TiVo Offers ‘Simple, Brilliant and Legal’ DVR That Doesn’t Require Pay TV

Aug 26, 2014  •  Post A Comment

TiVo is selling a new DVR for people who don’t have a pay-TV service such as cable or satellite TV, which could provide an additional tool for cord-cutters, Bloomberg reports.

“The TiVo Roamio OTA DVR can record content from broadcast networks including ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as stream Internet video from Netflix and YouTube, according to a statement [Monday]. The device costs $49.99 with service fees of $14.99 per month and a one-year commitment, and will be available at Best Buy stores starting Sept. 14,” the story notes.

TiVo called the device “simple, brilliant and legal.”

The device is reminiscent of Aereo, which used small antennas to record and stream broadcast programming for customers, but which suffered a setback two months ago when the Supreme Court ruled that the service violated the broadcasters’ copyrights.

“What Aereo’s product demonstrated was that there are large numbers of people who are interested in addressing this market,” TiVo chief marketing officer Ira Bahr told Bloomberg. “With this Aereo ruling, they were left stranded. We think that TiVo is an excellent solution for anyone who was looking for that kind of product.”

A spokesman for TiVo said the service is legal because it captures and records content through in-home devices.

“The technology is not anything new,” the spokesman said. “We never had legal challenges regarding recording content in the home for an individual consumer.”

tivo roamio ota-2014


  1. Antennae, a PC with a USB TV adaptor, Media Center or other DVR = NO FEE. Preying on the weak.

  2. TiVo is nothing more than a digital VCR (if you are old enough to remember what a VCR is). This is simply a hardware-upgraded version of the original TiVo device and it operates the same way. TiVo makes their money selling you an unnecessary, program subscription… without which the device is useless.

    Tell you what TiVo… offer up a programable DVR that doesn’t require a subscription service (like my 12 year old programmable VCR… which still functions, BTW) and I’ll buy one (or more) of your DVRs.

    Otherwise I’ll just keep using my Mac mini as a home theater PC.

  3. This just in – TiVo sees cord cutters biting into their business, devises way to screw those people over.

  4. I’ve been cable free for 5 years. All it took was a computer with a dual TV tuner card (so I can record 2 things at once, and most of them come with a remote) an antenna, an HDMI cable (all newer TVs should have at least 3 inlets) and an internet connection. Windows Media Player works just like a DVR, plus, I now have a computer in the living room with a 67″ monitor!!!

  5. Moxi offered an advertisement supported DVR years ago. A bit expensive though.

  6. What do I get for my $14.95? A Tivo guide and a “peanut” remote? Meanwhile, TiVo harvests all my viewing history to monetize through info selling and advertising on the aforementioned guide. No thanks, TiVo–you want my data, then you’ll have to pay me, not make me pay $14.95 a month for the privilege of your taking it from me!

  7. There are digital video recorders off of broadcast signals you can buy from amazon.com for around a flat price of $250. No monthly fee. I have used mine for 4 months, works great. Paying a monthly fee indefinitely is crazy.

  8. I think that tech-savvy people have many different options. This sounds like a decent offer that people who aren’t as “in-the-know” can use. Some folks might want that extra functionality that guide provides. I haven’t had one for years, but I loved their guide compared to the barebones and user-unfriendly version I got when I chose a different service. Also, stand-alone DVR’s like the one I have didn’t have access to Netflix and Hulu. So, again, why not let some people who want convenience, pay for it. The world is big enough for many options. I just want them to see my content, whether it’s OTA, Cable, or this doesn’t matter to me.

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