As we have seen in the UK, with a tie-in with Virgin Media, TiVo has relatively recently altered its market strategy to include licensing its software and user interface to other manufacturers. And now Best Buy is the latest to join forces with the television platform (in the US), adopting it for its own-brand Insignia range of flatscreen TVs.
The Insignia Connected TV sets come in 32- and 42-inch screen sizes, are LED models, Full HD (1080p), and run at 120Hz. They also carry internal shenanigans for compatibility with Best Buy's proprietary Rocketboost wireless digital audio technology. And they cost $499 and $699 respectively.
However, as affordable and decently spec'ed as they may be, it is TiVo's design interface that really strikes the sets apart from other "connected TVs" in the stores. While they, like many peers, offer access to Netflix, CinemaNow, YouTube, Pandora, Napster, Facebook, Twitter and the like, the clean tried-and-tested search and browse functionality of the TiVo software makes finding content so easy. And, naturally, TiVo's metadata will be available for show and movie information. All without a subscription, too.
Obviously, without a hard drive, the famed recording and suggestion features of TiVo are absent, so the TVs aren't replacements for a genuine TiVo box, but as Pocket-lint knows, from first hand experience of Virgin Media's service in the UK, the front end is second to none so that may not matter to many.
Unfortunately, for UK consumers, it is unlikely that the TiVo-powered Insignia Connected TVs will be heading to this side of the pond. It is our understanding that Virgin Media has an exclusivity deal with the US company at present.
Would you like to see TiVo-powered TV sets hit the UK? Let us know in the comments below...