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Free TiVo? Not quite

Fans of digital video recording got some exciting news this week when TiVo CEO Tom Rogers publicly speculated that the company might give away boxes in an attempt to lure subscribers.


While TiVo is credited with popularizing the technology, it has faced increasing competition from cable companies and other media players. At a conference in New York, Rogers said the company was planning some trial runs, including offering free boxes--possibly in exchange for higher-priced and longer-term plans.

While bloggers liked the idea of free stuff, many wondered whether the ploy would work, or whether it was a sign of desperation.

Blog community response:

"Personally, I think that anything that draws more consumer attention to the TiVo is a good thing. And hopefully this will get people addicted to the joys of TiVo without first plonking down a good $150 for the unit."

"CEO Tom Rogers dismisses the idea that Tivo is a has-been - he points to continued growth in subscriptions - but for Tivo to give away its set-tops in the hopes of locking in customers is a sign of limited options at the iconic company."
--IP Democracy

"TiVo currently holds about 4 million subscribers, and new pricing plans may help them face fiercer competition from cable and satellite TV providers, as well as electronics makers. But, doesn't Time Warner offer their own version of a DVR for just $5 a month?"