Much of TiVo‘s growth in recent years has come from partnerships with cable and satellite companies, which have made its DVRs available to their subscribers. But with the release of a new, cheaper over-the-air DVR, the company is going after the cord cutter set.
TiVo today is announcing the release of its TiVo Roamio OTA DVR, a $49.99 device that will give customers who don’t have cable or satellite service. Instead, they will be able to connect the DVR up to an antenna to record shows broadcast on channels available through over-the-air digital signals.
The Roamio OTA has 500 GB of storage capacity, which holds up to 75 hours of HD programming. It also has four tuners to allow customers to record multiple programs at once, while also being able to tune in live to one channel. The device is also compatible with the company’s TiVo Stream device for streaming live and pre-recorded videos on other devices.
And, of course, the over-the-air version of the TiVo DVR has the same content search and navigation functions that its other products do, allowing customers to search across all their over-the-air channels, as well as streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. It also provides personalized recommendations for users based on the programming that they had previously recorded.
While the new DVR will enable TiVo to reach a new group of potential customers, it’s probably worth noting that the number of cord cutters is limited. About 85-90 percent of all households have a cable subscription today, so the addressable market out there is pretty small, even if it is growing.
Furthermore, TiVo isn’t the first company to come up with a DVR for over-the-air signals. Startup Simple.TV launched its own version of the product a couple of years ago, but has had a difficult time getting consumer adoption for the device. Then again, the Simple.TV box was originally priced at $149 — and it didn’t include on-board storage. The newer version is even more expensive, at $199.
TiVo’s DVR is a lot more affordable at $49.99, but customers won’t just be paying for the hardware. For access to TiVo’s channel guide, personalization, and other features, customers need to pay $14.99 per month and commit to a one-year service agreement.