Noted: Pioneering DVR company TiVo has updated its devices but many in the industry are saying Ho Hum.
The new TiVo Premiere adds a wider-screen menu to fit HDTVs better and also offers shortcuts and a powerful search function that hunts down videos on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand or Blockbuster On Demand. And there’s a nifty remote with a QWERTY keyboard inside.
But other then that, there aren’t too many changes from the last upgrade. Technologizer laments the lack of video-on-demand, access to online TV site Hulu.com, and a TiVo that works with all TV services, including satellite.
While over at Zatz Not Funny, Dave Zatz writes, “The TiVo Premiere isn’t the home run I was hoping for. In it’s current form, and for potential upgraders, the Premiere basically offers the same core features of a TiVo Series 3 or HD.”
Two versions are available beginning April: the TiVo Premiere, with 320 gigabytes for $299.99; and the $499.99 TiVo Premiere XL, with 1 terabyte, a backlit remote and THX-certified audio and video technology. As before, the box supports cable TV and Verizon FiOS users, but not satellite TV or AT&T U-verse.
Other key features: It supports E-SATA technology to users can add an external hard drive if they run out of storage space. It also uses the faster Wireless N Wi-Fi connection.
As more consumers ponder about cutting down their monthly TV bill by looking for cheap TV viewing online, TiVo won’t help much with that. Besides the upfront cost, there’s a monthly $12.95 fee for service even if you opt for basic broadcast TV service. If you want regular cable channels, you’ll need a limited cable TV subscription and a CableCARD. Plus you’ll still need broadband Internet, which can be another $30 to $50 a month. Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster also charge for online rentals.
Read more about the new boxes and see more photos at TiVo’s site: TiVo Premiere, press release, official video