ZatzNotFunny posted earlier today about new TiVo models being listed on Amazon.com the TiVo Series2 80 Hour Digital Video Recorder (TCD649080) and TiVo Series2 180 Hour Digital Video Recorder (TCD649180). MSRP is $249 and $349, respectively, though the only stores are selling at a discount. Here’s what the Amazon product description has to say:
* Does not support recording from two digital cable or satellite channels at once
* Record shows from two basic cable channels, or one basic cable and one digital cable channel, at once.
* Up to 80 hours recording capacity
* Includes Ethernet and USB ports, so connecting to your home network is a snap
The world’s first, best, and easiest-to-use digital video recorder just got better. Now, record two shows at once
So the big feature changes are built-in Ethernet and dual analog cable tuners. It sounds like an asymmetric design, dual internal tuners, but one external input – so it can support a cable or satellite box like the current Series2. Since most digital cable systems are actually a mix – analog up to 100, digital over 100, that would actually work decently for digital cable users. There is no mention of antenna. That could simply be just something not mentioned in the description, or it could mean no antenna support. Since the FCC is mandating that all systems sold with an NTSC tuner must also have an ATSC tuner by March, 2007, I’ve suggested in the past that TiVo could simply drop NTSC from the ‘lower end’ boxes, leaving the Series3 for that market with NTSC/ATSC.
There hasn’t been an official announcement yet, not that I’ve seen, but the timing is appropriate. The last Friday of each March is a TiVo company holiday. Back in 1999 the original TiVo had a March shipping deadline, and everyone had to put in long hours to make it, and they did – it shipped March 31, 1999. As a reward then CEO Mike Ramsay make the last Friday of March a TiVo holiday, Blue Moon. You may have noticed this Friday is March 31st. So launching a new product on the 7th anniversary of the original TiVo launch is probably not a coincidence.
Thanks to Dave Zatz for spotting this!