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TiVo refreshes lineup with do-it-all device

NEW YORK — TiVo Inc. wants to give television viewers more control over what they watch on traditional channels and over the Internet as the pioneer of digital video recorders unveils its fifth-generation devices.

The new devices face more competition than TiVos did when they debuted in 1999. Cable and satellite TV companies are improving their own DVR offerings, while stand-alone devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Google's Chromecast seek to simplify Internet streaming on big-screen TVs. Meanwhile, game consoles and smartphones now come with apps to do much of what TiVo does. An Internet startup called Aereo offers an Internet-based DVR for broadcast channels.

With its new Roamio DVR, TiVo is counting on the notion that avid television viewers prefer one device to do it all.

"What TiVo is doing here is pressing home their advantage. That is, they know TV," said Colin Dixon, chief analyst at nScreen Media, a research firm in Sunnyvale, Calif. "What they are doing here is actually very difficult for anybody else."

Dixon said many casual television viewers will be fine with generic offerings from their cable company, but TiVo's appeal is with high-end consumers who are already paying the most for television packages and Internet video services.


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