CES: TiVo’s Over-The-Air Model Goes National

You can remove the “limited edition” label from TiVo’s recently introduced Roamio OTA DVR, a model that is targeted to cord-cutters and consumers who have never taken a traditional pay-TV package.

Following last fall’s debut of the model, TiVo announced Wednesday that it has rolled out the $49.99 model on a nationwide basis. Users of the broadband-connected Roamio OTA, a device that does not come with a slot for a CableCARD but does work with digital antennas and supports an array of OTT video, are also subject to a $14.99 per month service fee for the underpinning TiVo service.

The TiVo Roamio OTA is equipped with 500 Gigabytes of storage, four tuners, is compatible with the TiVo Stream video-transcoding sidecar, and also supports TiVo’s new OnePass feature.

TiVo didn’t say how many Roamio OTAs have been sold, but company CEO Tom Rogers toldMultichannel News in November that the device “seems to be selling pretty well.” The Roamio OTA is currently a retail-only product, but Rogers also said TiVo is in talks with cable operators about an MSO-optimized version that can be offered to their broadband-only customers.

"TiVo continually innovates to meet the shifting ways consumers want to access their TV content, and we recognized that sections of the market were underserved -- including those choosing OTA for TV and those looking for higher-end DVRs,” TiVo CMO Ira Bahr said, in a statement. That proved true with the demand for the TiVo Roamio OTA after our initial seeding in 400 Best Buy stores this past fall.

"While we are believers that the TiVo service with a cable subscription is the best TV experience out there, we recognize there are those without cable and satellite that have recording needs.”

Channel Master, whose subscription-free DVR+ platform also has cord-cutters in mind, announced this week that it will soon add a "LinearTV" feature that will itegrate live feeds from a variety of OTT content sources, including Bloomberg, Al-Jazzera America, WGN, and WeatherNation, among others.