Thanks to the FCC and TiVo’s ongoing request for a waiver of analog compatibility, new TiVo Premiere Elite details are now available. While we’ve got a pretty good handle on the quad-tuning Premiere Q DVR headed to TiVo’s cable partners, it wasn’t quite clear what features and functionality the Elite retail variant would possess. However, based on materials included with this latest TiVo FCC filing (embedded above), the models seem quite similar.
The TiVo Premiere Elite is essentially a supped up TiVo Premiere DVR, expanding two tuners to four. Meaning you can operate (record and/or watch) 4 television channels simultaneously. However, the Premiere Elite is limited to digital cable broadcasts, whereas the TiVo Premiere can also handle analog cable and over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts. Bundled with the additional tuners is additional capacity – to the tune of two terabytes, good for 300 hours of high def recording. I’d wondered if TiVo intended to integrate MoCA networking and, indeed, they will retain that functionality with this retail offering. However, Ethernet and wireless (as an accessory) are also supported as a means of acquiring guide data and streaming Netflix.
Based on these materials, we can also assume TiVo is expecting FCC approval and intends to launch the Premiere Elite DVR this “Fall”. Of course, what we don’t yet know is the price for such a beastly DVR. With the base Premiere running $99 and the Premiere XL clocking in at $299, plus service, I’d expect the TiVo Premiere Elite to land at the $600 – $800 range. Especially as they’re clearly targeting the custom install crowd and would shoot for larger margins. It’s also possible we could see the Premiere XL retired, making room for the Elite in the $400 – $500 range. But I’d expect TiVo to start higher and monitor sales. For some context, remember the THX-certified TiVo Series 3 was more of a high end solution… and was introduced at $800.
Unfortunately, there’s no mention of the TiVo Preview extender. Which I’d expect to be more economical and a key component of any TiVo whole-home DVR solution. So hopefully it’s also on the docket for retail… and a fall launch, too.
(Thanks, Josh & TechWzrd!)