Without a doubt, one of the most exciting offerings at the show comes courtesy of TiVo and satellite provider DirecTV. The HD-DVR250 has the ability to record high-definition TV from DirecTV's satellite channels as well as from over-the-air antenna sources. It actually includes four tuners, two each for satellite and antenna, allowing you to record two HD or standard-definition shows simultaneously or watch one while recording another. The antenna hookup is required since DirecTV can't deliver local HDTV stations, such as ABC and CBS, via satellite.
TiVo and DirecTV didn't announce pricing, but the DVR250, available by the first quarter of this year, will likely cost at least as much as DishNetwork's competing Dish921 ($999). For more on high-def DVRs, check out this story
. TiVo-equipped DVD recorder
We really liked Pioneer's DVR-810H
, the first DVD recorder to incorporate a TiVo interface along with a built-in hard drive. Toshiba will follow suit in late 2004 with a DVD recorder that will also have a built-in HD drive and include TiVo Basic service. Around the same time, a company called Humax will deliver its own TiVo-powered HD drive/DVD-R. In the second quarter of this year, the company will make its U.S. debut with a pair of Humax-branded, Series2 standalone TiVos, with 80- and 250-hour capacities. Pricing will be announced by both companies at a later date. Home media options expand
TiVo's Home Media option
gets some new tricks this year as well. One of them, called TiVoToGo, allows Home Media Option subscribers to transfer their programs to a computer to burn to DVD. TiVo will sell ToGo as a package consisting of a software service upgrade, a special copyright-protected version of Sonic MyDVD burning software, and a USB key--similar to USB keychain flash-memory devices--that allows the content to remain encrypted on the PC. It essentially tells the PC, "Don't upload this show to Kazaa."
The Option will also allow people who pay an extra fee to receive XM satellite radio through their TiVos. And Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 and Picasa photo-sharing users can now export their photos to TiVo for display on their TVs.