Tivo powered DVD Burners hit the street
Kim commented earlier that she was holding out for the new Tivos with DVD burners. They are hitting the street with two models from Pioneer. At first glance, the price is the first thing you notice. The “cheap” one is MSRP of $1200.00. The “pricey” one is MSRP of $1800.00.
I am guessing that the MSRP is probably just that (recommended) and you’ll see the cheaper of the two models for maybe $1000.00.
When you get past the sticker shock, the the price may not be that far out of whack. First of all, consider the DVD burner. Panasonic generally retails their unit at about $600, but this puppy has a lightning fast burn time. That brings us down to (guessing) maybe $300 for the actual Tivo unit. It’s got an 80GB drive (80 hours at TV quality and ~maybe~ 35 hours at DVD quality). You can record TV and dub to DVD at the same time – which is an export function that the current Tivo’s do not offer at all. The 18x burner means a one-hour show burns in about 3 minutes. WOW!
One noticeable difference is that these units come with Tivo Basic, which is a stripped down version of the Tivo service – but it is 100% free with no monthly fee. Tivo Basic includes pausing live TV, record from guide, manual repeat recording by time and date, and 3 days of program guide data. It does not include the service features that have made TiVo so popular with its subscribers, such as Season Pass, WishList and Search by Title. But, you can upgrade your Tivo Basic to a standard subscription, including a choice for Home Media Option (HMO).
HMO would be a no-brainer for these units because you could basically send your photos, songs, etc to your Tivo and burn them onto DVD.
The unit has Dolby Digital and DTS Surround outputs and plays your audio cd’s and mp3 cds. Another kicker is that it is VCR+ compatible, so you can program recordings straight from your tv listing service. (I actually thought vcr+ was out of business but I guess not.)
Long story short, I’m interested to see actual user reports from these units, but I’m tempted to run to Santa screaming, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” I would really get hot & bothered if there was a DirecTV enhanced version of the same. Then I’d get really hot & bothered. It may be something in the pipeline for way down the road on the DirecTV front, however, as the next “biggie” for DirecTV is the High Definition Tivo for DirecTV. ((drools))