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DVR on Steroids

By Lindsey Adler December 8,2011




TiVo Elevates DVR Experience with Premiere Elite Set-Top Box


TiVo’s Premiere Elite set-top box offers four digital tuners and a 2-terabyte hard drive, as well as THX certification for high sound and video fidelity.

Opposed to cable companies that concentrate their businesses on multiple services, including phone and internet, “All we focus on is the DVR experience,” said Jessica Loebig, manager of consumer public relations for TiVo.

The latest innovation from the set-top box manufacturer, the Premiere Elite, offers four digital tuners and a 2-terabyte hard drive, as well as THX certification for high sound and video fidelity.

The four tuners allow users to simultaneous record four different shows while watching a fifth recorded program. The hard drive stores up to 300 hours of recorded programming, two times more than previous offerings. The TiVo Premiere Elite integrates web content from Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube.

The Premiere Elite also offers search and browsing functionality designed to be more intuitive than typical DVRs. When searching, TiVo automatically scans across cable channels, on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, as well as web-based entertainment sites like YouTube. The search platform functions according to popularity, similar to the way a Google search brings up popular searches before users finish typing their search terms. When searching YouTube, the TiVo browser brings up shows first, opposed to an influx of random home videos. Users can also pull up program guides and information, view, schedule, and manage recordings, get recommendations, and learn more about actors and programs through a TiVo version of IMDB-a frequent habit for many viewers. TiVo’s advanced search platform effectively renders the system a one-stop shop for viewing any type of programming from cable, recordings, and the web.

Other features of the Premiere Elite include its ability to send content to other TiVo devices in the home and integrate seamlessly with home automation remotes. The Premiere Elite offers Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) as a networking option in addition to Ethernet. By integrated MoCA support, custom installers can use coaxial cabling to connect the Premiere Elite to the home network in setups where Ethernet connection is not available to the DVR. The unit is also compatible with various home automation controllers, including Crestron, Control4, and RTI.

TiVo offers a slide remote accessory, featuring a QWERTY keyboard, as well as apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, with an Android app in the works. The TiVo app basically enables a mobile device to double as a remote control. The interface appears very similar to TiVo’s standard remote, except the menu is designed to be more similar to other mobile interfaces. Gesture-based controls, for example, allow users to perform basic control functions like pause, play, and fast-forward by tapping and swiping gestures.

TiVo Authorized Reseller Program

For all the woes and general limitations a standard, cablecompany issued DVR can bring home viewers, the original inventor of the digital video recorder, TiVo, remains focused exclusively on further advancing yet simplifying the home entertainment technology.

Although TiVo products are available from its website, and at Magnolia retail outlets, TiVo has developed an authorized reseller program specifically for AV dealers. The benefits of the program include the right to sell and market TiVo hardware and accessories; access to marketing, point-of-sale, and advertising assets; access to product training; listing on tivo. com where customers can search for a dealer by zip code; and the right to use the TiVo Reseller logo on business cards, trucks, and stores.

“TiVo Authorized Resellers are recognized experts in offering their customers the ultimate entertainment system, and the TiVo Premiere Elite is the perfect solution for bridging the gap between digital cable TV and internet video on demand,” said Bard Williams, director of retail and channel marketing for TiVo. “Plus, it offers huge amounts of recording space—perfect for the home theater aficionado when combined with TiVo’s practically limitless on-demand entertainment.”