TiVo HD with standard TiVo remote  (Source: The Seattle Times)
TiVo announces a new budget high-definition digital video recorder

TiVo today announced its new entry level TiVo HD digital video recorder. The new TiVo HD is TiVo’s second high-definition capable DVR and costs $500 less than TiVo’s previous HD offering, the TiVo Series 3. The new TiVo HD has similar features as the Series 3, including dual ATSC tuners and Cable CARD support. Gone from the TiVo HD is the THX certification, 250GB hard drive and front OLED display the TiVo Series 3 had.

The TiVo HD only has a coaxial input for analog and digital cable tuning. There are two Cable CARD slots on the TiVo HD for its dual tuners. However, to take advantage of both tuners, dual single-stream cards or a single multi-stream Cable CARD is required. TiVo has designed the TiVo HD for cable programming only, the DVR does not work with satellite receivers or other set top boxes. TiVo suggests the TiVo Series 2 DT for satellite and set top box users.

TiVo downsized the hard drive on the TiVo HD. While the TiVo Series 3 had a 250GB hard drive capable of recording 32 hours of HD content, the TiVo HD has a smaller 160GB drive that can record up to 20 hours of HD content. However, the TiVo HD has an e.SATA port for end-user external hard disk expansion.

The e.SATA port will not work until TiVo issues a software update to enable the feature, Vice President of Product Marketing Jim Denney said to the The Seattle Times. Previous hacks to enable the e.SATA on the TiVo Series 3 will not work on the TiVo HD, he noted.

The TiVo HD has component, composite, HDMI, S-Video and optical outputs. However, HDMI cables are not bundled with the TiVo HD, but TiVo includes component cables. The TiVo HD connects to TiVo service via Ethernet or phone lines. TiVo does not equip the TiVo HD with integrated wireless capabilities, but the existing TiVo wireless adapter will work.

Other notable features of the TiVo HD include direct downloads from movie and TV download services, online scheduling and music and image streaming from PCs.

Expect the TiVo HD to trickle into retail in early August with a suggested price of $299.99.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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