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TiVo announcements push luxury alternative position

It looks like most of what came out of CEDIA this year was thin TVs and powerful projectors, the latter of which rely on screens that make even the thinnest flat-panel look obese, but TiVo, which has been positioning like mad as a media company lately, remembered that they still need a way to get their service onto boxes in living rooms — and in ways that less dependent on an MSO’s fiat.

First from CEDIA is a the TiVo HD XL DVR that brings it back close to the price of the now-discontinued Series 3 at $599. It lacks the Series 3’s classy chassis, but beefs up recording capacity while reclaiming THX certification and the posh remote. At least for the custom install market, box looks don’t matter much anyway because professional installers often hide the electronics. But the HD XL will also be sold in made to the less-elite masses at retailers such as Magnolia and Amazon.

The more important development for TiVo in terms of scale would be news that DirecTV, which had forsaken TiVo after becoming cousins with NDS, will introduce a new set-top box that brings the DirecTV TiVo experience well into the 21st Century. However, details appear short at this point, and DirecTV may well position TiVo over the price of the NDS solution. That would reinforce TiVo as a luxury niche alternative, but it’s something that you can build on.