World Economy

Amazon to Challenge TiVo With Live TV Recorder

Amazon to Challenge TiVo With Live TV RecorderAmazon to Challenge TiVo With Live TV Recorder Inc. is developing a new device that records live TV, working around cable providers and encroaching on TiVo Corp.’s market, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The device, dubbed “Frank” inside Amazon, is a new type of digital video recorder for the streaming era. It would include physical storage and connect to Amazon’s existing Fire TV boxes, the living room hub for the company’s online video efforts, according to the person. They asked not to be identified discussing unannounced product details, Bloomberg reported.

The Frank DVR has the same wireless technology that Amazon’s Echo speakers use to connect to Fire TV boxes. Users will be able to record live TV and stream the video to a smartphone so it can be watched later. That functionality is similar to offerings from TiVo and Dish Network Corp.’s Slingbox. Amazon hasn’t made a final decision on rolling out the streaming feature, the person said, noting that the plans could either be canceled or delayed.

TiVo shares fell as much as 10% in Saturday trading in New York.

Currently, Fire TVs stream live content via the Amazon Channels service, which includes programming from providers like HBO, but the box can’t store video locally. Amazon is also working to better highlight live content to Fire TV users.

The e-commerce giant’s Lab 126 research and development center is working on the DVR, the latest in a series of connected gadgets aimed at the home. The group created the Echo speaker and is building a home robot known as Project Vesta.


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