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.

tivo roamio ota

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?

via WSJ

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8 replies on “TiVo Roamio OTA DVR is the company’s cheapest DVR to date (for cord-cutters only)”

  1. $15 a month for what amounts to EPG/guide data? That’s too steep when a lot of these OTA areas get as few as 7 channels. It would be a home run at $5 per month, instant buy to walk away from HTPC hassels, etc. Instead I’ll stick to my current setup, sorry TiVo ;/

  2. Here is my cable cutting list of hardware and software that I have found to work best. 1st is a dedicated computer to be the OTA DVR for the house running Windows Media Center with a three TV Tuner Cards (Record three shows at once). I then use Xbox 360 counsels on the TV’s in the house that I want to be able to view live TV and DVR programming. I use 5 counsels in the house. Through them I also utilize Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO GO. These apps are free through Xbox. I then have a second dedicated computer that host all of my Movies, TV Shows, Music, Home Videos, and Pictures through the best Media Server software I have ever had the pleasure of using, PLEX. If you have not looked into PLEX, you don’t know what you are missing. On that same computer I will run PlayOn/PlayLater. This applications gives me access to all the online video that are available to stream from TV/Cable networks websites. It also allows you to record episodes to view later, and with PLEX they are well organized and easy to find/view. Cost Break Down: 2 Computers that I got used cost me nothing (I did buy larger Hard Drives). TV Tuner cards – $150.00. Xbox 360 Counsels can be found used/referbed. PLEX – FREE. PlayOn – I think is $50.00 for lifetime. There is also the price for Xbox live – $50 per year per unique gamer tag. I use the same gamer tag on multiple counsels. NOTE: The same tag can not be logged in on multiple counsels at the same time. Netflix/Hulu/AmazonPrime all have small monthly fees. I have been using this setup for about 5 years now.

  3. That’s the current Roamio with a cablecard. The new OTA-only model launches in September and will only be available from Best Buy.

  4. I purchased a Tivo last year and went OTA. We really like it, but we realized that we mostly use Netflix and broadcast channels … so it really depends on your viewing habit. The Roamio is pretty quick, but – app-wise – only the Pandora and Netflix apps are really good.

  5. I use a Roku. Our Internet/cable provider supplied us with a Tivo with a really mediocre user interface: something that looked modern 10 years ago but not so much now. I’d like to hear how this new device’s UI compares to that of their traditional DVR offering.

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