TiVo and Best Buy Get Chumby Over Insignia

TiVo Logo Best Buy Logo A couple of weeks ago Zatz Not Funny reported what appeared to be leaked information indicating the launch of the TiVo-powered Insignia HDTVs for Best Buy would happen July 31st. Today, Dave shared even more information.

While there is no confirmation, or refutation, of the July 31st launch date, but his sources indicate pricing for the 32″ 1080p LED HDTV will be $599 and the 42″ 1080p LED HDTV will be $999. Those prices may sound high, but these are LED HTDVs, and for LED models those prices are pretty reasonable. And, if they’re accurate, they’re probably MSRP – and who pays MSRP? Dave also believes he’s found the specs: 1080p, 120Hz LED LCD, dual band 802.11n wireless, 4 HDMI ports, 3 speakers. Not bad.

Shortly after making his post, Dave was contacted by a tipster who provided a number of photos of the 42″ model’s packaging. The photos confirm most of the information, and provide even more. The new branding is ‘TiVo Design’, which seems like TiVo’s version of ‘Intel Inside’. The remote is, unfortunately IMHO, not a TiVo peanut, but looks like a button farm brick.

The TV’s have no DVR, as we knew, just using the TiVo HDUI from the Premiere to access OTT content and for the guide. There will not be a subscription fee to use the service.

But what is really interesting are the included apps. This is a TiVo-powered TV, so you might expect expect services like Photobucket, Pandora, Netflix and YouTube, and they’re there. But so are Twitter, Facebook, Napster, CinemaNow, Insignia OnDemand, and Chumby apps. Best Buy owns Napster & CinemaNow, and of course Insignia, so these aren’t much of a surprise. But what makes these interesting is that the work must have been done to integrate then into the TiVo UI for these HDTVs. And if that work has been done, doesn’t it make sense to leverage it for the standalone TiVo units like the Premiere? We’ve heard mention of Twitter and Facebook apps in conjunction with MSO deals in the past, but this looks like it will be the first public appearance of such apps.

And, to start a rumor:

  • TiVo has talked about apps as part of their new platform.
  • Chumby’s app development environment is Flash.
  • TiVo’s new platform also just happens to use Flash for apps.

Could TiVo jump-start their app library, as well as their developer base, by adopting Chumby’s app environment for their platforms outside of the Insignia TVs? It would certainly give them a shot in the arm. They’d benefit from the established library of apps, and the combined platform would provide a larger user base, which is more appealing to developers.

Certainly something to think about.

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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