For committed TiVo fans, the service today introduced a high-end model that can record 150 hours of high-definition video. At $600, the TiVo HD XL comes with a built-in 1 terabyte hard drive, providing copious room for recording movies and TV.
Otherwise, the HD XL doesn't do a whole lot more than the TiVo HD, which costs half as much. The new model does come with THX certification for high-end audio and a premium, backlit remote control, but its main selling point is added capacity.
Buyers can get the lesser model up to the same capacity by adding a $150 external hard drive, though they do end up with more wires. They can also get the backlit remote for $50. So, until the price drops a bit, the HD XL's appeal is probably limited to enthusiasts who like to limit the cable clutter in their home theater.
That said, I remain a fan of what TiVo offers over the recorders that most cable companies offer. The subscription fees are about the same. But the TiVo software is better and easier to use. The company also is steadily adding Internet capabilities—such as streaming movies and subscription music—that cable is unlikely to embrace anytime soon.