TiVo Goes High Definition with New Series3 DVR

Dennis Faas's picture

Television fans from across the globe have a new reason to celebrate. No, Fox hasn't introduced the OC: Next Generation, and Seinfeld isn't back on the air with new episodes -- TiVo has gone High Definition (HD).

This past Tuesday, TiVo Inc. began selling its new HD digital video recorder (DVR), Series3, on its website. The product will be available at U.S. retail stores later this week. (Source: marketwatch.com)

This long-awaited new product from the company who's name is synonymous with DVR technology is not its first foray into HD technology. The company has a high definition system with DirectTV, however the Series3 is TiVo's first stand-alone HD DVR product.

What Does the New Model Offer?

The Series3 allows users to record up to 32 hours of entertainment in HD, and up to 300 hours in standard definition. The console has two tuners that lets users record two different programs at the same time; a must for those TV addicts. As an added bonus, while you are recording 2 programs, you can also watch a third program pre-recorded on the device.

Some additional features of TiVo's new Series3 include a user-friendly interface and remote; Internet and home networking features such as photo sharing, music streaming, and online scheduling; and optional Wi-Fi networking. (Source: cnet.com)

How much will the Series3 Cost?

Although critics and consumers alike are praising TiVo's Series3 for its innovation and ease of use, the number one contentious issue with the new product is its exorbitant price tag. The Series3 is listed at a price of $800 U.S., which may deter new consumers away from purchasing.

Robert Heron of PC Magazine emphasizes the fact the TiVo Series3 may just be too expensive for some: "With its $800 price tag plus monthly service fees, the TiVo Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder is very expensive when compared with the upgrade packages offered by cable providers who also offer dual-tuning HD DVRs." (Source: abcnews.com)

Heron also notes that current TiVo lifelong subscribers with older TiVo models will have to pay a $200 U.S. transfer fee to transfer their account over to the new Series3 box.

Another caveat -- the Series3 works only with cable service and is not compatible with satellite -- so satellite users will have to go elsewhere (possibly to their service provider) to access DVR services.

Will it Float?

The Series3 will likely be popular with current TiVo subscribers, and with those customers in high-income brackets. However, for TiVo to be successful, the company will have to bank on its prestigious image to lure customers in to buying the Series3.

If you would like to view a comprehensive review on TiVo's Series3, including a video on demand, log into CNET Reviews.

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