It's always great to see new TiVo hardware released and especially when it is dual-tuner with a ton of storage space. Though it's not HD, and you'll likely just be able to do analog cable on one line while using your digital cable box for the other, it is good to see a dual tuner standalone TiVo finally released. Now cable users can enjoy the benefits the DirecTiVo has offered for years.
I wonder if the device features tuner priority so I can force network TV to always be recorded on the digital tuner?
Engadget noticed that today is the last day for TiVo lifetime plan signups. If you wanted to keep that new standard def, standalone TiVo around for a while (maybe something to throw in a second bedroom a few years down the road when your primary TiVo is HD), today is your last chance.
Update: Dave Zatz has a great roundup of all the pricing plans, and a bit more info on the ending of the Lifetime Service option.
Dave Zatz noticed a new TiVo contest giving away a Series 3 unit which may point to a possible release date of this summer. Dave guesses it will be September 1st and the price will be $800 and he is encouraging others to guess on the price/release in an impromptu contest for a free wireless adapter.
It's great to see TiVo give an early peek with this American Idol contest. Lately I've been thinking the Series 3 would be pushed back to fall or winter of this year, but I would love to be surprised with something this summer. Of course, the way to get the earliest possible look at a Series 3 box would be as part of TiVo's Beta team. As always, I can't wait to get rid of my Motorola box and get back onto a real TiVo (with HD).
EvokeTV is a site doing a lot of what I wished TiVo would do. You create an account, then track shows you want to record. You can rate a TV series as well as individual episodes and they even offer RSS feeds of your show schedule. It's a snappy, ajax interface that is easy to search for shows and get info on them. They even offer a show-sharing feature for bloggers (complete with RSS feed). Here's a list of two shows I tape each week.
Ideally, it'd be great if these features were incorporated into TiVo's online scheduling service (or even cable/satellite DVRs) so that clicking a show would automatically set a recording or season pass in my TiVo. The show sharing is also a feature I'd love to see at TiVo. Netflix offers a similar feature and it's great for finding new movies that your friends enjoyed. The sharing of shows is simple and straightforward, nothing like the hacking I had to go through to reproduce my now playing list last year.
Here's a screenshot of the interface in action. Be sure to also check out their blog which offers tips and new features as they are announced.
My friend Kirk Franklin wrote in that TiVo's anticipated pricing was announced, at slightly higher price points than before, and based off contract length.
TiVo announced new pricing plans today. "The product lifetime service option will be eliminated next week."
- The price for a TiVo box and a one-year service commitment is $19.95 a month or $224 prepaid
- The price for a TiVo box and a two-year service commitment is $18.95 a month or $369 prepaid
- The price for a TiVo box and a three-year service commitment is $16.95 a month or $469 prepaid
I assume current customers will continue to pay just $12.95 a month. It's good to see TiVo move away from any hardware costs, that will certainly get more TiVos into people's hands, but the monthly fees are pretty costly when you throw in a standard $50-60 cable or satellite TV package.
I'm hoping the Series 3 boxes have cheaper monthly rates in exchange for the non-free hardware.
Thomas Hawk has a great wrapup of TiVo's quarterly investor call which includes information on all sorts of TiVo initiatives. It sounds like the Series 3 TiVo won't be coming out until at least this summer and more likely around the holiday shopping season. The lifetime service option is being phased out while the free box in exchange for a higher monthly cost will be phased in. It sounds like the Comcast deal is still moving forward but may be ad supported to some extent. And they continued to downplay the loss of DirecTV.
Not a lot of news in the report as it sounds like they are still grinding away on their current proposed features and rollouts. I really hope TiVo throws some resources behind the series 3 box and pushes it out sooner than later. Just about everyone I know (not just early adopter types like me) keeps asking me when it will be released as it seems everyone is upgrading to HD televisions and wondering why their old tivo looks so blurry compared to their HD cable boxes.
The USA Today carries an article on TiVo Mobile today, which sounds like a WAP interface to TiVo Online, but only for Verizon customers. If you forgot to record something while you're away from your home, it can be useful to send off a recording request via your phone, but cellphone interfaces tend to be slow and tedious, so doing something like record the academy awards while you're eating lunch that afternoon could take a while. Other services such as BeyondTV's online scheduler offers WAP connections as well, so it's not exactly new.
TechDirt has more on this announcement, including the point that it costs $5 per month, which sounds like a terrible idea and a way to marginalize the service to very few users.
TiVo's own press release also mentions that it won't roll out until this summer.
TiVo has a lot of weird promotions, but this one stuck out because it was so narrow in its targeting: if you are a physician, with a TiVo, with broadband you can now download educational programs on a topic of interest to all specialties from a company that specializes in "evidence-based resources in medicine."
I can't imagine there are more than a couple hundred doctors nationwide that fit this criteria and might want to see these programs. Not earth shattering or anything, just kind of weird.
In a new twist on helping parents control what children watch on television, TiVo will announce today a service that lets its video recorders limit children to watching shows approved by one of two groups promoting family programming.
Looks like that will be the big NYC announcement later this morning and as a result, no liveblogging of the event here.
Thomas Hawk broke news of a big announcement from TiVo coming tomorrow at 11AM EST. I have no idea what it could be, but I would guess from the secret and short-term nature of the press conference, it can't be too big. Maybe it's the Comcast/TiVo deal spelled out?
I have a friend in NYC that will be attending and sending me updates, so if all goes well tomorrow morning, I'll have him live-blogging from the event here in the next post, and we'll get photos later that day. Stay tuned to this site tomorrow at 8AM Pacific/11 AM Eastern for updates on the announcement.