TiVo Announces Series 4 - New HD Interface, New Features, More HD Storage

TiVo announced Wednesday its new line DVRs, the Series 4. The new product line features an HD interface that takes advantage of the higher resolution HD screens on the market, several new features, tighter integration with third party services like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster, support for Pandora, and larger hard drives for storage. The company is introducing two models in the Series 4 line, the Premier for $299 and Premier XL for $499.

TiVo Series 4
TiVo Series 4

The new models no longer need a dialup connection, utilizing on-board Ethernet for connecting to TiVo and downloading content information. The company will also be introducing a wireless adapter later this year for 802.11n and 802.11g network support.

In the middle of the Great Flash Debate of 2010 brought on by Apple's heretofore refusal to allow Flash on the iPhone or iPad, TiVo built the interface for its new DVRs with Flash. Said interface has been redesigned to make better use of the larger screen real estate offered on HD TVs, and uses a two column and three column format to reduce the number of screens needed to navigate.

Other new features include providing more detailed cast information and actor bios for movies and TV shows, an on-screen storage meter that shows how much more can be recorded without something be erased, and n optional TiVo remote with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for faster searches (coming "later this year").

Features of the two models include:

  • TiVo Premiere Box Specifications:
  • TiVo Series4 architecture
  • Supports digital cable, high-definition digital cable, antenna (ATSC) and Verizon FiOS
  • Outputs: HDMI, Component video, Composite video, Optical audio, Analog audio
  • Video output modes include: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
  • Inputs: CableCARD support, Cable coax, Antenna coax, Ethernet
  • Ethernet connection, USB 2.0 ports (2), E-SATA support for external storage
  • TiVo Wireless N and G Network Adapter support
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • 320 Gigabytes
  • Records up to 45 hours of HD programming or up to 400 hours of standard-definition

TiVo Premiere XL Box Specifications (all specs not listed are the same as above unless noted)

  • One Terabyte storage
  • Records up to 150 hours of HD programming or up to 1350 hours of standard-definition
  • Backlit, programmable, and learning remote
  • THXcertified, ensuring optimal audio and video reproduction and enables seamless integration with other THX components
  • TiVo Premiere XL box is the first HD product to feature THX Optimizer, a video calibration tool that lets users fine tune color, black levels and other settings to improve picture quality. Hailed by critics for its ease-of-use, the exclusive THX Optimizer for TiVo Premiere XL box is found in the My Shows menu of the TiVo service. A pair of THX Optimizer Blue Glasses, designed for adjusting Color and Tint settings, is included with the owner's manual.

Both models are available for pre-order on TiVo's Web site. The company has posted the following (strangely silent video until about halfway through) video that briefly shows the the devices new interface.

The new devices are not compatible with DirecTV or other satellite services, but the company's FAQ for Series 4 currently says that a new version for satellite services is coming in 2010.

TiVo Video showing new Series 4 devices