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TiVo launches Roamio OTA DVR. Is it a good deal?

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What Aereo taught everyone was that there's a market of cord cutters out there. And now that Aereo is out of the picture, TiVo steps in to address the needs of cord cutters with the Roamio OTA.

The TiVo Roamio OTA is a DVR for those who don't have satellite or cable service. Customers need only hook up the DVR to an HD antenna and the Roamio OTA is ready to record any program. If broadband connection is available, the DVR can also access streaming services like YouTube, Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon.

Compared to regular TiVo DVRs, the Roamio OTA costs just $49.99. That's a savings of $150 upfront but a subscription fee of $14.99 a month will have to be paid with a commitment of at least one year. Other over-the-air DVR products don't charge monthly fees though so monthly charges may end up working against TiVo.

TiVo, however, is unfazed. It justifies the recurring monthly charge as fair given the range of features the company offers through the Roamio OTA. For starters, the DVR has a personalized dashboard that recommends available programs right at the moment and those that will be showing later. It also curates collections under categories, like TV shows starting their seasons in the fall, and allows for channel filtering so a user can find a program quickly.

With a 500GB hard drive, the TiVo Roamio OTA can store up to 75 hours of high-definition programming. It can also record four programs at once while at the same time letting users view a channel live. Some of the available local channels include: PBS, FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC.

"Many top TV shows in America are available with a simple HD antenna. TiVo is devoted to making the best possible cable TV user experience available through our operator partners and in retail, but we recognize some viewers opt not to receive the benefits a subscription with a cable provider offers," said Ira Bahr, TiVo CMO in a statement. He adds that TiVo's Roamio OTA has been designed to offer the best DVR experience possible through over-the-air access at the most affordable price point ever.

The TiVo Roamio OTA will be available in select BestBuy stores by mid-September. The DVR may be offered in other markets but there's no official word from TiVo. Even the Roamio OTA is tagged to be a limited release.

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