Over three years after the original Series3 launched, TiVo's back with Series4 -- say hello to the new TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL, which will arrive in early April. The new slimmer hardware is nice, but the big news is the totally revamped HD interface built on Flash -- yes, Flash -- with all kinds of new options for discovering content from recorded, on-air, and internet sources. The new UI is only for the Series4, and TiVo's pitching the Premiere line as a single-box solution for getting content on your TV, so although there's long been support for services like Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand, it's now being pushed to the front -- content will show up in searches and be exposed on the main screen. There are also new partnerships with Pandora and FrameChannel, both of which will also come to Series3 boxes. And yes: there's finally a capacity meter. We could kiss the ground.
Both models will do up to 1080p output and have single multistream CableCARD slots and eSATA jacks for storage expansion; the $299 Premiere will do 45 hours of HD recording on the 320GB internal drive, while the $499 XL will do 150 on 1TB and adds in THX certification. The bad news? There's still no support for tru2way, so you still won't have access to your cable company's video on demand service -- although one of the screenshots has a Comcast logo on it, so we're intrigued.
There's also a new optional Bluetooth slider QWERTY remote, which will ship later this year for an undisclosed price -- we played with a hush-hush prototype at CES and we can say that it'll be a must-buy for Premiere owners. We're actually a little miffed that it's not packed in the box as the standard remote -- all that searching almost demands it. Same with the new Wireless N Adapter, which will be $90 and go on sale with the Premiere; it should at least be included with the Premiere XL. We're okay with the omission of the new optional phone line adapter, though, it'll be $30 and only sold online. Press release after the break, a full set of pics in the galleries, and PDF spec sheets at the read links.
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INTRODUCING TIVO® PREMIERE, THE ONE BOX TO RULE THEM ALL
New Box Offers a Stunning New HD Experience That Blows Away Any Other Cable Set-Top Box
TiVo Opens Up the Box to Pandora Internet Radio, Maximizing the TiVo Music Experience
Alviso, Calif. March 3 -TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), a leader in advanced television services, including digital video recorders (DVRs), announced today the launch of TiVo® Premiere and TiVo® Premiere XL boxes. TiVo Premiere elegantly combines access to cable programming, movies, web videos, and music all in one box at a truly affordable price. TiVo Premiere is now the only way to unlock the real value of the HD television set, a box that is more powerful, compact, and energy efficient than previous generations. If the DVR changed your life, TiVo Premiere will change it again.
"It has never been this easy to get all your entertainment in one place, on the big screen, in HD, right at your fingertips. And the beauty of TiVo Premiere is that finding what to watch is just as fun as the watching the TV shows themselves. We accomplished it by using pictures and graphics to make the whole television guide experience come alive in a way that it never has before," said TiVo's President and CEO Tom Rogers. "TiVo Premiere is your new cable box, it's your movie box, it's your web box, and music box; it's the one box that can give you access to almost anything you want, whenever you want it. We've taken millions of pieces of content and organized it for you in a way that makes so much sense you'll wonder how you ever lived without it."
Why Premiere Is Revolutionary:
It's the One Box: TiVo Premiere is your new cable box, movie box, web box, and music box; it's the one box that gives you access to everything you want to get on your television and all with one remote. It's a true one stop shop for entertainment.*
Broadband and Broadcast Integration: Premiere's search functionality offers users the ability to find programs from many sources - whether it's a digital premium channel from cable, a funny outtake from YouTube or a movie from broadband sources such as Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, or Blockbuster On Demand, plus options from the Web all brought together into one unified and simple experience.*
Browse Baby Browse: Premiere is at its best when you want to browse, discover and explore the almost infinite array of TV options. Every show, from every source, is organized by category or topic. With a full-screen menu that includes a rich display of movie posters & TV show logos for exploring, it's simple to stumble upon interesting things to watch or record. Plus, consumers have never before had the option to browse by specific movie collections on their TV. For example, browse thru Oscar® Award winning movies or Emmy® Award winning television shows with one simple click of the remote.
Six-Degrees of Separation: Premiere will settle debates over "where have I seen that actor before?" far faster than a trip to the laptop ever could. Just click on a show or an actor and consumers will be able to view entire entertainment resumes and cast lists, quickly and easily. Before you know it you'll find associations from one favorite actor to another that you never dreamed existed, fueling the discovery process even more and likely getting you hooked in the process.
Easy to Use HD Layout: We've kept the easy navigation, but significantly cut the number of screens you have to visit by utilizing the extra room high-definition affords. The experience was built for HD television sets and by creating a two-column and three-column layouts we reduce the number of screens, helping you to get to what you want more quickly.
Set-top box built on Adobe® Flash® Platform for the Digital Home: Premiere is built on Adobe Flash software, a pathway to future user-generated experiences and development opportunities, which have not been available before on a set-top box. Premiere is built on multi-core architecture that greatly facilitates future development of third party provided applications.
We Listened: By popular demand Premiere includes an on-screen disk space meter that shows how much room is left to record, a built in 30 second scan, and a new video window that lets you watch your favorite show while navigating the TiVo menus.
Room to Record: The TiVo Premiere box has up to 45 hours of HD storage space or up to 400 hours of standard definition programming capacity. And for those who want even more options the TiVo Premiere XL box holds up to 150 hours of high-definition or up to 1350 hours of standard definition programming.
Even More Content: A brand new relationship with Pandora means in the coming months, Premiere as well as TiVo Series3™ and HD DVR customers will be able to listen to their personalized Pandora radio stations on the best speakers in the house. A new relationship with FrameChannel brings the best of the web directly to the TV offering users access to nearly 1,000 content widgets of personal and commercial content, ranging from Tweets, photos and status updates to news, weather, sports scores and stock quotes. FrameChannel acts as a personalized channel on your television, transforming your TV into a constant stream of real-time news and information with the content that matters to you most.
Speaking about its strategic marketing alliance with TiVo that was announced last year, Mike Vitelli, President of the Americas for Best Buy, said, "This is an important step toward achieving our shared vision to transform the digital home entertainment experience and redefine customer service. Through TiVo we can continue to strengthen relationships and interact with our valued customers even after they leave our stores, which is invaluable in a rapidly evolving digital media environment. Cable companies do a great job of connecting customers to content, but TiVo takes the complete digital experience to the next level."
"We are proud to be leading the cable industry in the adoption of this groundbreaking approach to advanced television. TiVo will bring a whole new way for our subscribers to experience television with TiVo's DVR and broadband television offerings," said RCN President & CEO Peter Aquino. "I'm very pleased to report that based on our field test results, we will begin to roll out TiVo as our primary advanced box in all of our markets, one by one, in the second quarter of this year."
Coming in May, a new TiVo Wireless N adapter, that allows for faster downloads and faster streaming of content, at speeds that are especially helpful for multi-room viewing (MRV) transfers. Coming later this year, consumers will also have access to a groundbreaking, slide-out QWERTY TiVo remote. The compact peanut shaped remote gives a faster experience, especially when utilizing text entry. With Easy plug n' play installation, extended range utilizing Bluetooth and backlit programmable buttons the remote will quickly become a must have accessory.
TiVo Premiere Box Specifications:
TiVo Series4™ architecture
Supports digital cable, high-definition digital cable, antenna (ATSC) and Verizon FiOS
Outputs: HDMI, Component video, Composite video, Optical audio, Analog audio
Video output modes include: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Inputs: CableCARD™ support, Cable coax, Antenna coax, Ethernet
Ethernet connection, USB 2.0 ports (2), E-SATA support for external storage
TiVo Wireless N and G Network Adapter support
ENERGY STAR® certified
Records up to 45 hours of HD programming or up to 400 hours of standard-definition
TiVo Premiere XL Box Specifications (all specs not listed are the same as above unless noted)
One Terabyte storage
Records up to 150 hours of HD programming or up to 1350 hours of standard-definition
Backlit, programmable, and learning remote
THX®certified, ensuring optimal audio and video reproduction and enables seamless integration with other THX components
TiVo Premiere XL box is the first HD product to feature THX® Optimizer™, a video calibration tool that lets users fine tune color, black levels and other settings to improve picture quality. Hailed by critics for its ease-of-use, the exclusive THX Optimizer for TiVo Premiere XL box is found in the My Shows menu of the TiVo service. A pair of THX Optimizer Blue Glasses, designed for adjusting Color and Tint settings, is included with the owner's manual.
TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL boxes will be available in retail nationwide in early April. They are also available for pre-order today at tivo.com for $299.99 and $499.99 respectively.
*TiVo service is required and sold separately. Cable and Netflix subscriptions required for cable and Netflix programming, respectively and are not included in TiVo service subscription. Additional fees may apply for other broadband content. Broadband programming sources subject to availability and may change without notice.