The TiVo HD is a fantastic HD DVR. The 160GB internal capacity and the $299.99 MSRP makes it a good fit for most users. However, with the discontinuation of the original TiVo Series3, TiVo is lacking a high end product. The Series3 not only came with 250GB of storage, but the back-lit TiVo Glo remote as well, and it had THX certification, which the TiVo HD lacks. The TiVo Series3 was aiming for a higher end market, as well as the custom installer trade.
Now, at CEDIA, TiVo is announcing their replacement for this market, the TiVo HD XL. The TiVo HD XL comes in at the $599.99 MSRP last occupied by the Series3. And like the Series3 it comes with the back-lit Glo remote and it is THX certified. While it lacks the fancy OLED front panel of the Series3 (physically it looks much like the standard TiVo HD, see photo above), it is a major step up in storage – with 1TB. Like the Series3, and unlike the TiVo HD, it also comes with an HDMI cable.
How does this extra capacity compare to the other units?
|TiVo HD||Series3||TiVo HD XL|
As you can see, that a substantial increase in recording capacity. And, just like the TiVo HD, the TiVo HD XL accepts an external eSATA drive. Currently only a 500GB drive is supported, though hopefully in the future 1TB eSATA drives will be available for TiVo. Unlike the Series3, but like the TiVo HD, the TiVo HD XL is locked down to only official drives.
While pre-upgraded 1TB TiVo HD units have been available from DVRupgrade and WeaKnees these don’t include the Glo remote and lack THX certification. And, since they’ve been upgraded, the cannot plug-and-play with an eSATA drive. And while the MSRP is $599.99, it is likely to sell for noticeably less online.
Note how, despite an additional 90GB, the Series3 doesn’t have much more capacity at the higher quality analog recording levels. This seems to be due to the THX certification requiring a higher encoding bit rate.
As far as the software goes, aside from the THX certification and likely associated tweaked analog encoding bit rates, the TiVo HD XL runs the same software, and therefore has all the same features, as the current TiVo HD.
The model number of the new unit is TCD658000 and it should be carried soon my major retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Circuit City, and others. There should also be a FAQ online later today.
TiVo was kind enough to offer me a review unit, but after talking to them I declined. I reviewed, and own, a TiVo Series3, and I reviewed the TiVo HD, so I know both the hardware and software. There didn’t seem to be a point in me using one of their review units when it would be just what I’m familiar with – but with a larger hard drive. Though I was tempted just so I could open it up and see if any o the chips changed.
EDIT: The TiVo HD XL, TCD658000, is now available for purchase:
- Gizmo Lovers Store
- Direct from TiVo
The press release:
TiVo Unveils the Ultimate DVR for Digital Cable, Ready to Record More HD Content than Ever
TiVo is launching something extra special at this year’s CEDIA show, the TiVo HD XL, – a brand new premium DVR that comes with extra large recording capacity
Exclusive THX Certification Ensures Audio and Video Excellence
Alviso, CA — September 04, 2008 – TiVo Inc., the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), announced today the launch of the TiVo® HD XL Digital Video Recorder. Available online today, the TiVo HD XL box offers more recording capacity than any other DVR available, be it satellite or cable. Boasting 150 hours of high definition television recording capacity, the HD XL has enough space to appease even the most devoted entertainment fans. The TiVo HD XL is also THX® Certified to ensure it delivers accurate and exceptional sound and video playback in your home theater.
“With so much HD content now available, we felt it was vital to offer consumers an easy way to record as much television programming as they’d like to watch at a later time without ever having to worry about capacity,” said Andrew Morrison, Director of Product Platforms at TiVo. “What is great about the XL is it gives content lovers plenty of room for all the programming they love, saving them from having to decide if they need to prematurely delete a favorite movie or a big game memory when space gets tight. Satellite or cable DVRs simply can’t match it.”
On top of increased recording capacity, the TiVo HD XL DVR offers all the innovative broadband features that TiVo lovers have grown accustomed and addicted to. Users can download thousands of movies & TV shows directly to the TV, browse and watch endless YouTube videos, listen to thousands of songs from Rhapsody, or view hundreds of music videos from Music Choice.
Features exclusive to TiVo HD XL include the 150 hours of HD recording space, THX certification, a Series3 premium backlit remote control and an included HDMI cable.
Similar to TiVo HD, dual tuners allow subscribers to record two different shows in HD at the same time, while watching a third pre-recorded show. The TiVo HD XL is designed to fit seamlessly into the most discerning home theater systems, compatible with HD digital cable, analog cable and over-the-air digital HD (ATSC).
As with the TiVo HD, the TiVo HD XL box delivers the best in high definition entertainment, allowing the consumer to experience TiVo’s acclaimed service features, such as Season Pass™ recordings, Universal Swivel Search and WishList® searches, in sharp, vivid high definition images. Extensive video analysis and performance testing by THX ensures content will always record and playback at the maximum quality and resolution.
“TiVo pioneered the DVR category, and they are maintaining that position with the new high performance, high capacity TiVo HD XL,” said Dr. Michael Rudd, Chief AV Architect at THX. “As more consumers adopt high definition programming, they will expect their recorded content to reflect the same level of quality and consistency as the original broadcasts. With a Terabyte hard drive, the TiVo HD XL lets users enjoy more HD movies, sports and other programs in high definition than ever before, and THX certification ensures that the quality is always superb.”
The TiVo HD XL box joins the existing TiVo product line, and is available online today for $599.99 at www.tivo.com. Other retailers that will unveil TiVo HD XL as early as next week include Magnolia Home Theater, Amazon, and various other high-end retailers and customer installers.
This product will be shown at CEDIA in booth 1083 from 9/04/08 – 9/07/08.
ABOUT THX LTD.
THX Ltd. was founded by filmmaker George Lucas to improve the way movie audiences experience the sights and sounds of feature films on the silver screen. The goal, then and now, is to continually improve the entertainment experience through strict engineering performance standards, innovative product designs and breakthrough technologies. Leading companies from around the globe count on THX to help them create better, more innovative products and services. For more information, visit www.thx.com.
THX and the THX Logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All rights reserved.
About TiVo Inc.
Founded in 1997, TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO) pioneered a brand new category of products with the development of the first commercially available digital video recorder (DVR). Sold through leading consumer electronic retailers and our website, TiVo has developed a brand which resonates boldly with consumers as providing a superior television experience. Through agreements with leading satellite and cable providers, TiVo also integrates its DVR service features into the set-top boxes of mass distributors. TiVo’s DVR functionality and ease of use, with such features as Season Pass™ recordings and WishList® searches and TiVo KidZone, have elevated its popularity among consumers and have created a whole new way for viewers to watch television. With a continued investment in its patented technologies, TiVo is revolutionizing the way consumers watch and access home entertainment. Rapidly becoming the focal point of the digital living room, TiVo’s DVR is at the center of experiencing new forms of content on the TV, such as broadband delivered video, music and photos. With innovative features, such as TiVoToGo™ transfers and online scheduling, TiVo is expanding the notion of consumers experiencing “TiVo, TV your way.®” The TiVo® service is also at the forefront of providing innovative marketing solutions for the television industry, including a unique platform for advertisers and audience research measurement.
TiVo, ‘TiVo, TV your way.’, Season Pass, WishList, TiVoToGo, Stop||Watch, Power||Watch, and the TiVo Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TiVo Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide. © 2008 TiVo Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.