New TiVo HD XL: Big Drive, Big Price

TiVo today announced the availability of its HD XL DVR as the company targets high-end users and people who watch a lot of television. The TiVo HD XL sports a 1 terabyte hard drive capable of recording 150 hours of HD TV and comes with a hefty price tag to match — $599.99. While it’s got impressive specs, this top-shelf play probably won’t bring a full turnabout for TiVo, which is still losing subscribers.

With its augmented HD drive and THX certification, TiVo is trying to prove itself as a high-end device that complements even the most extravagant home theater. But that beefy hard drive isn’t just going after those with bling, it’s hoping to up-sell current family TiVo owners who are scared their current skimpy hard drives will fill up on them halfway through the new season of Grey’s Anatomy.

The bigger hard drive is a nice feature, but that sticker price is sure to induce shock, especially when a cable or satellite service will rent you a DVR for cheap. Sure, it eliminates the need to worry about how much space is available, and that has value (especially when the new fall season is upon us) — but six hundred bucks? Why can’t the powers that be just create a network DVR already?