Another One Bites the Dust

The TiVo webstore has a glaring omission. The popular Series3 unit is AWOL. The Series2 is chugging along, and the TiVo HD is prominent, but the Series3 is gone and labeled "Out of Stock." Retailers still have inventory ($593 at Amazon) but it looks like the S3 is history.

Not too surprising, actually. The newer TiVo HD does most of the same tricks as the S3, at a lower price (MSRP of $299 versus $799, but on the street, the price difference was closer to $100). TiVo blew out the S3 with rebates (and that was not a bad deal, so don't feel bad if you bought an S3).

Factories and production runs and big boats plying across the endlessly blue Pacific Ocean are mysterious things, and it's possible that the Series3 will make a sudden comeback. But . . .

. . . in all likelihood, the venerable S3 will fade into the static of product evolution. Because of newer technology, the TiVo HD is probably cheaper to manufacture, and that's that.

The more interesting question deals with future models. If the TiVo HD is now the standard-issue model, is there now room for a high-end TiVo? Surely every product line needs a good, better, best. I'm betting that in time for the holidays, TiVo will show a new flagship model. -Ken C. Pohlmann