“Phone home” now has a whole new meaning.
AT&T (Formerly Cingular) and EchoStar have gotten together to offer Homezone, a service that lets you control your DVR with your mobile phone. No more rushing home or flinging couch cushions in the air to find the missing remote. Your mobile is now your remote.
Verizon is getting into the act as well, through an agreement with TiVO, owned by DirecTV. That service will launch next week.
Leaving no stone unturned, we also have Sprint Nextel planning a similar service with its partners Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
All of this rush toward remote programming smacks a bit of “because we can,” not because there is we would like to. A recent survey found just 10 percent of current DVR customers wanted such a service. Internet-based remote programming is already available, and smartphone users can presumably already do this from afar. Yet the functionality is there, so why not take advantage of it?
Try not to use your mobile to program your DVR if you’re already home. That’s a bit lazy.