TiVo hopes to stir techno-lust among its fan base with the $90 "Slide" remote control, which features a slide-out, QWERTY keyboard -- a smartphone-like design intended to make entering searches on TV faster.
TiVo Slide will be available starting Tuesday at tivo.com and is scheduled to arrive in Best Buy stores nationwide this weekend. The remote works with TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL units, TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL. Normally, TiVo users must use an on-screen keyboard to enter search terms.
The remote is manufactured by Korea's Remote Solution Co. Ltd., which is TiVo's sole supplier of remote controls. TiVo announced plans for the remote in March, when the company launched the Premiere line of DVRs.
The remote, with the trademark TiVo peanut shape, ships with a Bluetooth USB dongle that users plug into an available USB port on compatible TiVo boxes. It provides a range of up to 30 feet and features backlit, programmable buttons.
To promote the TiVo Slide, the company is giving away 30 remotes in the next 30 days through an online sweepstakes at www.tivo.com/30slides.
Separately, TiVo is scheduled to report earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2011 on Wednesday, Aug. 25. TiVo had 2.51 million cumulative subscriptions as of April 30, 2010, a decline of 22% from a year earlier.
TiVo recently struck distribution deals with RCN and Suddenlink Communications for the Premiere DVR, and reached an agreement with Cox Communications to provide access to video-on-demand through TiVo boxes. It also has distribution deals with operators including Comcast, which currently offers TiVo-based service in New England, and DirecTV.