TiVo Inc. is at long last offering a standalone model that gives customers the ability to watch one show while recording another.
Addressing a capability that has been available for several years from cable and satellite set-top makers, TiVo's new Series2 DT digital video recorder marks the first standalone model from the company to offer dual tuners. TiVo-powered DirecTV receivers have provided dual-tuner functionality for several years.
TiVo said the Series2 DT model is "optimized for cable households." Earlier this year, CableLabs awarded Digital Cable Ready (DCR) "verification" to TiVo, enabling the vendor to build and market DVRs that support the CableCARD, a removable security device that authorizes digital cable services without the need for a separate set-top box.
The new model became available at retail May 1. Following a rebate, TiVo's 80-hour model will break the $100 barrier, and sell for $99.99.
The box will also come equipped with TiVoToGo, a feature that allows users to transfer recorded shows to a laptop or supported portable media players. Later on, the Series2 DT will also allow Verizon customers to program the DVR remotely via their cell phones.
On the retail front, Circuit City, Best Buy and Amazon.com have already stepped up to carry TiVo's new dual-tuner model.