What’s in a name? That which we call an Elite by any other name would still be a killer DVR. Drama aside, the TiVo Premiere Elite is no more. It has been replaced by the TiVo Premiere XL4. Which has an identical feature set. And model number. OK, so all that has changed is the branding. The XL4 is simply the Elite with a new badge.
I’ve known this was coming for a while, it was one of the things we discussed during my call with TiVo back in February. I’d heard about it through the grapevine before the call, but TiVo asked me to sit on the news until they made it official – which happened this weekend. They feel the ‘XL4′ branding is more in line with the Premiere and Premiere XL branding, and more clearly indicates where the product sits in the lineup. (Note there has been at least one report out there than the XL is becoming the XL2. I confirmed with TiVo that that is incorrect, the XL remains the XL.)
So nothing changes feature-wise, it is just a change to branding – which includes new, glossy retail packaging, more retail marketing, etc. The Elite was initially sold in a plain brown box, primarily through custom installers and high-end A/V retailers. For example, Best Buy sold the Elite through their Magnolia centers – kind of high-end sub-stores within the Best Buy. But the XL4 looks like it will be on shelves alongside the Premiere and Premiere XL.
So now we have the Premiere for $149.99 – now with 500GB drive and dual cable(analog/digital)/FiOS/antenna tuners, the Premiere XL for $249.99 – with 1TB and dual cable(analog/digital)/FiOS/antenna tuners, and the Premiere XL4 for $399.99 – with 2TB and four cable(digital only)/FiOS tuners. The XL & XL4 are THX Certified and come with Glo backlit remotes, but otherwise the features are the same across the three units.
And since this is kind of a non-event, some entertainment: