It looks like TiVo Roamio owners won't need to buy an upgraded box for the new SkipMode feature. Zatz Not Funny points out info on TiVo's website promising SkipMode will come to older Roamio DVRs on December 10th, which the company confirmed in a statement to Engadget.
Starting today, a software update is going out that enabled QuickMode sped-up viewing on the Roamio. Meanwhile, a limited test will only let older boxes in the Bay Area and Chicago access SkipMode, for now (it's available nationwide on the Bolt). In case you're not familiar, SkipMode lets users bypass ad breaks on selected shows (prime time broadcasts on certain national networks) just by pressing the green button on their remote. At least so far, it has avoided any legal issues seen by Dish Network's Hopper technology, and hopefully will continue to work as advertised. When I reviewed the Bolt, I found my favorite way to use it was skipping any stray seconds recorded before a show starts, so I could leap to the actual beginning.
Update: TiVo has informed us that the SkipMode rollout for Roamio will start November 30th.
As part of our latest software update that began rolling out today, the QuickMode feature introduced on the new TiVo BOLT will now also be available on all TiVo Roamio DVRs. In addition to other feature enhancements, bug fixes and more, we will also be pushing an update to TiVo Roamio DVRs in two markets – the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago – to test another popular feature introduced on TiVo BOLT: SkipMode. As has been our practice, we will continue to deliver additional features and updates to our platforms as we are able.