Cheapo TiVo is here. Virgin Media's new budget version of the TiVo personal video recorder is available today, learning your taste in telly and recording stuff it thinks you'll like for just £50 upfront.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
The cheaper option looks and performs exactly the same as the more expensive TiVo: it's the same box, but with a different hard drive inside. The cheaper model packs a 500GB hard drive, half the size of the premium TiVo's 1TB memory.
TiVo is the spookily clever set-top box that learns what you like as
you record and rate TV programmes, and records stuff it thinks you'll
like. It's also packed with clever features like the option to
automatically record programmes with your favourite actors in. You can
even go back and watch programmes you missed, even if you didn't
Virgin customers who subscribe to the M+ and L telly packages can now get
their TiVo on for an extra £8 per month on top of their existing bill.
XL customers pay £3 per month extra.
It's only available to existing customers at present, so if you're
considering signing up to Virgin Media you won't be able to take
advantage of the budget model just yet. New customers will be able to
tie up a TiVo sometime "this summer".
The premium model costs £150 to existing customers, or £200 to new customers. But no matter how much you pay upfront for either box, you don't own your TiVo -- you're merely renting it, and Virgin Media can repo your TiVo if you end your contract.
Has TiVo changed your life? Will you be bagging yourself a cheapo TiVo or is it still too pricey for a device you don't even own? Record your TiVo tuppence-worth in the comments or on our Facebook wall.