Once upon a time the TiVo name was pretty much synonymous with the digital video recorder. But in recent years most cable, satellite, or fiber optic TV providers have offered customers their own DVR alternatives, often at lower prices.
So TiVo is taking things old-school with its new model. The TiVo Roamio OTA DVR is designed for households that don’t have cable or other pay TV services. Just hook up an antenna and you can record up to 4 channels at once, storing up to 75 hours of HD programming (or even more standard-definition programs).
The Roamio OTA will sell for just $50… when you sign up for a 1-year service plan at $15 per month. That still makes it $150 cheaper than TiVo’s cheapest CableCard-equipped digital video recorder.
The TiVo Roamio OTA will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores when it launches September 14th. In addition to letting you pause or record live TV and access TiVo’s program guide the box supports internet media from services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora.
TiVo’s new box comes with a remote control, but you can also use an Android or iOS phone or tablet as a controller using the TiVO app.
TiVo’s $15 per month fee might not be that attractive to folks who are already paying steep prices for cable, but if you view the company’s new box as an alternative to cable the price seems pretty decent… or you could just build your own HTPC and use MythTV, Windows Media Center, or another DVR software package. You’ll end up spending more money on hardware, but you’ll also have a more versatile device that could save you money over the course of a few years.
A TiVo box is a whole lot more user-friendly though.
Personally I’ve been using home-built DVRs for almost a decade… but living in the middle of a big city it can be tough to get a reliable over-the-air signal, even from a rooftop antenna. So recently our HTPC has become more of an internet video streaming box.
Are you a cord-cutter? What do you use to watch TV these days… and how do you feel about TiVo’s latest offering?