TiVo to launch new, cheaper HD DVR next month

  • Alviso (CA) - TiVo is planning to put out a new addition to its Series 3 brand of high definition DVRs with a model that's less than 50% cheaper than the current one.

    TiVo launched its Series 3 HD video recorder last September at a staggering price of around $800. With such a high price point and very little marketing of the device, sales have been significantly lower than the DVR maker anticipated.

    The first TiVo Series 3 model

    The new model will carry an MSRP of around $300, which puts it much closer to the current slate of other TiVo boxes.  The most common Series 2 TiVo, which has an 80 hour recording capacity, is priced at around $100.

    With the lower price tag comes a smaller hard drive.  The new Series 3 TiVo will have a 160 GB capacity instead of the 250 GB drive offered on the $800 model.  That's still enough to record about 20 hours of 720p/1080i high definition programming or 180 hours of standard definition content.

    The box is a little more generic than the sleek 250 GB recorder, and doesn't sport an OLED display that displays the names of the shows currently being used by the two built-in tuners.  Consumers who purchase the new model also won't get the shiny, sleek remote control designed for the first Series 3 box.

    TiVo is accepting pre-orders for the new box now, and it plans to begin shipping them to customers and retailers in the first half of August.

    So far TiVo has announced no plans to discontinue the more expensive set top box.