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TiVo Slashes PVR Price 50 Percent, Impact Uncertain

9 Aug, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Buoyed from last week's certification by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of pending fourth-quarter technology, digital recording service TiVo said it would offer a $100 mail-in rebate on its entry-level Series2 40-hour PVR, among other initiatives.

The rebate, which applies to new purchases from Aug. 11 through Sept. 30, doubles a current $50 online rebate offer bringing the cost of the device down to $99 from $149 ($200 SRP).

TiVo has also dropped $20 and $50, respectively, from the prices of its 80-hour ($199) and 140-hour ($299) PVRs.

The moves are part of a multimillion dollar national retail campaign that will bring TiVo for the first time to Sam's Club, CompUSA, Target.com, Fry's Electronics and Costco.

The device is currently available on the Internet at Amazon and Dell, and at retail at Best Buy, Circuit City and Good Guys.

“Breaking the $100 threshold and expanding our distribution footprint now puts TiVo within reach of many more consumers,” said Brodie Keast, EVP and general manager of TiVo.

The FCC on Aug. 4 ruled that TiVoGuard, a technology that would allow subscribers to access stored content from the Internet, was in compliance with its anti-piracy broadcast flag initiative for over-the-air digital programming.

Analysts say the price reduction will attract mainstream consumers who are familiar with the PVR but unwilling to pay a premium for the concept.

“Until TiVo gets all of its new services up and running I don't think [the impact] is going be that widespread,” said an analyst who declined to be identified. “But any sort of price decrease will help them a lot.”

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