The standalone versions of TiVo and Replay that we discuss here work with your existing satellite dish or cable box. Since TiVo licenses its technology, other standalone products such as Sony's SVR-3000
are also available for sale.
Then there are combination satellite receiver/DVRs--such as the Dish Network DishPVR 501
and the Hughes HDVR2
--which incorporate the DVR hard drive and the satellite receiver in one box and require a satellite subscription. Combination products are very popular; Dish Network actually has more DVRs in American homes than either TiVo or Replay, thanks to its DishPVR 501. The Hughes HDVR2
and the Philips DSR7000
are the only DirecTV/TiVo systems available with two tuners.
DVR/DVD combination products have also begun to appear. The RCA Scenium DRS7000N
uses the free GuidePlus program guide. Panasonic's DMR-HS2
, and DMR-E100H
can record to their internal hard drive or their DVD burner, but they forgo any programming guide in favor of manual VCR Plus input. Toshiba's RD-X2
also combines DVR functionality (sans programming guide) with a DVD recorder.
A best-of-both-worlds option may be on the horizon with the announcement of TiVo Basic service. Third-party manufacturers will soon be able to bundle a stripped-down version of the TiVo service with their DVRs. TiVo Basic will sacrifice many of TiVo's trademark features, but it will not require a monthly or lifetime fee (though users may pay to upgrade to full TiVo functionality at any point). Toshiba's SD-H400, an 80GB DVR/DVD player combo, and Pioneer's DVR-810H
are expected to be the first products to offer TiVo Basic.