TiVo Prepping Four-Tuner HD DVR?

By  |  Friday, April 15, 2011 at 4:07 am

The new TiVo Advisors survey is far more interesting than most, spelling out a number of “potential products and features.” On the hardware front, two very specific devices are described:

  • A companion device for your DVR. It allows a second TV (in another room) to watch live TV (in HD) and also watch the recordings from your DVR.
  • A 4-tuner high-definition DVR that allows you to record up to 4 shows at one time (and watch a 5th show that is previously recorded).

If asked to prioritize the two, I’d probably split the difference – as an extender, with live TV capabilities, obviously complements a large capacity 4-tuner TiVo. Of course, we already know a non-DVR TiVo set-top and whole home streaming are in beta testing. But this could be the first time we’ve seen explicit mention of a 4 tuner DVR.

While there was no mention of TiVo actually completing the Premiere’s high definition user interface (HDUI), they do bring up quite a few possible software enhancements (see pic, below right). Two in particular that I’d appreciate:

  • From any one DVR in your home, view a single, integrated list of “all” the TV shows and movies that have been recorded on any DVR in the home.
  • For channels you receive in HD, automatically hide the standard definition versions from the onscreen program guide.

Again, we know some of this is coming. In fact, the sluggish but visually rich Discovery Bar was originally pitched to me as a sort of browser history and customizeable menu (in addition to featuring advertising and content suggestions):

In fact, power users can adjust the type and frequency of content – including pinning your favorite apps like Netflix.

…which sounds a lot like “customize a list of shortcuts to your favorite tasks”

It’s good to see TiVo thinking about these things. But, it’d be even better if they released them. And to retail customers. The TiVo Premiere has been shipping over a year, yet Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin TiVo is the only one with a complete HDUI. Which kinda puts things in perspective.

(Thanks, tipsters B and S!)

(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny)



3 Comments For This Post

  1. Mark Hernandez Says:

    For TiVo, "it's complicated" for the same reasons that AppleTV and GoogleTV have had difficulty. The cable industry has a tight grip on things and throws stones in the path of third-party alternatives.

    For instance, on Cox Cable in San Diego, they've effectively trashed TiVo's ability to utilize the multi-room viewing capability they've offered for years (using a TiVo box in each room) because Cox puts a Copy Protection flag on virtually all their shows disallowing it's transfer ANYWHERE even if its in your own home using your same account. But their own Cox DVRs and AT&T U-verse DVRs do not have that restriction because Cox and AT&T control the content in the first place.

    Also, a four-tuner DVR from TiVo would still require Cox Cable (for example) to come out and hand install not one but two dual-channel CableCards into your single TiVo box, and you still don't get the promised "on-demand" features that are technically available but out of reach of TiVo "third-party" non-cable-company sourced DVRs, and you'll pay double the monthly fee to rent those two CableCards. So, in their survey you mention above, which I took also, they're basically asking people "how much is this a problem for you to not be able to record 4 shows at once?"

    Even though TiVo created the concept of the DVR, the cable companies have now done everything they can to sideline TiVo and keep them at bay. So, some way of streaming from the first "master" TiVo to a special AppleTV-like box on a second TV in your home is the only way TiVo can side-step the ridiculous copy-protection flag on a show like Gilligan's Island. No one wants to duplicate recording every show on all the DVRs in your home in case you want to watch a show in bed.

    The FCC has their "AllVid" proposal out there which promises to level the playing field and give companies like TiVo full access to every cable-system feature. Any guesses which decade, if any, that will ever see the light of day? Comcast is probably as powerful as many small nations.

  2. Dave Says:

    From my own personal use of a DVR wih two tuners. A third would definitely be nice to have. A fourth would just be gravy

  3. Jim Says:

    I think TiVo should spend less time on new features and more time ensuring that their software is stable and up to speed, especially with 3rd party type apps like NetFlix. I am very tired of my TiVo premier deciding to restart in the middle of viewing a movie only to make me wait a good 10 minutes before it is up and running again. That said, yes, additional tuners would be most welcome once everything else works flawlessly.