TiVo's revamped interface is available for existing DVRs

Just be aware of what you're giving up to jump into the modern era.

If you've been craving TiVo's interface overhaul ever since it was unveiled last year, you now have an opportunity to try it without buying a brand new device. As of October 29th, you can visit TiVo's website and request an upgrade to your Bolt, Mini or Roamio set-top box. It'll take "2-3 hours" before you can force the download, but you don't have to wait for TiVo to push the new design on its own. Think carefully before you make the leap, though: while the interface is a leap into the modern era, you may lose functionality in the process.

The interface treats streaming content as roughly on par with conventional TV, and introduces a more sophisticated prediction system that surfaces what it believes you'd be likely to watch, including online material. It's more extensible too. However, Zatz Not Funny notes that you lose the Live Guide in favor of a plain grid guide, and you can't yet upload content from your PC. And when first-run TiVo Minis (the ones that have infrared-only remotes) don't have a back button, navigating the new interface will be tricky.

All the same, this could be a breath of fresh air if you have a (slightly) older TiVo device. The revamped interface won't suddenly turn your hardware into a cutting-edge media hub, but it may do enough that you won't feel as much pressure to get a secondary device to play video from online services.