Best Buy's Insignia TVs do TiVo without the DVR
Best Buy today announced two affordable own-brand TV sets that incorporate TiVo's interface without the need of a separate set-top box.
Called Insignia Connected TVs, the sets come in 32- and 42-inch screen sizes, cost $499 and $699 respectively, and don't need a subscription -- but won't record TV shows, either.
The two TV sets are full HD (1080p) and have LED backlighting, running at 120Hz refresh rates. Other specifications include SRS sound processing, Rocketfish wireless (Best Buy's own wireless audio streaming protocol, via an additional $40 card), as well as 4 HDMI inputs and built-in Wi-Fi (dual-band 802.11n).
A universal remote is included, which controls the TV through Z-wave, a technology that does not require line of sight, unlike traditional remote controls. The remote can also control three additional devices in your home via infrared, such as your satellite box or DVD player.
It's the Software that Matters
The most interesting aspect about Best Buy's Insignia Connected TV is the TiVo integration. TiVo usually sells or licenses its own digital video recorders (DVRs), but now the company has licensed its user interface directly, so Insignia TV owners can easily find content with the popular TiVo interface (as well as metadata for show and movie information).
Recording capabilities are absent on Best Buy's Insignia Connected TVs due to the lack of an incorporated hard drive or storage attachment options. The sets are, however, compatible with TiVo DVRs, and cable operators' provisioned DVRs to accommodate recorded programs.
Other apps present on the new Insignia TVs are Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Napster, along with TV-optimized widgets such as Twitter, Facebook, Photobucket, Accuweather, Reuters News, and Sports, Stocks, and Traffic (thanks to the Chumby app platform).