By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Alivso, Calif. – TiVo introduced Tuesday a new line of retail DVRs, called Roamio, offering four to six tuners, streaming to iPads and iPhones and whole home DVR capability.
The three model line, which will replace TiVo’s current Premiere line, gets its name from its ability to send recordings to subscribers’ smartphones and tablets, where ever they are, in addition to inside their homes.
The company’s fifth-generation DVR line also includes a new and improved menu and interface, more robust program search and recommendations and faster operation.
The new models add recommendations for viewing programs that are currently on, based in part on what other TiVo viewers are watching, in addition to user viewing patters.
TiVo his hoping its beefed up devices provide compelling new capabilities to rival whole-home solutions from DirecTV, DISH and various cable operators.
Beyond the capabilities offered in previous TiVo lines, the Roamio models support offer acess to streaming Internet video services including: Netflix, Hulu and others.
Select models will also add the ability to stream live and recorded content to iPads and iPhones, without the need for any add-on accessories.
Streaming initially will be limited to devices connected to an in-home Wi-Fi network, but starting this fall, subscribers will be able to use their iPads and iPhones to access Wi-Fi networks outside the home to view content playing through their home-based Roamio. An Android app is planned to expand the capability to other devices early next year.
The new TiVo line is intended primarily for use with cable TV services, and will require a CableCARD from the local provider to access premium services. They will also work with Verizon FiOS packages, but not with satellite TV or AT&T U-Verse.
The base Roamio model carries a $200 suggested retail and includes a 500GB hard drive for up to 75 hours of storage, four tuners capable of recording up to four programs at one time and built-in support for over-the-air broadcasts. It does not include built-in streaming, and requires an adapter to connect $99 TiVo Mini MOCA-based wired thin client receivers that allow access of the main DVR by a TV in another room in the home.
TiVo continues charges a $15-a-month subscription fee for its electronic television listings and other features, and $6 a month for each add-on TiVo mini unit.
None of the models support satellite TV services or AT&T'S U-verse.
The $400 step-up Roamio Plus model expands the storage capability to 150 hours of high-definition television programming, has six tuners to record up to six programs at a time, adds built-in streaming and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
A high-end Roamio Pro carries a $600 suggested retail price and can store 450 hours of HD programming.
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