(DVR) TiVo Launches New DVR

A developer of advanced television services and digital video recorders (DVR) TiVo Inc. (TIVO), recently launched its new TiVo Premiere Elite set-top box. The set-top box is expected to be available by the end of 2011.

The latest set-top box offers four digital tuners and has a hard drive of two-terabyte capacity, thus possessing two times more recording space than current offerings. The set-top box comes with a THX certification for optimal sound and video fidelity.

Premiere Elite is TiVo’s maiden DVR with four tuners, which allows simultaneous recording of four different shows while viewing a fifth recorded program. The two-terabyte hard drive allows users to record 300 hours of HD programming.

TiVo Premiere Elite is based on Series 4 architecture and supports digital cable, high-definition digital cable and Verizon Communication Inc.’s (VZ) FiOS. However, the set-top box does not support analog cable or over-the-air antennas.

TiVo Premiere Elite offers MoCA as a networking option in addition to its integrated Ethernet connectivity. Through integrated MoCA support, custom installers can use the coaxial cabling to connect the TiVo Premiere Elite to the home network in setups where an Ethernet connection is not available to the DVR.

The set-top box has the ability to send content to other TiVo devices in the home, or integrate seamlessly with home automation remotes and controllers, including Creston, Control4 and RTI.

The TiVo Premiere Elite has an easy to navigate user interface and integrates Web entertainment from Netflix Inc. (NFLX), Pandora, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and much more. The TiVo Premiere Elite is also compatible with the TiVo Slide remote as well as TiVo’s integrated apps for Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

Recommendation

We believe the new set-top box will boost TiVo’s subscriber base. New subscriber additions during the second quarter of 2012 declined to 25,000 from 32,000 gross additions in the year-ago quarter.

We continue to believe that new partnerships with leading companies coupled with new customer wins, product launches and international expansion will drive top-line growth.

However, the company remains entangled in patent litigation issues with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ). Going forward, any negative outcome from these lawsuits will have a negative impact on the shares, in our view.

Moreover, increasing competition from cable and satellite providers could hurt profitability over the long term.

We have a Neutral recommendation on TiVo over the long term (6-12 months). Currently, TiVo has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating in the short-term (1-3 months).

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