TiVo Slashes DVR Prices In Holiday Promo

TiVo will hack $200 off the retail prices of its DVRs through the end of the year, hoping the hardware discounts of up to 66% will help it stanch the flow of subscriber losses.

The company, which is practically synonymous with the DVR, has been hemorrhaging customers over the last four years. TiVo lost 666,000 subscribers over the 12 months that ended July 31 -- 22% of its customer base -- to stand at 2.38 million.

The TiVo Premiere box (pictured, left) is now $99.99 with a one-year contract of $19.99 per month, compared with a regular retail price of $299.99. The larger-capacity Premiere XL will be $299 (versus the regular $499.99 price), also with a one-year contract of $19.99 per month. The Premiere DVR has 320 Gigabytes of storage for up to 45 hours of HD programming, while the 1-Terabyte XL can store 150 hours of HD.

Early termination fees apply to the offers. The new promotional pricing will be available starting Monday, Nov. 15, through Dec. 31, 2010, via TiVo's website, Best Buy and other retailers.

TiVo touts the Premiere boxes as being "far superior to what is available from most cable operators and other single-purpose Internet-connected set-top boxes." In addition to its well-known DVR features, the boxes provide access to broadband-delivered content including services from Amazon.com, Netflix, YouTube.

The Alviso, Calif.-based company has struck agreements with Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, RCN, Suddenlink Communications, Virgin Media in the U.K. and other service providers to variously provide TiVo-based services, resell its DVRs or provide better integration with TiVos. But none so far has helped stop TiVo's customer defections.

TiVo is scheduled to report earnings for the quarter ended Oct. 31 next Tuesday, Nov. 23.