At the CEDIA home electronics show in Indianapolis, TiVo announced a new TiVo: the Premiere Elite. It’s a high-end upgrade to the company’s current DVR with four (!) tuners, 2TB of storage, THX certification, and compatibility with the MoCA standard for networking over coaxial cable. It’s $499.99 plus TiVo’s $19.99 monthly fee, and clearly aimed at the customers of the audio/visual installation pros who attend CEDIA. TiVo says it expects to ship it later this year.
Tag Archives | TiVo
For more than a decade, TiVo has been one thing: a DVR. And while it’s been a really good one, an awful lot has changed about the way we find and watch TV since the first TiVo box debuted in 1999. And now the company is involved in its first non-DVR project. It’s designed the on-screen interface for two new Internet-connected LCD TVs from Insignia, one of Best Buy’s four “exclusive brands” (along with Dynex, Init, and Rocketfish).
Insignia’s TVs don’t have any DVR features, and doesn’t offer an on-screen programming guide for over-the-air or cable programming. So they’re missing the aspects of the TiVo interface most closely identified with, will, TiVo. But when Best Buy demoed one of the sets for me last week, the interface did look like it has some of TiVo’s approachable DNA. That’s a major plus: TV companies don’t tend to be very good at at coming up with user interfaces when left to their own devices.
The sets come with CinemaNow and Napster–two services owned by Best Buy–as well as Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora. They use Chumby widgets to provide access to more than 1500 applets with information on subjects such as weather. And they’re the first TVs with built-in support for Rocketboost, a Best Buy technology for sending audio to speaker systems wirelessly.
They don’t, however, include DLNA compatibility, which would let you stream content off PCs and hard drives on your network: Best Buy says that its goal with these TVs was to keep things simple, and DLNA still isn’t straightforward enough.
The 32″ TV is $499; the 42″ one is $699. Best Buy says they’re available now, and that it plans both to upgrade their software with new features over time and to introduce new connected TVs and other devices based on the software in these TVs.
The Best Buy-TiVo partnership was announced more than two years ago; I was excited at the time, then so much time passed that I’d forgotten about it. Now I’m curious what other Internet-centric products TiVo might be working on. A Roku-style TiVo box could be nifty. And TiVo might be able to do a better job than Google TV has done so far at imposing a decent interface on over-the-air and cable TV. I hope that the company is furiously working on some of this stuff, and just hasn’t announced it yet…
Hulu announced its Hulu Plus premium service almost ten months ago, but it’s been taking its own sweet time arriving on devices. It’s only now available on TiVo Premiere–and Engadget’s Ben Drawbaugh wishes that it was better-integrated with other TiVo services.
I own a TiVo HD DVR and have Comcast cable. I’m mostly happy with the combination, except for one major gotcha: getting TiVo means giving up Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand service. But the two companies have struck a deal to add On Demand to TiVo–and for Comcast to lease TiVo boxes in some areas (starting with the San Francisco Bay Area) at no extra charge. Sounds like a win for everybody involved; tragically, though, it’s for the current TiVo Premiere model rather than my old HD.
I’ve been getting a lot of urgent messages from major companies I do business with lately. Urgent messages telling me that information I gave them has been stolen by unknown parties.
Yup, I’m not only a PlayStation Network member–and therefore a victim of the current Sony security breach–but also a customer of at least three companies (Marriott, TiVo, and 1-800-Flowers) who were involved in the recent data theft from marketing company Epsilon. I wrote about this for my new TIME.com Technologizer column, But after reading all this correspondence, I have some advice for the corporate entities who send these e-mails. (I care about this stuff in part because I have the uneasy feeling I’m going to be getting a lot more of these messages in the future.)
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).
While we generally shy away from rumor and speculation, TiVo’s been pretty quiet as they approach the one year anniversary of Premiere retail availability. Given our site heritage and interests, the lack of news out of Alviso can be frustrating. So we’ve whipped up a post based purely on hearsay, but one that hopefully gives some indication what TiVo is quietly working on.
As regulars know, we recently left the cable hegemony behind in favor of Verizon’s FiOS TV…. to overcome switched digital video (SDV) tuning adapter flakiness and a CCI Byte content lockdown that essentially neutered our TiVo ecosystem. And, on the technological front, we couldn’t be happier. (But I may follow up with a less glowing billing and support post, as many of you cautioned.)
We’re a three TV/DVR household, although currently only possess two televisions — one powered by a TiVo Premiere and the other powered by the Verizon FiOS DVR shown above. So the question is, what DVR will power TV #3 when the time comes?
TiVo’s iPad app, announced in November, is now available via the the App Store.
I’ve had app on hand for several weeks now, and I quite like it. Whereas TiVo has been lagging the competition in providing this sort of functionality, they may have just leap frogged nearly all contenders in producing both a beautiful and functional television companion. Of course, it’s only a companion for TiVo Premiere owners. But perhaps there are a few more this week given that amazing $65 Woot deal.
The app itself is quite comprehensive. Who needs picture-in-guide when you can manage just about every meaningful element of your TiVo from an iPad without interrupting the television viewing experience. Remote control? Check. Guide? Check. Season Passes, To Do List, Now Playing? Check, check, check. Plus, you know no app is complete these days without the ability to share on Twitter and Facebook. So they’ve checked that off, too. Bonus — portrait and landscape views for any/every screen.
Okay, time for some good news about TiVo: The company is launching a free iPad app “in the coming weeks.” It’s a remote control for TiVo Premiere boxes (early ones, sadly, won’t work) that essentially puts a slick, touch-friendly version of the TiVo interface onto the tablet, so you can find stuff to watch and otherwise wrangle your TiVo without using its remote or interrupting whatever’s on the screen at the time.
And judging from TiVo’s demo video, it looks really neat.
Obvious question: Might TiVo tweak this app so it not only let you find shows but also permitted you to watch them on the iPad? It wouldn’t be an insurmountable technical challenge to do so, presumably. So why not make it happen–especially since TiVo to Go already permits TiVo owners to route video from the box to other devices?