TiVo the makers of well the TiVo box has now come with their Series 4 TiVo that is suppose to change the game for TiVo and the set-top box market. Does TiVo bring there A game in the series 4? Check the review, pics and video inside.
Hardware & Design
The new TiVo Premiere comes with a new light and smaller design that the previous TiVo boxes of the past. This design makes it much nicer to put it newer TV stand that are coming more slim and compact. The ports on the back are pretty much the same as the previous TiVo HD box with HDMI, coaxial, component, composite video connections. Also two USB ports, eSATA port for external storage, Ethernet port for a wired connection and a CableCard slot which you will need to get from your cable provider to get this to work and inside there is a 320GB hard drive to round up the hardware features.
TiVo New Flash Based UI
Now before you even get started the setup process does take quite awhile so be prepared to have 30-45 minutes of waiting time to get things setup. Now the new menu system is a flash based UI menu system with HD visual in most of the screens. The UI is based off of the “swivel” UI that was shown in the last TiVo series update. Going to a specific show will give you more information about that show and will give you suggestions and more content related to each show and even down to the actor as well and also the top part next to the picture and picture will dynamically changed according to the content that you are looking for.
Searching is a lot easier than before as it uses full swivel search and as you type in a name your searching for the suggestion will come up and will show content related to what you are searching for as well. Search is nice but keyboard is really needed to feel that searching can be a lot easier.
TiVo on the Web
TiVo in the past has covered most of your home media but not much when it came to web content. Now with Series 4 and the TiVo Premier you have YouTube, Netflix, Blockbuster, Podcasting, streaming radio support build-in. Although some things need a separate account a separate service charge the TiVo does handle it and gives it to you in one box.
Most of the services work well but what is lacking is HD content from theme. Most of of the podcast and YouTube content is not in HD which you can easily get on your PC is disappointing and should be changed in a software update. It is nice that is accessible but we should be getting the full HD experience with this new TiVo
Overall the new TiVo Premiere is one of the best set-top boxes that you can get. I would recommend over almost all cable provider boxes. The UI is faster than the last one and the interface is in HD but there are a lot of menus that are not fully in HD which can fully take out of the experience and TiVo should really consider changing the whole UI to be fully HD and flash based for the nice streamlined look. If you are in the market for a set-top box the TiVo Premiere is going to be the best bang for your buck currently.