For a long time, TiVo was more or less synonymous with DVR, and the company is hardly one to let other companies step in and take the limelight. The TiVo Roamio OTA offers both DVR and online streaming services to people who have no interest in a cable box and prefer to watch via HD antenna. (OTA stands for over the air, aka, antenna broadcast.)
TiVo announced the product via press release today (Aug. 25), explaining that the Roamio OTA would be available for $50 at Best Buy on Sept. 14 and have a limited run. Users need to dish out $15 per month for TiVo's DVR services as well with a one-year commitment, giving the Roamio OTA an effective price tag of $230 (assuming you already have an HD antenna, sold separately).
The Roamio OTA functions very much like TiVo's full-featured Roamio DVRs, save for the fact that it does not work with cable services. To start, users plug an HD antenna into the Roamio OTA, and the Roamio OTA into a TV. From there, they can watch live TV, record programs, browse a program guide or use streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora.
With four tuners, the Roamio OTA can record up to four programs simultaneously, and has 500 GB storage space to contain up to 75 hours of footage. TiVo also sells the TiVo Stream, which allows users to stream live TV to their computers or iOS devices.
If you want the device, you should snatch one up as soon as possible, as TiVo does not plan to produce that many of them — TiVo boxes are cable accessories first and foremost, so an HD antenna DVR is a bit of a deviation. However, if the device proves to be a big seller, expect to see a second run.
If you aren't one of the lucky few to snag a Roamio OTA, there's always TiVo's standard Roamio, which also boasts four tuners as well as the ability to receive cable TV. But it costs $200, plus $15 per month subscription.
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