TiVo’s business has long relied on cable and satellite providers, but the digital video recording service is going to try cutting the cord. TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) said on Monday that its latest product will exclusively record over-the-air broadcast signals.
TiVo will sell the Roamio DVR for $50, capable of streaming video from Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P). But the box’s main draw is its ability to record 75 hours of HD programming, or 500 hours of standard definition shows, the same amount that the earlier Roamio DVR holds for four times the initial price.
The Roamio OTA is TiVo’s attempt to back away from its codependent business model with telecoms and sway cord-cutters to its service. However, it still requires them to pay $15 per month for access to its service, which includes a user guide, a mobile app and universal search, which allows users to find content from any of their subscriptions – from cable networks to Hulu.
TiVo’s cord-cutting set-top box requires an antenna, and the company boasts the newest Roamio is a “legal” alternative to services like Aereo and peer-to-peer networks. However, alternatives exist that do not require TiVo’s required annual service contract – likely a sore point for cord-cutters looking to avoid monthly bills.
For instance, Channel Master makes a DVR that uses OTA signals to create a guide, requiring no monthly service. While the company’s $249 model only comes with 16 gigabytes of built-in storage space, it also offers a $399 model with one terabyte of storage space, which is less expensive in the long run after less than two years.
The Roamio OTA has four tuners, allowing it to record four shows at once. It has apps for music services like Spotify in addition to video, as it competes with streaming set-top boxes like the Chromecast and Roku. Tivo will initially offer the Roamio in select Best Buy Inc. (NYSE:BBY) stores.