TiVo Launches Basic Service

Furthering its efforts to boost subscriber levels, TiVo will begin licensing an introductory version of its service to consumer electronics manufacturers. The TiVo Basic service is designed to be packaged with products such as DVD players and provide limited DVR functionality through TiVo's interface.

Users will be able to pause live TV, record from the program guide and browse through three days of guide data using the Basic service. But in order to access features such as Season Pass, WishList and searching for programs, users must subscribe to the full TiVo offering, which runs $12.95 per month or $299 for a lifetime subscription.

"We believe that by enabling our consumer electronics partners to provide a basic service offering with their product we can drive adoption of these next-generation integrated devices and in doing so, drive adoption of the TiVo service," said Ta-Wei Chien, senior vice president and general manager of TiVo's technology and licensing business.

A trial version of the full TiVo is built into the Basic service, allowing a user to upgrade at any time.

Toshiba will be the first licensee to deliver a product with integrated TiVo Basic functionality. Toshiba's SD-H400 DVD player with TiVo is slated to hit retail stores this fall, but pricing has not been disclosed.

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