Scheduled To Appear – 3/3

Tivo, that miraculous machine that changed the way we watch television, has a new line of DVRs coming out this spring as the company integrates TV shows with Internet content in an attempt to regain its dominance in the home recorder market.

Founded in 1997, TiVo spearheaded the DVR revolution that pushed video cassette recorders onto the junk pile with the ability to not only record shows, but to search TV listings for programs similar to what you were already recording. TiVo was your little broadcast pal in a box – an electronic assistant helping you navigate cable and satellite’s almost endless offerings of channels, channels and more channels.

But cable companies offering their subscribers generic DVRs helped reduce TiVo’s market share. Now the company wants to reclaim its position at the top when the brand was virtually synonymous with digital TV recording.

Of course, TiVo owners will tell you their machines are better than what cable or phone companies are offering. However, the company’s user-base, which peaked at 1.7 million in 2008,. has shrunk to 1.5 million. And when people talk about recording programs, they’re more likely to say something along the lines of “I DVRed last night’s “Tonight Show” rather than say they “TiVoed it.”

Plus, TiVo has only had one year where it recorded a net profit. That was for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2009. However, the profit wasn’t from DVR sales and subscriptions, but instead resulted from when the company won a patent lawsuit against Dish Network Corp.

TiVo Premiere is expected to become available in stores in early April, marking the company’s first product launch in two years, it will combine Internet content with what’s coming down the TV pipeline.

The top model is the $499 Premiere XL, which stores up to 150 hours of high-def television on its 1-terabyte hard drive. If the $500 price tag is a bit too rich for your blood, there’s the $299 Premiere that stores up to 45 hours of HD TV on a 320GB hard drive.

As to combining Internet content, a search using TiVo Premiere could result in programs available through TV broadcasts and content, such as movies, made available through online sources such as Amazon or YouTube.

However, mixing Internet content with TV offerings isn’t unique. Many Blu-ray players offer some connectivity, usually via a home wireless network. Plus, buying a TiVo DVR isn’t enough. You must subscribe to the TiVo service in order to take advantage of its features. Prices range from $12.95 per month to $299 for three years.

But even though TiVo has its work cut out for him, the company’s headman is confident he and his people are on the right track.

“This is a whole new chapter in TiVo’s evolution,” company CEO Tom Rogers said. “We’re moving toward ‘get anything you want whenever you want it.’”

Speaking of recording television programs, the following musical appearances are just begging to be DVRed. Or TiVoed, depending on your choice of hardware.

Wednesday, March 3
Matt Bruanger, Heather McDonald and Moshe Kasher – “Chelsea Lately”
Avril Lavigne, Chelsea Handler – “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
Erykah Badu – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Jet – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Thursday, March 4
Jason Derulo – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Christina Pazsitzky, Guy Branum – “Chelsea Lately”
Lifehouse – “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
Spoon – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Silversun Pickups – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Galactic, Allen Toussaint – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Friday, March 5
Lenny Kravitz – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
John Caparulo, Arden Myrin – “Chelsea Lately”
Robin Thicke – “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
Corinne Bailey Rae – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Joanna Newsom – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Regina Spektor – “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”