Monday, April 27, 2009

TiVo looking to cash in on consumer move to free over-the-air television


In these tough economic times, many consumers looking to save money are switching from pay TV to free over-the-air television.
The average cable TV household can save nearly $1,000 a year by making the switch. Over-the-air television offers the highest quality high-definition TV signals and many stations broadcast additional “hidden” channels through multicasting.
But consumers accustomed to cable or satellite TV will want a set-top box with a digital video recorder and on-screen program guide.
TiVo, the DVR pioneer, is stepping up to fill that need. It’s been advertising its hardware and service paired with free TV in online ads. (See above.) Those ads link to a special Web site that pitches the benefits of using its offering plus an antenna for free on-air TV.
In addition to free HD programming from the major networks, TiVo boxes can receive streaming movies from Netflix and video-on-demand movies from Amazon.com.
Of course, TiVo, Netflix and Amazon VOD movies aren’t free. TiVo and Netflix charge monthly subscription fees and Amazon sells a la carte rentals.
The TiVo HD DVR costs $299 and the service is either $12.95 a month or $129 a year (a savings of $26.40 over the monthly plan for a full year). Right now, TiVo is offering a bonus pack of music and movies worth $50 and a free TiVo wireless adapter (worth $60). The offer runs through July 31.
Tempting, very tempting.

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