TivoHD for the rest of you

The long awaited TivoHD has been officially announced.  Its Tivo’s more affordable high-definition tuner, costing $299 compared to the Series3 which retails for almost $800.

While the TiVo HD is really a refined Series 3 under the hood and not a half-breed, the branding and the push make it clear that TiVo is hoping that the TiVo HD sees the successes of which the Series 3 could only dream. Given that the TiVo HD operates more or less just like the Series 3, this is going to be a compelling unit.

While I’d like to be excited about this, since I’ve recently upgraded to HD programming from Dish network.  The fact that Tivo’s HD receivers only work with cable systems, however, means that I can’t use the device without switching to cable tv.  Given Echostar and Tivo’s litigious relationshiop, we’ll probably never have an HD receiver from Tivo that works with satellite receivers.  Its a pity, because last time I checked, the monthly cost of an HD Tivo, was less than the $20/month DishNetwork wants to charge me to lease an HD PVR.  Luckily, the basic dish DH receiver down converts HD so that I can pipe that into my Series2.  Anything we watch in HD has to be live, which is fine since I primarily watch ESPN’s HD broadcast for MLS and other soccer games.

More device details for Dave Zatz.