TiVo Series 5 “Roamio”

Dave Zatz —  June 28, 2013 — 73 Comments

tivo-roamio-hero

Models
After nearly four years, TiVo has retired the tainted “Premiere” hardware and moniker in lieu of the new TiVo Series 5 platform that goes by Roamio – given the DVR’s current and expected mobile capabilities.The TiVo Roamio line consists of two hardware models, three configurations:

roamio-lineup

  • TiVo Roamio (TCD846500) $200
    4 Tuner, Digital Cable & OTA
    500GB HD, WiFi, IR/RF Remote
    Smaller Form Factor STB
    (Broadcom 7429)
  • TiVo Roamio Plus (TCD848000) $400
    6 Tuner, Digital Cable
    1TB HD, WiFi, IR/RF Remote w/ Audible Alert
    Traditional Size STB
    Stream capabilities
    (Broadcom 7425)
  • TiVo Roamio Pro (TCD840300) $600
    6 Tuner, Digital Cable
    3TB HD, WiFi, IR/RF Remote w/ Audible Alert
    Traditional Size STB
    Stream capabilities
    (Broadcom 7425)

backview-roamio

The 4-tuner model (picture up top and above) may feature a unique restriction in that it can be configured for digital cable, via CableCARD, OR for OTA, via antenna – but not both simultaneously.

Of course, all TiVo hardware requires a service fee — either $15 on a monthly basis or via a one time $500 lump sum payment. Although, there are discounts available to households with multiple units.

Software & Apps

tivo-roamio-ui

Somewhat unexpectedly, TiVo has undertaken a fairly significant overhaul of their software platform. Along with that, we’re treated to improved performance over the Premiere line given a hardware platform that finally exceeds Adobe Air’s minimum requirements. Beyond Adobe, TiVo is also implementing DIAL, HTML5 and ultimately Opera’s TV app store. We’re hopeful this will spur third party development, including a potential refresh of the dated Amazon Instant experience, and Roamio units launched with refreshed YouTube and Netflix apps – featuring more sophisticated screen elements and menuing than present on Premiere hardware. Further, the “What to Watch NowiPad recommendation engine makes its way to big screen via TiVo Central (as pictured above) and WishLists are finally rendered in HD. Sadly, the settings screens remain SD. Duke Nukem’ Forever!

Beyond launch capabilities, rumor has it TiVo’s Roamio roadmap suggests some sort of personal media cloud or wireless access and playback – possibly to include updated TiVo Desktop software.

Connectivity
As with prior TiVo DVR hardware, Ethernet is a lock. All Roamio units include WiFi, for Internet connectivity versus mutli-room streaming, and the top two Plus/Pro models incorporate MoCA. The 4-tuner model is limited to HDMI and composite output, versus the 6-tuner models which also include optical and component output — something worth considering for Slingbox owners. All models posses USB jacks for peripherals and eSATA ports for potential storage expansion.

Remote
tivoRemoteTiVo Roamio ships with a new IR/RF remote, and Plus/Pro models are treated to an audible location alert – it a button on the TiVo and the remote emits an 8-bit tone. The stubbier new remote also features a repositiond and enlarged the Guide button… as studies show DVR users still consume a large amount of live television. Further, we not anticipate the return of a TiVo Remote accessory with QWERTY keyboard.

Stream
The two higher-end units feature a Broadcom chip, on par with the Pace XG1 and DISH Sling Hopper silicon, mated to a Zenverge silicon to provide native transcoding capabilities. Further, TiVo previously alluded to integrated Stream capabilities in next gen hardware. However, unlike a Slingbox, we expect when TiVo enables this functionality, streaming will remain limited to a home WiFi network. It’s also unclear at this time if such functionality would be available at launch and/or if activating the feature requires an additional fee. TiVo currently streams and sideloads content to iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad. While Android support is conspicuously absent, All Things D indicates it’ll finally arrive late 2013 or early 2014.

Mini
The existing TiVo Mini remains in play, as the whole-home extender already features a modern chipset – the spiritual partner of what’s found in high-powered DVRs like the Pace XG1 and DISH Sling Hopper. TiVo’s roadmap calls for dynamic tuner allocation to be enabled this September, with Netflix and Amazon Instant looking like a lock.

73 responses to TiVo Series 5 “Roamio”

  1. I’m guessing we will see the release PR in conjunction with TiVo’s Q2 earnings release tentatively scheduled for August 28th… If not, they will at least highlight some of the features of the new boxes with a release in the “coming weeks”…

  2. I hope the new remote is a smaller more compact remote like the Slide. I have grown to love the smaller size remote compared to the classic peanut.

    I would be disappointed if they don’t offer a XL 6 tuner version with at least 3TB. I am less interested in the built in Stream functionality if they don’t open it up to Streaming to and from the PC.

    I doubt it will happen, but I am hoping with the series 5 comes some new features that we don’t know about even if that just means it launches with a newer version of the software. I guess I just want the new Tivo to feel like a new TiVo rather than a refresh of a platform since it has been 3 years.

    Now if only the FCC would rule on the waiver so TiVo could actually announce the products and the speculation can end.

  3. At least let me flick smartphone photos to the TV as my $50 Roku does…

  4. After using Plex on Roku, the more I think about it the more I want to see Roku and have them actually open up for more apps.

  5. I’ve been pretty happy with my Premeires but the speed increase would be nice.

    My slide remote died the other day and I’ve really been missing it. Hopefully they make these new RF/Bluetooth remotes available on older models. I know it sounds lazy, but not having to have line of sight to the box is really nice.

    I’d also pay a higher base price if they’d let me transfer lifetime from one of my older or retired units. The hardware plus lifetime buyin price is usually too much to justify a one generation upgrade. The people still sitting on TiVo HDs and S3s can more easily justify it though.

  6. @DogsofWar,
    If TiVo could figure out a way to allow transfer of lifetime to an un-subsidized Series 5 box that would make a lot of sense. The issue is complying with Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rules on how they account for this transfer.

  7. Will this still require a tuning adapter to work with TWC? If so, this new model is DOA for me.

  8. The issue for TiVo would be bankruptcy if they allowed lifetime transfer the cost of the box doesn’t generate any money for them.

    If you do the cost of a TiVo setup (box+lifetime) over 5 years (60 months) it comes to less than $15 a month. And at the end you own the hardware unlike renting.

    It’s like people worrying about the upfront cost of a smartphone when they will spent $2,000 on monthly fees over the 2 year contract.

    What TiVo needs to do is team up with a financing company and allow TiVo+lifetime payments in installments. You pay a little more but $50-$75/mo installments over 12 months or maybe 24 months like a cellphone. Own TiVo lifetime for $29.95/mo with 24 monthly payments. You get the idea.

    In Manhattan, where I live, TImeWarnerCable charges ~$25/mo to rent a DVR and millions of people pay it without complaint. And this is a low-end 40-80hr DVR. Which is why I made the switch to TiVo in early 2011.

    All I care about is will TiVo be able to make the transition to cloud storage and when?

    Bryan

  9. PeteP, I believe the only way around a Tuning Adapter (in markets that utilize SDV) is a built-in DOCSIS modem (which won’t happen) and/or collaboration with the cableco on an IP back channel.

    Bryan, Dogs, if all TiVo offers is a snappier UI and integrated Stream support, they may have a hard time getting Series 4 Premiere owners to upgrade. As it stands, I’m invested in a Lifetimed Premiere XL4 and, based on what we know thus far, don’t intend to mess with flipping it for cash to fund a S5 XL6. A THD/S3 or S2 owner would be in a different boat, as only S4 and beyond support the TiVo Mini, Stream, and new apps. However, for TiVo to find success in retail, going back to the existing customer well is not enough and they need to develop broader appeal.

  10. @Bryan A You can have the cloud storage. I will keep my own local copy. Not only will playback and trickplay work better. I don’t have to worry about unskippable ads being injected and content going away due to some rules they come up with on how long you can keep it. The only time I watch streaming from the cloud is if I know I will never touch the remote during the show to rewind or fast forward.

    I definitely agree with Dave. I see little reason to upgrade based off what we know. I will since I can sell some of my TiVos, but if not for that I would wait for a great bundle and eventual pricedrop.

  11. Looking good for the Series 5. Upgrading from my TiVo HD unit. I’m hoping it supports up to 4 Minis for the 6 tuner unit. I don’t need that many now, but I might in a few years…

  12. A six tuner Tivo would be nice, although I want OTA tuning too. OTT streaming (not just Xfinity VOD) is also wanted on the Tivo Mini too. Like Brennok said, give me my recording on my own personal device. I want to fast forward or skip through the ads I have no interest in.

  13. I can’t wait to see the announcement. I want to sell my TiVo HD and the 2 tuner Premiere I pre-ordered and replace them with a Series 5 and a Mini.

  14. I would like to see native IPv6 support in the Series 5 units and support for dual-stack communication with the TiVo Service, other Series 5 units, the Mini/Stream (someday), and mobile devices running the TiVo app. Launching without any form of IPv6 support would be a mistake, in my opinion.

  15. HarryKerryJr. June 29, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Forgive me, but I’m not clear if the S5 four tuner model means 2OTA + 2QAM or the ability to record 4 OTA at one time. From what has been published so far, the only thing that would get me to sell (dump, as in eBAY to finance an upgrade) my sluggish and still buggy S4′s (I am KEEPING my warhorse S3/648 and HD) is if the S5 can record at least 4 OTA channels at the same time. This would mean I could use ONE box and pay ONE fee or lifetime charge rather than 2 boxes and fees doing the work, and that would be a significant reason to upgrade from my annoying S4′s, otherwise, I’m just keeping what I have. Will TiVo survive for a Series 6? It would be nice if they did because there just aint no finer DVR for OTA.

  16. Harry, It’s not entirely clear yet, although one unconfirmed vector implies a 4-tuner model could be configured to simultaneously record four channels of digital cable or four channels of digital OTA. If so, that would meet your needs.

  17. Any update on Amazon Prime Streaming or updated Netflix?

  18. After updating the Netflix app already, I’d have to wonder if they’d bother doing it over again anytime soon.

    I’ve given up waiting for the Tivo to be the marketed “one box”. Folks should really just consider a cheap Roku or something at this point. There’s no point in endlessly suffering bad software/hardware year after year. Even if the S5 is a decent app platform, it’ll take them much longer to get software made/ported from their providers. Tivo apps are not on their radars. Don’t wait and hope anymore. Consider a Roku or similar and be happy today. End sermon. :)

  19. Hi Dave – Keep us posted on the release date. I will be ready to click buy!

  20. I hope that this one supports satellite!

    Hard to believe that Tivo has written off so many potential customers for so long.

  21. @Marge…

    Zero percent chance that these new boxes support satellite. The satellite providers are able to restrict access to their service to their boxes only with their authentication.

  22. No restrictions that I can see??

    I record satellite today on my Series 2 Tivos. Never had a problem. I’d settle for the same capability on newer Tivos.

    Tivo seems to have made a decision to drop that capability.

  23. I bought my first tivo in 2000. I invested in 9 tivos over the years. I was also a long term shareholder, tivo evangelist, and true believer. Unfortunately, they got passed up by their competitors, and they no longer offer the value. I was always willing to pay more, for better features and service. For over 12 years. But, unfortunately the execs decided to focus on milking their patents, rather than keeping up with their competitors. Sadly, I switched to Dish recently, as the hopper is pretty sweet, and much more affordable than Comcast + Tivo. And, I sold my shares in Tivo after 10 years, as I am tired of the rollercoaster ride. I still believe that Tivo has the best engineers in the bus, and I loved being a Tivo customer and shareholder. However, I am sad to say that I am no longer a subscriber or shareholder, as the execs never figured out how to take Tivo to the next profitable and affordable level.

  24. Marge: While it is now technically possible for TiVo to build a HD DVR that works like a Series 2 DVR does with a Satellite/cable STB it would make very little sense for them to do so. First the Satellite DVRs are pretty good to start with and second they are used as loss leaders, which means a TiVo alternative would cost much more and be inferior.

    Until FCC does their job and mandates the Satellite companies use common decryption which allows third party STBs manufactures access to their video streams no one is going to be able to build a viable Satellite DVR.

  25. Confirms what I said. Tivo is giving up on satellite.

    If satellite DVRS are as good as a Tivo, the war is over and Tivo is relegated to simply a patent lawsuit company?

    Tivo can do better! Why does Tivo not provide satellite recording capabilities on newer units, like they do on Series 2?

    The FCC decryption debate need not stop things. Control the satellite box with an IR blaster & record the output. It may not be elegant enough for you purists, but it works.

    My main TV does what I want today, using a satellite DVR and a Roku, but a Tivo would be better. My 3 Series 2 Tivos are on my other TVs. If I did not have lifetime subscriptions, they’d be gone.

    That’s a shame. Give me a box with a Tivo user interface, with Roku-like internet application coverage, multi-room capability, and the ability to record satellite, and I’d have what I need.

  26. In the past, TiVo personnel have discussed with me the high support costs in helping folks understand and configure gear for scenario you describe Marge. (Then again, many of us can attest to CableCARD being an even larger debacle at times.) But I mostly doubt many folks would want to rent/buy two set-top boxes… Not to mention the DISH Hopper and DirecTV Genie are excellent solutions and actually exceed TiVo capabilities in a number of areas.

  27. @Marge,

    It appears that the announced Xbox One might support the type of operation you are looking for with the Satellite boxes with its HDMI pass through and IR blasters.

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/05/xbox-one-tv/

  28. William Marshall July 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I have 6 Tivo’s and love them! The one thing I would like to have is an option to fire the cable company. I know AT&T and Tivo have had their problems but an option to use Uverse would be interesting (I did try Uverse but dropped it – couldn’t compare with Tivo).

  29. Well, I have a 4-tuner Premiere and will consider swapping out my existing unit for a 6-tuner. Primarily to get rid of the HD unit in the master, replacing it with a Mini. I just can’t put two Mini’s on the existing 4-tuner model. Sorry, can’t live with 2-tuners for recording anymore. A single event like Wimbledon can occupy two tuners at any given time and not having ANY left for HBO et al just doesn’t work.

    It would convince me to pull the trigger if they supported Amazon Prime finally.

    Certainly 3TB should be the new minimum. For $50 more ($179 retail) you can get 4TB. That should be the new internal limit. At least weaknees should offer a model with that.

    Ethernet and MoCA are baseline requirements now. Wi-fi would be nice for some people and the dongles are so 10-years ago. Personally don’t care about it but saving 50 cents by not offering it seems stupid.

    Cloud? Forget it. Give me a spinning hard drive, thanks.

  30. I understand the situation, but still have trouble with Tivo’s strategy of just giving up on selling to the satellite customer base – a good percentage of potential customers. If they have accepted that satellite provider’s DVRs are just as good as Tivo, how long will it be before the same can be said about cable providers?

    What is needed is a combination of DVR functionality for time shifting transmissions and Roku-like capability to find and access internet content.

    Satellite & cable providers will never incorporate internet content capabilities, as it cuts into their core business model. So far, the Xbox, Google & Apple boxes haven’t correctly incorporated Internet sources & DRV for cable/satellite/OTA content.

    Cable & sat providers are never going to play ball with Tivo, Google, Microsoft, or Apple. It’s not in their interest. The old Series 2 Tivo model (IR blaster) is the only avenue open to DVR cable/sat content. Cable is pretty good at making the government mandated cable card option near useless, or at least very inconvenient.

    Dave, I understand the feedback that you got about customer support for IR setup, etc. I have to think that with more intelligent automated setup improvements, that could be reduced significantly. As for having to rent a provider box (or cable card), that just will never go away.

  31. Really?! They already are. Cable & Sat providers are playing with TiVo and they are experimenting with Microsoft, Roku, Samsung, and a number of other players.

  32. Yeah, AT&T Uverse is Microsoft (and Comcast in the Pacific Northwest was too for a time)… well, until they finish selling off Mediaroom to Ericsson. TiVo has deals with about half of the top 20 cable providers in the US and offers a (hamstrung) DVR via DirecTV. DISH is a TiVo licensee. TiVo retail sales are poor because most folks are satisfied with the stock cable or satellite DVRs — many of which do more than TiVo, including native placeshifting, voice control, better extenders, video on demand, etc. Also several providers offer Internet apps like Pandora and YouTube via their DVRs. No, they probably won’t offer Netflix any time soon due to licensing and perhaps competitive reasons. And then Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast offer television services on Roku and Xbox, etc. So I think your intel may be out of date, Marge. But you’re right about TiVo’s challenges in the marketplace.

  33. My point is that one cannot get one user interface to all of the content that they might have available.

    Yes, there are cable/sat providers that have a few random apps on their boxes (most pretty poor!) Yes, there are smart TVs that offer a wider selection of apps, but no DVR capability. Yes, there are Roku/Boxee/Apple boxes that offer internet ans some HDMI pass thru, but no DVR. Then there’s Tivo, with a nice UI and DVR and lots of tuners (for cable only), but weak in internet apps.

    The winner is one user interface that gives me a choice: cable/sat or internet apps including Netflix/Hulu/Amazon – with an all-encompassing directory service and multi-tuner DVR capability.

    My point is that Tivo could do that, and is in a position (not being a content provider) to do just that. Take the current offerings, add (admittedly kludgey) IR blaster satellite capabilities, and fill out the internet app offerings to include Roku-like apps, plus Netflix/Hulu/Amazon, and you tube. Then expand their directory service to include it all. Imagine all that, behind a Tivo-designed user interface!

  34. Yep, that’s always been the promise. But the Premiere didn’t live up to TiVo’s “One Box” billing – perhaps they’ll pull it off with the Series 5. Yet they will never do what you want with Series 1/2-esque IR control of a satellite set top. Unfortunately, I imagine most of us will be stuck with multiple boxes. Although, if I can get over the Xbox Live fee, the One is pretty interesting – FiOS TV, Blu-ray, VOD, Netflix, ESPN3, HBO GO, HDMI pass-thru. We’ll see how fast it boots and how efficient the UI is to flip around the various services…

  35. No DVR capability on XBox1, right?

    Does it provide the same capability as Roku? Does it have a consolidated directory of all available content?

    Sounds like just another partial solution…

    It would be interesting to build a chart to compare features of different boxes.

  36. I’m right there with you Dave, concerning the Xbox One. If the Xbox One still supports being a Windows Media Center extender, it will be the only consumer friendly, one box solution on the market (outside of a full blown Windows PC) for Blu Ray, OTT, DVR and cable content. If not, you’ll have to use HDMI passthrough with a Tivo Premiere, Xbox 360 or other box. Hopefully, operating the Xbox One will be just as quick as it appeared in the demo last month. If not, we’ll need AT LEAST two boxes under our televisions sets to get it all. Maybe more, if you’re in the iTunes ecosystem

  37. Marge, there are charts but most good intel is only available via paid research. Here’s a freebie our friends at Streaming Media put together last year, focused mainly on OTT boxes.

    I’m pretty convinced, due to a variety of factors including competition, that we’ll be stuck with multiple boxes for next few years. However, the Xbox One with HDMI pass-thru is probably light years ahead of Google TV in content presentation. So while a second box will be required for DVR (if they drop Media Center and/or one doesn’t use it), no inputs would need to be flipped. Also, going forward I see less demand for DVRs. Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO, etc replace that for some and in some ways. Of course, many of us around these parts do wish TiVo could pull off your vision. But, as a point of reference, when I hit the Cable Show a week or three back the HBO rep I spoke to laughed TiVo off, indicating they don’t have enough customers to develop an app for.

  38. Thanks Dave. That chart is good. If they added rows for DVR capability, content directory service, monthly fee, and supported sources (cable, sat,OTA,FIOS) it would be complete, IMHO.

    It shows how fragmented things still are. Over time, winners will emerge. As very early Tivo customer (and early investor) I still root for them to be one of the winners, but hope is fading….

    BTW, how does XBox1 pass thru HDMI work? How does it control the source provider box (like satellite, in my case)? Does it handle the provider box with 1 remote, or are we still using multiple remotes or a Harmony?

  39. Before GoogleTV came along, I didn’t even know HDMI pass through was even possible. Once I saw GTV, I saw the potential it had. Unfortunately, it failed to find mainstream success. XBox Live already has that. There is definately less need for dvrs with so much content available on demand. But as long as TiVo (or WMC) dvrs exist, I’ll own one. I’ve been recording my tv shows with vcrs and later dvrs, since 1987 and I like being able to fast forward or skip past commercials if I want to. I also like being able to offload recordings to the computer to keep for personal reasons also. Only Tivo or WMC can do that for me (in HD).

  40. Unless they bring back KidZone, we won’t be updating. The parental controls are just plain poor. KidZone is great because our kids have the freedom to pick whatever they want, and we don’t need to always check to make sure they aren’t watching something they shouldn’t.

  41. Why not make a TiVo where at the back the coax input and card slot were on a modularized pci-e like card with thumb screws. Loosen the thumb screws, pull out the CATV tuner card and slide in a DirecTV tuner card (complete with access card slot) or slide in a Dish Network card, or heck no card at all and use the onboard Ethernet or wireless to pull in IPTV (like U-Verse).

    You build one box with a common interface, then the customers slide in the appropriate tuner module for the type of service they have. That opens TiVo up to everyone in the world basically.

    I’d never get cable personally (because their HD channels are on weird numbers) so for me, the ability to slide in a DirecTV tuner module and insert an access card into that, would be neat. Type in Ch 3 and see Ch 3 in actual HD, and also benefit from TiVo even if I’d move or switch providers (just purchase the appropriate tuner module to slide in the back).

  42. Another reseller cuts prices on current boxes through mid-August… hmmm…

    http://www.wkblog.com/tivo/2013/07/tivo-premiere-dvrs-all-40-50-off/

  43. RCN announces a major software upgrade to be released in the September timeframe including, “a lot of enhancements around MultiRoom and around the way a tuner is allocated for use with the Mini.” In general, RCN generally roll-out upgrades to their customers after TiVo upgrades the software on retail boxes.

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r28451746-TiVo-TiVo-Update-20.2.2.3-ALL-Markets.

  44. That render is really odd looking, but more in line with traditional cable boxes.

  45. Marge; A satellite TiVo that works like an S1/S2 makes zero sense. When TiVo and DirecTV initially parted ways, the technology did not exist to (reasonably inexpensively) record from an HDMI source. Today such hardware exists, but is still on the fringe, and not exactly cheap. If TiVo chose to go the route you’d like, they’d need to go back to IR dongles, which are a pain with even a single tuner. TiVo (and the industry) are moving to four or more tuners. What do you propose, TiVo have a box that you can hook six STBs (That you’d need to RE$$$NT) along with the associated IR cables and hook-ups? Who’d want that, let alone be willing to pay for it? Even if you would, there’d be no one else, and a business case that does not make.

  46. Here’s what I want to see and I would imagine I am not the only one. I would like to see them come up with a way that will allow you to transfer all (or selected) shows from your existing Tivo that you are upgrading from and not be restricted by the copyrighted material. I have so many shows on my current Tivo that I still need to watch or don’t want to lose, but they are all copyrighted. They certainly can come up with a way that you can transfer the show and then have it deleted on your old Tivo. Not being able to transfer the shows will really keep me from immediately buying the new one when it comes out.

  47. I really hope the Roamio is a code name. I can already see the headlines if there is a negative review. TiVo’s Roamio…and were not Juliet.

    To me by using the name Roamio it implies roaming capabilities so I would expect all of the models to support Stream functionality to all platforms and over the internet, and it wouldn’t be locked down to the local network.

    It does make sense to drop the Premiere name if they feel the hardware is where the Premiere should have been. This way they can distance themselves to people who might have been turned off by the Premiere.

  48. How can they come up with a way to transfer restricted programming? It’s restricted for a reason. It can’t leave the box it was recorded on.

  49. @aaronwt – Maybe an agreement can be reached that will allow you to ‘move’ a show from one Tivo to another. By ‘moving’ it, I mean will will be deleted from the original Tivo after being copied to the new one. So in the end, there still is only 1 copy of the Copyrighted material. No ‘sharing’ is occurring. I would have to imagine there are many people who are in the same boat as I am that want to upgrade but don’t want to lose all of their shows, which is essentially what happens. Could you imagine if all of the apps you buy for your cell phone were not transferable to an upgraded phone. It would cripple the industry. If Tivo was interested in addressing this, a compromise could be made.

  50. It can leave the box it was recorded on. It just can’t be copied. Tivo could implement a transfer option where the original recording would be deleted from the original DVR. This would not violate the copyright restriction.

  51. The XBox Live is pretty trivial. I have had live since the OG XBox, and have never paid more than 35 for a year. I do think that Microsoft Should tier the live so that Gold is required for Gaming/Party features and silver gives you access to all the other stuff. I don’t see how they are going to keep this requirement once they open up the XBox one for apps, that I imagine you can pay for.

    I still think you are giving up too much for not as big of a difference with Tivo compared to the newer DVR offering. And the 250 for the mini with Lifetime is just egregious.

  52. <>

    How much is lifetime on the Xbox? ;) How much do Windows Media Center Extenders cost? How about other DVR extenders?

  53. @Daniel – Thank you, that’s exactly what I was trying to say. You would be ‘moving’ or ‘transfering’ your own show, not ‘copying’ it. Just curious, is this not an issue for most people? Do most people not have most of their shows copyrighted? I would say 90% of my shows are copyrighted…. This is honestly the #1 reason why I have not upgraded from my Tivo HD yet….. I could be wrong about this, but I think even with a Windows Operating System, if you buy a new computer, you can remove the license from you old computer and transfer it to the new one. This could be easily figured out. I guess it all comes down to the demand for it…

  54. @Sam Biller I know you like to boost Tivo, but come on.

    I don’t have any issue with Tivo Charging what it does for the box and service. But the monthly fee for the Mini’s is idiotic and the price of the box should just be 99.

    XBox Live account works on all my xboxes and will work with the XBox One.

    I can get an XBox 360 for 199, and it does the extending, plus games, though who uses media center.

    The problem for Tivo is that the cable companies are offering close enough alternatives, which cost you nothing to switch out when the new features come out. and the apps situation is better handled by things like Roku or Chromecasts than Tivo’s current offering.

    We’ll see how verizon prices the media server and boxes, as well as how quickly they provide apps on the platforms like XBox and what features that supports….

  55. Ananth-

    While I’d also love the mini to only be $99 without a fee, you have to remember that TiVo is losing out on selling another possible Premiere box for each mini that it sells. The ability to replace a $500+ box with one that is $250 box is a way to try and split the difference.

  56. Chris, most people don’t have most shows copy protected (not “copyrighted, all shows are copyrighted). For me, only shows recorded from premium channels (and I assume PPV though I’ve never done it) are copy protected. Shows on OTA and basic cable are not. I think TWC sets the flag on everything. Most other providers do what mine (Comcast) does.

    I’m curious. What is the motivation/explanation for having an OTA tuner only in the cheapest model?

  57. @Bill are they really losing out? I think the number of multiple Tivo households is pretty small, and I imagine once you had a 6 or 4 tuner unit, the need to have multiple dvrs becomes less and less, unless you have to see your shows in your bedroom and your living room. and if that’s the case, mr dvr from your provider seems like a better fit.

  58. Don’t those model numbers seem kind of weird? At least the pro model. The pro model is listed as TCD840300 while the plus is listed as TCD848000. It seems like the pro should have a higher model number. Like it should be 848300 or something. The base model number makes sense since it is TCD846500 which is certainly lower.

  59. Eh, I don’t ascribe much value to them or care so much what they might mean internally to TiVo. Most potential customers won’t have an interest either, but it’s another vector to search on as we compile intel. I’m not saddled with a NDA, so I’m free to dig as deep as I can with no limitations … and there’s power in numbers. :)

  60. Interesting to note some twitter activity setting up new TiVo boxes from The Verge’s Nilay Patel (@reckless) and Fox Technolgies Clayton Morris (@ClaytonMorris). Nilay has been a frequent critic of TiVo, lover of Boxee, over the past few years although I think he’s still a Series 3 owner IIRC. If TiVo is shipping Roamio boxes to journalists this early I think my guess of a mention during TiVo’s Q2 earnings call on Aug 28 followed by an announcement around Labor Day is getting warmer.

  61. “Nilay has been a frequent critic of TiVo, lover of Boxee, over the past few years although I think he’s still a Series 3 owner IIRC.”

    Given his despair at having to temporarily use a Verizon DVR, I’d say Patel is a ‘critic’ in the same way I am. aka:

    TiVo makes the worst DVR’s in the world with the single exception of all the other DVR’s…

  62. @Chucky,

    I’m cautiously optimistic that you and I might be able to revise that reality in the coming weeks!

  63. @ Sam Biller

    As per Chucky’s comment about all DVRs sucking… I feel like this time they have a bit more competition. Personally I’m waiting to see how AREO pans out, they should theoretically have service where I live shortly… it’s starting to look like I might get to pick between the two within a month or so of each other. Even though options like Simple.TV never quite panned out (though it seems like they could be back with their new funding) I think TiVo knows that real competition might be on the horizon, and so far it sounds like they might be putting together a great product to make sure they stay in the game!

  64. Ugh. No programmable buttons on the remote. A much bigger deal for my particular setup than one might imagine.

    Maybe I’ll end up keeping my TiVo HD longer than I’d thought I would…

  65. “Ugh. No programmable buttons on the remote. A much bigger deal for my particular setup than one might imagine.”

    Hmmm…

    I wonder if a Premiere glo remote would work with a S5. I understand that there would be no RF. But I wonder if everything else would work, DVR-side. I also wonder if the lack of the ‘back’ button would render the OTT services useless.

  66. Reviewers only had these about a week and they don’t have the same interest or go into the same level of detail the community will. I assume we’ll learn a lot more in the next few weeks and I’d suggest hanging tight for the moment.

  67. “Reviewers only had these about a week and they don’t have the same interest or go into the same level of detail the community will. I assume we’ll learn a lot more in the next few weeks and I’d suggest hanging tight for the moment.”

    Agreed. I’ve always planned to defer purchase for a month or so after release, so I’m patient. But I’d think it savvy to mostly trust the assertion that what they were given was a non-programmable remote. Seems hard to get that one totally wrong, even from non-TiVo-heads with only a week to experiment. The only thing that would change the equation is if TiVo plans to release a S5 glo/programmable remote that didn’t make the reviewer release…

  68. For those who wishing to have TiVo work with DirecTV, such as box does exist.
    The THR22 as the TiVo UI running on DirecTV hardware; it is an HR22 box with new software. [Website associated with my name is the THR22's Video on Demand.]

    It’s on the DirecTV web site as “/technology/tivo_receiver”.

    Advantage: It is an honest to goodness TiVo for DirecTV. Wishlists, Suggestions, etc.

    Disadvantages: Based on older hardware platform (HR22 as opposed to HR23, HR24, etc). Does SWM, but not MOCA (cannot participate in Whole Home DVR Service).

    A review: “Hands on with the new THR22 DirecTV TiVo HD DVR”
    Posted by Mr Blog Too at 12/20/2011 11:00:00 AM

  69. Chucky, it looks like the remote doesn’t have a learning feature – so you can do simple tasks like configuring it to control supported AV receivers and TVs. This could possible break my setup too… Although the way I’ve got the Vizio linked in could be changed or overcome with pretty minimal pain as far as these things go. Hm.

  70. “Chucky, it looks like the remote doesn’t have a learning feature”

    That’s too bad. Hard to believe they wouldn’t bring out a ‘premium’ remote as they have in the past, but who knows?

  71. Also one new owner says the RF range on the new remote is not very good compared to his (discontinued) Slide. Hm.

  72. I’ve got the new Roamio box (the $199 4-tuner one). I can confirm that the standard Roamio remote doesn’t do learning.

    I have a TiVo Glo remote however, and it works perfectly with the Roamio (plus, I don’t have to worry about the relocated Guide button.)

  73. Also, I called TiVo’s customer service when the standard learning remote commands didn’t work. They confirmed that the Roamio remote doesn’t do the learning function.

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