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TiVo offers recorder for cord-cutting viewers

Here’s a sign more households are going without cable or satellite TV: TiVo Inc. is making a digital video recorder just for so-called cord-cutters.

The TiVo Roamio OTA will cost $50, compared with $200 for the regular model. The OTA version records free, over-the-air TV signals and lacks slots for cable service cards. For both models, you need a $15-a-month subscription to TiVo service, which provides programming data and other necessities.

The OTA model will be available starting Sept. 14 at select Best Buy stores.

A 2013 study from GfK estimated that 19 percent of U.S. TV households had broadcast-only reception, up from 14 percent in 2010. Those figures include people who have dropped cable and those who never had it, something common for younger adults.

TiVo isn’t giving up on pay-TV subscribers, which still represent the majority of households. The company has two premium models that work only with a cable or satellite subscription. The $400 Roamio Plus and the $600 Roamio Pro have more storage and let you record six shows at once, rather than four on the cheaper models. The premium models also let you stream recorded shows on cellphones and tablets without additional hardware.

The $200 base model is the only one that works with both pay-TV services and antennas for over-the-air broadcasts.

2 comments

  1. The main reason for me to cut the cord is NOT to subscribe to service like this. Now I would definitely buy the $50 device if there was NO REQUIREMENT to spend an ADDITIONAL $15 a month service fee. OTA is free – why should I pay $15 a month to record OTA TV?? Sorry Tivo. I pass.

  2. DVRs have always had a fee even with cable. I have 2 Tivos and pay the fee. I don’t like it, but the Tivos are better than any DVR out there. They have a rich feature set for the money. You can schedule shows from the web and control the device from your phone or tablet to name a few.

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