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Pioneer Unveils Combo TiVo/DVD Recorder

New York – Pioneer became the latest consumer electronics manufacturer to unveil personal video recording products based on TiVo’s middleware and program listing services.

The company said it will add TiVo’s Series 2 platform to a pair of DVD recorder/PVR combo systems due to ship in September.

In total, the company announced four new DVD recorder models, one new entry level DVD-RW/-R recorder and three combination DVD recorder/personal video recorders, two under the Pioneer brand and one under Pioneer’s upscale Elite line.

The entry combo piece, the model DVR-510, lacks TiVo functionality, but adds an 80GB hard drive and video editing convenience features, such as IEEE-1394 DV inputs for connection to digital camcorders. The model is positioned for videophiles interested greater flexibility for editing home videos while making transfers from tape to DVD discs.

A step-up unit combines an 80GB hard drive video recorder with a DVD-RW/-R recorder. It uses a manual program recording system.

The next two combo models add TiVo functionality. The Pioneer DVR-810H and Elite DVR-57H are billed the first combo devices to combine TiVo-based hard drive recording with a DVD recorder.

Toshiba recently announced a TiVo combo device that adds a DVD player to the HDD recorder capability.

The Elite DVR-57H will carry an $1,800 suggested retail, and the Pioneer DVR-810H will carry an $1,199 suggested retail. Both models are slated to ship in September.

Each employs TiVo Series 2 middleware which enables various home networking options, including sharing JPEG photo and MP3 music files from a connected PC’s hard drive. However, users will be required to purchase a home media server software package from TiVo for a $99 one time fee, to add the networking functionality. The two models will also play photos and MP3 music files from DVD discs.

Consumers who purchase either model will have the option of taking a basic TiVo service with no monthly subscription charge or upgrading to TiVo’s premium service for $12.95 per month.

The step-up service expands program listings from 3-days to 14-days and adds a variety of advanced search tools and automatic recording functions.

The DVR-57H incorporates a 120GB hard drive, while the DVR-810H includes an 80GB hard drive. The DVR-57H also adds a re-enforced dual-layer chassis with better stability and greater resistance to vibration and noise.

Both TiVo models offer 181-channel cable-ready tuners, and composite and S-video inputs, but lack IEEE-1394 digital inputs. Camcorder owners must transfer home videos to discs via the analog inputs. However, both units are designed to simplify the task of archiving recordings from temporary storage on TiVo’s hard disc section to DVD a disk.

Meanwhile, Matt Dever, Pioneer’s marketing and product planning VP, described the entry level DVR-310 as ‘a basic entry level DVD recorder’ with an internal NTSC tuner and improved easy navigation system to simplify user operation.

The step-up DVR-510 adds to that an 80GB hard drive capable of recording television programs onto a hard drive.

The DVR-510 and DVR-310 models will ship in August at prices to be announced later, Pioneer said.