DVR combo box — equipped for the new DVR service.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. controls both NDS and DIRECTV. NDS also provides DIRECTV’s encryption technology and a DVR service for Murdoch’s British Sky Broadcasting satellite service.

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