TiVo has revealed a new box in the United States boasting redesigned hardware and improved specs; which includes 4K support.
Customers currently sporting current TiVo boxes will be pleased by the slimmed down dimensions of the box, coupled with the improved software.
Dubbed the Bolt DVR, TiVo’s latest set-top box can skip the ads, without any fuss whatsoever.
In previous versions of TiVo, skipping ads was done by a simple fast forward or using the hidden 30 second skip feature.
Now, it’s a lot easier with a dedicated SkipMode; a feature that has been requested since 2009.
Alongside the new SkipMode is brand new hardware, both inside and out.
The new design has a smaller footprint than previous TiVo model and also looks distinctively different; it’s now an arc-shaped white box with minimal branding; almost Apple-esque.
In the US the TiVo Bolt will replace the Roamio; offering a four tuner DVR that also works for OTA or just streaming TV.
Unfortunately the more expensive Roamio Pro will not be replaced with a new model just yet; meaning if customers are after six tuners and a larger hard drive, they will miss out on the new Bolt features.
Bolt is also not quite as backward-compatible as the old TiVo models, as it ditches many of the legacy connections found in the Roamio.
Gone are the old analogue video outputs and breakout cable, with just an HDMI port in its place.
While the upgraded hardware has focused on being 4K ready, there are other benefits within the software.
Users will find that navigating between menus and Apps is now a lot smoother than on previous models.
Despite these changes, there are a few things that have remained the same.
For instance, for the large part the software is the same as the one found on the Roamio Pro. CableCARD setups are still present, as is the requirement to transfer series recordings via TiVo’s website.
The biggest software feature, SkipMode, will also be exclusive to the Bolt DVR – meaning Roamio customers won’t be receiving the functionality in an upcoming update.
Another feature, QuickMode, will make it to the Roamio and other TiVo devices however, although it will launch first on the Bolt.
QuickMode allows viewers to watch programmes at 30 percent speed without high pitched audio, thanks to pitch-correcting software.
While the TiVo Bolt will be 4K ready at launch, US broadcasters are yet to begin broadcasting in 4K – meaning users will be limited to online streaming services.
The two streaming Apps set to launch with the TiVo Bolt are Netflix and YouTube; Apps anyone with a 4K TV will likely find preinstalled on their Smart TV interface.
So what does TiVo offer differently?
Well, it promises quicker performance than many Smart TVs on the market, as well as the ability to control recorded content from external devices.
Previous TiVo boxes were limited to interfacing with the iPhone and iPad, but the company has confirmed that Amazon Fire TV support is being worked on.
Bolt will be available in the US at Amazon and Best Buy, among other retailers, with shipments beginning on October 4.
Two variations of the device will be available to customers, one boasting 500GB of storage, while the other touts 1TB.
CE Pro Europe contacted Virgin Media to see if the company plans to bring the box to the UK. Watch this space for updates.