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TiVo to make cheaper version of DVR for those without cable

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Here's a sign more households are going without cable or satellite TV: TiVo Inc. is making a digital video recorder just for so-called cord-cutters.

The TiVo Roamio OTA will cost $50, compared with $200 for the regular model. The OTA version records free, over-the-air TV signals and lacks slots for cable service cards. For both models, you need a $15-a-month subscription to TiVo service, which provides programming data and other necessities.

The OTA model will be available starting Sept. 14 at select Best Buy stores.

A 2013 study from GfK estimated that 19 per cent of U.S. TV households had broadcast-only reception, up from 14 per cent in 2010. Those figures include people who have dropped cable and those who never had it, something common for younger adults.

TiVo isn't giving up on pay-TV subscribers, which still represent the majority of households. The company has two premium models that work only with a cable or satellite subscription. The $400 Roamio Plus and the $600 Roamio Pro have more storage and let you record six shows at once, rather than four on the cheaper models. The premium models also let you stream recorded shows on cellphones and tablets without additional hardware.

The $200 base model is the only one that works with both pay-TV services and antennas for over-the-air broadcasts.

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