Announced a little over a year ago, it looks as if Best Buy’s Insignia-branded, TiVo-powered HDTVs are nearly upon us. From the original press release:
The new Insignia televisions will provide Best Buy customers with an exceptional, intuitive user experience for accessing online content by utilizing the latest TiVo non-DVR software and advanced television service. TiVo’s easy-to-use platform will give the viewer a one-stop-shop for delivering and searching content right on the television.
As expected, the product to be delivered features no DVR capabilities and represents TiVo’s first “connected” television – or cTV as Best Buy has christened it. Of course, the market is saturated with smart TVs at this point, yet Best Buy has tremendous marketing muscle and they’re obviously hoping TiVo’s famed user experience is compelling. In fact, TiVo’s integrated guide and universal search set it apart from most Internet-connected televisions hosting app silos. This new platform (running TiVo’s HDUI, no less!) also presents an opportunity to pump Best Buy’s Napster music streaming and CinemaNow video on demand services via WiFi. Of course, as an existing TiVo Premiere owner and someone in need of a new flat panel television, what would really set this offering apart from the competition is the ability to stream recorded content from an existing DVR on the other side of the house. Unfortunately, I can’t say one way or another if that’s on the docket.
From the materials I’ve come across, you can clearly see that Best Buy intends to launch both 32″ and 42″ Insignia cTV TiVo HDTVs on July 31st. I don’t have any data on cost, and I’m afraid to speculate given the pricing variability in this space and without knowing how Best Buy intends to position this solution. But, I can tell you that “a TiVo subscription is not required.”