Gone are the days of storing television shows to a TiVo box with a built-in hard drive, because the company has just embraced cloud and announced network DVR.
TiVo's network DVR will come as no surprise to many, because the company has already shown interest in cloud storage by implementing cloud-like features into its service and apps. Now, with network DVR, TiVo has gone full-blown cloud, but will still deliver the same UI and type of service.
TiVo doesn't need to build a hard drive into its set-top box any longer, helping to drive down the cost of production and maybe even hardware for consumers, but the set-top box won't provide cloud storage directly. TiVo has partnered with cable, satellite, and IPTV providers, letting them enable network DVR for their subscribers.
TiVo has shown off a prototype TiVo with network DVR at CES 2014. Also called NDVR, the showcase images revealed how viewers could access their TiVo content on an iPad or via Roku, browse programne recordings, and even buy cloud-storage space. That list bit is key to cable providers.
As TechCrunch pointed out, cable companies could try a new revenue model that allows subscribers to buy more network DVR storage when they hit storage limits, or they could offer cloud-based versions of television shows. The main point: TiVo isn't saddled to hardware any longer, and a new world of how subscribers can watch, buy, and store content has opened.
That said, because TiVo's network DVR is based upon relationships with US-based cable providers, it's safe to say the UK won't see this type of service from TiVo any time soon. But it's definitely interesting.