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Saving That Tivo

Boot Camp feature for Monday, April 25, 2005

Saving that Tivo. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The DVR revolution continues…led by Tivo. DVRs are boxes that let you record TV ….or pause live programs. Tivo customers can pay a monthly subscriptions of 12.99…or a one time product lifetime fee of 299 dollars. But that is only good for as long as the Tivo unit lasts. So a company called Weaknees has created a business upgrading and extending the lives of Tivo boxes. Co-founder Jeff Shapiro…

"We provide self install kits with instructions and pictures and tools and everything you need. We've had all walks of life do it themselves, it's very easy. But for those who prefer not to do it themselves, we offer a service where a customer can send their unit to us, we will do the upgrade and send it back and we'll also do it while retaining everything that's already on the Tivo. So you send the unit to us with 40 hours and you get it back and it has say, 200 hours."

Pricing for upgrade kits starts at 129 dollars. Weaknees charges about fifty dollars additional to do it for you. Hard drive maker Maxtor is working with Weaknees to supply QuickView drives designed for the DVR market. Senior marketing manager Gordon Paulus…

"This is a totally new application. Digital video recording…much different requirements than your standard data applications. And there's a different technology as far as error correction and streaming modes that are required for products like that."

Some DVR cable boxes are including ports that allow consumers to easily upgrade capacity on their own. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.