TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Trendy, 4K-Prepared DVR Designed For The Streaming Period

DVR maker TiVo right now is saying the newest addition to its Collection 6 lineup of gamers with the arrival of the TiVo BOLT.

The BOLT is a uniquely designed, all-white participant providing 4K help in addition to a revamped consumer interface that introduces new options like the power to skip business breaks on recorded content material in addition to the power to hurry up playback 30 % quicker whereas listening to pitch-corrected audio.

The participant additionally consists of TiVo’s well-liked options like OnePass subscriptions, OneSearch and help for the extra lately launched net portal, TiVo On-line.

Fundamentals

  • Cable + OTA help
  • CPU Cores/DMIPS: 2/eleven,000
  • DDR reminiscence: three GB
  • HDMI Output: 4K/HDMI 2.zero/HDCP 2.2
  • 4K decode: Sure – HEVC/VP9
  • HDD: 500 GB or 1 TB
  • Transcode/#Streams: On-Chip/1-2
  • Wired Networks: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11ac/n 2×2
  • MoCA: MOCA 2.zero
  • No. of tuners: four
  • Management Enter: IP/RF4CE/Bluetooth (future)
  • eleven.four″ W x 7.three″ D x 1.eight″ H
  • 1.9 lbs.

Execs:

  • Smaller footprint with trendy design
  • 4K/Extremely Excessive Def Platform
  • Upgraded software program
  • Higher efficiency
  • New options together with “QuickMode” and “SkipMode”
  • In-residence and out-of-residence streaming (out-of-house in 2016)

Cons:

  • Beginning at $299.ninety nine, costlier than streaming media gamers like Apple TV ($149+), Hearth TV ($ninety nine.ninety nine), Roku three ($ninety nine.ninety nine)
  • Nonetheless requires month-to-month or annual subscription payment ($14.ninety nine/mo or $149/yr) however waived for yr 1
  • Busy consumer interface and cluttered distant with a whole lot of buttons equates to a larger studying curve for brand spanking new customers
  • No Hulu help at launch
  • Limits on streaming to cellular units

Design

Probably the most dramatic factor concerning the BOLT, at first look, is the up to date hardware design. As an alternative of an ordinary black field as TiVo has provided prior to now, the brand new participant is white, with a considerably odd curve to it that originally takes some getting used to. Gone, too, are the hardware buttons in favor of built-in lights which makes the participant really feel extra trendy than the cable firm DVRs it competes with.

The design itself just isn’t solely an aesthetic selection – the corporate says the mild curve that lifts a part of the participant up additionally helps with warmth dissipation. That’s helpful given the hardware’s upgraded internals, which embrace a CPU that’s three and half occasions as quick because the older Roamio mannequin and 3 times the reminiscence.

TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

These upgrades don’t simply make the TiVo BOLT carry out higher, but in addition help with the newly added help for 4K video in addition to the participant’s now constructed-in transcoding performance – one other enchancment over the Roamio-S.  The brand new BOLT will now exchange that system TiVo’s entry-degree DVR. Just like the Roamio-S, the TiVo BOLT will even include a 500 GB exhausting drive, although a 1 TB drive choice can be out there, too.

The opposite Roamio fashions, together with the Plus (the 6-tuner, 1 TB Roamio mannequin) and Professional (the 6-tuner, three TB mannequin) gained’t instantly disappear, nevertheless. The Plus will stay out there for some time and can “ultimately” get replaced by BOLT. However the Professional, by nature of its bigger capability that doesn’t but have a BOLT complement, will stick round in the intervening time.

In fact, though TiVo wouldn’t affirm this, it appears possible that the Professional may even be phased out additional down the street, as having a considerably fractured product lineup might trigger shopper confusion.

Hardware

The BOLT gadget itself is smaller than earlier Roamio fashions – 33 % smaller than the Roamio and sixty five % smaller than the Roamio Plus and Professional. It consists of help for each over-the-prime streaming providers, over-the-air recordings from antennas, and help for recording from cable TV. That makes it an honest choice for each twine cutters and cable subscribers alike, assuming they’re out there for an all-in-one gadget just like the TiVo.

On the again (and backside) of the unit are quite a lot of inputs, together with a CableCARD slot, Coax port, optical audio out, audio L/R (analog) port, an HDMI 2.zero slot (4K, 1080p, 24/60), Ethernet, 2 USB 2.zero ports, exterior storage port (eSATA) and energy adapter port.

TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

Distant

The TiVo distant has additionally had a little bit of an improve. Whereas it nonetheless feels cluttered with buttons just like the remotes that always include cable corporations’ DVRs, it now has a white design and buttons for brand spanking new options like “SkipMode,” a business skipping function that’s activated by urgent the inexperienced “D” button, and “QuickMode,” the sped-up playback which is engaged by urgent the “Play” button adopted by the “Choose” button.

A useful new function is a “misplaced distant” discovering perform that allows you to press a button on the again of the TiVo itself to be able to find a lacking distant management by means of an audio sound. And the distant presents RF know-how to remove the necessity of pointing it instantly on the TiVo unit to ensure that it to work.

TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

The distant doesn’t embrace voice help like Apple TV and Amazon’s Hearth TV now do, however the BOLT itself is delivery with Bluetooth that’s not but turned on. That hints at a future distant hardware improve that would introduce a voice choice.

Software program / Consumer Interface

The TiVo BOLT software program, in the meantime, has additionally been refreshed. For these accustomed to TiVo’s look-and-really feel, this isn’t a lot of a radical improve however extra of an iterative one. There are some totally different colours used for sure on-display navigational parts, flatter icons that complement the extra trendy design of the brand new unit, and channel logos now seem in the information, for instance.

What’s extra notable concerning the BOLT’s software program is its help for 4K, together with in Netflix and YouTube apps, quicker software launch occasions, and the new QuickMode and SkipMode options.

TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

As well as, because of the extra highly effective hardware, apps on the TiVo BOLT can launch and resume lots quicker than earlier than. For instance, apps on Roamio would typically take round 10 to fifteen seconds at startup, however now they take 5 to 7 seconds on BOLT. Plus, the BOLT is the one TiVo participant that really suspends the app in reminiscence to permit for quicker resumes.

TiVo continues to concentrate on its bigger technique of permitting viewers to seek out, subscribe and watch content material throughout quite a lot of sources, whether or not that’s DVR recordings, packages on streaming providers like Amazon and Netflix, or movies on YouTube. (Sadly, Hulu is absent from the gathering of apps whereas TiVo waits for the corporate to transition to HTML5 from Flash.)

TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

BOLT additionally nonetheless presents TiVo’s “OnePass” know-how that allows you to immediately subscribe to exhibits, regardless of the place all these episodes are situated. It’s even enhancing this expertise for brand spanking new customers with a “OnePass QuickSelect” function that may level new subscribers by way of their welcome e mail to a web page of well-liked exhibits they will subscribe to with a click on.

Standout Options: QuickMode And SkipMode

As famous above, the opposite huge additions for BOLT are the QuickMode and SkipMode options. The previous was truly recommended three years in the past by a TiVo engineer however by no means made it to manufacturing. Primarily, it’s an choice that’s greatest used to hurry up content material like information or sports activities the place you’re making an attempt to get info, however not essentially in search of the normal, lean-again TV watching expertise.

As an alternative, QuickMode permits you to watch 30 % quicker, with pitch-corrected audio.

  • TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era
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    SkipMode
  • TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era
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    QuickMode Off
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  • CrunchBase

    With SkipMode, then again, TiVo is definitely tagging content material in a approach that permits customers to push a button as soon as to maneuver to the subsequent a part of this system with out having to view commercials. This function is reside on 20 fashionable channels, however presently just for primetime programming (four PM to midnight, together with repeats and late-night time speak exhibits.) Utilizing SkipMode doesn’t intrude with the choice to make use of different playback features like quick ahead or rewind.

    SkipMode can be a BOLT-solely function, however QuickMode will roll out to different Roamio fashions as a software program replace later this yr.

    The BOLT’s built-in content material streaming – which means its means to stream to computer systems, telephones and tablets – is restricted at launch. Initially, customers will solely be capable of view one stream within the residence till November 2015 when help for 2 streams is added. Net streaming and in-house downloads work at launch as nicely, however out of residence downloads and streaming gained’t ship till 2016 (the latter will solely supply one stream, and arrives within the first half of subsequent yr).

    Up to date Cellular Apps

    The ultimate a part of the TiVo BOLT improve is the up to date cellular app. First obtainable on iOS in early November, with Android to comply with, the brand new app is concentrated on providing customers a extra personalised expertise. As an alternative of configuring consumer profiles, like on Netflix, customizations are per gadget and now embrace the power for customers to trace their hobbies and pursuits along with genres and an expanded listing of collections.

    TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

    To get began, customers will choose from an inventory of hobbies and pursuits although an onboarding movement resembling that of Flipboard. This course of then creates customized YouTube channels based mostly on these picks. For instance, for those who’re actually into “tenting” or “animals,” you possibly can add these sections to your “What to What” part.

    Customers also can now disguise pre-configured feeds (like “sports activities” or “youngsters”) in the event that they don’t look after that type of content material.

    And the app introduces expanded social sharing features that transcend Fb and Twitter to incorporate e-mail and different strategies. When a pal clicks a shared hyperlink, they’ll go to the TiVo portal the place they will select to document the present (in the event that they’re a TiVo consumer) or be directed to the content material itself (e.g. an inventory of episodes on the TV channel’s personal web site).

    New Pricing: No Subscription Charges For Yr One

    Maybe probably the most dramatic change to TiVo BOLT is the corporate’s implicit acknowledgement that its present enterprise mannequin could possibly be a problem going ahead as extra TV viewers reduce the twine and switch to low-value streaming providers as their supply for TV and film leisure.

    Whereas TiVo has targeted on increasing the cable TV buyer’s expertise, these buyer numbers are dwindling. And TiVo’s subscription-based mostly mannequin might be onerous to abdomen for many who are in search of value financial savings by signing up for cheaper providers just like the beneath-$10-per-month choices from Netflix or Hulu, for instance.

    With the BOLT, TiVo isn’t going as far as to ditch subscriptions, however is as an alternative is deferring them in a method – a transfer that the corporate possible hopes will hook new customers in order that they’ll be prepared to pay the charges when the time comes.

    TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

    The BOLT will value $299.ninety nine for the five hundred GB model or $399.ninety nine for the one thousand GB model. That’s pricier upfront than the $199.ninety nine Roamio, which requires a subscription charge of $14.ninety nine per 30 days, however that’s as a result of the primary yr of service is bundled in. Afterward yr one, clients can select to pay the month-to-month charge or purchase an annual subscription for $149.ninety nine.

    TiVo, in fact, wouldn’t precisely admit that the TV market’s shift is probably dangerous for its enterprise, however the brand new product and pricing does point out the corporate understands it’s not sufficient to only be an upgraded DVR for the cable TV viewer. It has to discover a approach to attraction to those that need multi-platform viewing and over-the-air DVR features, too.

    “We do a big quantity of enterprise with the cable TV suppliers so we’re not encouraging individuals to drop their cable subscription, however the actuality is the market is much more dynamic than even a number of years in the past,” admits Jim Denney, VP of product advertising at TiVo.

    “BOLT ought to have a robust attraction to [cord cutters]…you get a full DVR, all of the OTA DVR performance, and all of the OTT purposes that spherical out your content material experiences,” he says. “We’re constructing it for individuals who have determined they’re not going to have pay TV, however it’s a versatile platform – it might fulfill each contingencies.”

    TiVo Unveils BOLT, A Modern, 4K-Ready DVR Designed For The Streaming Era

    The TiVo BOLT will go on sale tomorrow on Amazon and Greatest Purchase and can arrive in retail channels by Sunday. Orders can be fulfilled starting Monday.