TiVo Unleashes A Monster DVR

Taking aim at the high-end custom A/V market and videophiles, TiVo has introduced TiVo Mega, a massive DVR that sports 24 terabytes of storage, enough to record 26,000 hours of TV in standard-def, or 4,000 in HD.

In addition to hot user-swappable drives, the rack-mountable TiVo Mega, which can store about three years’ worth of SD video, also packs six tuners, support for the CableCARD, and can support up to 11 TiVo Minis, the company’s IP-based HD client for whole-home DVR setups. It also comes equipped with TiVo’s core platform (including access to apps like Netflix and  TiVo’s “universal” search across live, VOD and OTT content), an integrated transcoder for Slingbox-like video streaming to mobile devices in and out of the home, can be controlled by the TiVo app, and supports multi-room through Ethernet or MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) connections.

TiVo, as it teased last month, is set to demo a prototype of the new product at this week’s CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) conference in Denver. TiVo expects to make Mega available in the first quarter of 2015. Final pricing will be announced in the coming months, but it’s expected to sell for approximately $5,000 and include lifetime service, which today sells for $499.99.

By way of comparison, TiVo’s top-end retail DVR, the six-tuner Roamio Pro, sells for $599.99 (plus service -- $14.99 per month, or the lifetime option) and can store up to 3,000 hours of SD video or 450 hour of HD via its 3 terabyte drive.

TiVo, a spokesman noted, intends to  sell Mega through custom install channels, and might offer it through TiVo’s own web site. While not expected to be a general retail product like TiVo’s current Roamio family of DVRs, the company said it might also look into distribution through outlets such as Magnolia, the Best Buy unit focused on premium A/V setups.

“Size matters. People hate being forced to delete cool stuff from their DVR before they want to. Now, with TiVo Mega they don’t have to,” said Ira Bahr, TiVo’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “TiVo Mega offers more than twelve times the storage of any cable or satellite DVR. TiVo Mega is the solution for the power user who wants to record everything. We salute you and enjoy!”

TiVo, which introduced a “limited edition” $49.99 Roamio OTA model in late August, ended the second quarter with 4.80 million cumulative subs – 937,000 TiVo-owned subs and 3.86 million via partnerships with pay-TV service providers.