A Year Without Cable, Week 18: TiVo Targets Cord Cutters with New Box
Thanks to the Supreme Court, it’s doubtful we’ll see a service like Aereo pop up anytime soon. But while you can’t pay to access broadcast TV over the Internet anymore, you can set up a similar system yourself using TiVo’s newest DVR box, the Roamio OTA, and a $130 accessory called the TiVo Stream.
The Roamio OTA, covered today by Fast Company, is a brand new DVR aimed at cord cutters. It’ll set you back a mere $50, which is quite reasonable, though you’ll still need to pay the $15/month subscription fee if you want programming data.
Using the new box, you can record up to 75 hours of HD video and up to four shows at one time. The TiVo OTA is actually pretty similar to the basic Roamio model made for cable TV; the only thing missing is the CableCARD slot.
As far as purchasing goes, TiVo is treating the OTA as a sort of a “hobby” right now, to borrow from Apple; you might not find it at the local electronics store, as the company is restricting sales to 435 Best Buy locations (starting in September) and at BestBuy.com (in October). That could change, however, depending on the reception the product gets.
If you happen to pick up a Roamio OTA, adding a TiVo Stream box to your setup allows you to essentially operate your own personal Aereo. You’ll be able to stream live TV, as well as recorded content, from an iPhone or iPad. And you’ll even be able to download shows to those devices for offline viewing, should you so choose. And the best part? You won’t be paying for cable.
There’s some cost to entry — $180 for both the TiVo OTA box and the TiVo Stream — as well as a $15/month fee. But if you thought Aereo was the future of TV, know that there’s at least one way to emulate its functionality.