DirecTV’s CTO Romulo Pontual has confirmed that the much anticipated DirecTV HDPC-20 tuner for Media Center usage (primarily tested with Windows 7) is not to be. In an email to Ed Bott of ZDNet, Pontual squashed all hope by saying,
“DIRECTV has suspended the development of the HDPC-20 tuner project that was designed to integrate DIRECTV service into Windows Media Center after assessing the impact of missing the August 2008 release of Windows Media Center update and considering timing of the next release.
Both DIRECTV and Microsoft understand the desirability of offering consumers an all encompassing DIRECTV programming solution via Windows-based PCs. We are continuing to explore ways to integrate DIRECTV service with Windows-based PCs in the future.
The HDPC-20 tuner that appears on the driver list of a pre-Beta build of Windows 7 is an artifact that was listed prior to the decision to suspend the tuner project. As our plans progress toward a Windows Media Center-compatible product, we will make an announcement at the appropriate time.”
This doesn’t suck for me since I have DishNetwork, but I have a feeling that everyone will feel the impact of this at some point or another. It just appears that no one outside the hardcore (albeit relatively small) HTPC community really cares about what should be considered very standard operation. Even Microsoft included drivers and playback support for this device and they have been notorious in dragging their feet when it comes to Media Center compatibility.
I realize that Pontual says that development is being suspended, but we’re not idiots. This project is deader than dinosaurs. Whether you’re a DirecTV user or not, what do you think about this move and how do you think it will affect Media Center down the road?