TiVo has launched the Roamio OTA DVR, a version of its flagship product created specifically for recording over-the-air HDTV signals without a cable subscription. Announced in August, this new product is available today in Best Buy stores and online at tivo.com for a surprisingly low price—just under $50. The box still requires TiVo’s monthly service at $14.99/month, and activation requires a 1-year commitment. At this time, TiVo isn’t offering lifetime service for this device.
The specs on this device are very similar to those of the TiVo Roamio entry model: 4 tuners, 75 hours of HD storage, Netflix/Hulu/etc., and no onboard streaming capabilities. This product does require that you have an HD antenna, but with devices like the popular Mohu Leaf antenna now available, that’s a pretty easy proposition. If you’re considering this new box, you may want to first ensure that you get over-the-air broadcast signals in your area, though, before picking one up.
Depending on your tolerance for monthly fees, this may be one of the best cord cutting devices available. While previously plagued by slow performance, TiVo’s video apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube are quick and responsive on the Romio devices. And with rumors of Vudu and (a desperately needed improvement to its) Amazon Instant service, TiVo offers nearly all of the major services that don’t otherwise require a cable subscription.