And all I have to say is – it took them long enough. See, back on July 4th I was checking on the pricing for the Series3 and I searched on ‘TiVo HD’ in Froogle. One of the first hits I got was for the new box! (This Abe’s of Maine listing, in fact.) That was enough to give me the model number, TCD652160, and that gave me a lot of hits. Looks like someone else finally found the same pages in Google. The actual pages have been pulled, but Google’s cache still has them.
So why didn’t I post two weeks ago? Well, I’ve signed a lot of NDAs with TiVo over the years, and while I found the information fair and square in the public domain, my conscience would’ve bugged me. Instead I called, emailed, and text messaged a number of people at TiVo to notify them of the leak. Of course, it was July 4th – a holiday – the worst day it could’ve happened. I asked for TiVo’s response before going public, and TiVo asked me not to post anything and that they’d be trying to get the pages pulled. I decided it was a reasonable and fair request, and I was sympathetic to them having another product launch spoiled (the same thing happened with the S2DT), so I didn’t post. I agreed to sit on it unless and until someone else broke the story. (And, for the record, I have nothing to do with the break.) Since the story is out there now, there is no point in my keeping quiet. I did make a number of screen shots on the 4th when I found the pages, but they’re on my home PC so I’ll post those later.
So, what about the new box? Well, as the model number TCD652160 indicates, it has a 160GB SATA drive. That’s about 180 hours of SD or 20 hours of HD. The unit is in the Series3 family and it has dual-tuners, just like the S3, capable of analog or digital cable, and analog (NTSC) or digital (ATSC) antenna. As I expected, and as the pictures indicated, it has a simpler case without an OLED front panel and the remote is a Series2-style peanut and not the S3 ‘Glo’ remote. The back panel shows the secondary A/V output from the S3 has been removed, no big loss. Yes, the eSATA port is still there. The new arrangement of the connectors indicates new innards as well. The logos on the lower-right front are visible in some of the photos, and there is no THX logo – so it looks like THX certification was dropped. Price looks like ~$300.
From the TiVoCommunity.com post:
Unconfirmed Series3 “Lite” Specifications (TCD652160)
- BCM740x DVR CPU w/ integrated MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 decoders
- 1x dual MPEG-2 encoder (BCM7041 or possibly an encoder from LSI)
- 2x Samsung S5H1411-based tuners (analog/QAM/8VSB)
- 128Mb DDR SDRAM
- 160Gb SATA HD
- Smaller, lower-cost PCB
- Cheaper power supply
- No THX certification
- No OLED display
- Standard Tivo remote
- $299 MSRP
I would take those tech specs with a big grain of salt, I don’t see any public source for them and it could be someone’s speculation repeated as fact. (That’s already happened with a stupid rumor that the new box would be digital *only* and not handle any analog signals. Which was idiotic, but it was spread around. I didn’t report it because it was just so dumb.)
Interestingly, some of the search results include another model number, TCD653080. That could just be an error, but the way TiVo’s model numbers work, that sounds like a box in the same basic family, but with an 80GB drive. But if it were the same box with just a smaller drive, that would be the TCD652080. So, something else must be different – if it isn’t a complete red herring, of course.
Oh well, just more to tease until the official announcement. I’ll post those screen-caps later when I get home.