TiVo Halves Cost of Tripling HD Storage

TiVo users frustrated by filling up their hard drives so fast with HD content can triple their storage for less than half the usual price from this weekend.

Customers shortly will be advised of a special deal on the 1TB Western Digital Expander drive: $174.00 (plus $15.00 postage) — or $195.00 off the recommended retail price.

Of course, at its RRP of $369, the WD Expander was ridiculously costly compared to other hard drives of the same size. But it was the only one compatible with TiVo.

No doubt TiVo is banking on the Father’s Day promotion to prove to the manufacturer that it stands to make more money by selling the drives in higher volume at a lower cost.

It’s part of TiVo’s Australasian licensee’s strategy to make the home media device a much bigger force in home entertainment through expansion of its CASPA video-on-demand service.

So, too, is its plan to launch a TiVo unit with 1TB of its own storage, probably within the next year. But the “uber box” won’t replace the current 320GB model and will be the same in all other respects.

Meanwhile, Sky TV has announced its own VOD service, iSky, although curiously its My Sky HDi box will be the last device to offer such content as part of a phased roll-out from the end of the year.

Last week Sky revealed it had more than 800,000 subscribers, and was in 47.9% of homes, while this week the free-to-air digital TV platform, Freeview, reported it was in more than a quarter of homes.

The increase for the last 12 months to June 30 was 65%, up from 255,048 homes to 419,945 homes — or a further 10.3% of the population. And for the second quarter of this year, an extra 9,639 homes were enabled with Freeview satellite and 33,947 with Freeview|HD.

“The anecdotal feedback we’ve had from retailers suggests the All Whites performance at the FIFA Football World Cup (screened live on TV One in HD, with alternate live games plus replays on TVNZ 7) played a part in this very good result for Freeview|HD,” Freeview general manager Sam Irvine said when the figures were released.

“And prices for integrated digital TVs, which have built-in Freeview|HD tuners, and MyFreeview|HD digital television recorders, are consistently falling, which helps too.”

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