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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
TiVo Starts Sales of Premium TV Video Recorder

TiVo on Tuesday started selling its latest digital video recorder which is capable of displaying high-resolution TV signals, as the recording technology company seeks new subscribers among buyers of premium home theater systems.

TiVo, whose service remains popular despite tough competition from far larger cable and satellite providers, said its Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder will be available on the company's Web Site this week and in some electronics stores later this month.

At about $800, the DVR is expensive for a cable set-top box, a device that many consumers receive for a negligible monthly fee from their TV provider.

TiVo marketing executive Jim Denney said the DVR, which boasts high-end features such as THX performance, which ensures quality and resolution, will eventually be able to download programs, perhaps like how songs are sold on Apple's iTunes.

He said the DVR also meets the needs of buyers eyeing high-definition flat screen TV and add-on audio systems.

The set-top box, made by a contract manufacturer for TiVo and originally unveiled in January, will have two tuners, so that cable TV subscribers can record two different shows in high-definition at once, while watching a third prerecorded show. Users can save up to 32 hours of HD programming, or up to 300 hours of standard definition.

Subscribers will continue to pay around $13 a month, although a variety of pricing packages are available, the company said. The company has about 4.4 million subscribers, but only 1.5 million who do not subscribe to the DirecTV's satellite service run by News Corp. .

The new product announcement came only two weeks after TiVo posted a deeper second-quarter net loss due primarily to the effects of its intellectual property patent litigation, more upfront hardware costs and the expensing of stock options.

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