TiVo's 4K-prepared, business skipping Bolt hints on the future
This new Bolt DVR might not completely remake the recording know-how TiVo is legendary for, however it introduces a pointy departure in design and provides options clients have requested for because it began within the late 90s. Identical to the leaks prompt, the Bolt is a cool arc-formed white field that appears totally different from anything close to your HDTV. Regardless of being smaller than TiVo’s older DVRs — or no matter cable field you in all probability have — it is eye-catching sufficient for guests to cease and ask what you are watching TV on. Seems apart, Bolt’s foremost declare to fame will certainly be its capacity to bypass commercials with a brand new SkipMode (No extra hidden 30 second skip! We have been asking for this since 2009). That is truly an previous trick, and whereas it is appreciated, the place I see proof of TiVo wanting in the direction of the longer term is the best way it is connecting the DVR to Amazon’s Hearth TV.
Let’s begin with the brand new hardware. TiVo Bolt will exchange the bottom Roamio (and ultimately the Plus), as a four-tuner DVR that additionally works for OTA or simply streaming TV. For many who favor six tuners and a bigger constructed-in exhausting drive, the Roamio Professional will stick round, nevertheless it does not have the Bolt’s 4K or new options. Bolt loses the previous analog video outputs and gives solely an HDMI port — no breakout cable both — which should not be an issue in 2015, however is value understanding. It has the identical built-in TiVo Stream options we dug on the Roamio, and it’ll work with the prevailing TiVo Mini bins to increase the setup past your front room.
That funky arc form is not simply there to stay out visually nevertheless, as VP Jim Denney informed us it additionally permits the smaller field to vent from the underside. It is a moderately distinctive design, and in our brief time utilizing it the field stayed cool and quiet. The upgraded hardware is sweet for extra than simply pixel-pushing too, with apps and menus responding quicker than ever. One tweak you’d virtually miss? It nonetheless has the Roamio Professional’s tiny Distant Finder button on the again, good for occasions when the RF-related management has slipped between sofa cushions someplace. Typically, issues are the identical as they ever have been, together with stuff like CableCARD setups, and transferring your Collection Recordings by way of TiVo’s typically-irritating web site. That is undoubtedly one facet that would use a 2015-fashion makeover to resemble modernized platforms like iOS, Xbox or Spotify.
The most important modifications nevertheless, are within the software program. With “SkipMode” TiVo drops in a function featured its previous competitor ReplayTV, and extra just lately by Dish Community’s “Auto Hop” DVRs. It really works identical to it sounds, once you’re watching a recorded program, a inexperienced icon will pop up and immediate you to hit the “D” button to skip commercials. Straightforward, proper? Proper, however there are some limitations. TiVo is managing this by principally having individuals watch the packages on sure networks (the highest 20 or so hottest, between 4PM and midnight) and mark the place the precise present begins and the commercials finish. Your Bolt downloads the knowledge, and is prepared for skipping at will shortly after the exhibits are recorded. You will know which exhibits have commercials that may be skipped, as a result of they have an enormous inexperienced skip button within the information now. The one dangerous information? SkipMode shouldn’t be being ported again to older DVRs, however it ought to work on the Mini (so long as it is related to a Bolt.)
We tried it out and every thing labored and not using a hitch. TiVo’s scheme covers the lions share of our primetime TV programming, and with the ability to simply skip commercials could make it simpler to blow via exhibits shortly. In that very same vein, TiVo can also be including QuickMode (in contrast to SkipMode, this will probably be obtainable for the Roamio and Premiere), which lets viewers watch recordings sped up by 30 %, however pitch corrects the audio so it does not sound any totally different. Lots of you advised us you listened to the previous HD Podcast that means, and we will affirm, should you’re bingeing on a collection to catch up earlier than the finale, it makes issues go by quicker with out significantly compromising the expertise.
What we did not get an opportunity to attempt was the Bolt’s Extremely HD chops, however in response to TiVo it should have two 4K-prepared apps at launch: YouTube and Amazon. Oddly, Netflix is not on that listing, and for now, it does not have a Hulu Plus app in any respect. They’re odd omissions, however we anticipate they will be corrected shortly, now that Bolt goes all-in on HTML5-based mostly apps. The menu has been tweaked barely, and whereas that change will not be copied onto older hardware, Premiere and Roamio customers can anticipate a information replace that provides extra channel logos. Different software program tweaks coming in a fall replace will convey a customized “What to Watch” part on iOS, higher social sharing on Fb and Twitter, and a slicker OnePass expertise for TiVo On-line — however these aren’t the options that piqued my curiosity.
- Getting Private – A Fall replace will ship new options to TiVo’s iOS app that may let you create a customized ‘What to Watch’ display by choosing classes based mostly in your hobbies and pursuits. Content material matching your pursuits will then populate your ‘My Exhibits’ folder.
- Share with Pals – TiVo is taking social sharing to the subsequent degree. This replace will help you share a hyperlink to your favourite present with all your folks by way of e-mail, Fb, Twitter and extra. Upon clicking on that hyperlink, TiVo will take your mates to a web page on an iOS or Android gadget or on the Net indicating the place they will watch that present.
- TiVo On-line – Creating OnePass alternatives will probably be simpler than ever on TiVo On-line with OnePass Fast Choose. Upon updating, OnePass will embrace default choices highlighting your favourite packages with a single click on.
I feel the most effective information of as we speak is that TiVo will lastly prolong itself to different related TV bins. Its iOS app has AirPlay so house owners can stream TV to Apple’s field however most different units are totally unnoticed. It will be higher if TiVo created an app for the upcoming Apple TV, however there isn’t any phrase on that but. Proper now, TiVo says it is engaged on an app for the Amazon Hearth TV. It isn’t out but, however when it launches you need to be capable of watch simply recordings from anyplace else within the house. With a bit of hacking individuals have already been doing simply that, however official help is a transfer in the correct course. Making TiVo work easily with different units would make the ecosystem far more useful, and I hope it is simply the beginning of a development.
The Bolt goes on sale in the present day on-line — examine the standard sources like Amazon and Greatest Purchase — and models ought to attain retail cabinets within the subsequent week or so. The one distinction between the 2 variations provided are the dimensions of the two.5-inch HDD inside, at 500GB ($299) or 1TB ($399), and each include the primary yr of TiVo service included. Is that sufficient to get consumers away from cable DVRs or customized setups? By together with the primary yr of service TiVo is taking a few of the upfront pricing strain off, which is an enormous cause why I have never all the time advisable it immediately. I might wish to see extra work carried out on these apps for different related units (Roku, Xbox, PlayStation… Chromecast?) earlier than making the change full time, however for those who’re within the temper for an improve, the Bolt is a superb choice proper out of the field.
Andrew Tarantola contributed to this report
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- Key specs
- <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/apple/apple-television/third-gen/” title=”Apple Apple TV third-gen evaluations” goal=”_blank”> Evaluations • 112 </a>
- Sort Audio / video participant
- Video providers iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, Different
- Audio providers iTunes
- Video codec help h.264 / AVC, Movement JPEG, MPEG-four, Quicktime
- Audio codec help AAC, MP3, WAV
- Video outputs HDMI (1&#one hundred sixty;outputs)
- Audio outputs by way of HDMI, TOSLINK (optical)
- Launched 2012-03-sixteen
<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/tivo/roamio/”> TiVo Roamio </a>