TiVo Passes One Million Mark

TiVo, Inc. is enjoying its best season yet. The San Jose, CA–based maker of digital video recorders (DVRs) announced November 4 that subscriptions for its service have exceeded the one million mark and are on course for further growth during the coming holiday season.

The company's hard disk-based DVRs have become synonymous with such devices, no matter who actually manufactures them. "I'm TiVo-ing that show" is verbal shorthand for recording on any hard-disk drive, very much the way "Xerox" became a generic term for photocopies a generation earlier.

Despite this level of public awareness, the company itself has had a rocky history until recently. The one million subscriptions mark is "a major milestone for our company," said CEO Michael Ramsay. "Thanks to the increased growth of both our standalone subscriptions and, especially, growth with DirecTV, we have reached this milestone ahead of plan. We expect this momentum to continue and look forward to the biggest holiday season ever for TiVo."

More than a dozen products from at least eight different manufacturers now incorporate TiVo technology—some of them combination units including satellite TV tuners, DVD-recorders and other advanced features. Pioneer and Toshiba have both rolled out such products recently. TiVo hopes to boost its market share even further during the winter holidays, with a special on the entry-level TiVo Series2, slated to sell for $199 with a $50 mail-in rebate. An expanded retail program will make TiVo products available at a wider range of outlets than ever before, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Tweeter, Good Guys, Ultimate Electronics, and Amazon.com.