Best Buy TiVo-powered HDTVs Launch July 31st

Best Buy Logo During this site’s hiatus, back in July, 2009, TiVo and Best Buy announced a strategic alliance. Building on that, in May, 2010, TiVo and Insignia (one of Best Buy’s house brands), announced that they would be developing connected HDTVs using the TiVo UI. Now it seems that partnership will bear fruit on July 31st, according to information uncovered by Zatz Not Funny.

Note that these TV’s do not include DVRs! They are connected TVs, or cTV’s in Best Buy parlance, which use the TiVo HD UI, introduced on the Premiere, for their functionality. I don’t know if there is any Trojan Horse DVR functionality in there – say via an add-on module (Toshiba and others have sold HDTVs with this kind of sidecar DVR capability in the past), but we’ll see.

We really don’t know too much about the feature set of these TVs at this point. Will they support streaming shows from a TiVo Premiere (or Premiere Elite) in the home? We don’t know, but I hope they do. I guess we won’t have long to find out.

Two models are slated for July 31st – a 32 inch and a 42 inch set. And no TiVo subscription is required! I’m guessing Best Buy is footing the bill for the guide data service. Kind of like TiVo Basic on the old Pioneer and Toshiba TiVo/DVD combo units.

See the Zatz Not Funny post for more, including photos of the Best Buy source materials.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Dave Zatz

    “Trojan Horse DVR functionality in there – say via an add-on module”

    Doubt it. TiVo is conservative, focused on their MSO partners, and this is a Best Buy product – who they feel the need to offer a smart TV product.

    • MegaZone

      Oh, I don’t really expect this, just that they could do it. But if the TVs don’t have CableCARD then this almost certainly wouldn’t be in there. While they could make a sidecar with CableCARD tuners, storage, etc., at that point you may as well get a full TiVo to use with it.

      If you already have tuners then doing a DVR, especially a digital-only DVR, isn’t a big jump. You really just need a way to store the streams for later playback.

      Now, if these TVs don’t have streaming support for use with the Premiere & Elite I’ll really be disappointed.