You know how I’ve repeatedly said that TiVo’s work for Australia will help form the foundation for TiVo deployments around the world? Well, TiVo is thinking along the same lines. One of the display stations in their CES suite features the hardware they developed for Australia, side by side with a generic DVB reference unit. The reference unit has a snazzy chrome finish, but that’s just for flash when showing it to prospective partners.
While the Australian box is designed strictly for free view DVB-T content, as per the wishes of partner Seven Network, the generic platform is intended to handle DVB-T (terrestrial broadcast) and optionally DVB-S (satellite).
I was told that it may also support external set top boxes for other content. Remember those unused input ports I found when I reviewed the TiVo HD? Yep, those inputs. Both of these platforms are based directly on the TiVo HD. There are some component changes to handle the difference sources. And, obviously, CableCARD isn’t used.
But that’s not all. Clearly a platform that works in other countries is only half the battle, you also need the software to work in those countries as well. An English interface isn’t going to sell well in all countries. So what TiVo has done is re-work their software to abstract the language of the UI as resource files, making it very easy to add new languages. At CES TiVo is showing off an early version of the software which allows you to swap between English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish. This is one box and you can change the language on demand, not special software loads for each language. Expect to see this feature sooner rather than later – such as enabling TiVo to sell units at retail in Quebec. I took photos of TiVo Central in each language:
They also have a one-sheet on the DVB Reference Platform, which I’ll try to scan when I get home. For now I’ll transcribe it:
TiVo® HD DVB Reference Platform
Higher Intelligence for Your Home Entertainment System
At last, there’s a premium High-Definition product at an affordable price. Introducing the new TiVo® HD DVB Reference Platform, combining the intelligence of the TiVo service with the razor-sharp clarity of HD recording. Designed as a universal set top box to work with any DVB source, the platform also offers network connectivity delivering the best of broadcast and broadband TV, right to your living room. Get TiVo and raise your home theater I.Q.
- Controls TV with Record, Pause, Rewind, and Fast-Forward in HD
- Records two HD channels at once, while watching another recorded show
- Records uo to 20 hours in HD (or 180 hours in Standard Definition)
- Designed specifically for DVB-T viewers. (DVB-S support optional)
- Video output modes include: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i
- Sources supported: DVB-T, DVB-S (optional)
- Outputs: HDMI, SCART, Component Video, Composite Video, Digital Audio, Analog Audio
- Connectivity and Expansion: Ethernet, 2xUSB 2.0 ports, eSATA
- WiFi connectivity supported via USB adapter (sold separately)
TiVo Service Features:
- Get broadband videos, music and photos from the internet on you [sic] TV
- View videos, music and photos from your PC on your TV
- Schedule recordings online
- Take your video recordings with you on your portable media player of laptop using TiVoToGo
- Discover broadcast and broadband shows with universal Swivel Search
- Easily pre-approve what your kids watch with TiVo KidZone