Is the country ready for an $800 TiVo
The Series3 HD is pretty nifty, built to harness the power of high-definition video, and it claims to be the first DVR to be THX-certified. (In other words, it should sound pretty darn sweet, too.) The Series3 HD also offers some welcome new features, like a front panel that shows the name of the show that is currently being recorded, and a backlit TiVo remote. TiVo has even turned to YouTube to post a promotional video on the new machine.
The new features don't come cheap, though. At $799.99, it's the priciest TiVo ever. A built-in DVD burner would have been nice at that price point. The system also isn't compatible with satellite television providers like DirecTV
The rollout is part of a bigger strategy to make sleeker and more powerful systems. Capacity and quality are likely to drive the upgrade process. This month, TiVo is teaming up with CBS
A recent software upgrade for Wi-Fi-enabled Series2 systems allows subscribers to copy multimedia files from their home computers to their TiVos. Put the pieces together, and you know we can't be too far away from a video-on-demand service, possibly in cahoots with TiVo's buddy and fellow Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Netflix
The debut of the Series3 HD probably finds existing users kicking themselves for going with the entry-level 40-hour model. That buyer's remorse has created a robust market for third-party providers like PTVUpgrade to sell hard-drive upgrade kits for TiVo users. It also explains why the $800 TiVo is built for bulk. The Series3 offers a whopping 300 hours of standard-quality recording (or 25 hours in HD mode, according to a TiVo promotional video).
TiVo is taking the Series3 HD introduction so seriously that it's even offering owners under the lifetime subscription the opportunity to pay $199 to transfer that lifetime subscription to Series3 purchases this year. TiVo no longer offers a lifetime subscription option, preferring the steady stream of monthly recurring revenue these days.
TiVo keeps growing before our very eyes. But let's see whether, after coughing up $3,000 for a new flat-screen television, consumers go into sticker shock trying to justify that $800 price tag.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does have a TiVo, but he does not own shares in the company. He does own shares in Netflix. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.The Fool has a disclosure policy.