updated 08:15 am EDT, Tue July 24, 2007
TiVo on Tuesday unveiled its simply-titled TiVo HD, its first HD-capable DVR aimed at the mainstream. The HD (previously known as the Series 3 Lite) brings recording and playback of HDTV shows up to 1080i and dual CableCARD slots that can capture one show while playing or capturing another. Costs are reduced by including a single ATSC HD tuner as well as an NTSC analog tuner; it also omits the OLED of the original Series 3, drops storage to 160GB that nets 20 hours of HD recording, and relies on a Series 2-style remote without programming or glowing keys.
Output caters to both HD and standard definition with HDMI and component providing high-resolution images and RCA/S-video handling lower-resolution content with the choice of either analog or optical audio out. Peripherals can be attached through USB, and networking through Ethernet or a phone line for users who only need basic programming guides. The external SATA port of the Series 3 is intact, TiVo says, and will be activated for extra hard drives later this year.
Although feature changes are relatively slight for most users, the cost is more than halved, TiVo notes: where the premium Series 3 costs $800, the TiVo HD will sell for $300. TiVo's subscription-based service is priced the same as before and begins at $13 per month on a three-year plan or $299 for prepaid service over the same timespan.