TiVo Roamio, The DVR Worth Dying For?

A round-up of TiVo Roamio launch coverage… check back for updates!

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Engadget
TiVo’s new DVRs are the company’s best yet

It took more than three years, but TiVo has finally delivered the DVR we hoped for when the Premiere first came out. The Roamio Plus addresses every major gripe we had, except the lack of HDMI-CEC. The speed improvement alone makes this a must-upgrade for any Premiere owner, and finally gives all the Series3 holdouts a reason to open their wallets. Is it perfect? No. Is it the innovative TiVo we used to expect? No, there are other six-tuner DVRs with amble space already on the market. Is it the best DVR ever released that works with ATSC or CableCARD? Absolutely.

The Verge
TiVo Roamio Pro review: this is the ultimate cable box

The TiVo Roamio Pro is very much the ultimate DVR — short of building a media center PC, there isn’t another product on the market that can do as much with as much flexibility as the Roamio. Installing it can be a huge pain, and it’s outrageously expensive — on top of the box, TiVo service costs either $14.99 / month or a ridiculous $499 flat fee per unit — but if you’re spending loads of money on cable service with premium channels, it’s worth it.

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TiVo In The Hunt For Hulu?!

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On Friday (6/14), proprietary market intelligence firm StreetAccount reported that TiVo shares were up on “follow-through from speculation on a Hulu acquisition.” A rising tide lifts all boats? Or the first whiff of TiVo as a potential acquirer? Although TiVo has never been mentioned as a suitor, the company declined to comment on this note and reports indicate multiple firms have submitted bids for Hulu – with at least 3 exceeding $1 billion.

Mergers and acquisitions take various forms and a Hulu M&A will be no different. While we believe a TiVo-Hulu tie up is unlikely, by entertaining the notion we could imagine a scenario with TiVo sharing primary billing with some of Hulu’s current backers, perhaps Comcast and/or Disney, maintaining a small ownership interest to lower their cost while buying some say in future direction. The big unknown, irrespective of who ultimately lands Hulu, is what sort of content guarantees an acquirer would receive from the current owners.

TiVo recently settled with Google, Time Warner Cable, and Cisco for $490 million, swelling its balance sheet to over $1 billion. With limited debt, TiVo’s finances would conceivably provide comfort to Hulu’s owners as it is possible that they could maintain some sort of partial interest in a combined company. Hulu’s existing owners would appreciate TiVo’s neutrality, as the “Switzerland of the cable industry” – having partnered with many top US MSOs.

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