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Philips Adding DirecTv, Again

After temporarily abandoning the DirecTv IRD business more than three years ago, Philips announced it has officially re-entered the business by adding two DirecTv IRD models to its line.

The announcement marks the start of a series of Philips/DirecTv products promised by both companies. The most ambitious product promised from the marriage is a fully integrated DirecTv IRD and TiVo personal video recording solution. However, marketing details on that product have still not been fully revealed.

For now, Philips said it would ship this summer an entry stand-alone DirecTv IRD. A step-up high-speed model with Dolby Digital surround-sound capability will be added in the fall. Pricing will range between $99 and $399, determined by the IRD model and the style of satellite dish selected for the package.

The additions will also give Philips marketing relationships with both EchoStar and DirecTv. Historically, Philips has seesawed between the two DBS providers, first announcing a deal with EchoStar, and later canceling to carry DirecTv equipment, before dropping DirecTv to return to EchoStar.

The attraction this time seems to be centered on TiVo, a hard drive recording system that Philips has successfully marketed as a stand-alone device.

DirecTv has an equity investment in TiVo and has worked extensively with the company on cross-promotional efforts.