TiVo is unveiling a new DVR device aimed squarely at the growing ranks of cable cord-cutters, the company announced Monday.
The TiVo Roamio OTA will offer 75 hours of high definition storage capacity, enabling viewers to record everything from over-the air broadcast channels to streaming online networks such as Netflix and YouTube.
Unlike every other TiVo offering, however, the new digital video recorder will not be compatible with cable services.
“We think that as media is evolving that more people are choosing a different or non-traditional means of receiving their television programming, and one of those means is over the air,” said TiVo chief marketing officer Ira Bahr. “We thought it was important to present a product specifically designed for that market and priced in a way that’s very accessible to that market. This product is the most price-accessible TiVo product ever.”
The new TiVo device, which has four tuners and 500 GB of storage, will sell for $49.99, with a $14.99 monthly service charge. Users plug in an HD antenna to record and control over-the-air channels with a two-week advance programming guide, supplemented by access to online streaming services.
During a limited rollout, the over-the-air DVR will be available at some 400 Best Buy stores in select markets across the U.S., including more than dozen in the Chicago area, in mid-September.
TiVo’s latest product taps into a growing pool of television viewers who use antennas and have access to high-speed Internet but no cable or satellite service. An estimated 6.5 percent of U.S. households are considered cord-cutters, up from 4.5 percent in 2010, according to a report by Experian Marketing Services.
Experian said the cord-cutting trend is even higher among younger viewers, rising to 12.4 percent for households occupied by adults under 35.
“We think the market is growing and this product is our means of assessing how large the market is,” Bahr said. “We’ll see what the consumer reaction to it is. We expect it’s going to be very, very good and we expect it will be available in a far wider range of retail locations by next year.”
California-based TiVo pioneered the digital video recorder in 1999 and offers a line of cable-compatible devices. While its very first DVR could also decode broadcast signals, Bahr said, the Roamio OTA is the company’s first exclusively designed as an over-the-air recorder.
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