Some Best Buy Insignia TiVo HDTV Gossip


For the first time in over a year, we recently learned a little something of Best Buy’s partnership with TiVo… consisting of two upcoming Insignia-branded HDTVs. The sets will feature TiVo’s interface, universal search, programming guide and a variety of connected apps – including Best Buy’s own Napster and CinemaNow properties. But no actual DVR capabilities (and no monthly fees).

Some additional information has come my way, and while I have great faith in my network of sources, there’s some data here we don’t have complete confidence in. So, for the time being, please consider the following rumor and speculation.

First off, nothing in in the way of new intel has discounted or reinforced a July 31st launch. But what we may have turned up is pricing details… with the 32″ 1080p set running $599 and the 42″ model clocking in at $999. Which seems somewhat lofty for a house brand smart TV, despite the premium TiVo partnership. Yet, if the 42″ specs I turned up from a public non-BestBuy product database (Google is your friend) are accurate, perhaps its not entirely unreasonable. (1080p, 120Hz LED LCD, dual band 802.11n wireless, 4 HDMI ports, 3 speakers)

And here is where it gets weird… That very same product database indicates the television will feature Chumby apps. Making me wonder if that “cTV” may stand for chumbyTV in addition to connected-TV. Of course this wouldn’t be entirely implausible as Best Buy has previously produced Chumby widget stations. But it also makes me wonder if we’ve either got the wrong product or maybe there are multiple software experiences to be mated to this specific HDTV hardware. Or it is what it is – the Insignia TiVo TV will feature both the TiVo experience and Chumby apps. Regardless, at these possible price points, I’d expect an improved Netflix streaming app and TiVo Premiere-to-HDTV streaming.

We’ll keep digging…

15 thoughts on “Some Best Buy Insignia TiVo HDTV Gossip”

  1. Wow $999 for a 42 inch TV? Currently they sell their 42″ LCD for $549 and their Plasma for $499. Now Toshiba does sell a 42″ LED-LCD for $1199 so maybe it is correct, but then again RCA has one for $649.

    I almost wonder if we won’t see an improved Netflix app and the TV won’t actually have the app. It will all just be integrated into search with maybe more options to make browsing easier. It seems like they could add Discovery Bar options that are tailored to browsing Netflix and then the user just never sees the app.

  2. how does this tv with its guide and universal search integrate with tv service? via ir blasters with a cable box? cable card? analog cable? qlear qam? OTA only? this tv doesnt make sense.

  3. So far it looks like all other recent “smart” TVs in regards to sources… I assume OTA ATSC is available and you’d connect a set-top box to it. Perhaps clear QAM is available. At this price point, I can almost imagine a CableCARD slot. Yet nothing I’ve come across yet gives me confidence that it may be so. Assuming there is no CableCARD, the guide would just show you whats on in whatever region/provider you select but won’t be interactive in the sense that you could change channels from it. Related, I wonder what sort of remote will be bundled with this – hopefully a TiVo peanut or Slide (!) and universal to control that STB. Of course, if your STB of choice is a TiVo this product may not make much sense… without Premiere-to-HDTV streaming. We shall see!

  4. Tivo UI + Guide Data + Chumby apps aren’t worth ~$450, IMHO. (Even allowing for the fact that the guide data is licensed, and therefore has to have what amounts to a ‘lifetime’ price included with the TV.) There’s no way this unit doesn’t have streaming, right? Surely that’s Tivo and BB’s ‘one more thing.’

  5. At that price point it seems like they’ve built the price of a tivo in to the TV. Since I bought a 42 Panasonic for $500 a few months ago and a Tivo Premiere with lifetime service for a little more than $500 with the upgrade offer.

  6. I should also add that the hardware doesn’t indicate a eSATA port but there is one USB port. If that intel is correct, I think it’s also highly unlikely this could ever be converted into a TiVo DVR. Regarding pricing, with the base Roku clocking in at just 60 bucks no matter how good this is it’ll be a tough sell without things like a Slide remote and streaming. Hoping for the best. With streaming, I might pick one up. With streaming and a CableCARD slot, I’d definitely be down for two. (assuming decent pq. and assuming these prices are even right)

  7. I wonder if this means that we’ll see similar Chumby functionality in the Premiere as well. TiVo could really use a platform to provide that kind of widget, especially since FrameChannel kicked the can.

  8. “And here is where it gets weird… That very same product database indicates the television will feature Chumby apps … maybe there are multiple software experiences to be mated to this specific HDTV hardware.”


    Chumby is built on Flash. TiVo is built on Flash.

  9. I love the Chumby and its cousin the Sony Dash. I am curious to see how they transition to a TV-based UI. Obviously the small-screen apps won’t scale well to 1080p. I’d also love to see more updated Chumby apps. The current catalog is getting long in the tooth, probably because there’s no money in creating a Chumby app as they’re all free.

    I am curious, though, who in this day and age wants a TV without a DVR? I guess lots of people still watch live TV, but I’d never buy this TV. Well, unless it doesn’t really need the broadcast content anymore and is a step towards a streaming only lifestyle.

  10. “I am curious, though, who in this day and age wants a TV without a DVR?”

    Well, in defense of this odd thing, if TiVo gets its LAN streaming working, then it can become an spoke DVR viewer.

  11. Just to start a rumor…

    Chumby uses Flash as its development environment.

    TiVo’s new development environment is also Flash.

    Perhaps TiVo will jumpstart their app options by natively supporting Chumby apps. ;-)

  12. I’ll start a rumor too. I’ve been sitting on this about 24 hours… and emailed Chumby PR yesterday and didn’t hear back. That’s a bit suspicious. ;) Any way, I’m much more confident now than I was several hours ago in the details above. Stay tuned.

  13. I did keep saying I could see a rationale for why TiVo decided to build on Adobe’s undergirding…

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