TiVo releases $49.99 over-the-air DVR for cord cutters

“TiVo today is announcing the release of its TiVo Roamio OTA DVR, a $49.99 device that will give customers who don’t have cable or satellite service,” Ryan Lawler reports for TechCrunch. “Instead, they will be able to connect the DVR up to an antenna to record shows broadcast on channels available through over-the-air digital signals.”

“The Roamio OTA has 500 GB of storage capacity, which holds up to 75 hours of HD programming. It also has four tuners to allow customers to record multiple programs at once, while also being able to tune in live to one channel,” Lawler reports. “The device is also compatible with the company’s TiVo Stream device for streaming live and pre-recorded videos on other devices.”

Lawler reports, “For access to TiVo’s channel guide, personalization, and other features, customers need to pay $14.99 per month and commit to a one-year service agreement.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. http://www.cnet.com/products/tivo-roamio-ota/

      “The bad news, as always with TiVo, is the service charge. It’s still $14.99 a month with a 12-month commitment. Even worse, the Roamio OTA is the sole current-generation TiVo that lacks a “lifetime” subscription option; you’ll be paying that charge for as long as you keep the unit.

      Given that those other Roamios require far more robust guides to handle cable, also cost $14.99 a month, and offer a lifetime option, this does seem a rather stiff charge. Also, remember there is no way to upgrade the Roamio OTA to handle cable without buying a new TiVo box.”

      1. I would have jumped on this even at $149 if it didn’t require a monthly subscription fee. With the fee, I wouldn’t take one if it was free. I’m wondering if you can avoid the subscription by simply doing without the program guide and other added features. I don’t have any such features on my EyeTV that on my Mac Pro. There are only a couple dozen channels to keep track of on OTA TV, so why would I really need a program guide?

        1. Yeah the OTA offering should have a reduced monthly fee if one at all for the equally reduced offerings on HD antennae fare. Tivo though is all about that monthly subscription fee and it’s devices useless without it.

      1. Correct, the link was to another similarly named product which does cost $199. The difference is that you can hook up that product to your CABLE/Satellite box as well as the OTA antenna.

  1. I have the old DTV Pal DVR made by Dish and marketed by Channel Master. I get a guide delivered for free.

    Unfortunately, I need to get a new amp for the antenna.

  2. OTA looks great. Better signal than cable. But where I live, we have 6 channels of local/network programming, and 19 channels of “religion,” shopping, and Hispanic programming. Limiting, to say the least. I’d love to have A&E, Bravo, AMC, maybe ESPN directly thru my AppleTV. But who controls the pipe? … the cable company. So it isn’t going to happen.

  3. Meh. These have been around for years. Everyone who ever wanted to stop paying their cable company for a DVR and instead just record their own shit on their own box has run into a stack of these, each vaguely suggesting it will do what you want and ultimately only delivering OTA recording & time-shifted playback.

    This isn’t new. Paying TiVo for it is new.

    1. You’re right that this isn’t new… and neither is paying TiVo. It’s pretty much been their SOP since they appeared.

      The monthly fee has always been the TiVo deal killer for me. AFAIC, VCR or DVR is all the same. Ten years ago I didn’t need to pay a monthly fee to use my programmable VCR… which, BTW, used the existing OTA program info for local stations that was broadcast by the local PBS station.

      I’m not keen on the fact I need to pay $20 a year for a program guide for my EyeTV, but at least it’s affordable. Unfortunately, without the guide subscription, it’s 2nd most basic function is useless since you can’t program it to record without the guide.

      Even if I have to replace it, at about $100 + $20 sub, it’s much more reasonable than a TiVo. It makes my Mac mini just about the perfect home theater PC.

  4. Hmmm…let’s see… $15 per month for what is essentially TV listings, worst-in-class support for amazon instant video and zero support for amazon prime video. Hardware that essentially becomes a doorstop if I ever did want cable back. Poorly implemented netflix app. I think I’ll pass.

  5. I love EyeTV. Records over the air onto my iMac. Not only a DVR but you can easily edit out commercials, etc. No subscription fees. Been using it for years with Bay Area broadcasts.

    1. Have an EyeTV as well and have used it from V1 all the way until EyeTV HD. Unfortunately, CONcast decided to scramble everything- including OTA and does not even properly support TiVos, so I am stuck with a shitty Cisco box just to get HBO and such.

      The age of Internet Protocol TV needs to come and end this cable bullshit.

  6. If you hunt around, there aren’t a lot of OTA tuners with a DVR that can make an unattended recording in HD and play it back on a TV set. Even most current TiVo receivers require a cable connection. The OTA Roameo is being discounted because it is an old model.

    Most of the other OTA receivers on the market are off-brands with iffy reliability and usability or discontinued models. Many rely on paid TV guides or require as much programming as an old tape recorder.

    There are some PC tuners, but most of them require Windows software or won’t stream to a TV. EyeTV connects to a Mac, but most of their current products are only sold in Europe.

    I assume that the scarcity of options is related to pressure from the content providers. They don’t want people time-shifting programming or skipping commercials without paying for the privilege with a cable or satellite subscription. Bye Bye Free TV.

    1. The EyeTV 3 software works just fine with tuners from Silicon Dust, and possibly other companies. I use it with a couple of HDHomeRun DUAL tuners. Those tuners sit on the network, which means any device in my house can access them to tune in a television station. Each box has 2 tuners, so I can tune in 4 4 different channels at the same time.

      I’ve saved over $2400 since canceling DirecTV back in January of 2013. If you’d like more info, I’ve been blogging about my setup over at AtariAge:

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