New TiVo HD + DTV Transition = True

Yesterday TiVo released it´s new TiVo HD, a less pricy model with HD recording capabilities. And the TiVo HD will be able to convert digital broadcast signals to analog if you use an antenna. And instead of 20 hrs of recorded HD TV you can record up to 180 hrs in standard TV. And the pricetag? It is set for $299.99.

USA Today reports that by the end of 2007 as many as 36 percent of U.S households could have HDTV. Consumers want to view TV in HD. The new TiVo HD reaffirms that. But what about digital broadcast HD? If you know something about that please drop me a note. Consumers with a rooftop antenna will ask “what about me-will I get HDTV?” Consumers may think that the DTV transition will bring HDTV to everyone, but that isn´t the case.

Comments in the blogosphere about the new TiVo have focused on the low price, features and TiVo’s challenges to reach out to a broader audience of users. Bussinessweek view TiVo HD as a way to target mainstream consumers. Engadget HD has some points from TiVo’s VP, Jim Denney. John Murrel discuss the product at Goodmorning Silicon Valley, he writes that “…the machine it should have rolled out two or three years ago…”. Wilson Rothman at Gizmodo gives it a long review with pros and cons. And Alec Saunders blogs about some advices to TiVo. Such as using TiVo as a platform and to reach out to Canada’s TV-viewers!

However, I think the new TiVo might be a great buy for consumers affected by the transition. They get a box that converts the signals from digital to analog, a great deal of recording capability and an option to connect it with cable TV or use it with a broadband connection and download movies from Amazon’s Unbox service.
That is good if users change their mind about how they want to receive TV. I think the built in program guides looks great. Something you don´t have in today’s analog broadcasts.

I wrote recently about TiVo as an alternative to traditional converter boxes. No converter boxes with built in hard discs (DVR) have been released yet. They will arrive. The question is what the price tag will be and what kind of features they will carry. Will TiVo compete with them? The subscription fee will certainly be a downside for TiVo compared with a traditional DVR or for instance Apple TV.

Finally, will TiVo market themselves actively as a choice for consumers affected by the upcoming transition, since their market share is declining? Will the transition be a window of opportunity for TiVo?

Stay tuned for more…

Anders Bjers

PS TiVo´s challenges are also PR Firm Ruder Finn´s. The firm is TiVo´s new PR partner as of yesterday according to PR Week… DS

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2 Responses to New TiVo HD + DTV Transition = True

  1. “But what about digital broadcast HD? If you know something about that please drop me a note.”

    I can’t remember the information source, but I think that only 8% of consumers who have HDTV use off-air antennas for over-the-air HDTV broadcasts. I am sure this number will go up as more HDTV content will be available over the air.

  2. perry mcfarland says:

    i have a series 2 (analog) tivo and lifetime subscription–i use outside antenna for just the networks—i am waiting until last minute to buy a converter or a new hd tivo—the most important consideration is that i keep my life time subscriptio to tivo—i’m hoping either that tivo offers an upgrade to the $300 hd tivo and allow me to keep lifetime, or that there will be a convertor that “talks” to my tivo—the tivo will control a direct tv receiver thru the ir optic cable—also i want to continue to receive my tv off an outside antenna—i don’t care if i watch in high def—
    If you have any suggestions, please send me an email

    thanks perry mcfarland

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