Insignia TV with TiVo sans DVR Incoming

Best Buy’s Insignia brand televisions are probably not on the top of many Missing Remote readers’ wishlists, but Zatz Not Funny! has caught wind of at least one model that might bear keeping an eye on. The Insignia cTV is due to launch at the end of July. The television’s distinguishing characteristic is that it will be the first television to launch with TiVo software baked in. It will lack the DVR funtionality, but will otherwise leverage the TiVo HD interface  from the TiVo Premiere devices to provide access to TiVo’s interactive guide, search functionality, and app ecosystem.

There are two specific reasons this new television will be worth keeping an eye on. First of all, if Best Buy can demonstrate success in the market using TiVo as their Smart TV platform it might draw attention from other second and third tier manufacturers who are not interested in trying to develop their own platforms like Samsung or Vizio. This would give TiVo another possible revenue source to help offset their dwindling subscriber base.

The second reason the Insignia cTV could be interesting is because it might signal that TiVo is ready to start offering whole-house DVR functionality at retail. TiVo recently added the abiility to stream recorded television shows from one TiVo Premiere to another. TiVo also recently announced a new product called the TiVo Preview, a DVR-less set-top box that could act as an extender for a TiVo Premier. However, the TiVo Preview was only going to be made available to cable providers with no specific plans to bring a similar device to retail. That will all change if it turns out that the Insignia cTV can perform the same function, accepting recorded television streams from the TiVo Premiere. In one fell swoop TiVo could demonstrate that it is a leader in providing whole-house DVR functionality for the average consumer.

As expected, the product to be delivered features no DVR capabilities and represents TiVo’s first “connected” television – or cTV as Best Buy has christened it. Of course, the market is saturated with smart TVs at this point, yet Best Buy has tremendous marketing muscle and they’re obviously hoping TiVo’s famed user experience is compelling. In fact, TiVo’s integrated guide and universal search set it apart from most Internet-connected televisions hosting app silos.

Zatz Not Funny!


  • Don’t forget about the Elite,

    Don’t forget about the Elite, the Retail version of the Q, which is currently pending a FCC waiver so they can offer it without Analog tuners. Apparently Digital Cable Ready still requires analog tuner support so TiVo has to apply for a waiver to offer it without analog tuners.

    The Elite is a 4 tuner box with 2 TBs according to the FCC waiver request.

    If they are granted the waiver for the Elite, then I see them looking to offer the Preview at retail since the Q and therefor likely the Elite will support streaming in up to 3 rooms.