So, what's new? DirecTV's new HR20 DirecTV Plus HD DVR has a network port. They're finally enabling it, but only to communicate with Intel Viiv PCs. You will be able to access music and photos from a Viiv PC on the DVR.
After years of not enabling features that would work with any PC *or* Mac (or Linux, BSD, etc) on the TiVo-based units, now they're enabling a feature - only on their HD DVR, and only if you have a new Viiv-based Windows PC. Thanks DirecTV.
This really reinforces the theory that they've kept the TiVo-based units deliberately crippled because it would make their 'Plus' boxes look like a 'Minus' if they actually enabled the full feature set. The new DVRs are really a step backwards. While it is a long shot, their is a glimmer of hope now that Liberty Media is acquiring DirecTV from Rupert Murdoch. DirecTV switched to NDS based DVRs after Murdoch took over, mainly because he also held a large stake in NDS. Liberty Media is also an investor in TiVo. But there is a lot of momentum behind the switch, so it won't be simple to switch back to TiVo even if Liberty wants to.