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TiVo may give away set-top boxes for free to draw in more customers

In an effort to gain more marketshare, analysts are claiming that TiVo could possibly make its set-top boxes free on certain plans. The free boxes would be attached to higher priced plans or plans that hold customers to a longer contract. I'm sure that many customers would go for the slightly higher priced plans if they could avoid the steep cost of entry assocated with the set-top boxes. Even so, TiVo still faces some stiff competition:

TiVo also faces competition from far bigger cable and satellite TV providers and consumer electronics makers, all of whom are offering rival digital video recorders to consumers. Many of the devices are more powerful than TiVo's and are offered at lower prices -- sometimes for free.

In an interview earlier this month, TiVo's CEO, Tom Rogers, explained his vision for the future of digital recording: "The estimates are today that roughly about 8 to 9 million homes have TiVo or other forms of DVR in them today. My view is that is going to grow to be a much, much, larger number. The estimates range anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of households in the next five or six years will have TiVo and other forms of DVR."

Whether this new "free" offer that company plans to offer helps them achieve record growth remains to be seen, but it is at least a step in the right direction.  The CEO also stressed in the interview that existing Comcast hardware might be upgradeable to TiVo capabilities via software updates. 




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