TiVo Eyes Cord-Cutters With Hardware and Streaming Service
DVR pioneer TiVo announced new set-top boxes and an ad-supported streaming service today, and both show the company paying attention to the growing number of cord-cutters.
The new DVR is called the TiVo Edge, and the company offers versions for pay TV customers and antenna users. Both let customers watch live shows, record favorites, and connect to streaming services, and both support 4K video, Dolby Vision HDR, and Dolby Atmos. Both include a button for skipping some commercial breaks, and can search and record programs across all viewing platforms.
The pay TV version of the TiVo Edge has a 2 TB hard drive and 6 tuners; it sells for $399 with required service going for $14.99 per month, $149.99 per year, or $549.99 for the device's lifetime. The antenna version includes a 2 TB hard drive and 4 tuners; it sells for $349.99 with required service going for $6.99 per month, $69.99 per year, or $249.99 for the device's lifetime.
In a few weeks, TiVo owners will be able to watch free ad-supported programs on TiVo+, the company's new streaming channel. It will include content from Xumo, Jukin Media, and others. It sounds similar to what Roku offers on the Roku Channel, although Roku offers live options from higher-profile networks.
Two weeks ago, news broke that TiVo will show ads before all recorded shows and movies, even for customers with lifetime subscription plans. In its defense, the company says the new ads are skippable.
One company will control the TV platform and the other TiVo's IP licensing. The separation should be complete in the first half of 2020.
Having prevailed on two previous charges, TiVo aims to take a bite out of Comcast once again. Comcast calls Rovi tech "increasingly obsolete."
TiVo did the math and found that fewer than half of TV consumers could find a skinny bundle service that streams their favorite channels.
A global survey by TiVo sees two distinct types of pay TV customers. Operators need to approach them differently in order to keep them happy.