For the first time in over a year, we recently learned a little something of Best Buy’s partnership with TiVo… consisting of two upcoming Insignia-branded HDTVs. The sets will feature TiVo’s interface, universal search, programming guide and a variety of connected apps – including Best Buy’s own Napster and CinemaNow properties. But no actual DVR capabilities (and no monthly fees).
Some additional information has come my way, and while I have great faith in my network of sources, there’s some data here we don’t have complete confidence in. So, for the time being, please consider the following rumor and speculation.
First off, nothing in in the way of new intel has discounted or reinforced a July 31st launch. But what we may have turned up is pricing details… with the 32″ 1080p set running $599 and the 42″ model clocking in at $999. Which seems somewhat lofty for a house brand smart TV, despite the premium TiVo partnership. Yet, if the 42″ specs I turned up from a public non-BestBuy product database (Google is your friend) are accurate, perhaps its not entirely unreasonable. (1080p, 120Hz LED LCD, dual band 802.11n wireless, 4 HDMI ports, 3 speakers)
And here is where it gets weird… That very same product database indicates the television will feature Chumby apps. Making me wonder if that “cTV” may stand for chumbyTV in addition to connected-TV. Of course this wouldn’t be entirely implausible as Best Buy has previously produced Chumby widget stations. But it also makes me wonder if we’ve either got the wrong product or maybe there are multiple software experiences to be mated to this specific HDTV hardware. Or it is what it is – the Insignia TiVo TV will feature both the TiVo experience and Chumby apps. Regardless, at these possible price points, I’d expect an improved Netflix streaming app and TiVo Premiere-to-HDTV streaming.
We’ll keep digging…